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I have just been to my doctor to discuss possible medical reasons about why I am not losing weight (despite working out a lot and eating "right") and she would like me to try counting calories (portion control). The problem is that it is not easy - we make everything basically from scratch and buy in bulk so I don't have packages to look at. I'm looking for advice about how to figure out the calories in what I am eating.<br><br>
For example for dinner tonight:<br>
1c cooked white rice<br>
1 small boneless/skinless chicken breast<br>
1c steamed broccoli<br><br>
the chicken was marinated in lo-sodium soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, a little sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.<br><br>
How do I take this list of food, and figure out how many calories I ate? I am estimating on the amounts here - I think I had a 6 oz serving of chicken for eample. Should I get a scale? Are there sites that I can put in the weight and the food and it tells me the calories?<br><br>
My doctor says I should eat 1400-1500 calories per day to lose 1 lb/week.<br><br>
Thanks for any help!
 

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If you are working out a lot and eating right, then it's most likely not your eating. How much sugar/starchy foods do you eat in a day? How much juice do you drink? how much raw food do you eat? Do you eat whole grains or refined? It's not just calories, but the actual type of foods you eat. Your body metabolizes food differently so to say cutting calories will help you loose weight may not be true.
 

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You might find this site useful for tracking calories and nutrients: <a href="http://www.fitday.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fitday.com/</a><br><br>
However, have you tried changing your macronutrient ratios? Different people thrive on different percentages of calories from fat, carbs and protein. Some people do much better on a diet higher in fat (healthy, natural fat, not hydrogenated or highly processed vegetable oils) and lower in carbs than the low-fat example meal you posted, reaching a healthy weight without pinching calories or feeling hungry or deprived. And some people have to cut out all refined carbs in order to lose weight (white rice is a refined carb).<br><br>
Also, has your thyroid function been checked?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cjr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7954643"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you are working out a lot and eating right, then it's most likely not your eating. How much sugar/starchy foods do you eat in a day? How much juice do you drink? how much raw food do you eat? Do you eat whole grains or refined? It's not just calories, but the actual type of foods you eat. Your body metabolizes food differently so to say cutting calories will help you loose weight may not be true.</div>
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For sugar/starchy food - I'm not totally sure what you mean? I usually have something whole-grain-like for breakfast (toast, bagel, english muffin). Often have rice or whole wheat pasta with dinner. 1-2x month we have something with potatoes. Sugary.. I don't really eat a lot of sweets, but I do have fruit and yogurt.<br><br>
Don't usually drink juice - sometimes I'll make lemonade in the summer, very rarely I'll have orange/cranberry juice if we are out for breakfast (maybe 2x/year). Raw food - fruits and veggies. We try to only eat whole grains but we do have white rice.<br><br>
My doctor's theory is that I'm just eating *too much* food, ie I need to learn portion control. I would like to give this a try before doing something more restrictive (ie, low carb, etc). I really hope she is right.<br><br>
I would be interested to hear any suggestions you might have although I don't know how much of a commitment I can make to a "radical" diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AJP</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7954790"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You might find this site useful for tracking calories and nutrients: <a href="http://www.fitday.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fitday.com/</a><br><br>
However, have you tried changing your macronutrient ratios? Different people thrive on different percentages of calories from fat, carbs and protein. Some people do much better on a diet higher in fat (healthy, natural fat, not hydrogenated or highly processed vegetable oils) and lower in carbs than the low-fat example meal you posted, reaching a healthy weight without pinching calories or feeling hungry or deprived. And some people have to cut out all refined carbs in order to lose weight (white rice is a refined carb).<br><br>
Also, has your thyroid function been checked?</div>
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Thanks, I will try that. Our dinner tonight was perhaps not very typical - but really when I think about it, it probably is. We have a lot of stir fries, pasta & veggies, couscous dishes, bean dishes, etc. We do use only whole wheat pasta, we do not have anything with partially hydrogenated oils, we mostly use olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil for flavor. Other than that - I am REALLY trying to avoid cutting out all refined carbs (white rice, occasional sesame seed bagel, etc).<br><br>
I am eating much more healthfully than ever before in terms of a wide variety of foods, alternative protein sources (although I still do not eat seafood), a lot of fruits and veggies, almost all whole-grain products (except white rice and couscous <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ). I have always been at a healthy weight until now, and even now I am not obese but I am overweight. I need to lose about 15 lbs. Anyway, I *lived* on carbs as a child and was healthy so I hope that is a good sign that I can lose the weight now without resorting to that strict of a diet :-/<br><br>
You have however touched on a very touchy topic regarding my thyroid. I have in the past been treated for mild hypothyroidism. However my current doctor is using the old standards and says my thyroid is fine/doesn't need treating. She did order a new blood test today just to check it out. My levels fall in between the "new" TSH levels and the "outdated" TSH levels. I am not experiencing any of the symptoms I was having back when I was diagnosed so I haven't pushed her on this.
 

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I would go to a holistic endocrinologist to get a second opinion about your thyroid. Look for one that uses natural ways to treat like with Armour instead of with synthetic hormones. Also ask what types of tests they use. TSH alone is not a good indicator of thyroid function and should be done in conjunction with a T4 or T3 test.<br><br>
I don't know your current weight or height, but it sounds like 1400-1500 calories a day is very aggressive. If you lose too much weight all at once, you can mess up your metabolism. Your body needs at least 2/3 in calories to maintain your weight daily. Anything less than that will make your body think you are in starvation mode and trigger you to start storing energy and shift your metabolism to use up less energy. There are some calculators online that will show you what your maintenance calories based on your age, activities and current weight is. But assume the calories for maintaining your weight is 2400, you don't want to go below 1600 calories a day. Losing weight too fast often also results in muscle loss, which you don't want.<br><br>
An interesting book to read is Eat Fat Lose Fat. Mainstream ways to lose weight just simply don't work for me. I have found myself losing a lot more weight by cutting out most grains and eating more fat. If you are trying to maintain a lowfat diet, it may work a bit for a little while, but ultimately you end up starving and very tired.
 

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I have found this link helpful to get an estimate of how many calories are in a particular food.<br><br><a href="http://www.nutritiondata.com" target="_blank">www.nutritiondata.com</a><br><br>
I only take it as an estimate though. So far Ive found most of the foods Ive looked up. I don't count calories, but sometimes I get curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>saratc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955444"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would go to a holistic endocrinologist to get a second opinion about your thyroid. Look for one that uses natural ways to treat like with Armour instead of with synthetic hormones. Also ask what types of tests they use. TSH alone is not a good indicator of thyroid function and should be done in conjunction with a T4 or T3 test.<br><br>
I don't know your current weight or height, but it sounds like 1400-1500 calories a day is very aggressive. If you lose too much weight all at once, you can mess up your metabolism. Your body needs at least 2/3 in calories to maintain your weight daily. Anything less than that will make your body think you are in starvation mode and trigger you to start storing energy and shift your metabolism to use up less energy. There are some calculators online that will show you what your maintenance calories based on your age, activities and current weight is. But assume the calories for maintaining your weight is 2400, you don't want to go below 1600 calories a day. Losing weight too fast often also results in muscle loss, which you don't want.<br><br>
An interesting book to read is Eat Fat Lose Fat. Mainstream ways to lose weight just simply don't work for me. I have found myself losing a lot more weight by cutting out most grains and eating more fat. If you are trying to maintain a lowfat diet, it may work a bit for a little while, but ultimately you end up starving and very tired.</div>
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Thank you. I am 5'7 and 155, 24 years old. My doctor looked up my calories per day and to maintain i should be eating 1900, and to lose 1 lb per week I want a deficit of 350-400 calories per day, so that is where she got the 1400-1500 number from. I don't want to starve myself that is for sure, but her calculations seem reasonable?<br><br>
How do I find a holistic endocrinologist? My Free T4, T3 numbers have always been within reason and the TSH is the only thing that is slightly off. I was never dx with anything like Graves, Hashi's, etc, just a slightly underactive thyroid for awhile.<br><br>
I do not strive for any special kind of diet (low fat, low carb, whatever) I just try to eat a wide variety of healthy foods. I don't deny myself a cookie if I want one (maybe 1x/week) or a small bowl of ice cream, etc.. I don't *want* a diet where I have to do these sorts of things. I like to enjoy food, I like to cook, I like to try new things - I'm really hoping I can get things in control just through portion control for these reasons. I've been at a healthy weight for part of my adult life eating worse crap than I am now so I know it is possible.<br><br>
The Fitday website is really super, I put in my food for Tues & Wed (messed up and put them for Wed & Thurs though, so I am going to go back and put today's food on Tuesday and then keep going normally) and my exercise, and I only have a deficit of 200 calories per day (approx) so it seems reasonable that if I watch what I'm eating a little more carefully I can do this.<br><br>
Thanks for your help!!<br><br>
(MTA: I don't mean to sound argumentative or like I don't want advice - I do! I will listen and investigate anything that is recommended to me. However, at this point, I really am trying to avoid a low-carb or a low-fat or a "special" diet of any sort. I cook for myself and my boyfriend and I just do not have it in me to either make two meals per night or to argue with him to get him to eat things I can eat.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crayolaab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957972"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
How do I find a holistic endocrinologist? My Free T4, T3 numbers have always been within reason and the TSH is the only thing that is slightly off. I was never dx with anything like Graves, Hashi's, etc, just a slightly underactive thyroid for awhile.<br></div>
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<br>
How to find a good doc:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com...nd-a-good-doc/</a><br><br>
Recommended labs:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com...ended-labwork/</a><br><br>
forums to help you:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NocturnalDaze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958455"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How to find a good doc:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com...nd-a-good-doc/</a><br><br>
Recommended labs:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com...ended-labwork/</a><br><br>
forums to help you:<br><a href="http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community/" target="_blank">http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/community/</a></div>
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Thanks!
 

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You should also be able to find a calorie counting book at the bookstore.<br><br>
I really have to comment that I would have really overeaten given the dinner you described in your OP. There is not enough fat to ever make you feel satisfied. With that in mind, I"d like to recomment The Family Nutrition Book by Ellyn Satter (not sure about spelling). That book was really helpful to me in understanding how to balance fat, carbs, and protein to make a satisfying meal.<br><br>
My father counted calories on and off my whole childhood. I really don't believe it can be a long term solution to weight control and I would take issue with your doctor that this is the way to learn not to eat too much. For one thing, he's having you eat too little (to lose weight) rather than learning the right size portion. Also, cutting fat too much to reduce calories (as described in your sample meal) probably will backfire because you'll overeat on the rice and eventually decide you're sick of being hungry all the time.<br><br>
Have you considered seeing a nutritionist?<br><br>
Lara
 

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If you are needing to portion control, here's a trick. Just have a salad or raw vegies with your meals. Serve a smaller portion of the actual meal, and eat a larger portion of the raw vegies or salad. I am a big eater. I don't have a bird type appetite so I need food on my plate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I try to eat NT while adapting a lot of the Eat to Live type of food in my diet. I wouldn't say I'm on a diet, I eat what I feel like eating however I can not eat too many carbydrates in the form of breads/pastas/sugars. I can eat carboydrates in the form of dried beans and vegies, and I'm good. That's what I meant by sugars. A carbohydrate is a sugar and some people just can't eat too many of them. I eat a lot of food during the day, but in the form of raw vegies/green and beans/legumes. I do eat meat for dinner about 4x/week. To me it's not a "diet", the food I make is delicious but it is also not detremental to my waistline.<br><br>
IMO, I would see another doc about your thyroid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lara1828</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7960858"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You should also be able to find a calorie counting book at the bookstore.<br><br>
I really have to comment that I would have really overeaten given the dinner you described in your OP. There is not enough fat to ever make you feel satisfied. With that in mind, I"d like to recomment The Family Nutrition Book by Ellyn Satter (not sure about spelling). That book was really helpful to me in understanding how to balance fat, carbs, and protein to make a satisfying meal.<br><br>
My father counted calories on and off my whole childhood. I really don't believe it can be a long term solution to weight control and I would take issue with your doctor that this is the way to learn not to eat too much. For one thing, he's having you eat too little (to lose weight) rather than learning the right size portion. Also, cutting fat too much to reduce calories (as described in your sample meal) probably will backfire because you'll overeat on the rice and eventually decide you're sick of being hungry all the time.<br><br>
Have you considered seeing a nutritionist?<br><br>
Lara</div>
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Thanks for this information. I do think there is more fat in my diet than the meal above indicates - I don't hesitate to slather butter on my toast, I eat full-fat cream cheese, low-fat yogurt (can't find full-fat except yobaby which is expensive?), use olive oil, etc. We DO try to use only "good" fats (no margarine, shortening, etc) but we certainly don't avoid fats on principle. I was actually still a little bit hungry about an hour after dinner last night so I had a banana.<br><br>
Tonight, we had boxed mac and cheese and hot dogs .. a far cry from healthy, low fat, or anything.. I did make some broccoli to go with it, and only had one hot dog when usually I would have 2. Tonight I am quite satisfied. But, you can see we go to both extremes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I do think my doctor's intentions were good in giving me the suggestion to try watching caloric intake - as keeping track of what I'm eating just the last 3 days on FitDay has given me a lot better appreciation for portion sizes.<br><br>
I will definitely go get that book you have suggested at the library! We do have one "diet/eating" book around here, it's something like "eat drink and be healthy" from harvard publishers or something. I also checked out a book called "Healing with Whole Foods" from the library to read.<br><br>
I have thought about seeing a nutritionist but I don't have time right now. I thought I would give this portion control thing a try for a couple of months and then I will have more free time so if I am not seeing a difference I will ask my doctor for a referral. Is there a certain kind of nutritionist that I could see? My personal trainer at the gym can provide me with a meal plan/nutrition advice, but he didn't know what couscous or hummous were when I was asking about carbs the other day so I don't think he will be much use, really. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyway, thank you for the advice, I will look into that book and be sure I am not having too little fat.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cjr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7961221"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you are needing to portion control, here's a trick. Just have a salad or raw vegies with your meals. Serve a smaller portion of the actual meal, and eat a larger portion of the raw vegies or salad. I am a big eater. I don't have a bird type appetite so I need food on my plate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I try to eat NT while adapting a lot of the Eat to Live type of food in my diet. I wouldn't say I'm on a diet, I eat what I feel like eating however I can not eat too many carbydrates in the form of breads/pastas/sugars. I can eat carboydrates in the form of dried beans and vegies, and I'm good. That's what I meant by sugars. A carbohydrate is a sugar and some people just can't eat too many of them. I eat a lot of food during the day, but in the form of raw vegies/green and beans/legumes. I do eat meat for dinner about 4x/week. To me it's not a "diet", the food I make is delicious but it is also not detremental to my waistline.<br><br>
IMO, I would see another doc about your thyroid.</div>
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What is "NT"? And, I see the "eat to live" threads on here but I have never seen what exactly that is- is there a book? A website?<br><br>
I go back and forth about salads, sometimes we have a lot of salads and other times we don't. I do a lot more salads in the summer so I'm hoping that will help. What kind of raw veggies do you have? I usually go for green veg, I guess usually we have broccoli, or asparagus if it's on sale, occasionally green beans. There is not much variety to our fresh veg I am afraid although we use a lot of frozen in curries, stir fries, etc.<br><br>
I am happy with my doctor *for now* and not wanting to really push the thyroid issue - as long as I am not experiencing symptoms, which I don't think I am? It's hard to find a new doctor around here, as our insurance is not local. We'll see what my most recent bloodwork comes back at, and I may decide to push things further.<br><br>
Thanks for the advice!
 
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