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Great Calorie Counter
Old 03-26-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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Great Calorie Counter

Now I would assume many of the people on this site are like my wife and I, in that we are very concerned in keeping and maintaining our health as we make the transition into retirement.

I came across this awesome web site that I thought I would share with you guys if you interested. I found it fairly easy to find the calories and serving size of prepared foods but not so much on the recipes we cooked at home. I had a few sites where I could, with a lot of effort, put in my own recipes and it would finally spit out a calorie/serving size.

However this site is awesome! You just put the number of servings you want the recipe to make, then just type in the recipe (it is even easier if you can cut and paste). Hit the Analyze Recipe button and it spits out a little Nutrition Facts box just like on the back of a prepared food with the calories per serving, the Fat%, cholesteral, etc including Vitamins!

Easy-peasy! Well I thought it was cool and thought I would share with those folks interested in knowing what their home cooked meals were calorie wise.

Calorie Count :: New Recipe
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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Thanks, hakuna! This is a GREAT tool! Super easy to check out recipes from other websites. Will definitely use this a lot!
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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That is pretty cool.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for this! DH and I are on the weightwatcher point system and we have a lot of recipes w/o nutritutional info. This will really help with a variety of recipes.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by hakuna matata View Post
Hit the Analyze Recipe button and it spits out a little Nutrition Facts box just like on the back of a prepared food with the calories per serving, the Fat%, cholesteral, etc including Vitamins!
This category of software has really improved over the last few years. Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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There's another free site/community called SparkPeople.com.

It lets you track exercise, nutrition (for nutrition you can type in recipes and it will provide calories per serving), other health topics (like blood pressure) and several more tracking categories. The area I use most is tracking calories per day and fitness goals.

It is filled with articles on health and fitness and as you meet goals the community rewards you with 'points'. It fun to see the points add up over time.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:28 PM   #7
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There's another free site/community called SparkPeople.com.

It lets you track exercise, nutrition (for nutrition you can type in recipes and it will provide calories per serving), other health topics (like blood pressure) and several more tracking categories. The area I use most is tracking calories per day and fitness goals.

It is filled with articles on health and fitness and as you meet goals the community rewards you with 'points'. It fun to see the points add up over time.
I agree as we use Sparkpeople all the time. When I originally went there I liked that they had the recipe thing, but it is from a pull down menu and it takes awhile to generate the nutrition info. What I liked about this site is that you just type or cut and paste the info in and it generates the info rather quickly. But I agree for overall fitness info you can't beat Sparkpeople--especially for the price! I also like LiveStrong.com -- the base is free but to get beyond that there is a cost. If only I could find a combo site that had the strong things from both of these sites and left the weak things out!
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:28 PM   #8
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I have a question. Has anyone on this board lost more than 25# counting calories, and kept it off for at least 5 years?

I understand if there are no answers, but I would be interested to learn if someone has done this. It strikes me that things like Weight Watchers and Jennie Craig must work, but there must also be a lot of backsliding or else they would too quickly cure everyone. Most of the women I have known who use Weight Watchers use it intermittently, for example after the holidays, as the bathing suit season approaches, etc.

Ha
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:42 AM   #9
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I have been off and on weightwatchers for about 40 years and no I have never kept the weight off long term. The program has reinvented itself numerous times and it does "work". Its those on the program that don't work. It has to be a lifetime commitment; a way to eat for the rest of your life. But, real life interferes and it does seem that the world revolves around food (at least for some of us). DH and I both love food; we love eating it, cooking it, and entertaining lots of people and feeding them. So there's our problem.

The current WW program is the best so far in that you can eat anything you want as long as you don't go over your alloted points per day. You can earn extra points daily with exercise. The best part for us is that fruit and vegetales are "free"; that is you can eat as much of them as you want.

Heath issues are what's started it again for me. My arthritis is getting a lot worse and the doctor says losing weight will help a lot. I'm a very active person so I don't want to get to where I can't do the things i want to. I know I should have taken this seriously years ago but I'm weak and can offer no other excuse.

This is probably more than you wanted to know, but I offer it as insight.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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My wife lost 80 pounds right before I met her and she has kept it off now for over 8 years. She eats a very well balanced diet and has made a fundamental shift in how she views food. She eats well and enjoys food but she does't 'diet' in the traditional use of that word. I personally don't think diets work, you have to commit to a fundamental change and approach to food, it is a lifetime commitment, not a 'six week until I get into that size 8' approach.

When you say calorie count, I am not sure what you mean? She from time to time (like I do as well) does track her calories and that is why I posted the above website. But daily we do not track it, as overall we have a good sense of the amount of calories we eat on a daily basis. However it is easy to forget what normal portion sizes are supposed to be and by occasionally checking out our diet we can see if we are cheating. Cheating is easy and humans love to deceive themselves, especially when it comes to things we enjoy like food!

The website I posted allows you to do this for your homecooked meals which is where this would have the most impact as you can control the amount of butter, etc you put in a recipe and this site allows you to see the impact to your recipe. But to calorie count every food that goes into our bodies, well I dont' have the time to do that, and doubt most people do. But I do think it is a good thing to do on a semi regular basis to double check your perception against reality.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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Thanks Glo and Hakuna for very helpful anwers. By calorie counting I only meant the general approach of focusing on the calorie content of food over time, not necessarily an obsessive degree of that.

Most people I know who are weight conscious either use Weight Watchers or low carb/Atkins, and either approach requires quite a bit of resolve to follow the rules.

Ha
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #12
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I really enjoy MyFitnessPal.com also as an excellent resource with a smartphone app that makes it quite portable
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:25 AM   #13
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I have a question. Has anyone on this board lost more than 25# counting calories, and kept it off for at least 5 years?

I understand if there are no answers, but I would be interested to learn if someone has done this. It strikes me that things like Weight Watchers and Jennie Craig must work, but there must also be a lot of backsliding or else they would too quickly cure everyone. Most of the women I have known who use Weight Watchers use it intermittently, for example after the holidays, as the bathing suit season approaches, etc.

Ha
Ten years or so ago, I weighed more than 165 pounds at a little over five-foot-seven. In my younger days I had always been able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight but once I got into my forties that was no longer the case. Eventually, I decided to change the way I eat. I don't say "I went on a diet" because IMO that way of putting it fosters the idea that once I lose the weight I can go back to eating whatever I want, which of course isn't so. If you go back to the way of eating that resulted in the weight gain in the first place, what do you think is going to happen?!

I used the "Trim Advantage" plan through my Amway business. I'm no longer actively working on building a network but I renew my distributorship annually so I can still buy protein bars etc at distributor cost. Trim Advantage combines calorie-counting with mild carb-restriction, through a system of portions—a daily number of portions of protein, of fats, of veggies, of fruit and of grain/bread/pasta/sweets. The total number of calories stays the same, but in the weight loss phase you are allowed fewer fats and a corresponding increase in the number of protein portions.

I adapted the program somewhat. The first change is that I reduced the number of calories below what the program allows. For my age, height and activity level, I'm allowed 1800 calories a day. I found it difficult to eat that much, especially since at the time I was still working on a land survey crew out in the field and the very limited selection of food that was both on the program and available at grocery store delis and the like usually left a huge amount to be eaten for dinner. So I reduced it to "1500" calories a day. I put the number in quotes because I usually just eyeball my portions of fat, fruit and vegetables, I have to pretty much guess at how many portions are in my lunch which I usually buy in the food court by my office, and I don't count the sugar in the numerous cups of tea I drink daily. My second adaptation is that I take one "day off" every month, when I can eat anything I want to. I knew going in that if I had to choose between stuffing and pie at Thanksgiving dinner, I'd never stick to the plan. My third adaptation is that I omitted the exercise regimen which is supposed to go along with the altered eating habits. I do walk about 6 blocks from my bus stop to my office weekday mornings, but that's about it. Instead of eating 1800 calories a day and then having to work some of them off, which has never made any sense to me, I just eat less. That might not suit everyone, but I hate the idea of exercise, so I just left it out.

Following this adapted program, I lost between 35 and 40 pounds, eventually getting down to 128. At that weight, my co-workers were starting to tell me I was "too skinny" but I weighed less than that in college. Losing the weight took 8 or 9 months (I don't remember exactly), including getting stuck for quite a while at around 140 lbs. When I started, I walked quite a lot in the course of a day at work. Then in 2003 I switched to an office job, and gained some of the weight back—to about 140 or 145 lbs. So I changed from the original program's maintenance level of 7 portions of protein + 5 fat to 8 protein + 4 fat (no change to fruit, veggies or grains etc) and have gone back down to my current weight of about 135 & holding.

What I like about this program is that it's easy to keep track of in my head, I don't have to buy special packaged meals, and I can still have a bagel or a doughnut or a can of soda sometimes. I don't think I would ever stick to the drastic carb limitations of some other weight-loss programs, and thank heaven potatoes count as a vegetable! My mom tells me she doesn't see how that could be right, but I just say "it worked, didn't it?"
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:06 PM   #14
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Congratulations, this is a very good result.

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #15
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My third adaptation is that I omitted the exercise regimen which is supposed to go along with the altered eating habits. I do walk about 6 blocks from my bus stop to my office weekday mornings, but that's about it. Instead of eating 1800 calories a day and then having to work some of them off, which has never made any sense to me, I just eat less. That might not suit everyone, but I hate the idea of exercise, so I just left it out.
The idea of exercising is not just to burn calories but to increase your metabolism and make you feel stronger and better overall. If you've never exercised, you may not realize how much better your body can feel.

When you build and tone muscle, your metabolism increases because muscles burn more calories than fat. Everyone burns a few calories just sitting on the couch - but when you increase muscle tone you burn more calories just sitting on the couch! That way you can eat even more - or lose weight faster. So it's NOT a simple "I eat 200 calories - I burn 200 calories" - it's what you burn when you are NOT exercising that increases.

Also, as you get older, the biggest problem is lack of balance and falling (breaking hips etc). A good exercise program should have some balance routines - it is something you get better at.

Do you know that after age 40, women lose 1% of muscle tone each year. That's why you see frail "little ol' ladies" who can't lift a bag of shopping into their car. There's no reason for this - you just have to work out to keep the muscles you have (and even 80 year olds can put back on muscle they've lost!)

just google around "women over 40 lose muscle" etc:
The Importance of Strength Training for Women Over 40
How To Build Muscle Tone In Women After 40 | LIVESTRONG.COM

Strength training also builds bone density - important for older women in particular. Yoga and other relaxing stretches are not only good for the body, they are good for the mind.

Exercise is so good for your body in so many ways I just couldn't let this comment go by in case others thought "well, she lost weight without exercising...I don't need exercise to lose weight..."

Exercise has nothing to do with losing weight in my mind.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:33 AM   #16
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I have a question. Has anyone on this board lost more than 25# counting calories, and kept it off for at least 5 years?
I have, but it was not on calorie, but rather carb count since being diagnosed 10+ years ago as a T2 diabetic (via A.O. in Nam).

Lost a bit over 50 lbs. I'll admit that I did backslide (since retirement, four years ago) but I'm back on the "watch it list" as of the last few weeks.

I can tell how I'm doing, not by current weight but rather than current blood tests, taken evey few months.

DW is on "spring vacation" this week down south this (along with another gal she travels with) to see the spring blooms, and it's surprising how little I eat. I found the same thing when they went to Egypt last fall. Maybe it's due to the reduced stress since she's not around? (or just the fact that I only eat at home, rather than go out a few times a week when she is here?)

They are off to Switzerland for a few weeks in September, so I'm looking forward to stocking up on Lean Cuisine when they go on sale for that trip, also...
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I have a question. Has anyone on this board lost more than 25# counting calories, and kept it off for at least 5 years?

I understand if there are no answers, but I would be interested to learn if someone has done this. It strikes me that things like Weight Watchers and Jennie Craig must work, but there must also be a lot of backsliding or else they would too quickly cure everyone. Most of the women I have known who use Weight Watchers use it intermittently, for example after the holidays, as the bathing suit season approaches, etc.

Ha
I count calories, even though I am on a relatively low carb diet. Of course, I am not at five years. Or even at maintenance. I have the feeling that I will need to count calories for the rest of my life. I think that I will always want to eat more than I burn. Or even eat more just by inattention. When I look at my ideal weight I can only have about 1200, 1300 calories to maintain that weight. even with modest exercise. The good thing is that with the lower carb diet I do not feel like I am starving all the time. So if I end up never eating much more than I already am eating I think I can manage it. I guess that is why conventional wisdom always said diets don't work. The problem is that diets work, but you have to diet (pay attention) forever.


I tend to eat the same things over and over so at least counting calories isn't too hard. The hard part is eating out. If you can only eat 900 to 1100 a day eating out is close to impossible.

I suppose the issue is whether I would still be reducing calories if I just paid attention to carbs and not to calories. My hunch for me is no. Even though I am not starving I always want more than I am eating.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #18
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I know I should have taken this seriously years ago but I'm weak and can offer no other excuse.
I think there should be no shame in overweight. Somehow are world has developed in a way that makes a huge number of people over eat. Maybe we are hungrier than all those skinny people. We have to deal with it, but we don't have to beat ourselves up. And the personal responsibility police shouldn't shame us either--screw them!
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:28 AM   #19
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I think there should be no shame in overweight. Somehow are world has developed in a way that makes a huge number of people over eat.
A little over a century agop American women had to try to gain weight, and there was a commercial product called Fat-ten-u to help them with this. Something has obviously changed! From a magazine ad-
"FAT-TEN-U FOODS increased my weight 39 pounds, gave me new womanly vigor and developed me finely. My two sisters also use FAT-TEN-U and because of our newly found vigor we have taken up Grecian dancing and have roles in all local productions."
Whole Health Source: Fat-ten-u

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:35 AM   #20
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A little over a century agop American women had to try to gain weight, and there was a commercial product called Fat-ten-u to help them with this. Something has obviously changed! From a magazine ad-
"FAT-TEN-U FOODS increased my weight 39 pounds, gave me new womanly vigor and developed me finely. My two sisters also use FAT-TEN-U and because of our newly found vigor we have taken up Grecian dancing and have roles in all local productions."
Whole Health Source: Fat-ten-u

Ha
My grandfather and father were both skinny men. They used to say they liked women with a bit of "meat on their bones."
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