Calories and the daily consumption

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by TC. This post has been viewed 75 times
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    • #98084
      The Hobbit

        How do you all actually make sure you are eating healthy and proper portions? What i mean to ask is what is this forums general consensus on a healthy diet (carbs/no carbs, Greens and other veggies with protein, etc)? Also as anyone who has actively tried probably knows trying to count calories for every single thing you ingest is a PITA to actually maintain, how do you go about making sure you aren’t over eating or otherwise over/under consuming and maintaining healthy balance?

        Feel free to discuss as someone who struggles more with this then buying gear I would love to see this section of the forum wake up.

      • #98085

          I keep a food log, just write it down. Not trying to count calories just watching portion sizes and writing it down keeps you honest.

        • #98086

            My fitness pal on your phone is awesome and free for tracking cal. You can evan scan barcodes….

          • #98087
            The Hobbit

              My fitness pal on your phone is awesome and free for tracking cal. You can evan scan barcodes….

              I actually have this app on my phone. I have run into the situation that I havent acutally had a barcode to scan. At one point I was able to search for a food type without the bar code. IDK maybe im just too tech stupid on this one lol. I do try and keep portion sizes reasonable and only eat a little at a time till I “feel full” instead of engorging my gluttonness self. Except for the damn pizza that makes my life difficult.

            • #98088
              Brian from Georgia

                There are all kinds of apps out there that let you track calories, macronutrients and protein/fat/carb balance.

                The thing is, if you eat pretty clean you don’t really need to track it. I do, but it’s simply by habit and personality. You will get pretty full from adequate healthy fats, meat, lots of greens and moderate complex carbs. You’ll still stay in the 2200-2500 calorie range if you minimize bread, sugar and empty carbs. Avoid processed foods, fried food, fast food and soft drinks.

                Here’s what I had today. At no point was I hungry. For reference, I’m late 40s, have a desk job, weigh 195 and lift weights and run 4-5 times a week for a total of 4-5 hours.

                2 prunes
                2 pieces bacon
                2 eggs fried in EVOO
                Ezekiel bread toast with just a little butter and homemade jelly

                2 baked chicken thighs
                steamed broccoli
                roasted cauliflower

                Afternoon snack
                protein bar
                whey protein shake (after my lift)

                Deer meatloaf
                green beans
                small helping of macaroni with smoked cheddar
                2 small chocolates (I indulge after supper)

                By my app, that comes in at 2250 calories, 110g of fat, 140g protein and 165g of carbs (23g fiber, 58g sugar). That’s a good bit of food volume wise but not a lot of calories for an active person. I keep the fat up around 30-40% of my calories since it is satisfying.

              • #98089

                  Your weight in lbs. X 13 = the amount of calories you need to maintain.

                  Subtract 500 from that amount daily and you will lose a pound a week.
                  Subtract 1000 from that daily and you will lose two pounds per week.

                  This is NOT DOING CRAP. You could literally be sitting on your arse all that time and drop weight if the numbers were right. Adding in exercise is OBVIOUSLY what we want to do though.

                  I dropped over 40 inside of four months to get to a much lower weight class years ago using this. It’s also a great thing to do so you will KNOW what your body can do at 4pm when your only at maybe 800 calories for the day and it’s time to run 2 miles then go and do combatives for a few hours.

                  I’m not going to get into the “carbs are the enemy” and all that crap, everyone is different and debating what food, and fad diets, blah blah blah is kinda pointless to what I’m telling you.

                  Watch the numbers, keep them low, write down everything, go to or some similar site, OVERestimate caloric intake if you need to.

                  For a lot of people, just making some simple adjustments can cause some weight loss.

                  Examples- 2 regular Cokes are what about 400 calories? Drink Coke Zero instead (again not debating food/drink TYPES).

                  Put butter or margarine on stuff? Get the “Buttery spray” Parkay product that is zero calories. Depending on how much butter you normally use, this could be another couple hundred calories dropped there.

                  Use Sugar? Switch to Stevia- all natural and zero calories. I was probably putting 100 calories worth of sugar and a similar amount of creamer in my coffee every morning, I dropped the creamer and just add stevia now.

                  Easy peasey lemon squeezey… It’s all about the numbers.

                  Yes you will likely lose some muscle mass in the cut EVEN if your working out, getting a fair amount of protein, etc. Just drop the weight first, you can put the muscle back on later.

                  I cut down to 171, and “looked like a crackhead” (gotta love it when your Mom is honest with you huh LOL). I walk around 180-185 now with some muscle put back on and where I don’t feel dizzy at 11am if my calories are below 200 for the morning. Got to have a little to fall back on….

                • #98090

                    A little meat, can’t over eat vegetables.

                  • #98091
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                      What i mean to ask is what is this forums general consensus on a healthy diet (carbs/no carbs, Greens and other veggies with protein, etc)?

                      I doubt there is much of a consensus beyond general moderation.

                      Plenty of things out there work for some, but not others. we aren’t all the same.

                      Robert’s calorie example is an excellent starting point and general rule, but some of us have higher or lower metabolisms.

                      Like most everything we do, you have to figure out what works for you.

                      Best thing about having a good baseline on your calorie intake is for food storage purposes IMHO.

                      Remember too that in an emergency “Event” situation you will be burning more calories than you do now. As a “Old Man” by military standards before I retired, I was in Afghanistan and I was eating like a teenager! Not only didn’t I gain weight, I lost weight.

                    • #98092

                        I have been working with a trainer to help me lose weight. Here’s the meal plan I’m on. I’ve been doing this for almost seven weeks and have been dropping pounds and body fat percentage at a slow but steady rate while increasing strength, mobility, and overall energy.

                        I use a scale to weigh portions and I keep a food journal. If you are skinny and are trying to bulk up or maintain overall weight but improve composition, your diet will probably be a lot different. I believe this one works out to be about 1700-1900 calories per day.

                        • Meal 1: 2 eggs 1 cup of egg whites, 40g of oatmeal with cinnamon.
                        • Meal 2: 7 oz lean white meat (chicken, turkey, fish), 6 oz green veg.
                        • Meal 3 (if hungry): Protein shake (3 scoops whey/casein protein powder, sugar-free).
                        • Meal 4 (about 2 hours before evening workout): 7 oz lean white meat, 6 oz green veg., and 100g rice or sweet potato.
                        • Meal 5: 7 oz lean beef, 6 oz green veg.
                        • Meal 6 (if hungry): Protein shake or 1-2 eggs.

                        Green veg includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, etc. I avoid soybeans as they supposedly increase estrogen.

                        Avoid bread and baked goods, sugar, dairy, pasta, fatty meats, processed foods, alcohol, etc. Watch out for sauces, condiments, and dressings, which can have a ton of sugar and questionable fats (soybean oil) in them. Sugar in one form or another is in just about any prepared food you buy, even foods you don’t think of as sweet, because the sugar is addictive and you’ll want to buy more of that product (so I’ve heard).

                        Drink 3 quarts of water over the course of the day, more if sweating a lot (yardwork in summertime in southeast USA heat & humidity).

                        Some salt is ok unless your doctor has you on restriction, just don’t overdo it. I try to use a little bit more if I’ve been sweating a lot. I use a fancy salt that has bits of sea kelp in it for extra iodine since I don’t eat much fish or seafood.

                        Caffeine is ok, but again don’t overdo it. I have one or two cups (black) in the morning with cinnamon added to the grounds (cinnamon supposedly helps stabilize blood sugar). I’m trying to cut back to just one cup in the morning. I might have half a cup or so in the afternoon if I’m really dragging or I’ll have it about 30 minutes before working out instead of using an expensive “pre-workout” supplement.

                        Some oils/fats are necessary for cooking, just be careful what you choose. I’ve started using avocado oil for higher temp cooking as it has a high smoke point. A little bit of butter or bacon grease are good for frying an egg (medium temp). Olive oil is good for low temp cooking like carmelizing onions, but you have to make sure the flavor is compatible. Coconut oil too. I try to avoid shortening, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or trans fats.

                        Vitamins/supplements: Depends on your needs. A lot of people are low in magnesium and vitamin D3. I also take something called CO-Q10, which is supposed to help improve your cardio/endurance. An omega-3 supplement from a reputable source can be helpful for your blood fat composition (cholesterol). Most US meat is high in omega-6 fat due to being fed a grain-based diet. You want the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 to be higher (closer to 1:1 instead of the typical 1:20, iirc). If you regularly eat a lot of healthy oily fish like wild-caught salmon, you may not need to supplement omega-3.

                        Fitness training sessions 4-7 days a week depending on intensity & volume and the corresponding time it takes to recover. I chose to work with a trainer on some days to avoid injury, fix bad habits, and learn proper form. It is not cheap, but I am trying to make up for 20 years of neglecting fitness and health, and even when I was a reasonably healthy young man I was not particularly athletic or knowledgeable about these things.

                        Appetite fatigue: If this diet sounds boring, it’s because it kind of is. But I’m learning to prepare my own meals instead of buying them, which means I’m developing a useful skill and saving money while eating healthier food. How many ways can you prepare chicken breasts so that you don’t go insane eating them every day? I’m trying to find out. I have been learning about spices and seasonings and cooking methods to provide some variety. It’s getting better.

                        Cheat meals: I’m trying to stick to the diet as written. I don’t have any scheduled cheat meals or “re-feed” weeks as I hear them called in the weightlifting community. Some people think cheat meals are important to keep your metabolism from adapting (slowing down) to reduced calorie intake. If you’re going to do that, I suggest taking bodybuilder Evan Centopani’s advice, “A cheat meal should still be basically healthy. You don’t want to be doing squats the next day and wondering if you’re going to sh*t in your pants.”

                        Sleep: Get as much good quality sleep as your body needs. If your spouse/roomate/whatever tells you that you snore like a chainsaw or that it seems like sometimes you stop breathing while you’re asleep, consider seeing a specialist who can diagnose and treat sleep problems like apnea.

                        Also, consider getting your testosterone levels checked. It tends to be low in men over 40 years old and has been declining on average in the US male population for several decades. There are some risks to testosterone replacement therapy, but there can also be important benefits worth considering. Talk to a specialist who knows what they are talking about if you are interested in that.

                        There are other diets that people use to lose weight. Keto/low carb seems to work well for a lot of folks, but it’s not what my trainer wanted me to do.

                        Sorry for the long post. Obviously, this is not medical advice and I’m not a doctor, but I hope it helps.

                      • #98093

                          Some great advice on this thread.

                          I’ve made a lot of mistakes with diets over the years.

                          1) Going TOO low-cal, low-fat, for too long = body goes into high-cortisol starvation mode and keeps on fat wherever it can, cannibalizing muscle instead. Makes sense from an evolutionary perspective since muscles burn calories and fat reserves are needed to survive famine. 500 calorie deficit per day seems to be cutoff line.

                          Also, I found that going too low-fat for too long can cause auto-immune and neural issues. These go away when you get your fatty acid levels back to normal. Personally, I’ve found oleic acid and omega-3’s to be very important for that.

                          2) Overeating due to DOMS (muscle soreness post-workout). Eating beyond a certain point won’t grow damaged muscles any faster. But hey it’ll grow fat effortlessly.

                          3) Not eating enough protein. Resulted in muscle gains rotating between muscle groups like musical chairs. One worked group gets stronger by taking from other unworked groups.

                          4) Not figuring my calorie requirements and tracking calories. Was underestimating how much I was eating, until I tracked calories for a week. I used an app called Track. You also have to know your BMR (basal metabolic rate = how many calories you normally burn per day) for which there are various online calculators.

                          5) Overtraining, lack of sleep, lack of calories = starvation response like in #1.

                          So in the end, what’s been working for me is: Slight Calorie Deficit Protein Surplus Healthy Fats More Sleep the style of workouts JohnnyMac’s been designing for the Forum Fitness Challenge.

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