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Calories and Carbs. I don't quite get them...



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ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/18/13 7:35 P

It was just the "Subway Sandwich & Cookie" I overestimated on purpose. Otherwise I usually measure my food or am able to eyeball it now that I know.

I'm not so much worried about the carbs anymore. Just wanted to make sure it wasn't something horrible. I have no clue what the normal is and when I look it up I get a bazillion different answers.

I don't use anything to cook. My skillet's nonstick is AMAZING! Haha.

-----

Today (if you all want to check it out) I took some carrots to work with me in addition to my normal "Snack". I also added some ground flax to my shake in the morning and I ended up eating two burritos today adding in some bell peppers. Otherwise If I hadn't had a second burrito a little later I was going to eat a salad with a mix of whatever veggies I had and maybe some fruit.

Also, I bought some sprouted ancient grain or whatever tortillas to replace the flour ones I eat.

I felt fine and full and had a consistent level of energy all day so, I think I did well and I'll stick with what I did today(ish). Unless any of you have other suggestions?




NIRERIN
Posts: 11,799
8/18/13 5:57 P

the only thing that raises red flags for me is you saying that you're tracking way more than you eat. if you were barely able to skim under the top of your ranges, that would be one thing. but if you are barely hitting your ranges and you are knowingly overestimating what you eat then you could be eating a good deal less than what you are tracking. if it really was just the subway sandwich, then it probably isn't an issue. but just make sure that you aren't intentionally overestimating more things. because that could be the difference in being a little under and lot under. and even if you track the higher number on paper your body is going to be where the lack of calories, fat, protein and carbs is going to show up.

and i personally eat about 300 grams of carbs a day. i don't eat much meat, which is one reason why that number is so high and i also eat more like 2000 cals a day. so i don't think 200 g of carbs a day is unreasonable at all. remember that everything you eat breaks down as fat, carbs or protein. so if you are aiming for lower protein that means you have to eat some combination of more carbs and fat.

as far as your tracker goes, do you cook anything at all? i know you mention a raw vegan bar, but you do seem to have some eggs and dairy. and if you are cooking things in olive oil, you need to be adding the calories from the oil separately. and if weren't tracking what you cook in, that's likely enough to get you into range most days. if you're using any sort of condiments you should add those in as well. and perhaps try having nuts or granola with your fruit. it doesn't have to be a whole serving or anything, but a little bit of that can boost you to where you need to be calorie wise.



RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,826
8/18/13 11:34 A

You assertion that most of your carbs are from veggies is false. You eat a lot of grains, and fruit too.

However, if you aren't worried about cabrs, why would it matter? As long as you are losing weight steadily, and it works for you, it doesn't matter if you eat 30 g of carbs, or 300g. Eat the best quality carbs you can get, and whatever works is what is best for you.



ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/18/13 1:24 A

Ah no. I definitely appreciate the advice. I was just trying to give you a teeny more insight just in case that made a difference in anything.

I know it sounds like I eat a tiny amount and I in no way try to starve myself for weightless or anything. It's just going to be a struggle to eat more food. Haha. But I think adding veggies and nuts here and there. Especially to take to work and such will work out just fine.

I LOVE my two processed foods then. I think they're the only reason I don't just go back to eating like TOTAL crap. Haha.



BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
8/18/13 1:07 A

The powder is definitely not the worst choice, but it's refined and processed just as flour is the highly refined and processed version of a grain, even if it's whole flour. Processed from a vegetable is still processed and you don't get much more processed than "powder." Like you said, though, the non-processed parts of your diet are generally quite good. Even the *processed* parts are better than the processed foods many people eat. But if you want honest opinions on what you could improve, I figure it's usually preferable to eat the food before it's been refined into a new food. I totally understand the importance of convenience, though, and I'm certainly not here to say that processed = evil.

Variety is good. Very good. For weight loss purposes, sure, you can eat the same thing every day. But in terms of nutrition, generally speaking, you're more prone to get all the micro nutrients you need if your food is as varied as you can make it. More variety in your veg is a fantastic idea.

Anyway, my previous novel wasn't intended to imply that your diet is *awful* because it's definitely not. But hey, you asked what sort of advice we had based on your tracker, and possible protein deficiency, lack of variety and a fair number of processed foods were the only "stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb" issues I noticed. Everything else looked quite good to me.

As an interesting coincidence, I have a close friend who does roller derby and eats mostly vegan. She gets lots of plant-based protein just to keep her muscles in fighting form. I imagine some people don't require as much protein, though, and to be fair she is also quite tall and muscular.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 8/18/2013 (01:22)


ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/18/13 12:56 A

I cook them up for my daughter or I buy just the carton of whites and don't have to do anything because they're not there.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (124,938)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,240
8/18/13 12:55 A

What do you do with the egg yolks? They have a power of nutrients in them.

Kris



ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/18/13 12:54 A

That makes sense. Maybe I'll just add a mix up of some veggies to add to my lunch and snacks.

Bell pepper strips? Uhm... Baby carrots? I'm sure ill think of more! Haha. I wouldn't mind adding more egg whites though. I love those. My main reason I say "mostly" raw-vegan. Haha. I should say more like "Loosely based on a raw-vegan-vegetarian diet".



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (124,938)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,240
8/18/13 12:49 A

I pretty much eat the same things most days, but I also eat a large variety of things during the day, too. I think a lot of people say to change the food thing up because they may unintentionally limit the variety they eat. Where it comes to veges, I always pay attention to a rainbow of colour, and I don't always eat the same meat, and by doing that you are more inclined to get the variety of nutrients.

Kris



ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/18/13 12:44 A

I'm not a huge believer in the whole protein thing. No offence to anyone. I've just personally had several talks with life long vegan/vegetarians and nutritionists and done my share of research to safely say that protein is highly overrated and I'm getting the right amount for my body.

Yeah, the protein bar I get is a raw-vegan whole food bar packed with kale, dates, almonds and a whole bunch of other plant based foods. The MLO Protein Powder you are seeing is pure vegetables. So, I don't consider those two as being highly "processed".

The subway sandwich and cookie (I totally forgot about) were a substitute for this little local sandwich shop we have. I tracked way more than I actually ate.

The "Dairy Beverage", Pizza and Starbucks were all one time things. Anything before August 5th and after Mid-July are when I fell off the bandwagon. Ignore that! Haha. Otherwise everything else on there is fresh vegetables/fruits and egg whites?

Is it really so bad to eat the same things every day? I really like my lunchtime wrap. The snacks I take to work are super convenient and I would be sad without my morning chocolate "protein shake".



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (124,938)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,240
8/18/13 12:40 A

I, too, had a very quick peek at your Nutrition Tracker. The one thing that stood out for me was that your Protein is frequently too low, and sometimes considerably too low. You can increase this by consuming beans/lentils and quinoa;

I think that perhaps the reason you are feeling very full on such low calories is that you are eating a lot of vegetables. If you add a small handful of nuts to your diet this will increase the calories and the protein, and if nibbled throughout the day, you won't feel stuffed full.

Kris



BITTERQUILL
Posts: 1,370
8/17/13 11:02 P

The problem with eating less than 1200 calories isn't that you aren't getting enough *calories,* generally (unless you're large or active), it's that it is very hard to fulfill all your *other* nutritional needs on a diet that low, even if your intake is perfect all the time, ie lots and lots of bright fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, healthy and varied fat sources, plenty of lean protein, whole grains if any (I'm not anti-grain, personally, but there is a lot of debate on that particular topic), and minimal or no processed foods. Even at 1200 calories, chances are very, very good that you're not getting enough protein, or fat, or a plethora of miscellaneous vitamins and minerals.

That said, going under sometimes isn't going to hurt you any more than going over-range sometimes, as long as your averages are good. Yours aren't *bad* but there is some room for improvement, in my honest opinion, particularly in the area of processed foods. And unfortunately, you are definitely *not* getting your daily recommended nutrients because you are consistently getting only 75% of the protein you need (I'll get to that in a minute).

Before I continue, let me note that all of my comments are based on just the last week. I didn't go any farther back than that in your tracker, so if your intake has recently been somehow poorly representative of your usual eating habits, forgive me for making assumptions. Also, as a point of reference, I'm about your size (a smidge taller). I'm pretty active (aim for an hour of exercise six days a week, a little more cardio than strength training. I eat a good bit more than you do and I'm losing weight at a good rate.

Out of the past 7 days, you went under the SP calorie range on three days, but two of those days were pretty darn close to the 1200 mark and some were mid-range, so the averages aren't too bad there, in terms of calories alone. You've gotten an average of 1231 calories per day. Not ridiculously low, and since you're already shorter and on the small side (and trying to get smaller), that's probably not too bad unless you're active. Which, you know, you are. In that case, I'd recommend getting a *few* more calories, if at all possible, but if you are unwilling to do so, then you might want to look more closely at where your calories are coming from.

First of all, your carb intake averages in at 184 grams per day (about 60% of your intake). I personally get closer to 45% of my intake from carbs, but the amount of carbs that individuals tolerate varies widely and 60% is not exceptionally high, especially among vegetarians.

*However,* just about every day you're getting a decent amount of carbs from at least one processed source (Subway sandwich and cookie, chocolate, Starbucks coffee, tortillas, coconut water, protein bars etc). Depending on the ingredients of those items, you might want to swap them for something a little less processed. Not everyone is sensitive to processed carbohydrates, but many are (even if they don't know it). *If* carbs are causing you issues, it is almost certainly not the ones that come from fruits and vegetables.

Your fat intake average is on the lowish side most of the time but not bad since you have a few days with a bit more fat, too. Again, however, processed foods might be causing you some trouble. The vast majority of your fat comes from either avocados (yay!) or processed products. You really do need more variety than that.

Perhaps most importantly, your protein levels are consistently 25% under-range. Again, this isn't *terribly* low, but there are plenty of good protein sources (meat-based or vegetarian), and it would be to your benefit to seek them out. When you lose weight, you *almost always* lose some muscle along with the fat, especially if the majority of your physical activity is cardio-based with very little strength-training. The best way to avoid that is to make sure you get enough protein and do some strength-training. It will help you lose weight, too, since muscle burns something like 15 times as much calories as a comparable weight made up of fat (don't quote me on the number...that could be wrong, but I *know* it's a lot more). When you have only around 20 extra pounds on your frame, every ounce of muscle makes a difference in making weight loss easier. You aren't likely to pack on muscle (*especially* eating at a caloric deficit), but you can at least retain what you have.

Again, some vegetarians get a little less protein than the average healthy eater, just as some get a little more carbs than the average healthy eater. That's common. But it's not necessarily to your benefit, either, and it's an easy enough issue to fix. One of the purest proteins you can get is egg white: you could be getting your missing 15 grams of protein per day with just an additional 60 calories worth of egg whites. There are other options, of course, but that's the easiest example, and I see that you already eat them so it would be pretty easy to add more. And you wouldn't even have to break the 1300 average calories mark, if you *really* didn't want to.

And just like with fat and carbs, processed foods could be tripping you up here, too. Some days, your protein is coming almost exclusively from sources like protein bars, "dairy beverages" and "MLO vegetable protein" (admittedly I don't know exactly what these last two are are and they might be "cleaner" than they sound, but they definitely don't sound like the most natural source of dairy and/or protein, based on name alone).

Basically, for *all* the macronutrients, my first reaction when I look at *what* you're eating is that you're eating a decent amount of processed "products." Not a *ton* and probably a lot less than many people, but a decent amount. I'm not a 100% clean-eater either so please don't think I'm judging you, but you *might* have better luck, both in meeting your nutritional needs and in losing weight, if you ditch them in favor of more whole and homemade foods.

Anyway, to sum it all up, your carb and fat levels themselves look okay, to me, but you're pretty low on protein and you get more processed foods than you might really want to be getting, so those might be good places to start making improvements.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 8/18/2013 (00:51)


ARAWDERBYDOLL
Posts: 34
8/17/13 10:31 P

You all know how it is... you read 5 different things telling you complete opposite of eachother on what you should be doing to eat healthy and lose weight.

First I'm eating WAY too little calories, then I'm eating just a little too much. Well, 1,000 - 1, 400 calories is what I feel FULL/COMFORTABLE and healthy at.

I'm only 5'1" and 132 lbs looking to be 110(ish)lbs. Since I am getting my daily recommended nutrients and such I think I'm okay. Some days I eat my MAX calories and some days I eat "too little". Though, I try to never go under 1,100ish (sometimes I get about 1,075 or something.).

Also, I am wondering: How many carbs are TOO many carbs? Since I am getting pretty much all my carbs from plant foods am I okay having about 130-200 carbs daily?

What do you all think about this? Maybe if a few of you want to take a peek at my food tracker and give me a little advice?



 
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