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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Food Lover's Guide to Calorie Counting

This is the method I use to set up and plan my diet each day. It comes as second nature to me now that I have learned a few tricks.

(1) I image what I would like to eat in a day if I could have anything I wanted and calories didn't count. This is today's wish list
B: pancakes with peanut butter, syrup and icecream
S: cake
L: chicken pasta
S: chocolate bar
D: nachos
S: cheesecake and icecream

(2) I portion out my calories to give me an idea of how much I have to 'spend' at each meal:
B: 350
S: 150
-----------combined = 500 (see (4))
L: 350
S: 150
-----------combined = 500(see (4))
D: 350
S : 250
= 1600 total

(3) I have to make smart choices in order to hit my calorie targets - either by choosing 'healthier' versions of standard items, or smaller portions of the real thing.

(4) I enter my selections in Calorie King. Unfortunately, there is only room for 3 meals and one section for snacks. I find it a bit confusing so I group things together (the order is a bit mixed up because the thing you enter last goes at the bottom of the list. In this instance I copied the day before and swapped out plain icecream for Skinny Cow and I needed more calories at lunch so I added a slice of cheese):

breakfast and snack #1 for approximately 450-500 cals

lunch and snack #2 for approximately 450-500 cals

dinner on it's own for approximately 350-400 cals

and dessert (snack #3) for 250 cals

I don't aim to hit the precise numbers, it is more just a framework to start from and if some meals are under, others are over.

(3) I refine my choices keeping in mind that my carbs shouldn't exceed 100-120g for the day, sugar less than 50g and I have to have some vegetables (well most of the time anyway!). I don't worry too much about the protein and fat because if you get the carbs right, have some protein at every meal, it more or less takes care of itself.

and sometimes, just sometimes I come up with a perfect day.

PS: The weird shit going on with my cheesecake portions - 1.25 serves - is because I made it with 80% Philly Cheese yesterday morning when I was half asleep and only made 4 servings instead of 5 - DOH!

PPS: I know it is a lot of icecream but it is the weekend and I don't usually get icecream with my daytime snacks during the week - and a whole skinny cow is 90 grams so it is 1/3 of the container at a time.

1 comment:

  1. This post is awesome!! Thanks for breaking things down:) I too love pancakes and ice-cream and have found a way of working them into my meal plan!