July 15, 2010

Calories vs. Servings

Last week I decided to not only photograph all of my meals but also count the calories. I aimed for 1400 a day as that is the amount FP4H says I should have. They also say I should have:

3 c. of milk (mostly skim, lowfat)
5 oz. lean protein (meat, eggs, nuts, beans)
6 oz. grains (over half should be WHOLE grains)
2 c. fruits
2 c. vegetables
5 tsp. healthy oils (olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc.)

*This is specifically tailored to my weight, age and activity level . I can help you figure out yours if you email me: keeliesue@live.com

That part I did not monitor as closely. I went back through all of my meals for the week and found that while I had stayed within my alotted calories, I was not meeting the serving guidlines for all of the food groups each day. Like I might have had 8 oz. of grains (too many) and only 2 c. of milk (too few), for example.

The big deal is that I did not lose any weight! For the past 6 months all I have done is keep track of my food groups. NO calorie counting. And it has worked so well. The pounds practically fell off of me.

I know that losing in the beginning is going to be easier than shedding the latter pounds, but I really think there is something to the balancing of the different food groups to foster optimum weight loss. I don't know why I decided last week to count calories, but I'm glad I did. It taught me that the little saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is really a good rule of thumb.


So this week I am back to tracking my food groups rather than the calories (doing all this on Facebook) and we'll see what a difference it makes.

*Sidenote--The theory is that if you stay within the food group requirements without a lot of extras (things that don't fall into a food group) you will automatically stay within the calorie range without even having to count the calories. I have checked it on numerous occasion and it always works.

Feel free to share your insights on this topic...


Anna said...

This would be probably good for me too - but somehow I don't feels counting servings is accurate enough. Part of the problems is we use the metric system in Italy and the conversion from cups to grams is never too precise. And then I don't know, I'm trying to listen to my body - there are days when I just don't want proteins, I don't know why!

I'm Loving my Complicated Life! said...

I am very interested to see how this works for you! I think it works better for me as well! And by the way... you are look prettier and prettier each time I see you on here, and I did not think that was possible! Still loving your blog!


Melissa said...

OMG, Keelie, PRETTY PLEASE email me! HAHA. I have been blogging lately about how OVER this i am...the measuring, the counting calories. I don't wanna! LOL. But i do love learning about nutrition & getting in the groove of exercise.

I do NOT want to count calories... so for the last month, i quit the calorie counting & just decided to focus on nutrition. And i worked out 4 days a week. In that month (June 15 - July 15 was the first month w/ this new plan), i lost NOTHING. Nada.

I am 5'6 & weigh 260.6 (i started at 279 but it took me an entire year to lose those first almost-20 pounds. :( I knwo it doesn't have to be a rush or anything, but 20 a year is just a little too slow for me. ;)

If i could do this ANY way without counting calories - i would be thrilled. :)

Kelly said...

I am finding that the lbs fell off a lot easier in the beginning also. Haven't lost much in over a month, but I'm doing a good job of maintaining. Tired of maintaining. Ready to lose some more! But at the same time, my clothes continue to get bigger... go figure! HA!
You always write such great posts and LOVE the music also! Thanks Keelie!
What are you using on Facebook to track all this stuff?

Jessica said...

since i lost my laptop, i can't keep on top of my favorite blogs (yours included). . .just wanted to say you look fantastic and it makes me smile to see far you've come! praise god!!!