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Low Calories Vs. Nutritional Balance

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 06:22 pm
I've tipped into the "mildly over weight" category of the BMI index. I am also heading into menopause, so my metabolism is slowing. Recently, I joined a free online diet website to help me understand calories in vs. calories out. I found that, while the website was a little hard to navigate, it had some really nice features. If I take the time to plug in all my food intake, it will break down it into nutritional data. At the end of the day I can see how many calories I ate and how much potassium, calcium, iron (etc) I took in.

After analyzing my diet for a few days I realized that I wasn't getting enough of a couple nutrients and tried to increase those things in my diet (potassium was one). This increased my overall food intake and I went way outside my caloric limit. So, I'm looking at the data trying to figure out where to cut what foods. It's hard! If I cut the cheese from my lunch salad, I lose calcium and protein. If I cut out the banana I lose potassium.

How does this work out? Do I just need to increase my activity level and target a higher caloric intake?

My target caloric intake to lose weight, according to this website, is 1400 per day. Today I was at over 1800.
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 06:47 pm
@littlek,
At your weight, the difference between the 1800 and the 1400 should be just under an hour of relaxed cardio workouts. So how about sticking with your 1800-calorie diet and adding a daily run? That would have other health benefits, too, especially if you want to prevent heart problems at an older age.

EDIT: Oops, I didn't catch your second-to-last paragraph on my first read. The answer is, yes, increasing your activity level would do it.

. . . if exercise isn't an option, I would go to a drug store and check out mineral supplements.
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 07:08 pm
@Thomas,
Yeah, I'd already thought to check out potassium supplements. Vit K isn't in my multi (which I don't take anyway). Just recalling that I did a research paper on Vitamin K in 6th grade. I can still remember the unfortunate drawing of the Vit K deficient person on my poster. I will pop my sneakers into the car and try to exercise on my way home (much more likely than doing so after I've gotten home).
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:35 am
@littlek,
I'm with Thomas - it'll probably be easier to at least try to up the activity.

I also try for less calorically dense foods and yeah, that means "diet" stuff, e. g. egg beaters instead of eggs, or pretty much just straight vinegar vs. dressing. Then you can swap in the banana without going over.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:53 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
I also try for less calorically dense foods and yeah, that means "diet" stuff, e. g. egg beaters instead of eggs, or pretty much just straight vinegar vs. dressing.

Along these lines, I have discovered mild Ajvar as a sandwich spread. Ajvar is a condiment that South-East Europeans use the way Americans use Ketchup: they put it on just about everything. The difference is that it's made of mashed red peppers and eggplant rather than of meshed tomatoes. More relevant to its calorie count, it's unsweetened whereas Ketchup contains lots of sugar. As a result, Ajvar has about 15 calories per tablespoon. Yet it tastes great: spicy, without getting too intrusive to the other tastes on your sandwich.

Of course, if 15 calories per tablespoon is still too much, there's always tomato paste. That has practically no calories, though I'm finding it a little bland.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:56 pm
Quote:

How does this work out? Do I just need to increase my activity level and target a higher caloric intake?


Activity x 1000. Many benefits other than just burning calories, not the least of which being the eventual re-adjustment of your metabolism, so that you can process and use the amount that you want to eat.

Cycloptichorn
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:56 pm
@Thomas,
Huh, it looks almost a bit like salsa.

These days I mainly use hummus, which is more calorically dense but has more goodies in it, although ketchup is good for lycopene. Also, fuller flavor things are good as you tend to use less of 'em.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:57 pm
Argh! Nearly 1900 calories today. But, I did walk after work for almost 2 hrs.

I cut out the few pieces of tortellini I was putting on my salad, but kept the feta (calcium). I didn't let myself be tempted by the unfinished bag of doritos at work. But I ate a lot of almonds and I had a Naked Super Food smoothie after my walk. Still low on K, but doing better and I bought supplements.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:57 pm
@jespah,
Hummus + Tuna = awesome post-workout meal

Cycloptichorn
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 04:59 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Together?!
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:02 pm
Yikes! If I plugged in the right info, I ate like 600 calories worth of almonds! No wonder!
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:04 pm
@littlek,
littlek wrote:

Together?!


Yes, Hummus instead of mayo. Tastes great, much healthier.

I also replace sour cream (which I love) with greek yogurt (which I also love). It's gotten to the point where I can't tell the diff anymore.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:14 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
Huh, it looks almost a bit like salsa.

Come to think of it, hot ajvar could be much like salsa. But mild ajvar is made of regular red peppers, and the eggplant adds to the mildness.

jespah wrote:
These days I mainly use hummus, which is more calorically dense but has more goodies in it, although ketchup is good for lycopene. Also, fuller flavor things are good as you tend to use less of 'em.

I like hummus too. But then again, what don't I like? (Sigh)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:14 pm
@Thomas,
You can fix that up with dried chipotles..
or many other spicy bits from various cuisines, if you like spicy bits. (I throw turmeric into scrambled eggs, for example). Not that I am saying turmeric and tomatoes work, I don't know.
Tomaso, I don't know, can I mail you stuff from new mexico? I'm no legal eagle, or even a legal finch.
Gotta say, my local market has a fabulous array of items at not all that much moolah.
The company I'm thinking of - Mexico - is situated in Las Vegas. Hmm.
I've trouble finding it online. Will ask the grocery store manager.

(I just bought my first batch of those, having previously used tiny cans of chipotle in adobo.) Will post if I can use the dried ones in my cooking. I'll probably soak them in oil, but I'm not avoiding olive oil calories myself.

My own thing is not re losing weight, which I'm happy with, but a combo of getting enough nutrition and not losing much weight past where I am.
What to say, exercise good.

jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:17 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Ah yes the tuna-hummus combo rocks.

Nuts can add up but they are a good fat and all. An ounce of almonds is 169 calories, and 18 fat grams (which is virtually all of the calories as 1 fat gram = 9 calories). But it's also got 9.5 g of monounsaturated fat and 6.3 g of protein, at least that's according to SparkPeople. It's 22 whole kernels.

An ounce of walnuts is 189 calories, 19 g of fat (so again, it's nearly all fat), 2.5 g of monounsaturated fat, 4.3 g of protein. It's 14 walnut halves.

I have found I've gotta count nuts or I end up taking too many (that's a diet thing that sounds dirty, but isn't).
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:28 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:
Tomaso, I don't know, can I mail you stuff from new mexico? I'm no legal eagle, or even a legal finch.

Sure you can, but I may not be able to read it for a few days. I'm having password-trouble with my email provider.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:31 pm
@littlek,
I'm generally leary of fat free foods, but fat free feta (made, I'm assuming, from skim) is not at all bad when it's in things.

Granted, I usually buy the full octane stuff myself, but I've had a lot of exposure to the fat free...

Also, plenty of alternatives to nanners for boosting the potassium intake that are less calorically dense, as per:
http://www.highbloodpressureinfo.org/foods-with-potassium.html

Looking at this list -- holy crap, I take in a lot of potassium these days.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 05:36 pm
@littlek,
When I was in my early to mid forties I was working full time, in land arch school, and doing homework in the middle of the night - and also married, which was naturally engaging, with a house, and so on. I finally quit smoking in the middle of that time and chubbed up into Ms. Arbuckle, which was fairly pleasant as it was comforting, part of getting through. I'd not that long before learned to swim a mile but I didn't have that kind of time when in school. I got rid of the flub by circumstance and fairly slowly (I am a fan of slow except for some) - school was over so I jogged at the beach a lot more, walked a lot more. I suppose I watched the diet somewhat, but not in any concentrated way. I won't call myself a foodie as that became a word after my first strong interest and you all know I'm a snot personified. But my interest in all that was probably useful.

I know very well that the combo of calories and nutrition matter for Jespah - but I'm not so clear that littleK needs to feel horrid about 1900 calories, sorry but that angst seems misplaced in this instance, K. Move more and work on despising Doritos. That bit took me years as even now if I find out I'm dying, the first thing I might do is go buy potato chips - but basically I've won the crave wars.



0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 06:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
not the least of which being the eventual re-adjustment of your metabolism


yes yes yes
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 06:36 pm
As regards hummus -- I'll frequently make my own without tahini -- just chick peas, olive oil, lemon juice/vinegar, garlic, a bit of salt, and whatever other flavors. Not as creamy, but also not as fatty. Trick in working with chick peas, if you don't usually do so, is to get the skins off -- put them in a big pot of water, put both hands them and rub them briskly between your hands so the skin comes off, then skim the skins off the top of the water. Otherwise you end up with a big mess of garbanzo ghosts...

Non fat dairy products also make a frequent occurence -- nonfat sour cream (really not bad), nonfat feta in other dishes (with grains and beans, you can hardly tell the difference).


Biggest thing for my own weight loss (about 10 pounds since the new year) has been changed shopping habits. I don't have any food in the house on a regular basis that doesn't require at least 10 minutes of preparation or is an icky vegetable. Snacking greatly reduced by reduced opportunity.

Beer is still a big bugaboo, though. God damn it, I love beer.
 

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