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does strict calorie counting penalize eating fruits and vegetables

I keep seeing group members count the calories in their fruits and veggies.

You CANNOT get fat eating fruit. It is so rich in nutrients that they are often zero or very low calorie foods. They are fuel rather than a drag on your system.

Wed. Mar 19, 10:22am

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Im pretty sure that if I ate 50 bananas a day at 120 cal each and my total caloric intake was 6000 cals I would gain weight.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:50 AM

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I am sure people see it both ways. But remember a calorie is a calorie. So say you ate nothing but fruits: 1 large banana (121 cals), 1 large apple (110 cals). I chose the large as most supermarkets carry large fruits. Yes, you can cut it in half to cut your calorie intake but as you can see fruits still have calories in them. Yes they are healthy but you still need to take into consideration that there are calories in them. Now if you had to choose between pizza and fruits then of course fruits would be more nutritious. But keep in mind some of us love to eat and are not willing to give up their favorite foods. So as long as everything is eaten in moderation and you do log and keep track of what you are eating then I think you are on your way to a path of weight loss. Of course, calorie counting may not be effective for everyone. Some people have medical conditions which make it difficult for them to lose weight despite exercising and calorie counting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:51 AM

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I am sorry but that is not correct.
Nothing against eating healthy fruits and vegetables at all but if you ate tons of F & V you could get fat. It is all about calories. You are right F & V "are fuel", but if your body gets more fuel from food then it is burning it will convert that gas (food) into fuel storage (fat). It is a simple scientific mathmatical fact. So if your BMR + exercise is 2300 and you eat 2500 even though it is lots of F & V you will still gain weight. Any doctor or trainer will tell you that.

Count every calorie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:55 AM

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I am a strict calorie counter and I count the calories in everything, including fruit and vegetables. I would rather eat 100 calories in fruit than I would in a 100 calorie snack pack. I make my calories count. I choose wisely. If I only have 1,600 calories for the day, I will not squander them. Quality foods fill me up. Processed junk food does not. This works for me. But again, every "body" is different.

Do what works best for you. But ultimately, a calorie is a calorie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:56 AM

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I think weight watchers covers this controversy well in their point system. Some fruits and veggies have a zero point value, so you can eat as much as you want. But others do have points. For example a banana is 2-3 points. So if you really want to eat a whole lot of carrots and celerly... go right ahead. I doubt anybody could manage to eat enough of that to gain weight. But if you are going to eat 10 bananas, that will add up.

I hope this helps.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 11:24 AM

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I dont do WW but my understanding is that even "0" point foods have points in excess - just based off their point formula.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 11:36 AM

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Pick one

I think 11:24 has a good point...
I am still all about counting everything though, even though the WW point sytem works for a lot of people. I just don't like the OP's implied idea that you count count your calories but leave out fruits and veggies. A sugar free mint or a stick of gum, sure, a food item, no way. Either points or calories - no mixing these two good techniques ! !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 11:48 AM

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As a calorie counter myself, I absolutely count the calories in fruits and veggies. It is ridiculous to pretend they have none when they do indeed have calories. It is counting those calories that made me realize how many veggies I could eat instead of some of the other foods I eat. For example - a snickers bar is ~250 calories. Do you have any idea how many veggies you could eat and still not ingest that many calories? I don't know if you could do it in one sitting unless you put butter on them or something. Counting calories is very illustrative and tends to lead one to eat foods with lots of volume for their caloric content (or at least it does for me).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 12:01 PM

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nice point 12:01 !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 1:23 PM

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Wow, so to equal one snicker bar you could make a mountainous salad of:

4 cups romain lettuce
2 cups spinach
1 cup chopped cucumber
7 radishes - chopped
1 whole red pepper - chopped
8 baby carrots - chopped
1 cup broccoli - chopped
3 celery stalks - chopped
10 asparagus spears - chopped
1/4 cup red onion - chopped

and you would still be short a couple of calories - how en "light" ening ! !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 1:46 PM

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A couple of weeks ago on Oprah, Dr. Oz showed the results of a number of dietary experiments. In one for 12 days a group of people with high blood pressure went on a raw fruit, vegetable, and nut diet, eating 11 lbs of food a day. That's a tremendous amount of food. At the end of the 12 days their cholesterol dropped by an average of 25 percent, their blood pressure dropped by 10 percent, and they lost about 10 pounds each—including two-and-a-quarter inches off their waists. Yes, the caloric density of the most of the food was low, but 11 lbs is a awful lot of food.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 2:20 PM

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It all counts for me. Some vegetables are a little more dense in calories - things like yams, which I love, but I still have to watch size. And watermelon - seems like a 'free' food, but those calories add up! I have so little to work with - I've got to count them all!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 2:38 PM

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I have never understood the thought that fruits or even just veggies are free foods. They have calories.
I count everything. Everything.
Vegetables are at least 1/2 of my calories most days and so if I didn't count them I would go way over my calorie budget for the day.
I typically only have one or two fruits a day but even then that is up to 200 calories. It may not add up fast but fast enough if you don't count it.
I would never suggest you can go into a diet and think that you can eat all the fruits and veggies you want and it not affect you.
and if you think about the points system that doesn't make sense to me.
For example their progresso soup is free. 0 points yet if you have more than half the can it is 1 point I believe. So why not say it is a half a point per serving.
If anything is free it teaches you that you can eat in abundance and not have consiquences. Dangerous for an overeater.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 4:11 PM

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I so agree 4:11. My friend had a nutritionist tell her fruits and vegetables are free foods - no need to count calories. She never lost weight. I think I get what's behind that - some people have such an aversion to counting calories and it can get them focused on eating more fruits and vegetables, but ultimately, wouldn't it be strange to have a financial advisor tell you that there's no need to keep track of those small purchases when you're trying to get out of debt? Everything counts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 4:23 PM

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2:20- that is a great point from Dr Oz. Hard to argue with him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 5:00 PM

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All calories matter where they come from. When you're counting calories, you quickly learn that it's better to eat lots of fruits and veggies over other high calorie items. I eat an average of 8-10 servings of fruits/veggies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 5:38 PM

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I count fruit. But I usually don't count veggies. Unless it's corn, or another that is high in calories. If I eat a serving of greenbeans which is about 20 calories I don't count it, if I eat a whole can then I count it. At the end of the day there might be a missing 100 calories from veggies that I didn't count. But 100 calories isn't going to stop me from losing weight (not at the amount I eat and burn). So I'd rather think I ate a little less and get those veggies in. Just my opinion.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 9:27 PM

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healthy ways to eat fruit

It could be partly due to your stomach bloating from the fructose sugars of the fruit you are consuming. How it happens is when there is excess fructose/sugars in your stomach, the friendly bacteria and bad bacteria feast upon the sugars, fermenting them and thus releasing gases-you might experience flatulence.
When you snack on those oranges, perhaps have you considered your total daily calorific intake? A healthy diet should include regular exercise, the body will metabolize the excess into fat all the same, be it organic or non-organic.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 4:44 AM

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Last year I lost 30 lbs by eating only fruit before noon, exercising more, and cutting out those late night cookies. Has anyone else lost the weight through fruits and veggies? How has this changed your eating habits and calorie intake?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 5:08 PM

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this is so confusing- you hear that sugar is so bad for you and sugar is sugar no matter what the form. But i ALWAYS feel better after eating fruit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 6:23 PM

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Fruit does count, vegetables do not. The sugar content of fruit makes it something that has to be counted. Yes it is nutritious but it doesn't compare to vegetables.

Thursday, September 30, 2010, 10:46 AM

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WW now recommends unlimited fruit. Very confusing.

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