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Counting Calories or Fat?

I've got about 10-20 pounds left to lose, I lost the first 20 just from having a very active job, but now that it's over I'm on my own. I've lost about a pound a week for the last nine weeks, which is what I'm wanting to lose.

Sometimes I stall out for a few weeks and don't lose anything, but then two or three pounds will come off in one week, so I guess I'm doing a good enough job, but I'm just worried that the last pounds will be the hardest to get off and I really want to look great for summer.

I'm mostly just wondering, if I'm on track with my daily calories should I worry about the fat as much? I try to eat low fat, but sometimes it's just so hard for me.

Tue. Jan 5, 9:09pm

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If you're on track with your calories, the fat should be fine. You need some (healthy) fats in your diet in order to be healthy, and they tend to be filling too.

Now that your job isn't as active, though, you may need fewer calories to keep up your weight loss!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 10:12 PM

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Congrats on the first 20! Assuming you're eating relatively well - I wouldn't worry about the fat grams. I never pay attention to fat grams nor do I purposely try to eat low fat and I always lose weight when I keep my calories in check. In fact, over the years I've tried to incorporate more good fats! As long as I stay within my calorie range for losing weight - I lose weight.

Eat well, eat in your calorie range, keep up the exercise - you'll lose those last 10-20!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 10:12 PM

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Well, fat has twice as many calories (9) per gram as carbs (5) or protein (4) so that's one good reason to keep focused on consuming as little fat as possible. I find it's hard to keep fat below 30 grams per day but that's my goal. Focusing on low fat intake goes along with "thinking thin".

I suspect "the last pounds are the hardest to get off" because the daily calorie amount that got us down as far as we have gotten down is high enough to be maintaining the weight we are now at. If we want to lose more weight we have to reduce the calories we are consuming to a lower level.

Being thin is a lifetime life style.

Keep going. You're doing great!


Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 10:29 PM

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I'm guessing those who regularly count calories know or quickly figure out that you get much more bang for the calorie buck when you choose foods that aren't high in fat, but fat doesn't have to be avoided to lose weight.

The quality of the food and the fat is probably worth considering, though. You can eat low fat junk and you can eat quality foods that are high in good fats. No matter - keep the calories in your weight loss range and you'll drop the pounds.

Keep on doing what you're doing and you'll drop the next 20!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 10:47 PM

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Currently I'm reading 2 nutrition/diet books:
-Eat to Live
-The South Beach Diet.

Talk about opposing views.

Eat to live is an advocate of low fat dieting and south beach allows more fat. The first book claims eating fat just makes you more hungry and causes you to eat more. The second claims fat is satiating and thus causes you to eat less and that CARBS cause you to desire food more..

Any thoughts on which of these is true?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010, 6:47 AM

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I wouldn't count calories, or fat, I'd count carbs.

Granted, my genetics show my greatest health risk is diabetes, and the wealth of evidence out there suggests that low carb is the best for keeping diabetes away.

And as I've reccommitted to the low carb thing again, I can say I'm amazed at how general food cravings are going away, and how I'm not voracious at night anymore.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010, 10:13 AM

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OP here - I lost the first 20 pounds over a year ago and kept them off and maintained, it seems to me like I really didn't have to diet or workout or anything to maintain, but to actually break the plateau and start losing again was hard.

So far I've been on track without really counting calories, I just try to make better choices and keep an eye on making sure I don't go too far over. The fat thing just made me curious, it came up because I was eating tater tots which only had like 160 calories in a serving, but almost 10 grams of fat. I paired them with grilled tilapia for a 260 calorie dinner, but wasn't sure if the fat made it a bad idea. I get cravings for something fried and that was much easier than eventually giving in and going to McDonald's or something.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010, 12:40 PM

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I'm currently losing my pregnancy weight from my second child. When losing the weight from my first, I ate a lot of low fat "diet foods", and tried to watch my fat intake. I found I was often hungry, but I did lose weight. This time, I'm eating tons of fruits and veggies, meat, lots of nuts, fish, and the occasional treat. The weight's coming off just as easy as last time, but I'm not hungry nearly as often. I think fat satisfies you in ways that other foods don't, and I find it's definitely more filling to eat real, whole foods (fruits and veggies, dairy, meat, whole grains) rather than trying to eat low fat versions of foods you're used to eating.

Also, be aware that any food that is labeled "low fat" usually has those calories replaced with sugar. Check out low fat ice cream - it usually has the same number of calories as regular, but more sugar!

Thursday, January 07, 2010, 12:10 PM

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good advice, 12:10p!

op - tater tots rule and there's a place for them in our diets when we are trying to lose weight. Those 10 grams of fat aren't going to make or break your efforts, especially when your diet consists primarily of other foods that are good for you!

Thursday, January 07, 2010, 2:27 PM

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Tator tots, so good but so bad. Yes one can cheat, and I do consider those cheating. Some people can do that and get away with it. Personally I can't eat just a serving of tots. If I keep my calories in check I am careful on what I will eat.

Thursday, January 07, 2010, 2:44 PM

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soda and juice

i know you guys are talking fats and calories in general... but i have a more direct question.. ive cut all soda and juice from my daily diet... does this really help weight lose??? all ive had is water daily.. i havent began counting my calories yet... because most of the time im eating out at work.. im beginnig with just my eating habits... any insight to the soda juice affect???

Friday, January 08, 2010, 12:43 AM

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I love orange juice in the mornings, but I've cut it out and just been drinking water instead, except on rare occasions as a treat. It's got about as many calories as soda, which I've pretty much cut out also, I might drink one a week. They are both a lot of calories, and the soda is totally empty calories with no nutritional value at all.

Friday, January 08, 2010, 3:11 PM

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