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July 13, 2013



Good luck. One thing that helps me with late night snacking is having relatively harmless snacks on hand - like cherries, frozen fruits, etc. Obviously it would be better if I just didn't eat after 8pm or so, but its better to snack on cherries than cheese and crackers.

Check out this site, which has a nice energy expenditure calculator, as well as one for weight loss (look under "Popular" to the right):


First you figure out the energy expenditure, then you enter that into the weight loss calculator and figure out how much you want to lose per week and, voila, there's your calorie goal. They recommend that going for more than 1,000 calorie less than your energy expenditure; I'm actually counting 1,300-1,500 less, but am not counting fresh fruits and raw veggies so it ends up being about the same as I tend to have 3-5 servings of fruit per day.


- You can have as many snacks a day as you want, it's a matter of distributing the calories of each snack using foods that aren't calorie-dense. I like to eat between lunch and dinner, and again not long before I go to sleep; a single-serve popcorn in the afternoon and Splenda ice cream at night - each is below 200 calories, so I get my snacks when I want them.

- Soy and almond milk have way fewer calories than half-and-half. You might also try a fresh-roasted coffee from a local roaster, as these coffees taste good enough black that most people don't want to add anything to them. And more coffee generally means more movement and more calories burned, so enjoy all you want within reason (not more than four cups/~400 mg caffeine daily.)

- You'll find out right away that calculating the calories of samples and unfinished food is difficult enough to detract from actually enjoying the food; if you can't count it, skip it.

- Weight loss-wise, it makes no difference to your body when you take in calories; you can eat as much as you like as late as you like. If you eat nothing all day and then eat half a birthday cake thirty minutes before you go to bed @ 1800 calories, that's still a daily net calorie deficit - you will still lose weight for that day.


StarHalo, I've lost weight before by keeping my calories under 2,500 but the weight always comes back within a year. Here's my question: If counting calories is so effective, then why do so few people implement it successfully? And why do the few who are successful gain it all back in a year? And I'm talking over 96 percent of dieters.


Because calorie-counting, like all diets, is an alternate lifestyle; you are to some small degree living like a monk out in the undisciplined world, and the world still has all its distractions and temptations. It's a matter of making an alternative lifestyle your regular, actual lifestyle. After a few weeks of counting, you get very good at instinctive portion control and being mindful of how calorie dense foods are, so one place you can slip is just simple miscounting; having a sandwich often because you assume you know the numbers, only to find out later that it's way more caloric than you'd figured. Another area you have to be careful with is cheat days - you can have one day every couple or weeks or so when anything goes, no calorie limits, and so long as you go back on track the next day, you will continue to lose weight on schedule as though it never happened (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson orders, and eats, several pizzas on his cheat days,) there's always that possibility that the cheat day will become the cheat weekend, then maybe a cheat-holiday-weekend, etc. It's like any other discipline, a lot of it becomes natural over time, but you still have to hold up your end of the deal..


I can be a monk for a while but sooner a later calorie creep gets me.


I know you guys have discounted it, but the body does have a set-point weight. I say that as one who has been able to lose weight and keep it off several years. Especially now that I'm over 50, my body always finds its way back to a very stable weight (180), and unless I diet or get ill, I stay at that weight plus or minus a pound or two. Sooner or later we have to accept our body as it is.


This book claims you can change your set point but I'm skeptical:http://www.amazon.com/Look-Great-Naked-Diet-Change/dp/B000BSFQXW

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