Weight Loss
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Should I be counting calories, cabs, or fat?


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In the last month I've lost about 10 pounds by cutting calories. It seems like everything is on the right track, but I want to make sure I don't make any mistakes.

Right now I never pay attention to fat grams or carbs. Should I be? I am just worried that I am counting calories, but maybe there's one or two low-cal things in my diet that might be high in carbs or fat. Does this even matter as long as they are low calorie? Thanks for the help.
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Well... it depends on your focus.

Typically, we at Calorie-Count.com suggest, as part of your lifestyle change, that you work towards adopting healthy eating habits.  If that's something you're interested in, yes.  If you're just looking to lose weight and not overall improve your healthy (which is your personal choice), then you don't need to.

I do, however, highly suggest you work towards adopting healthy eating habits.
You should be looking a little closer at the carbs / fat / protein ratios your body is getting.  You should aim for a 50% carbs / 25% fat / 25% protein on an average day.

If one day you are higher in fat or lower in carbs or whatever, no biggy.  Just try to stick to these averages.  If you are at 60% fat, then you should seriously cut the fat out.
#3  
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The point is, depending on who you believe, you can lose weight not paying attention to the amount of fat you eat at all, as long as you count the calories, but it's not being overweight that you have to worry about, it's heart disease, etc. Restricting yourself to 25 % fat seems a little harsh, though, especially if you're really trying to keep on a diet that will keep you energized and happy. Fat does make you feel fuller and happier, no doubt. I try to keep my fat content at 35% or below, and try to focus on eating things with non-saturated fat...but I can't make it through a day without my eggs at breakfast, I tell you!!
denim, I suggest you don't worry about the ratio of proteins/carbs/fats.  I don't. 

I concentrate on getting the DRI of the following:

protein

fiber

vitamins (all of them)

minerals (all of them)

You can do a detailed nutritional analysis of the nutrition balance of what you are currently eating by going to nutritiondata.com.  Then, if you are deficient in one or more of the critical nutrients, you can do a search for foods that are high in that nutrient, and you can thus see some substitutions you could make.

Generally, if you have a diet that focuses on whole grains (not the refined stuff -- read the ingredient list) and fresh fruits and vegetables, you won't be too far off base. 

If your calorie consumption is less than 1500 per day, you will probably have to take either a good nutrition drink or a good daily multi vitamin/mineral supplement, because it is rather difficult to get a variety of foods and still meet the DRI's for everything every day.

One other thing to watch for, which nutritiondata.com can help with, is to be sure you are getting complete proteins.  If you eat dairy and meats, you won't have any problems, but if you are vegetarian you must combine your foods right, or eat the few products that do contain complete proteins. 

Good luck . . .
#5  
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I think that it would be a bad choice to start worrying about that stuff right now.  You just started your diet, you need to get used to eating the proper amount of calories first.  I find that I need to phase myself into things. The problems with eating the wrong amounts of fat/carbs/proteins are all related to long-term health.  While it is important to deal with those eventually, I would set a goal of maintaining your focus on weight loss for a given period - I would say at least 6 months. If you can maintain a diet for 6 months, you probably won't crack, so you can then push yourself a little harder.

Either way, good luck.
I mostly just watch my calories and I'm doing pretty good with that.  I do watch fat too sometimes, but I never really pay attention to carbs.  Low-carb diets are dangerous and unhealthy.
When I first started on CC, I found there was alot of information to be taken in.  So I started slow.  I only looked at the calories in something and made sure that fit in in my day.

As the weeks went on, I started focusing on a different part of my healthy lifestyle.  First (and still) is trying to balance the fat, protein and carbs each day.  Don't want too little carbs, but don't want too many.

Then was making sure I had enough fiber.  I then moved into keeping the sodium down (which I still find pretty hard).

I then moved into eating smaller meals, more times a day.  Having less and less carbs as the day goes on.  Adding in more protein after a workout.

Sure, I can go to Weight Watchers and they can tell me what exactly to eat.  Make me a menu and I can follow it.  But I preferred learning how things work to make my own choices in the real world.  And the best way (for me) to learn is to take things one step at a time.
I just started the South Beach Diet which is about choosing the right carbs & the right fats, not counting them.  I each peanut butter almost every day, no-sugar added yogurt, low-fat cheese, whole wheat pasta/bread, sugar free fudgsicles, eggs and lots of great food and still say within my calorie limit.

I don't think you need to count carbs, but choose good ones.  Make sure your bread is whole grains -- read the labels.  Don't buy anything with high fructose corn syrup.  Watch your raw sugar intake.  Buy dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content, the more cocoa the less sugar it has).  Be sure your cereal has a lot of dietary fiber.  Go ahead and eat unsaturated fats like nuts and olives, but just watch saturated fats -- get lean meats and low/no fat dairy products.
mlash, I agree wholeheartedly.  The South Beach diet emphasizes the difference in carbs being where they rate on the glycemic scale.  foods that are low on the glycemic scale break down slower, and thus fuel the body for a much longer period of time.

Getting the DRI of protein and fiber, and eating carbs that are whole grains and foods that are low glycemic -- that is what I credit to the total elimination of my food cravings and stress eating.

Yes, when i first started it was "cals, cals, cals". Now, yes cals are important but I make myself have good fats where I can. And cut down on saturated and trans fats. Its great that your not just blindly counting cals. CC is also about lifestyle, not just weight. So get educated and make the most out of your life! :)

There's some great advice there - take it in steps. :) Reserach and learn, it gets to be fun!

With carbs, I'm not anti carb but i agree - get more bang for your buck. If you have to have pasta, have a smaller serving cos it cal dense, and have wholemeal.

I look at cals, saturated fat, sugar (on non fruit products) sodium and if they have vitamins to make up my mind about eating. Not carbs but its a personal choice.Also GI helps.
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