Conversation Health and Wellbeing
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Calorie counters

terry  Male  West Yorkshire
18-May-2020 21:18 Message #4780167
Does anyone use one? the type that's on a smartphone, you point it at the barcode of whatever food you want and it tells you the calories in that food; the one the dietician at my docs showed me also allows you to work out the calories per serving.

If you do and you're up for telling me the app/machine you use and your experience of it that'd be great....if you'd rather not everyone know then message me.

I need to lose a fair bit of visceral fat and although I excercise quite a lot, I'm guessing it's as much to do with calorie intake/expenditure. I'm going through tests for other things and will follow advice from the dietician but just wanted to see anyone else's experiences of them.
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire
18-May-2020 22:09 Message #4780188
I actually looked at calorie apps yesterday but haven't gone any further with it.
Greencare  Female  Berkshire
20-May-2020 09:30 Message #4780301
I'm sure I saw an app which allowed you to take a photo of the meal and it would calculate the calories. I'm not confident it would work.
tumbled  Male  Gloucestershire
20-May-2020 09:34 Message #4780302
I'd take a photo of a full works fried breakfast......covered with a big lettuce leaf........then chuck the leaf......and get stuck in....

Am I doing something wrong?
BOYDEL  Male  Surrey
20-May-2020 17:06 Message #4780332
There are a number of issues with weight loss in later life - in chronological order

1 - Fat cells are only laid down in childhood - so a fat child will have a lifelong struggle with BMI

2 - One's food likes/dislikes are largely set down in early life - for good or bad

3 - From around age 30 the basal metabolic rate (rate of calorie burning) drops by around 1% pa

4 - From around age 50 the body begins to progressively bias excess calorific intake towards fat production rather than muscle.

Many people may ignore the high calories in alcohol - and may eat a lot of their calories later in the day which is not good - so better to eat earlier and give body a chance to burn off calories before bedtime. See below to calculate BMR (amount of daily calories needed for basic living). Exercise boosts BMR for a few days afterwards .

"Use the BMR equation for males. For men, the equation for calculating BMR is: BMR = 66 + (13.8 x weight in kg.) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age in years). This simple equation takes into account your height, weight, age, and sex. BMR increases with height and weight but decreases with age.[4]
The value for BMR in this equation is given in kilocalories per day. In everyday English, kilocalories are usually just called "calories" - you are probably familiar with calories from the Nutrition Facts section of food packaging."
HonestBob  Male  the Central region
20-May-2020 17:38 Message #4780334
Hi Terry,

I would highly recommend My Fitness Pal app. It’s free, or you could pay £7-£10 per month and get a little more out it.

First of all, I think you should have a set of food scales, as when you scan your food, via the bar code you would use to scan it at the supermarket, it comes up…….. Uncle Bens rice 125g. Now if you are eating the microwave bags they are labelled as 250g for the bag, so you would need to alter it to 2x portions of 125g of the item. Other things such as chicken breasts, porridge, rice not it a bag will need to be weighed to be more accurate.

You will be asked to enter your height, weight, age, activity level and goals….. ie weight loss, muscle growth or what ever. Then it will set you a target on calories, for example 2500 per day. It will also give you a daily macronutrients goal. Mine is deemed to be 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 20% protein. I have chosen to alter it myself to 40-50% carbs, upped the protein to 30% and the fat to around 20%.

There are four categories Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. You can scan all the stuff into the categories or just put it all into one.

Me, I eat a lot of the same foods every day, so I don’t need to scan stuff much, I click on breakfast, it comes up your history, scroll down to… click and add to breakfast. In the morning if I know what I’m having for dinner, I just add it in the morning. You can even plan you next days meals, whilst dumping your current days meals down the pan!

At the top of the page on your app, it has an equation, left will say 2500, then it will say to the right of that the total food in calories you have eaten, then it will tell you how many calories you have burned through exercise, then it will tell you the remaining calories left. That is where people become….. disenfranchised with it. If I scan and add my food and it comes to 2000 calories, it will show me as having 500 left, if I add that I walked for one hour, it will bump my remaining calories up to….. just say another thousand, there for allowing me to actually consume 3500 calories. People say that defeats the purpose…. Its up to you.

My brother tried it, said it was crap and the scanner doesn’t work! Why? Because he scanned a cake he bought in Aldi, and it came up as an Asda cake. Simple explanation, I go to several places to collect truck loads of foods, I can go to a cake place, and pick up a full trailer of cakes and deliver it to Asda, on the loading bay next to me, there could be an Aldi trailer in loading up the same cakes, in the same packaging, possibly with a little Aldi sticker on the packages destined for Aldi, and Asda for Asda and so on. The barcodes must be the same, and MFP has no ability to recognise where you bought the same cake from.

Overall I think its very good, I’m very happy with how it helps me know what I’m putting into my body. I used to eat clean for my five working days, and on my days off I’d eat my treats. I started scanning my days off treats and found I was going 2000-3000 calories over my daily allowance JUST IN TREATS!!! So my five days sticking to the calories and eating clean was, relatively pointless! I stopped that shit once I saw it in black and white how much it was, how bad those treats are for you. I used to love Tuna Pasta with Bacon and Mayonaise…. The mayo I was using, the amount I used…. 800 calories and really knocked my fats counter way up.

Once you use it for a while, you will get to know what foods you can eat in order to get the most out of your calories. Turkey bacon over pig bacon, I could eat more bacon if it come from a turkey! I can eat more fish if its Haddock rather than salmon. Wee tricks and so on in order to eat as much as you can, with as little impact as possible on your calorie intake.

I eat as much as I can, if the end of the day comes and I’ve got 150 calories left…. I use it! A few spoon fulls of Skyr yoghurt! If my fat is very low for they day, and I want to increase it….
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
20-May-2020 18:00 Message #4780335
I used to use MyFitnessPal but it is very cluttered with misleading entries that you have to decipher and decide which you want. You can develop your own list but it is time consuming.
For it to work, you have devote time to enter everything that goes past your lips.
I stopped using it after about a year as it is easy to fall into the trap of maintaining what you have learned, but it is easy to creep things back in.

Since I bought a FitBit February 2019 I prefer to use their app because it links in to how many steps, how active your heart has been, just a little more sophisticated.

Since Lockdown, even though I feel I have done more and eaten the same, nothing in between meals, I have gone up from 84Kg in March to 86Kg and my target is 79Kg and best so far 82Kg which makes me a small size 14.

I have never been huge, but I lost most weight over 2 years 2002 -2004 using Weighwatchers Online for 3 months and keeping up the principle of what I learned for 2 years, continuing to gradually reduce from 100Kg (which was my breaking point) to 85Kg and felt much better, fitter, and enjoyed my clothes more.

If I have calories left I try not too use them unless I have earned them with a huge walk like today of 7 I am sat with a coffee and 2 x Cho digestives :-)

The Fitbit Charge 3 has now been superseded by Charge 4 so I think it is now under £100 at Argos.
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire
20-May-2020 23:19 Message #4780352
The apps sound a lot of hard work.
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
21-May-2020 08:33 Message #4780358
Thanks everyone, some interesting stuff there, gives me more info for questions of the dietician, it's much appreciated, ta.
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
21-May-2020 10:38 Message #4780381
The other thing is to remember that what you do today won't really show up until a few days later.

So body fluid levels change so even if someone has lost a bit of body fat, they might appear to be heavier because they are carrying a little more fluid, not been to the loo, foods affect retention of fluid, pills some people are on might pee out blood pressure, for example bendrofluromethiazine is commonly know as "the water pill" because it extracts pressure from your arteries and veins by reducing water content. Unless these pills work for 24 hours, which they don't, then taking your body weight at different times of day can be hugely disappointing if someone has worked hard t lose weight put appears heavier.
RoseyCheeks  Female  Nottinghamshire
24-May-2020 10:48 Message #4780844
I lost a lot of weight with MyFitnessPal and am back to do the same again having put some of it back on. It works really well if you stick with it. I have my FitBit linked with it for greater accuracy. Totally free.
Wandering4fun  Male  North Yorkshire
24-May-2020 14:05 Message #4780876
I downloaded MyFitnessPal this morning but that's as far as I have got. It sent me a message saying I'd missed llunch!
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire
29-May-2020 07:11 Message #4781413
I downloaded an app on Monday and deleted it yesterday. I'm not an app sorta guy!

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