27 Jan2010

Calorie Counting…

by Marketman


This will NOT turn into a blog filled with the chronicles of a slightly over-weight, middle-aged foodie on a diet. I PROMISE. :) But for the benefit of many readers who have expressed an interest in losing some poundage as well, I am outlining my entire food intake today so you see just how seriously I am taking this remaining 6 week challenge to lose 8 pounds. Check the post later today or tomorrow for an update.

After comments in the previous post, I went ahead and calculated my Basal Metabolic Rate (the number of calories needed to sustain Marketman on simple “idle” mode) and that was 1,838.9 calories per day. Google the formula and you can figure out your own BMR. Then since I consider myself moderately active with a total of some 20 kilometers per week of brisk walking, two weights workouts, etc. I then multiply the BMR by 1.55 to get 2,850 calories per day to maintain my current weight. Since I want to lose weight, I need to bring daily intake to roughly 2,000 calories AND keep exercising. If I cut out some 800 calories per day, I should theoretically lose a pound every 5 days or so. And in 6 weeks, I should be able to take 8 pounds off, faster than booking an appointment, dealing with the stress and post-surgery recovery at one of Vikki Belo’s clinics… I jest, of course.

So after waking at 5 am this morning, I had

16 oz. of cold water with about 5 tablespoons of white grape juice mixed in, This so that I wouldn’t faint or have a low sugar point during my walk.

Water with white grape juice 50 calories

I then took a brisk walk at 5:30 am, in very pleasant weather, and broke a nice sweat.

For breakfast at 630 am, I had:

An omelette with 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, 1 square low fat cheese, a teaspoon of chopped tomatoes and chopped onions and no fat or butter. I ate this with a plain piece of whole wheat toast and had a 16 oz fresh grape shake made with one cup of red seedless grapes and water/ice with no sugar added.

Omelette 134 calories
Toast 100 calories
Grape Shake 62 calories

I then attended a 3 hour morning board meeting, where I managed to only order a black Earl Grey Tea and one Coke Light, with zero calories. Incredible self-restraint displayed as colleagues munched on garlic fried rice, corned beef, lugaw, daing, etc. :)

No protein rich snacks this morning, because I was busy.

For lunch, I made this gigantic salad in the photo above, with romaine, shredded cabbage, blanched snow peas, french beans, a few grape tomatoes, 1 shredded carrot and a few leaves of butterleag lettuce. Note that the salad is on a serving platter, not a normal dinner plate. I also had about 1 cup of low sodium tomato soup. Dessert was a few pieces of cantaloupe.

Salad, with balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil, roughly 300 calories
Tomato Soup 90 calories
Cantaloupe 80 calories
Ear Grey Tea zero calories

I then went to the grocery to get more greens and good stuff for the diet, and avoided the butter cake counter, the sabretts hotdog stand, the breadtalk airy confections with sugar and the several fastfood chains spewing fat infused evil into the mall airconditioning system. One large order of french fries is nearly 600 calories with ketchup after all…

Back at my desk, I took my leftover hot tea from lunch, added three drops of lemon juice and 8 ice cubes and have my iced tea with essentially zero calories.

So it’s 3:15pm in the afternoon now, and I have consumed 816 calories so far. I intend to have a light snack or protein shake in a little while before I go into another 2-3 hour meeting where I must avoid the doughnuts. Then dinner. If I am good, I will be able to get through the day well below 2,000 calories. But I won’t lie, this SUCKS. :) Check this post later today if you want to see exactly how many calories I managed to consume today. Next up, a MEAT post just to keep me sane. :)

It’s 3:45, and I am having a shake made out of 200ml of low fat milk, 1/3 cup frozen blueberries (I also do this with strawberries), a tablespoon of wheat germ, 1/2 tablespoon of whey and some ice. It looks a bit groovy, almost like melting Magnolia ube ice cream, but it tastes surprisingly palatable. I like to make my own protein shakes, they taste better and are much cheaper than the ones you find in those rip-off diet/supplement stores. :) Can you tell I am mildly cranky?


Blueberry Shake, roughly 225 calories

1,041 calories so far and counting… will probably fart uncontrollably at the afternoon meeting. Hahaha. :)

During the meeting this early evening, there was a FABULOUS buffet set out for guests, and I could NOT resist. So I had one tiny vietnamese style veggie wrap, the size of my little finger, say 50 calories and two singkamas sticks and two carrot sticks, say 20 calories.

Snacks, roughly 70 calories


Dinner was a small sized talakito or trevally/jack and it was grilled with some salt and lemon juice. Meat only was roughly 200-300 calories maximum, I weighed it on a little kitchen scale. I had that with 1/2 cup of red rice. I actually could have managed without the red rice, but figured I should have some carbs so I could walk early this morning. I had a side salad of lentils, with soy beans, veggies, tiny minced leftover ham with an olive oil and lemon dressing, say 1/4 cup of this. And for dessert, half an asian pear.

Fish and rice 400 calories
Lentil salad 100 calories max.
1/2 a pear say 60 calories


Total calories for the day… a surprisingly low 1,701!!! I was feeling so good last night I almost allowed myself a chocolate or two to make it to 1,800. Now I doubt I will manage to keep food intake this low, but yesterday’s experiment and careful recording proves I can get through a day on less than 2,000 calories. :) Many thanks to all of you who have left comments and suggestions about how to further the diet cause, I appreciate it. It’s 6:30 am, and on my scale I register at 187.2 pounds, 7.2 pounds away from my March 8 goal. Start placing your side bets. :)



  1. www.triportreats.com says:

    Hahaha this is kinda cute, albeit I tried doing it numerous times last year and failed. Why don’t you go to Sparks People online and do their calorie counting thing. you can type in (almost) any food and it comes up with nutritional value. plus if you exercise it will also measure that and align it with your goal weight! If you have an Iphone/ipod you can also download that App for free. Or try LoseIt as an App.. They even have pinoy home cooked dishes with nutritional value!

    I’m planning on giving up meat for Lent so Good luck to that.

    Thanks sor the funny post! Good luck on your quest for health!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 3:28 pm


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  3. Ariel says:

    Balsamic Vinegar contains lead. In California, it’s required that they post the warning under the Balsamic Vinegars. MM, one thing you should also watch is your sodium, the recommended is 2000 mgs(ideal 1500). Just look at the instant noodles and look at their sodium some of the 1000 plus mg; any processed food like tv dinners have a high sodium content.

    I know diet sucks. For me, no soda right now and low sodium diet.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 3:33 pm

  4. aiden says:

    Funny and interesting post. I don’t actually diet, but I usually eat hardcore (read:plain) oats for breakfast 2-3 times a week, just to counter some of the ‘not-so-healthy’ meals that I partake during the week. It’s an acquired taste I may say. :)

    Jan 27, 2010 | 4:27 pm

  5. emsy says:

    I find that it helps to have a cheat day. Since you exercise AND eat less/healthier for your diet, on cheat day, you can skip one. Either you skip the exercise and lounge around but keep eating the same way, or have a good serving of that ONE thing you are craving so much for, but keep doing the exercise. Para di naman super deprived

    Jan 27, 2010 | 5:26 pm

  6. erleen says:

    Check youtube and look for Alton Brown’s diet regimen. He lost 50 lbs in 8 or 9 mos. The episode was shown last week I think. Episode title: Live and let Diet 1

    Jan 27, 2010 | 5:38 pm

  7. Tricia says:

    I want to lose 15 lbs. so I’m hoping you’ll post low-calorie food/recipes in the next few weeks/months. Pleeease????? :))

    Jan 27, 2010 | 5:47 pm

  8. Ley says:

    Hahahaha… Thanks to this post I was able to say no to the office snacks of Mcdo cheeseburger? I am a burger person so that was a big thing. I felt victorious having said no to the burger! Keep posting MM. There’s a lot of us who are joining you on this resolve.:)

    Jan 27, 2010 | 5:56 pm

  9. Footloose says:

    As we approach Lent, it might help your weight-shedding efforts if you consider it in the context of Lenten traditional dietary adjustment, vigilia, avoidance of meat and ayuno, fasting. You might even feel like a saint after the ordeal ha ha.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 6:15 pm

  10. Asunta says:

    MM, get yourself SLIM FAST SHAKES. They are only 250 calories per glass plus it keeps you full for 4-6 hours. If you have 2 a day (500 calories) then a light meal for dinner, you should have consumed around 1200 calories depending on what you choose to eat. It works! Good luck!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 6:51 pm

  11. The Artist Chef says:

    Wow I must say you are really serious! I did try to do some diet. I didn’t eat at night. Took away rice. But I told myself in the end… My GOD I can’t avoid eating rice specially my ginger rice, paella, curry rice etc… :p

    Good luck Market Man!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 7:02 pm

  12. melanie v. says:

    Sounds like you’re having your Lenten sacrifice this early, MM. Any comment on the new pineapple juice with ‘reducol’ which claims to help lower cholesterol? Have been taking it in the hope of lowering my cholesterol count sans symvastatin. Will see how it affects [ if at all!!!] my blood test results in March! Of course I try to keep off fatty foods,too..now and then. hahaha. Good luck on your diet, MM.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 7:36 pm

  13. atbnorge says:

    Now you’re talking!
    Your post today is almost nearly my diet but I don’t exercise. That is why, I think if I exercise, I’ll be back to my weight when I was still single.

    Ah, we’ll be having salmon, potatoes and other root veggies for dinner…All I need now is a lot of dill…Keep at it MM!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 7:38 pm

  14. silly lolo says:

    I wish you luck, MM! Dieting is the single most difficult thing I have ever done and like most people, I lost weight all right but soon gained it back. I carried on – I fought hard! Then one day I noticed, Hey! I hadn’t done a morner all week! What is a morner? That’s just like a nooner except it’s sooner! And then, (horrors!) I noticed I hadn’t done a tweener! What’s a tweener? That’s like a nooner except it’s later! Out the window went the diet! So then I became tabachoy, waddled like a duck, but then I smiled a lot! Moral of the story: Life is better when you do the “ner”!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 7:48 pm

  15. Mary Kim says:

    I literally took oriental tonic–a different version not that CLA or garcenia diet– and lost almost 3 kilos in a month with the same lifestyle. then i tried swimming 400m 4x a week and lost 2 kilos in a month with a firmer muscle tone. my diet was more on chicken, fruit in season, curried veggies and less carbs.

    I think it’s really about eating less and exercising more.

    goodluck MM!^ ^

    Jan 27, 2010 | 8:39 pm

  16. Mary Kim says:

    about slim shakes, “misut karu”–cooked rice with barley, beans and sesame are usually sun dried here then milled in a powder like consistency and packed in tight containers. 4 tbsp of that powder is served with milk or water and some ice. honey, ginseng or yam powder optional. taste better than amway’s. people usually skip meals and just drink that here when they’re on a diet.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 8:51 pm

  17. atbnorge says:

    That’s a lovely story, Silly Lolo, hahahaha, about the “ner” err…hahaha, yah!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 10:59 pm

  18. britelite says:

    Hay–dieting is so so hard!Good luck!

    Jan 27, 2010 | 11:07 pm

  19. Dennis says:

    I’m going to wait till after the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 before I start a real aggressive diet.
    Good Luck though MM.

    Jan 27, 2010 | 11:36 pm

  20. thelma says:

    maybe i can live on different italian salads when i start dieting…

    Jan 28, 2010 | 12:00 am

  21. faithful reader, United States says:

    Has anyone tried the slimming coffee? Feedback please

    Jan 28, 2010 | 12:35 am

  22. kate says:

    I have been adding a few dashes of cinnamon to my tea not only because it tastes good but also I heard that it helps in regulating blood sugar and promote weight loss :) btw, you typed Earl Grey Tea as Ear Grey :P

    Jan 28, 2010 | 1:03 am

  23. Angela says:

    May I suggest eating a protein source (e.g. hard boiled egg, a glass of milk) prior to your morning walk? Protein helps to maintain your blood sugar levels better than foods with sugar (fructose, glucose, . . .doesn’t matter). I’m a diabetic and learned this lesson the hard way.

    Actually, adding a little bit of protein to everything-even a little bit of cheese in your salad-will help your blood sugars.

    Good luck with the diet!

    Jan 28, 2010 | 1:06 am

  24. joshblue says:

    marketman, what kind of whey do you use? is it similar to those found in large plastic containers you see in health food stores? the ones used by gym buffs and bodybulders?

    is it safe? no side effects if you dont work out?

    Jan 28, 2010 | 1:22 am

  25. Connie C says:

    So pray tell, silly lolo, is the ‘ner at any time of day licit or illicit? What fun your diet must be to make you smile a lot. I can already picture the glint in your eye.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 2:00 am

  26. psychomom says:

    you are right angela. having a protein (slice of ham, chicken, turkey etc or even cottage cheese, nuts, peanut butter) helps the sugar levels not to spike and therefore not drop too low. we have been advising people to eat more frequently but smaller amounts (purpose is to drive the metabolism). good luck with the diet MM!! can’t wait to see “Bond, James Bond.”

    Jan 28, 2010 | 2:58 am

  27. atbnorge says:

    @Psychomom & Connie C., when MM is back in his James Bond fighting form, I can imagine Silly Lolo playing the role of M (Sir Miles Messervy, hehehe)—dang-dang-dang-dang-dagadang-dang (2x) (theme from James Bond).

    Jan 28, 2010 | 3:16 am

  28. Vicky Go says:

    You go MM!

    Jan 28, 2010 | 7:01 am

  29. Lilibeth says:

    Let me share with you Marketman how I lost weight many years ago. I used to wear a size 12 and went down to a size 5 and weighed 117 lbs. on a 5’5″ frame (I tried but could not go back to 98 lbs. when I was single), losing 45 lbs. in 3 months. This is what I did – I ate only 1 full meal a day which was lunch and had a cup of yogurt for lunch and another cup of yogurt for dinner snacking on bananas and drinking lots and lots of water when I got hungry and I did high impact aerobic exercise in the morning and jogging in the afternoon everyday. After losing 45 lbs., I went back to eating 3 full meals but switched to a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (could not give up cakes and ice cream) and continued exercising regularly and I did not gain a single pound even if I occasionally binged on desserts. I’ve also noticed that as the months went by, I lost my appetite for meat. After 2 years, I went back to eating meat but mostly seafood and chicken and lots of rice. Of course I went up to a size 8 and gained 20 lbs. and then I changed my diet again. Here it is – banana for breakfast, apple for lunch, salad with very little meat, if at all, for dinner, fruits and almonds throughout the day and exercised on weekdays. I lost 15 lbs. in 2 months. My triglycerides went down from 190 to 80, the doctor had to ask me what I did. I don’t like taking medication and I knew I could beat it by losing weight and eating healthy but I think the apple and almonds helped as I have researched online. I made this my emergency diet which I switch to when I need to lose a lot of weight. I have changed my lifestyle since then and this is my regular diet now – oatmeal for breakfast, lean chicken and 3 tablespoons of rice for lunch, and green salad topped with tuna or skinless chicken breast strips for dinner. Rice is really fattening for me so I limit it to 3 tablespoons. I went down to a size 6 and I have stuck to this diet for 2 years now. To be able to stick to this diet, here’s the trick: I go off the diet on weekends and eat whatever I like in moderation like callos (using your recipe of course which is so delicous) and cakes (I love to bake). I also work out in the gym everyday except weekends and pump heavy weights – 70 lbs. (it is supposed to burn calories plus the fact that it gives me beautiful muscles). The key is not to deprive yourself. When I feel like eating cinnabon on a weekday, I do eat one but that gets to be my lunch already. I also snack throughout the day on almonds and drink lots of water so come lunch or dinner, I am not really hungry so I don’t crave for calorie-laden food. When I see luscious food in your blog, I quickly chew on almonds and it takes away hunger pangs.I am sharing my experience because it really works. Determination is also very important. People were amazed how I lost 45 lbs. in 3 months and that was because I kept looking at myself in the mirror and did not like what I saw (I love to wear bikini in the beach and I had to stop when I gained weight) and convinced I had to do something about it. It is also not a temporary thing. It is a lifestyle change. You can’t simply go back to eating what you like and expect to remain fit and healthy. It is not going to happen. Don’t worry, it is hard at first, but after sometime, you get so used to it that after eating whatever you like in the weekend, you’re just longing to go back to fruits and vegetables on weekdays. I even get upset stomach if I eat too much meat on weekends. You will also have more energy to workout in the gym. Another bonus is fantastic results of your lipid profile even if you binge every now and then. I definitely ate lots of unhealthy food during the holidays and had my lipid profile this month and doctor said it was still fantastic! Hope this helps.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 7:48 am

  30. Marketman says:

    Lilibeth, thank you so much for that. But yikes, I would have to shut down this blog if I ate anything as good as your diet… :)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 9:29 am

  31. Cris Jose says:

    Hi, MM! I don’t think you’ll have a hard time losing 8 lbs by March 8. I think you’ll lose more than 8 lbs by that time since men are known to easily lose weight than women (because of the muscle to fat ratio and all that). Just consume half of everything you are regularly eating and exercise regularly. ;)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 10:17 am

  32. Libay says:

    Goodluck MM! Please keep us posted of your daily “challenge”. BTW what did you do with the cheeses you got from S & L Fine Foods, Inc.? Its a pity that you bought a lot only to go into diet the next day. :)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 10:19 am

  33. chinachix says:

    This is interesting. I am buddying up with a work colleague to motivate each other to lose 10 Lbs by March 30. I exercise regularly during my lunch hour, but am more weak willed about cutting down my daily caloric intake. I’m curious though. Have you thought about having your “heaviest meal” at lunch rather than dinner? (e.g. switch the ginormous salad with the fish dinner…you know, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper…?)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 10:36 am

  34. Marketman says:

    Libay, I bought the S&L bounty before Christmas, so they are mostly gone. :) Chinachix, I absolutely agree lunch should be the heavier meal… sometimes it just works out that I eat more at dinner. But yes, better heavier meals earlier in the day, I think.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:13 am

  35. patty says:

    Woohooo… My guesstimate of MM’s weight was pretty close – 2.2 lbs lighter. :)

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:27 am

  36. kurzhaar says:

    What’s definitely helped me is to eat meat (fin, feather, or fur origin) very moderately…on average only 2-3 meals a week, usually dinner, will have meat/fish as a main course. Since I eat meat/fish in moderation, I tend to spend more on the meat/fish I cook. I don’t worry unduly about fat (I adore duck for instance) but then I don’t cook with a lot of added fat.

    I think what many dieters miss is “meatiness” in the diet. Intense flavours helpto give that feeling of satisfaction. I eat a lot of well caramalized roasted vegetables–typically broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, peppers, maybe onions and mushrooms, rarely potatoes. I take my wines seriously and usually have a glass with dinner, though I occasionally go a week or so without (it’s good discipline).

    Good luck with the diet!

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:34 am

  37. rhea says:

    wow, Lilibeth’s story is inspiring. I’m currently a size 12 [on a 5’2″ frame] and I would like to go back down to size 8. I’m with you, MM on this 8-lb challenge you’ve taken on, though I need to lose more than 8 lbs, hehhe. I’ve started having Nesvita/ Oatmeal for breakfast, a heavy lunch, and another Nesvita/ Oatmeal for dinner. Have also engaged/ challenged my cousin to jog with me everyday so we can lose weight together. They say having a partner makes it a bit easier. I surely hope so. Good luck to us who are want to lose all these excess pounds! We can do it, yeah!!!

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:52 am

  38. Lilibeth says:

    Rhea: With the diet you are on now plus the jogging, you’re on the right track and when you see those extra lbs. fall off, my goodness, you will be more encouraged. I am so happy I have encouraged you. If I can do it, so can you!

    My goodness, Marketman, thousands of people would want to kill me if you shut down this blog because of my diet. Kidding aside, the diet you’re on right now, is just fine. I just mentioned my diet in case you want to do a fast track.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 12:25 pm

  39. Roelm says:

    HI MM,

    Good luck on your weight loss program. I’m curious though. After eating, did you feel satiated or did still feel somewhat hungry? One can lose weight by following a diet but often, the weight lost is readily regained soon after. This is especially so if the diet followed is unsatisfying …

    By the way, I don’t think you need to eat low-fat cheese. The fat in dairy contains a lot of interesting and beneficial nutrients like the fat-soluble vitamins A and K2 plus conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Low fat means low nutrition in this case. Also, CLA, helps to build up lean muscle mass.

    Jan 28, 2010 | 7:16 pm

  40. nicole says:

    goodluck, mm! i am trying to lose weight,too…

    Jan 28, 2010 | 11:15 pm

  41. NewYorker says:

    You can do it MM!!! I find that eating smaller meals throughout the day, and making salads as visually interesting as possibe makes dieting easier. My favorite lunch/dinner salad these days when I want to be good is mesclun greens with diced roasted sweet potato; julienned green apple; broccoli florets; beets; sunflower seeds and a little bit of crumbled goat cheese – a little goes a long way! Also, a nice nicoise salad (no baby potatoes) is also something I like to have when I’m watching the calories and carbs.

    Jan 29, 2010 | 1:11 am

  42. pinayinny says:

    one day, ill start my diet too. one day…

    Jan 29, 2010 | 1:16 am

  43. punky says:

    looks good! tastes even better……. siguro! hehe!

    Jan 29, 2010 | 3:43 pm

  44. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Wow, at first I thought, ‘What a hearty soul to be up at 5am for a walk”. But that’s 5am PI time and not US! I’m sure morning walks in the Philippines are a whole lot more pleasant than 5am walks in the Bay Area.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 3:52 am

  45. joyce says:

    this is encouraging for me. great tips! just had prime rib dinner last night (couldnt help it!) and to pay for my sins had a light brunch today. will exercise this afternoon and just layer to fight off the winter cold. brr. then maybe fruits and yogurt for dinner.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 12:37 pm

  46. nina custodio says:

    short of becoming a diet blog, i wish you would blog about your diet meals for at least two weeks!! it would really give me something to follow because i really get bored with mine, and end giving up all together!!! way to go for your efforts MM!! :)

    Jan 31, 2010 | 11:08 am

  47. Stinkee says:

    Lilibeth, your diet plan I printed for my own use..MM: Your blog is the only blog is read and follow..By the way, Zubuchon lech is the Best!!! Ordered 1 last new year’s eve for the clan..Good day to all :)

    Jan 31, 2010 | 1:32 pm

  48. Lilibeth says:

    Stinkee, just stick to it and work out regularly and I assure you, the pounds will shed off faster than you can ever imagine and whenever you feel even just a little bit hungry, munch on a few almonds or eat some fruit. Don’t allow yourself to get hungry or else you will not stick to the diet.

    Feb 2, 2010 | 11:55 am


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