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Does counting calories really work?

countrylove12countrylove12 Member, Premium Posts: 53 Member Member, Premium Posts: 53 Member
I come from the weight watcher world. Where points are used daily and fruits and vegetables are "free" because they have technically already been calculated into the amount of points you get per day. Also where they teach us that a cookie that is 90 calories is very different from an apple that is 90 calories (which I know). Things that are higher in fat or protein are more points because they are fat or because protein can keep you fuller longer, where things that are lower in those things are lower in points.
But, in the calorie world...a calorie is a calorie and you could eat cookies all day (although not healthy) and stay within your calorie budget and lose weight. So, my question is...does it really work? I like MFP .... currently WW is going through transition. Their website does not work, their app is "old" and people are complaining and leaving left and right. I pay for their online subscription and they're rolling out a new plan the week of December 6th. However, my monthly payment doesn't go through until the 11th...basically I'm wondering if this really does work, and then maybe I can cancel my WW subscription before the 11th and not count points for my whole life!
Thanks in advance for any help or advice! :blush:


  • motivccessmotivccess Member Posts: 203 Member Member Posts: 203 Member
    no...but not eating too many does... cheers :p
  • MommyL2015MommyL2015 Member Posts: 1,411 Member Member Posts: 1,411 Member
    Weight watchers is just a different way of counting calories, when you get right down to it. Instead of calories, you get points but it all comes down to a caloric deficit, however you do it.
  • bri170lbbri170lb Member Posts: 1,375 Member Member Posts: 1,375 Member
    It's been working for me so far. I've lost 111 pounds, I have 38 left to my goal and I am confident I can keep the weight off because I am living a whole different lifestyle now.
  • justrollmejustrollme Member Posts: 968 Member Member Posts: 968 Member
    Yes, counting calories really does work, as long as you count them accurately in order to create a healthy deficit and use accurate calculators to determine your individual needs. Personally, I find it much simpler than WW's "points" system. I would definitely suggest using MFP rather than WW. :)

    ETA: By "counting accurately," I mean using a digital kitchen scale that measures in grams. Weigh and log everything you eat, which sounds a lot harder and more involved than it is, really. (It takes me just seconds to do this, once I was used to it.) There are a lot of people who also use MFP without using a kitchen scale, too. Some people are great at estimating what they eat, I'm just personally terrible at it.
    edited November 2015
  • Machka9Machka9 Member Posts: 19,770 Member Member Posts: 19,770 Member
    But, in the calorie world...a calorie is a calorie and you could eat cookies all day (although not healthy) and stay within your calorie budget and lose weight. So, my question is...does it really work?

    I have been weighing my food, logging my calories, and eating fewer calories than I burn since mid-Feb 2015. CI<CO ... Calories in < Calories out. In that time, I have eaten a wide variety of foods, but only foods I like.

    I have lost 25 kg (55 lbs) since mid-Feb 2015.

    So yes ... it works.

  • Living360Living360 Member Posts: 223 Member Member Posts: 223 Member
    Why do you think counting points is so different from counting calories? When I attended WW a point was worth about forty calories. So any way you slice it you are still counting calories. Vegetables have a low calorie count so you can more or less eat all that you want. As a lifetime member who is overweight I recommend putting your weekly fee in a piggy bank and use MFP. At the end of the year buy yourself something special with the money. If you stay engaged, log every day and follow a healthy lifestyle you will be successful.
  • lovematthewchristopherlovematthewchristopher Member Posts: 147 Member Member Posts: 147 Member
    Yes, it does work. I have been doing this since November 2014, and have lost 82 pounds.
  • motivccessmotivccess Member Posts: 203 Member Member Posts: 203 Member
    Yes, it does work. I have been doing this since November 2014, and have lost 82 pounds.
    awesome job! keep up the good work ( : ps: sorry for the sarcasm up there.
  • motivccessmotivccess Member Posts: 203 Member Member Posts: 203 Member
    motivccess wrote: »
    no...but not eating too many does... cheers :p

    countrylove, i'm sure you're doing gr8!
  • countrylove12countrylove12 Member, Premium Posts: 53 Member Member, Premium Posts: 53 Member
    @motivccess it's fine... laughed at your first post!

    @GuitarJerry I've been looking at food that way because that's what WW has always essentially taught us. At least being an online member I've gotten that. However, I've always wondered why, natural unmessed around with peanut butter would be more points than low fat natural peanut butter that has been messed around with because some fat has been taken out. Things like that have made me want to try to come to counting calories.
  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,757 Member Member Posts: 1,757 Member
    yup it works. As has been stated, all diets have at their core, a calorie deficit. Cannot beat the price. I find it less restrictive, than many diets, and as long as you are really is a can't fail way of life.
  • tennilebtennileb Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member
    I wish calorie counting was a myth, but sadly it's just good ole science, there is more to health than just the calories....but a hundred calories is a hundred calories doesn't matter if it's an apple or an apple pie, but the nutrients and negative components differ. If I pay attention to my calories in and don't over estimate my calories burnt...I loose weight.
  • brdnwbrdnw Member Posts: 565 Member Member Posts: 565 Member
    i lost 85lbs counting calories.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,122 Member Member Posts: 8,122 Member
    Yup, it works (and better than WW because you have total control over how many calories you eat)

  • TblackdogsTblackdogs Member Posts: 320 Member Member Posts: 320 Member
    Counting calories definitely works. The reason I think MFP is so helpful (as opposed to WW I guess) is that it allows you to eat what you want, when you want but gives you the tools to "learn" how to do it successfully. That might mean gaining weight for some people, maintaining weight for some and losing weight for most of us. I think the point system muddles things. In the real world (for the rest of your life) you will eat food that has calories. You will need a certain amount of calories to live and MFP teaches you how to do that easily.
  • MsJulesReneeMsJulesRenee Member Posts: 1,193 Member Member Posts: 1,193 Member
    WW doesn't teach you how to count calories, you pay them to do it for you. Not a good plan for long term maintenance. My Fitness Pal app does have a lot of bugs in it, like WW app, but to know exactly how to count calories on a deeper understanding is why I will always stick with MFP. Plus it's free! Even if the site shuts down one day I will always know how to keep track of my food with just a sheet of paper and pen.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

    And yes, it 100% works if you are honest with your food intake and using a food scale.
    edited November 2015
  • kj26boyskj26boys Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    Here's my 2 cents on weight watchers. I have joined that program more than 18 times. The 2nd time I joined it in 2001 I lost 90lbs. I thought I could do it on my own after relocating it and ended up gaining back the weight. For the next 10 years I had played the game of joining and then not going after gaining weight. I know it was because I made friends at the meetings and was afraid to face them and the scale and my leader when I didn't hit my weight goal. I'm an all or nothing person. It made me insane. In 2013 I joined MFP. I was on weight watchers at the time. I left work early one day and was in tears because my weight was going no where. I ate within my points and couldn't get any results. Over the next 2 weeks I was shocked. I lost more weight in the first 2 weeks logging with MFP and counting calories than I did using my ww. I immediately cancelled weight watchers and have never looked back. After thinking long and hard about it, I realized a couple of things. First, weight watchers has changed their program almost yearly since 2000. They've even changed how they count what a point is. Secondly, everything I eat, or purchase already has calories on it. Why was I paying someone to tell me how to convert a food into "points" when I don't have to do that? Next, the same weekly fee pays for someone to read to me the # on the scale. Really? And the last most important thing, they are in the business of making a profit. Do you really think they will be coming up with a plan so that you can achieve lifetime to weigh in once a month for free? No. MFP works. In fact, none of those vegetables or fruits are free either. When I started counting points and the only time I was successful at losing weight, I counted all the food I ate. I will not continue to pay some CEO to capitalize on my fatness. I still struggle and am learning more about my emotions/mental journey as I go, but the only thing I lost with weight watchers was huge chunk of money.
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 8,149 Member Member Posts: 8,149 Member
    Sure counting calories works like a speedometer/tachometer on a vehicle. We have to know what we are eating. As a measurement unit sure a calorie is a calorie. At this point in life I try to keep my blood glucose reads under 100 so I mainly eat calories that give next to no blip in glucose levels which are fats.

    I agree on groups that say they have your best interest when they only have their best interest which is selling us products of questionable value at a very high mark up. Glad you learned how to weigh yourself. :)
  • igniscordisigniscordis Member Posts: 41 Member Member Posts: 41 Member
    Yes. It works. Atleast it did for me. Lost what I wanted to lose and a little bit extra. ^^;
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