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I Don't Believe in Calorie Counting

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  • GamlielaGamliela Member Posts: 2,487 Member Member Posts: 2,487 Member
    Of course, dieting habits can vary from person to person. A lot of people do not understand the difference between counting calories and restricting calories. I try to eat as many (good) calories as possible, after coming off a bad relationship with food constantly restricting how much I ate, even if it was all the good stuff. I find that the less you restrict, the better you will feel. It is good to keep track, but instead of restricting, provide.

    Some people call it eating in a deficit, some call it restricting an amount of calories so a deficit is created. No matter what we call it, losing weight is based on eating less calories than we need in order for an energy deficit to be creatd so our bodies will use stored fat instead of incoming calories to reduce fat stores on the body. Otherwise no fat will be lost.

    If you just count your calories, thats great! But counting them so you can get into a habit of eating less of them to lose weight means restricting them back to an amount that is less than your body needs.

    If you stop restricting calories and eat at exactly what your body needs tdee, you are at a happy place of not gaining or losing. If you eat more than your body uses then you add on weight, both fat and muscle.

    By the way, when a body loses weight, it always loses both fat and muscle together.

    Providing more calories than your body uses will always result in weight gain.

    edited May 2016
  • perkymommyperkymommy Member Posts: 1,639 Member Member Posts: 1,639 Member
    jen_bush wrote: »
    I remember reading about parents who didn't believe in medication, so they let their kid die. Whatever floats your boat, but science is science.

    This.

    Believe in whatever you want but there's proof that counting calories does help with controlling your weight.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,765 Member Member Posts: 5,765 Member
    OP sounds like she's well on her way (if not there already) to an eating dis-order. Not sure if she does have kids, but she will no doubt pass on her eating dis-order to them...
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 8,051 Member Member Posts: 8,051 Member
    Of course, dieting habits can vary from person to person. A lot of people do not understand the difference between counting calories and restricting calories. I try to eat as many (good) calories as possible, after coming off a bad relationship with food constantly restricting how much I ate, even if it was all the good stuff. I find that the less you restrict, the better you will feel. It is good to keep track, but instead of restricting, provide.

    @janekenney95 that is a good point about counting and restricting being different.

    While we can all agree 'counting calories' is not considered the 'norm' in most of the world it can be a good tool to use last least until we can find a macro, etc that can remove the need to count calories by getting our bodies/minds back into automatically managing our natural weight range.

    I was talking with owner/manager of a group of fast food restaurant chain recently who had lost 20 pounds over the last year just by macro adjusting only but initially he did have to count up calories to learn his then current macro.

    Until I counted for a while (pen and paper in my case) I was clueless as to my calories and my macro make up. One may find several macros that works for him or her and change them around from time to time even.

    We are all different when it comes to macros and where they naturally lead to weight loss, maintenance or gains.

    muscleforlife.com/8-ways-to-improve-hunger-control-and-weight-loss/ Seems to be selling something but does make some science points.

    breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/eat-what-you-want-your-macros-and-the-truth-about-carbs Makes some good general statements but the info in the Comments seem to get into more details sometimes.

    chriskresser.com/are-you-lower-carb-than-you-think/ This is a good link that drives home if you do not count you can not know your current macro and make informed macro decisions. The first chart is awesome it helping set carb macros based on one's objectives/health needs.
  • moe0303moe0303 Member Posts: 934 Member Member Posts: 934 Member
    J72FIT wrote: »
    OP sounds like she's well on her way (if not there already) to an eating dis-order. Not sure if she does have kids, but she will no doubt pass on her eating dis-order to them...
    I think you might be getting people mixed up.

    ETA: Oh, never mind. I guess you are saying that because she called a thin person "chunky" that she might suffer from an eating dis-order, right?
    edited May 2016
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,765 Member Member Posts: 5,765 Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    OP sounds like she's well on her way (if not there already) to an eating dis-order. Not sure if she does have kids, but she will no doubt pass on her eating dis-order to them...
    I think you might be getting people mixed up.

    ETA: Oh, never mind. I guess you are saying that because she called a thin person "chunky" that she might suffer from an eating dis-order, right?
    Possibly, this thread is all over the place...
  • GamlielaGamliela Member Posts: 2,487 Member Member Posts: 2,487 Member
    yeah its become a bit of a free for all!
  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Member Posts: 10,182 Member Member Posts: 10,182 Member
    OP, Of course. However, to speak properly of counting calories one must understand that this is in the context of eating a variety of foods which meet your macro needs as well as your essential vitamin needs. That, really, is also described in terms of understanding how to use food to feel good and be fit.
  • Etsar73Etsar73 Member Posts: 260 Member Member Posts: 260 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    I stopped counting calories. Before I found MFP, I used to eat what I wanted, not restrict, not count or obsess over it. I did my workouts as normal & I lost weight & was lean & perfectly fine. When I ended up counting calories, I have never struggled more in my life. It was the worst mistake I ever made. I have seen more & more fitness trainers coming forward & talking about how damaging calorie restriction is for your metabolism & can lead to metabolic damage.

    If people don't believe it, watch this video I put a link to at the end. Kelli (Fitness Blender) is straight-forward, she wouldn't lie, she talks about her calorie restriction, which lead to an eating disorder & she struggled with weight. As soon as she broke away from that, she started eating more calories & overcame it. Even Cassey Ho from Blogilates posted about metabolic damage when she was doing a bikini competition where the trainer made her eat only 1,000 calorie A DAY. Your body NEEDS nutrition. And look at all the people on the Biggest Loser who restricted, went on to live their lives & gained all, if not MORE, weight back. It happens to so many celebs that go on calorie restrictive diets. It is NOT worth it IMO. I log my workout calories & my food, but I do not care about the numbers of it, I just enjoy tracking what I've done for a workout & what I've ate. And the more I've been eating lately, I feel more like my old self, I have energy, I feel happy.

    This is the video Kelli posted from Fitness Blender. I really recommend people watch it, it might be eye opening.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=VM99CXSPcVM

    Calorie counting =\= excessive calorie restriction...

    Exactly this. For me it was the opposite -- since I didn't know how much I was eating I was overly restrictive (basically meat and veg, and "serving size" of meat) and discovered once I started logging it was coming in at about 900-1000 calories per day, which was way too low and would not have been sustainable. Understanding what I was eating better (how much, what my macros were) helped me make sensible choices to get to a reasonable level of calories (and eat back activity calories as that became relevant). I haven't been logging for a while and I never found that counting made me obsessive, but it was a great learning process to do it for a while.

    Hmm, maybe people are different? I personally think that if someone tends to be obsessive about food restriction it won't manifest just with counting, but certainly if counting seems to trigger that, don't do it.

    I second this!!! :smile: I lost 25kg about a decade ago and I did it really fast like in about 4 months! I knew nothing about calories at that time and I counted nothing. I had a warped sense of what weight loss meant and for me I thought I had to eat 'like a rabbit' to lose the weight, so I did and it worked! I think a lot of people think that 'weight loss=eating like a rabbit'. I piled it back on because I didn't know how to get that balance.

    Over the years I tried a few diets but they were all unsustainable for me because they never answered the important question (for me, which I now realise is) 'How much exactly? It was just an endless muttering of 'eat this' ... 'don't eat this'... 'eat intuitively'... 'follow the recipes in this book'... 'carbs are bad'... 'fat is bad' ... 'eat small meals all day'... 'don't skip breakfast'... 'do cardio'...'don't eat late at night'... 'eat less and move more (but how much less and how much more)'... 'eat more one day and eat very little the next'... 'eat healthy food and the weight will come off'...'chew food slowly'...'you're getting older'... 'set weight'... 'it's not your fault'...'blah blah blah'.

    Then I found out about calorie counting and learned about TDEE and BMR and I found that 7700 calories is approximate to 1kg (weight gain or loss). I had something to work with other than the endless mutterings I mentioned before. It was personal and it was about me! I didn't have to eat like a rabbit.... I can eat carbs, I don't have to follow recipes in a book and yes I had some control over it. I use it as a tool and it's helped me get back my sense of balance and helped me to 'heal' both physically and emotionally.

    Will I always do it? I'm not sure. I will see how things go when I am on maintenance but I know I can always rely on it. Counting calories is not for everyone but to say it's an unhealthy obsession would be a swiping remark. Thanks to my knowledge of and experience in counting calories, I have a better personal understanding of what it takes to lose and maintain my weight.
    edited May 2016
  • neederntneedernt Member Posts: 675 Member Member Posts: 675 Member
    listen to your body
  • neederntneedernt Member Posts: 675 Member Member Posts: 675 Member
    when ou get fat it means you should lower your carbs. that easy.
  • seska422seska422 Member, Premium Posts: 3,214 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,214 Member
    needernt wrote: »
    when ou get fat it means you should lower your carbs. that easy.

    If that were true, do you really think there would be all of these obese people in the world?
  • neederntneedernt Member Posts: 675 Member Member Posts: 675 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    needernt wrote: »
    when ou get fat it means you should lower your carbs. that easy.

    If that were true, do you really think there would be all of these obese people in the world?

    Well, this works for me. I check my diet for two weeks and if I find out my belly is getting swollen I decrease my carbs. For general public there are many reasons, and many of them don't really pay attention to diet and their physical appearance.
    edited May 2016
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