Anyone need to lose weight but not focusing on weight?

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ldeeldn
ldeeldn Posts: 5 Member
edited June 2022 in Health and Weight Loss
I need to lose 70lb ish, but I'm trying not to fixate on it. Here's the thing, when I try to lose weight by tracking my weight or counting calories I get totally obsessive (thanks ADHD). Weighing myself multiple times a day and getting annoyed and giving up as soon as the scale trends in the wrong direction for a few days. I've been here many times before and have previously lost 50+lb but post-pandemic I'm not in a good place.

I'm also very active, I own a small, private, horse farm and already work out several times a week, so I need to eat a sensible amount to have energy. The problem is that I get a few too many calories from beer, wine, and eating out because I'm too tired to cook. I also end up run down and injured because my nutrition is so poor despite my active lifestyle. I recently bought a young horse who I truly believe might be a high level prospect, so by the time she is ready to go in about 3 years I want to be the best version of myself to achieve those goals.

I've decided that I'm not going to focus and calories or weighing myself obsessively instead I'm going to focus on eating based on macro goals (a 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat) split and eating as many nutritionally dense meals as possible. So less wine, craft beer, and take-out pizza, more veggies and quality protein. It's the one thing I need to do to achieve my goals, so I'm going to do it.

Anyone else in the same boat?
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Replies

  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,666 Member
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    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.
  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 1,136 Member
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    I also don't think macro goals are going to help because you are using percentages. So carbs would be 40% of what? The percentages are percentages of calories, so you need to know your calories to eat the proper percentages of macros.
  • pridesabtch
    pridesabtch Posts: 2,366 Member
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    I can get obsessive about counting & weighing as well, but I've kind of settled into a routine. I still weigh once a day, but only once in the morning post bathroom & nude. I know I can only create this situation one time a day and it will most likely be my lowest weight so I'm good there. Trending the data has been a savior for me. I actually have a spreadsheet with calories in/ calories burned / estimated loss and actual loss plus a graph with a trend line. A bit obsessive, but I like data and I like seeing where my losses and gains come from. An app like Happy Scale or Libra can perform the same function for you. You will see your overall weight trend over time and you can use it to make adjustments rather than using it as a stumbling block.

    As far as too many calories from beer & wine... I feel ya there too. I still imbibe, I just try to pre-log meals a on days where I plan on drinking. I decide how many I can have and still be within my calorie goal. Might mean I drink less, might mean I bank some calories from other meals or from exercise. The thing is I plan for it. Some nights are busy and end up as pizza and beer with no exercise. I just decide to eat at maintenance that day (within 400-500 calories of my set goal). Not a failure, just a decision. I will see that on the scale the next day due to sodium and the late dinner time, but as long as I go back to normal, that blip will resolve in a day or two and my trend line will still be going down.

    Just some things to think about that work for me.
  • ldeeldn
    ldeeldn Posts: 5 Member
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    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.

    I'm not a vegetable fan (it would be fair to say that I hate 90% of them - I have some textural issues). I try and increase my intake through soups and smoothies, which is a way I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to stay within an 1800-2000 calorie budget which is roughly my rmr. I can easily burn another 500-1000 calories a day just working on the farm, riding horses, and working out. My focus is on trying to have a more balanced composition to my diet. I particularly struggle with eating enough protein.
  • ldeeldn
    ldeeldn Posts: 5 Member
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    musicfan68 wrote: »
    I also don't think macro goals are going to help because you are using percentages. So carbs would be 40% of what? The percentages are percentages of calories, so you need to know your calories to eat the proper percentages of macros.

    Yes I understand how percentages work. The breakdown is roughly 180g of carbs, 60g fat, 150g protein or in the 1800-2000 calorie range. That's about a 500 calorie deficit for me. I'm not about to faint and fall out of a hayloft eating 1200 a day.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,666 Member
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    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.

    I'm not a vegetable fan (it would be fair to say that I hate 90% of them - I have some textural issues). I try and increase my intake through soups and smoothies, which is a way I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to stay within an 1800-2000 calorie budget which is roughly my rmr. I can easily burn another 500-1000 calories a day just working on the farm, riding horses, and working out. My focus is on trying to have a more balanced composition to my diet. I particularly struggle with eating enough protein.

    That sounds great, but to monitor your weight using a calorie budget, you would have to count calories to know whether or not you are within your "calorie budget", otherwise you could EASILY be eating 3000+ calories and gaining weight. There's no magic way to do that other than monitoring it.
  • ldeeldn
    ldeeldn Posts: 5 Member
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    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.

    I'm not a vegetable fan (it would be fair to say that I hate 90% of them - I have some textural issues). I try and increase my intake through soups and smoothies, which is a way I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to stay within an 1800-2000 calorie budget which is roughly my rmr. I can easily burn another 500-1000 calories a day just working on the farm, riding horses, and working out. My focus is on trying to have a more balanced composition to my diet. I particularly struggle with eating enough protein.

    That sounds great, but to monitor your weight using a calorie budget, you would have to count calories to know whether or not you are within your "calorie budget", otherwise you could EASILY be eating 3000+ calories and gaining weight. There's no magic way to do that other than monitoring it.

    My macro goals are 180g of carbs, 60g fat, 150g of protein (40/30/30 split). That naturally adds up to a specific calorie amount but it's not what I'm focused on. I track the macros which equates to a certain amount of calories and ensures that I'm eating in a fairly balanced way. I try and ensure that a good 50% of the carbs comes from nutritionally dense foods. Like I say, my focus isn't on losing weight so much as improving nutrition.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 3,053 Member
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    I tip my hat to anyone who can do it simply by being mindful and aware without counting. Honestly, I do. Most people do it without counting. (Well, in the US anyway, most people are also overweight so not sure how well it works for them, but I digress.)

    It doesn't work for me. I "intuitively" eat more than I need to maintain my weight. And when I cut back, I tend to overcompensate and cut too hard. That sets up a nasty over-eat/over-restrict boomerang. The beauty of calorie counting is I don't have to guess, it lets me be steadier without the erratic fluctuation, and in the end, it is actually easier. For me. YMMV.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,666 Member
    edited June 2022
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    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.

    I'm not a vegetable fan (it would be fair to say that I hate 90% of them - I have some textural issues). I try and increase my intake through soups and smoothies, which is a way I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to stay within an 1800-2000 calorie budget which is roughly my rmr. I can easily burn another 500-1000 calories a day just working on the farm, riding horses, and working out. My focus is on trying to have a more balanced composition to my diet. I particularly struggle with eating enough protein.

    That sounds great, but to monitor your weight using a calorie budget, you would have to count calories to know whether or not you are within your "calorie budget", otherwise you could EASILY be eating 3000+ calories and gaining weight. There's no magic way to do that other than monitoring it.

    My macro goals are 180g of carbs, 60g fat, 150g of protein (40/30/30 split). That naturally adds up to a specific calorie amount but it's not what I'm focused on. I track the macros which equates to a certain amount of calories and ensures that I'm eating in a fairly balanced way. I try and ensure that a good 50% of the carbs comes from nutritionally dense foods. Like I say, my focus isn't on losing weight so much as improving nutrition.

    You still have to track you calories to make sure the macro "split" is right, otherwise your just guessing. Adding macros in just makes it much, much more complicated. I've done this, and it ends up quite overwhelming. For example: "ok, I can eat 1800 calories. My macro split is 40carb/30fat/30protein. Ok, just used a tablespoon of oil. That's 100 calories of fat. I can eat 30% fat today, so that means I can eat 540 calories of fat, which means I now have 440 fat calories left." If you don't do that, you aren't tracking macros, you're just wishfully hoping that you're eating at a certain percentage.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 924 Member
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    I lost from obese down to very lean without counting calories or having any particular weight loss goals. I had a lifestyle goal.

    My ideal healthy lifestyle produced my ideal version of my body.
  • pridesabtch
    pridesabtch Posts: 2,366 Member
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    Xellercin wrote: »
    I lost from obese down to very lean without counting calories or having any particular weight loss goals. I had a lifestyle goal.

    My ideal healthy lifestyle produced my ideal version of my body.

    I think that’s great for you, but most people on this site require counting. Not sure why you would bother being on here if you are so against it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,704 Member
    edited June 2022
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    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    ldeeldn wrote: »
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    Macro goals may not help much with weight loss, as all macros have calories, and if overeaten will cause weight gain. When I want to lose weight without calorie counting, I usually focus on increasing the bulk of low calorie dense foods (i.e. vegetables, legumes, and, to some extent, fruit) in my diet and thereby decreasing everything else. Basically, the more brocolli you eat, the less room there is in your stomach for all the high calorie foods. However, this is not necessarily a sustainable way of eating for anyone who hates vegetables.

    I'm not a vegetable fan (it would be fair to say that I hate 90% of them - I have some textural issues). I try and increase my intake through soups and smoothies, which is a way I can tolerate them.

    I'm trying to stay within an 1800-2000 calorie budget which is roughly my rmr. I can easily burn another 500-1000 calories a day just working on the farm, riding horses, and working out. My focus is on trying to have a more balanced composition to my diet. I particularly struggle with eating enough protein.

    That sounds great, but to monitor your weight using a calorie budget, you would have to count calories to know whether or not you are within your "calorie budget", otherwise you could EASILY be eating 3000+ calories and gaining weight. There's no magic way to do that other than monitoring it.

    My macro goals are 180g of carbs, 60g fat, 150g of protein (40/30/30 split). That naturally adds up to a specific calorie amount but it's not what I'm focused on. I track the macros which equates to a certain amount of calories and ensures that I'm eating in a fairly balanced way. I try and ensure that a good 50% of the carbs comes from nutritionally dense foods. Like I say, my focus isn't on losing weight so much as improving nutrition.

    If you're tracking macros in grams via food logging, that's arithmetically equivalent to tracking calories and sticking to a given percentage split of macros. I think you understand this (?), not sure all the replies do.

    There are lots of ways to lose weight. All of them involve eating fewer calories than we burn, in total. Not all of them involve counting those calories.

    Most people here are very focused on counting calories, because MFP is a calorie counting site. It's certainly possible to lose weight without counting calories: I'm old enough to have been adult before calorie counting was practical (before there were apps, when at most there were slim and very incomplete hardcopy books of calorie values - way too much effort, way too low accuracy to count back then). People managed to lose weight anyway, by eating less; it was useful to have a vague awareness of what was calorie dense and what was not, but that knowledge wasn't truly essential.

    Also, eating high-quality foods (i.e., more nutrient dense, less highly processed, more "whole", less alcohol and treat foods) can be more filling, and can make calorie reduction more achievable (when not counting, or when counting, either one).

    Given all of that, I think what you're doing has a decent chance of working, but I admit I haven't personally done it (other than maybe 4 decades or so ago, almost beyond my memory TBH). I do wonder whether you truly need that much protein, which seems pretty high (1g per pound of estimated lean mass, loosely equivalent to 0..8g per pound of healthy goal weight, ought to be enough, even for an active person). Still extra protein probably won't hurt a healthy person. I also wonder if 1800 calories is enough for a woman with your active life, but I don't know your stats and I may be biased by my own experience. (I'd lose half a pound to a pound a week on 1800, and I don't have 70 pounds to lose - nothing to lose, really - am not nearly as active as you, am not all that tall (5'5"), and am likely older than you (66).) Eating at your estimated RMR may be aggressive, for one so active, though.
  • pridesabtch
    pridesabtch Posts: 2,366 Member
    edited June 2022
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    Xellercin wrote: »
    Xellercin wrote: »
    I lost from obese down to very lean without counting calories or having any particular weight loss goals. I had a lifestyle goal.

    My ideal healthy lifestyle produced my ideal version of my body.

    I think that’s great for you, but most people on this site require counting. Not sure why you would bother being on here if you are so against it.

    Where in earth did you get the idea that I'm against counting? And how is sharing my personal experience somehow invalidating of others experiences??

    Someone asked if anyone else had lost weight without focusing on weight. I have. I shared my personal lived experience.

    Did I say "you don't need to count calories! It's stupid! I didn't have to and neither do you!"

    Absolutely not!

    My approach only worked because I already knew how to sustain a calorie deficit without having to count calories. If OP wanted to understand more how I did that, they're free to ask me, but I wasn't about to write a long post about myself until I understood better what OP was looking for.

    I don't appreciate my participation being policed when all I do is try to encourage people.

    @Xellercin I meant to quote the original poster, not you. Sorry for the confusion. You are right though, it really isn't any of my business how they use the site...
  • csplatt
    csplatt Posts: 1,049 Member
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    When I get too tired to cook, I start considering prepping food that will last a few days, like shredded chicken in the crock pot!
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 924 Member
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    @Xellercin I meant to quote the original poster, not you. Sorry for the confusion. You are right though, it really isn't any of my business how they use the site...

    I appreciate the clarification. But yeah, we're all very different people bringing all sorts of unique experiences and needs to the process of obtaining/maintaining a healthy weight.

    It's a complex topic, so there are inevitably going to be an enormous range of approaches that work/don't work for various people.
  • lillyblack1982
    lillyblack1982 Posts: 61 Member
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    I can relate to self-sabotaging when I focus too hard on a certain deficit or certain numbers, especially when the scale trends the wrong direction for a few days.

    I've lost about 15 pounds since 2020 by increasing my activity level (I started running, and I also started walking dogs for a living). It sounds like you live a similar lifestyle working with the horses. I can be much less concerned about every little thing I eat now that I'm constantly in motion (in early 2020 I was spending a lot of time inside, on the couch). I also feel much more capable in my body now and have run a few half-marathons in the last few months, something I never thought I would be able to do.

    I'm within a healthy weight range for my height but I would still like to lose a little more weight for vanity's sake. Knowing myself and how I self-sabotage I'm coming at it from a different angle this time, basically working backwards. I have no numeric calorie goal, no foods are off-limits. My only job is to track my food, my exercise, and my weight honestly and become aware of patterns. I will do this for 6 weeks, then evaluate where I can make small changes. I can average out my calories and what happened with my weight for a much more realistic idea of what my TDEE actually is. I can already see I should try to get more protein but I'm taking it one step at a time and trying to be patient with myself and allow myself enough freedom that I'm not tempted to "rebel" and self-sabotage.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
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    I know the people here in MFP think counting is the magic bullet for weight loss but it's definitely not for everyone!! It can lead to obsessive and unhealthy behaviors in some people. There are other things you can do to lose weight such as focusing on healthy habits, but I haven't been able to make those things work for me personally. If I'm not tracking my food I end up eating more and more over time and those things really add up. I can eat the healthiest diet in the world but I'll still gain weight.
  • Dianedoessmiles1
    Dianedoessmiles1 Posts: 12,465 Member
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    I too AM NOT A VEGGIE or even FRUIT eater!! Same as you it's the texture!! It's just NASTY to me. However if I put them through the food processor, I can BARELY tolerate them, but if I add the veggie from the food processor (Minced not liquid) if I am cooking meat In they go! If I am doing a sandwich type thing or taco's IN THEY GO. But I never get nearly as much as most, yet I get in more than I ever had. WIN/WIN!!

    I do track my food, but I wait til the end of the day, though in my mind I do keep track. Why not to the end of the day? Same as you many obsessive!! I do weigh several times a day ,,, I love math!! But if the scale goes up? I do not allow that to discourage me, instead it motivates me, within reason. If I've just eaten and I step on the scale, how much was my meal going to add on? It's just a game. A number game. If it's to high than normal that'll help me to not go HOG WILD at night, but make easier choices. I've also gone to smaller meals throughout the day. That is the key for me, if I can stop to eat a small container of yogurt, or slowly eat it between the tasks I am working on WOOHOO!! If I can stop long enough (AND I CAN) to eat a 1/2 a sandwich etc. this really works for me. It keeps me from ever being hungry. A WIN/WIN!!

    Like the majority of us, I joined MFP for support. I found a group that really is kind, supportive on here. Have you heard the 5% Challenge? It's a fairly small team of about 350 to 400 members. The Summer 5% Challenge is now accepting members. We do ask that one weighs in once a week. We do work on healthy habits, those are pretty neat, but if there's something a member really does not like, just let the leader know and it's okay. One of my favorite was this past spring decluttering! Also establishing a good sleep routine is such a help for me losing weight. I have lost 7.5 lbs. in 8 weeks, i am THRILLED!!

    If you'd like to join (or anyone else) here's the link. After joining please pick a team. There are 8 of them some are completive and some aren't. Something for everyone!

    Here's the link,,, I totally LOVE this group!!

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/group/143186-2022-summer-5-challenge-community-opens-for-joining-6-5-22

  • pcrozier99
    pcrozier99 Posts: 35 Member
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    ldeeldn wrote: »
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    I also don't think macro goals are going to help because you are using percentages. So carbs would be 40% of what? The percentages are percentages of calories, so you need to know your calories to eat the proper percentages of macros.

    Yes I understand how percentages work. The breakdown is roughly 180g of carbs, 60g fat, 150g protein or in the 1800-2000 calorie range. That's about a 500 calorie deficit for me. I'm not about to faint and fall out of a hayloft eating 1200 a day.

    Ummm, rude. I don't see where anyone said anything about 1200 calories or starving yourself. They simply made a point that to follow macros also requires tracking overall calories. It's arithmetic not a judgment so don't be so defensive. People are simply trying to be helpful.