Lost 80 lbs and never counted calories!



  • rockmama72
    rockmama72 Posts: 815 Member
    Just to give an advantage of calorie counting versus non-counting

    calorie counting: hmm, I feel like eating some ice cream this evening... let's check my food diary... hmm, 200 cals under goal. *looks at ice cream tub* *works out how many grams of ice cream = 200 cals* *measures and eats ice cream* *logs ice cream in diary, meets calorie goal* *continues to lose weight at the desired rate*

    non-calorie counting: hmm, I feel like eating some ice cream this evening... but I've eaten quite a lot of food today, and I don't feel that hungry, it's probably not a good idea to eat any ice cream right now. *ice cream stays in the freezer* *weight loss still happens but it's harder to sustain long term due to feeling deprived of ice cream and other yummy things*

    this is why calorie counting > not calorie counting

    Hmmmm... I read the "I'm not hungry so I won't eat the ice cream" as sort of exactly what we are supposed to be learning: to eat according to hunger, and to save 200 calories for another day when you really are hungry.

    Re: "MFP is a calorie counting site!"

    Sure, MFP has a calorie-counting feature that many people use to record their intake, but is it really just a calorie-counting site? Many people use it for the forums and the friend support from other people who are aiming for better health. I started using MFP to get a good gauge on what I was eating in a day. Now I'm a few months in and I don't log calories every day, and sometimes not every week, but I am still losing weight and am happy with my progress. This is not a bad thing.

    If we were all sticking to MFP's exact formula, many of us would be netting 1200 calories with all of our (MFP-inflated) exercise calories eaten back. Luckily, we get to use the tool how we want.

    To OP: 80 pounds!!! Applause!
  • Tofteberg
    Tofteberg Posts: 61 Member
    I think it's funny how some of us calorie counters seem threatened when someone is doing something different ! All of these " this is a calorie counting site". This site is so much more than a calorie in/ out log. There is tons of information about exercise. Many motivational threads. Success stories. Challenges. You can find groups that cover every exercise and eating choice. If the only purpose of MFP was to count calories it would not be as popular or as useful. So in an area about motivation and support - let's be supportive! Congratulations on your weight loss.
  • To count or not to count...do what works for you. I thought I could use a little extra disipline in my eating habits of late so thought I'd get tracking again to get on track. Hip hip horray for all of us trying to be concious about our health..enjoy today!
  • slim_photographer
    slim_photographer Posts: 310 Member
    This is how trying to lose weight by eye looks like for most people on here.
    Congrats on your success and since you already apologized for the tone of you initial post I will just leave it like that.
  • shayemimi
    shayemimi Posts: 203 Member
    Good for you for losing by portion control...

    For ME, I needed to log and 'count calories' to see where I was messing up in terms of my diet. I needed to start weighing/measuring food to see if I was or wasn't eating normal serving sizes. In some cases I upped serving sizes (veggies/proteins) and lowered servings of things like cheese, pasta. I didn't cut those things out tho. I just used calorie counting as a tool to learn how to budget my calories better. I lost 90 lbs doing this. Actually no, I lost the first 15 just 'watching what I ate' but then I knew as I got smaller I would have to pay closer attention. That was when I found this site. I had lost that first 15-20 lbs so many times, and then got stuck. This site helped me push past it, and now I also know what it takes to maintain. Having the numbers in front of me REALLY helped...

    So...if just eyeballing works for you, that's so great! BUT if you get stuck and still have more to lose, knowing your calories in/calories out may be a good option. Don't rule it out! :) It works! :D
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,397 Member
    One "doesn't" have to count calories their whole life, but for some like me it's just a way of life. Once I started gaining a very significant amount of weight (up to 215lbs), I knew that I had to start counting to keep my weight in check. And people that know me know that I am by no means a "clean" eater. So being aware of how much "dirty" food I'm eating calorie wise is a must so I don't overeat and gain. It's not an unhealthy obsession, but a common sense approach to those like me who like to indulge in high calorie food or drink.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • Deipneus
    Deipneus Posts: 1,862 Member
    Yes, calorie counting is good to get you started or back on track. However, weight loss is a lot like riding a bike. You start off with training wheels (calorie counting) to gain a balance and to keep from falling off. Once you move on to big boy/girl status, you learn what works for your body, thus naturally doing it without as much emphasis on counting calories.
    I counted calories, graduated to big boy status and gained most of it back. If your approach works for you, then fabulous. Most people are aware of alternatives but if you are proseltyizing to ween people from counting calories, this is probably not the best place to do it.

    It would be kind of like showing up at an AA meeting and telling people there are better ways to quit drinking than that ol' "12 step" thing.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 8,400 Member
    Ofcourse its possible. I've done it in the past and everyone I know who has lost weight haven't counted cals as well..

    Difference this time for me is that I eat more. Never would have realized that I could eat more if I didn't weigh and log calories. And also macros. That wasn't a factor back then.

    I wont do this forever hopefully as I'm getting pretty good with keeping track in my head. I really don't like how it affects every aspect of my life. Kind of irritating to me and I know others in my life think so...even though they don't express it. Lol..,,,

    Forgot to mention macros. When I started a year ago, I didn't even know what they were. Staying within my macros has had a surprising (for me) result. The combination of exercise plus eating the right nutrients has begun to "sculpture" my body. Now, you might say "big deal", but I'm 59 yrs old, and instead of having a -little old lady body-I'm looking good, and am very pleased with the results. If you're just eyeballing I don't know if you'll get the same results.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    I lost my first 30lbs without counting calories...it can be done.

    But once I got closer and closer to goal weight I had to...

    There is a big difference between being 150lbs overweight vs 100lbs vs 50lbs over weight vs 25lbs overweight vs 10lbs vs 5lbs...

    The closer you get to goal the smaller margin of error.

    I personally do not believe that after losing 25lbs I would have lost more if I hadn't started counting...even when I started counting I didn't lose as fast as I should have because I wasn't doing it properly (weighing my food)
  • Annie_01
    Annie_01 Posts: 3,097 Member
    I count calories...and sadly...I have come to the conclusion that I always will have to. I does get old at times always thinking...can I fit this or that in. It would be nice to think that one day I wouldn't have to think about it...I just don't think that will happen for me. Maybe...

    OP...If you can do this and maintain then the approach that you are taking is the right one for you. I know that there are people that if they had to count calories and log everything probably would just continue to gain.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,397 Member
    Lol, the other day I was at Panera (had the Asiago steak sandwich) and when I was done, I was logging the food I ate. The waitress came by and saw me asked me what I was doing. When I told her I was logging in the calories I just ate she said "but you're not fat."

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • Annie_01
    Annie_01 Posts: 3,097 Member
    Lol, the other day I was at Panera (had the Asiago steak sandwich) and when I was done, I was logging the food I ate. The waitress came by and saw me asked me what I was doing. When I told her I was logging in the calories I just ate she said "but you're not fat."

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    Reminds me of when I went to Marco's Pizza...I asked to see the nutrition menu...it didn't go over well to say the least. Told me that I would have to look online that they didn't keep one in the store...gave me some bizarre reason why...so I just left.

    I went to Schlotzky's instead...they give you a notebook filled with anything and everything that you need to know in order to eat there if you are counting calories/macros/micros.
  • KnM0107
    KnM0107 Posts: 355 Member
    I maintain without tracking calories. I counted while losing, but never owned a scale. I knew I didn't want to count for the reat of my life (it can trigger my ocd). I love being able to maintain without logging, for me it has helped sooooo much.

    While MFP is geared toward calorie counting, it is NOT the websites only feature. I don't remember reading anywhere in the guidelines saying I had to use every feature to be a member. If you use this site to count then good for you, I use it to log exercise, keep track of weight/measurements and I read the forums from time to time.
  • kuolo
    kuolo Posts: 251 Member
    I have lost without counting in the past but I end up eating far too little and making myself ill/tired/grumpy/depressed/bingey. In fact this is my first time counting since my teens and I maintained my goal weight through my twenties (although not in a very healthy way).
    But I'm finding counting easier, healthier and more sustainable, and it makes sense for so many reasons. When I am inactive (sometimes i am bed bound due to illness) there is a very narrow window between gaining and undereating as I am 9 lbs above a healthy bmi, and if I want to eat enough for health but still lose weight I do have to calculate it pretty accurately. So for me in this situation guessing is unlikely to work. If I do guess I generally undereat and that makes me feel rubbish.
    Plus all the reasons everyone else said!
    But I would like to not have to count forever, so we'll see how I feel when I get to goal.
    I think everyone's different but fundamentally if you're trying to do something that involves balancing two sides of an equation it makes more sense to count than to guess, imo.
  • CoderGal
    CoderGal Posts: 6,800 Member
    I like math.
  • Commander_Keen
    Commander_Keen Posts: 1,181 Member
    I see a lot of people on this site talk about counting calories. Honestly, I've managed to lose a good chunk of weight and drop 2 or 3 shirt sizes and I never counted calories or weighed my food. I portion according to judging by the eye. I feel like counting calories is complicated and to be honest is not a natural way to eat and live. I can see the mathematical ideology behind it and it does work for a good amount of people. However, if you are one of those people who rather judge it by eye, use common sense. Don't eat until you are full. Eat half a plate serving and drink water or tea. Fill up on veggies with minimal dressing, fruits, and a healthy balance of protein and smart low carb choices. Exercising at least three times a week along with walking and other physical activities will drop the weight.

    Any questions on how I've done this, feel free to inbox me.
    Hey that's great news.
    I bet you were also the type of person who never studied for the exams either or got caught doing something stupid.
    different methods for different people..
  • sweetpea03b
    sweetpea03b Posts: 1,124 Member
    I agree with you to an extent. I think a lot of it has to do with how much you weigh and how much you have to lose. If you're really overweight and have a ton to lose, making small changes, such as eating an apple instead of a chocolate bar, will have a massive impact initially, and there is no need to necessarily count calories as your lifestyle and food choices have changed.

    However, when you begin to shed the weight, your calorie requirements will reduce (unless you burn a shed load of calories each day) so it's much more important to monitor intake to prevent regain or stall.

    Great job so far!

    I agree with this 100%... the worse your habits are to begin with... or the more weight you have to lose... the less you have to do to start shedding the pounds. Me... I never ate that bad all the time... but I would have occasions where I had a little too much pasta or 1 too many cookies... and so over the years I've put on some weight.... but I only started with 40 extra lbs... and 28 more to go now...and its a real struggle. I have to really watch what I eat in order to lose. I was only losing about 1/4 lb to 1/2 lb a week until I started weighing all my food. So... to each his/her own. Great that you lost 80lbs without counting... but you're not at the finish line yet. My guess is you probably will never reach it until you buckle down on your eating. Good luck, though!
  • somefitsomefat
    somefitsomefat Posts: 445 Member
    Thowing in my 2 cents here. My story is pretty similar to the OP. I've lost more than my ticker indicates. At one point I was 365. When you're that heavy even little changes get big results. You stop drinking sugary sodas and you lose 20lbs. That sort of thing. At 290lbs I got a little more focused and basically started eating what could be called mostly "clean." I didn't count a thing. This worked great until I got to around 230lbs in 7ish months. I just found a balance. Even eating only chicken, fish, veggies, and some dairy I just found my maintenance. I took a break from that style of eating and decided to maintain. I gained back almost 10lbs in water right away and a few more figuring out how much "bad" stuff I could eat without gaining again. I can pretty much maintain at 245lbs and eat whatever I want. My original goal was to get as close to 200lbs as I could though so I started back with the mindset I needed to count calories. I still try to eat semi "clean" which makes it easy to fit in "bad" foods. Also, yes I know, there's no such thing as "clean" and "bad" but you know what I mean. Anyways, moral of the story, don't be surprised if your progress stalls but don't get discouraged either. Just adjust.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Speaking for myself, the reason people are reading an anti-calorie-counting message, and not just a desire for fellow travelers and motivational stories into your posts is that you are using terms like stressful and unnatural and unrealistic and training wheels. Personally, I like counting calories so far--it's fun to track things and doesn't take much time--and I like tracking my protein and other macros even more.

    Also, I know it's quite possible to lose weight without tracking, especially if you have a lot to lose or have a good sense of how you got fat in the first place (which I do). I've lost weight (and kept it off for some years) without counting calories in the past--went from 190 to 120 and maintained at 125-30, and only a couple of years ago I also lost substantial weight (going by photos and clothes only) without counting.

    My preference for counting now is similar to my preference (for me) for weighing, even though I've gone without stepping on a scale for most of my life. It's easier--again, for me--to keep motivated since you see small changes and causes and effects. Also, how I've lost weight typically (without counting) is by cutting out higher calorie foods or eating strictly based on portion size. Focusing on calories allows me to see that I'd be better off with more fat or protein or that my calories (even though they are on the low side at present) allow for some cheese or dessert or whatever, which seems to me probably easier to maintain over the longrun. Sure, you can achieve this also just by making changes to what you used to do--although this is easier when you are well above goal (as I am currently) and especially a young man (not me)--but if I'm not counting I tend to go more overboard.

    None of this means anyone else should, but they are reasons--in addition to finding it easy and kind of fun--that I don't agree with "unrealistic" and "stressful" and the rest.
  • AllonsYtotheTardis
    AllonsYtotheTardis Posts: 16,947 Member
    What are you trying to sell, OP?