Lost 80 lbs and never counted calories!

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Replies

  • LiftAllThePizzas
    LiftAllThePizzas Posts: 17,857 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.
    There is nothing good about "natural" so who cares?
  • Snow3y
    Snow3y Posts: 1,412 Member
    Fair enough, OP, but let's see you reach your goal weight/healthy weight without doing so...
  • Deipneus
    Deipneus Posts: 1,862 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.
    Exactly. It's fine to say something like: "If calories counting works for you, great. If it doesn't here's a possible alternative. It may or may not work for you but it worked for me."

    But for some reason, a lot of people go into evangelization mode when they find what works for them and think they are supposed to go forth and spread the new gospel of weight loss.
  • Nico_the_enabler
    Nico_the_enabler Posts: 123 Member
    OP.. Its a bit like going onto a fertility site and telling people they dont need to track their cycles to get pregnant..cause you didn't and got pregnant anyway..
    Most of us here track..because we want to. It works and we like it. Like WW or any other of a number of methods. Bottom line is.. what we were doing, made us bigger/unhealthier . This makes us thinner and healthier. And frankly not everyone is capable of being moderate all the time without a guideline to stick to. Those that are.. perhaps aren't on mfp. Perhaps they don't struggle with portion control or know how much a 'serve' is without having to weigh it.
    I agree in theory with what you are saying. But the delivery and the placement of said information.. not so much.
    Good luck with your continued loss.
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member
    I feel you brother.

    I'm all for people finding what works for them. But I use to calorie count back in the day; hated it. Loathe having that kind of relationship with food, and it did not help me keep any weight off.

    Human beings were losing weight for thousands of years before the calorie was discovered. Obviously it's possible.

    Check the ticker. All that weight was shifted off me without any logging, weighing, or calorie counting.

    I've never had a better relationship with food than I have now. It's a real blessing.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 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.

    The most supportive thing anyone has said in this thread. Thank you for understanding the context of my post. Also, thank you to the others who also acknowledged my point and congratulated me. I was able to break my weight barrier by joining this website and learning from you guys. Seems to be more negative people on here than I thought. To the poster that said I have a lot of weight to lose and that I'm still a young guy....Go Figure!!! That is why I am here! And I am proud of my youth and wouldn't trade it for the world. Enjoying life.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 Member
    I feel you brother.

    I'm all for people finding what works for them. But I use to calorie count back in the day; hated it. Loathe having that kind of relationship with food, and it did not help me keep any weight off.

    Human beings were losing weight for thousands of years before the calorie was discovered. Obviously it's possible.

    Check the ticker. All that weight was shifted off me without any logging, weighing, or calorie counting.

    I've never had a better relationship with food than I have now. It's a real blessing.

    Preach man. Preach!!! Counting calories feels like a math test to me more than just eating to live and have fun. Congrats on that 130 lbs. It can be done and you are living proof. How long have you been on your journey?
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 Member
    As said earlier, I'm trying to connect with people who've lost weight without calorie counting. IF THIS IS YOU, PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORY :)
    I'm sorry, but how exactly are you expecting to find people who've lost weight without counting calories in a calorie count app forum?

    I'm not criticizing your method to lose weight, I just don't get the logic behind your post. It's like going to McDonnald's and ask if there are any people there not eating their food.

    Bad analogy.

    Not everyone here is actively calorie counting. I know, because I've met them.

    I arrived at this site doing a random google search on weight loss topics. Didn't even know it was a calorie counting site until days after I found it. But there is more than enough material on the forums not related to calorie counting to keep my attentions. I don't even use the MFP app.

    I've met people on here who calorie counted in the past, but moved on to intuitive eating.

    I've found people who use the MFP just track exercise, one woman only tracks her water intake. There are ways to use the tool without logging and counting.

    You'd be surprised how many other non-calorie counters are around here.
  • Iwishyouwell
    Iwishyouwell Posts: 1,888 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".

    In my experience a lot of people on this site seem threatened/angry/annoyed/upset about people taking any road that's outside of the "norm" for MFPers. It's not just calorie counting that yields vehemence and snark.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 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.

    Very good point. You will experience stalls in any weight loss plan. You just have to learn how to adjust. My goal is to get to 200, which is 20 lbs below what I indicated in my ticker. For the record, I do count my exercise calories, but as far as food intake, not really necessary at this point in time. I create deficits in my diet by three days of elliptical workouts and walking. It does work and I've shown and proved. Your diet is 80% of your weight loss, gain, or maintenance. If you've been doing it for a while, I would hope you know which foods affect your body and how much you ate in accordance with your work out routine to gain, lose, or stay the same. This is how I am able to "eyeball" my food portions.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    I agree, to a point.
    There are plenty of people out there who have never counted calories, who have maintained a natural, healthy weight, and have not suffered any ill effects from not counting calories, because for most, counting calories comes with needing to lose weight.
    It is useful for those who have goals, but I certainly agree that it is not a natural way to live, not at all.
    Unfortunately, we live in a society now, that is full of unnatural foods and unnatural levels of inactivity.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 Member
    Figure I share this article that shows the Pros and Cons of calorie counting. Again, this is not to bash, but MFP is mentioned in it. Do what works for you.

    http://mymindcoach.com.au/calorie-counting-for-weight-loss-pros-and-cons/
  • elyelyse
    elyelyse Posts: 1,477 Member
    I believe that counting calories can work for some things, but to base it on everything you eat is stressful and unrealistic.
    For some of us, the logging allows us NOT to stress about food.

    If I wasn't tracking my food, I'd always be wondering "hmm, can I fit in one more snack?" To which the answer would probably be "yes" because I couldn't look at my log and see "oh, no, I can't really fit one more snack". Either that or I'd get scared of eating too much and end up under-eating. If I can't actually measure and find the line between deficit/maintenance/surplus...then how do I know where the line is? For some of us "listening to our bodies" is how we got fat to begin with...we need some other tool.

    It also means that I can eat high calorie sweet treats without any guilt, because tracking it allows me to see that I totally have room for it and will still be in a deficit even if I eat half that pint of ice cream. Guilt free indulgence is a gift for those of us who have associated treats with being "bad" for most of our lives.

    If you can do this without tracking, more power to you, but for me the 5 minutes it takes a few times a day to log my meal and keep an eye on my macros gives me peace of mind. I don't have to wonder if I'm eating the right amount, I can see it documented and feel confident...and that reduces the stress I feel regarding my diet.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 Member
    I believe that counting calories can work for some things, but to base it on everything you eat is stressful and unrealistic.
    For some of us, the logging allows us NOT to stress about food.

    If I wasn't tracking my food, I'd always be wondering "hmm, can I fit in one more snack?" To which the answer would probably be "yes" because I couldn't look at my log and see "oh, no, I can't really fit one more snack". Either that or I'd get scared of eating too much and end up under-eating. If I can't actually measure and find the line between deficit/maintenance/surplus...then how do I know where the line is? For some of us "listening to our bodies" is how we got fat to begin with...we need some other tool.

    It also means that I can eat high calorie sweet treats without any guilt, because tracking it allows me to see that I totally have room for it and will still be in a deficit even if I eat half that pint of ice cream. Guilt free indulgence is a gift for those of us who have associated treats with being "bad" for most of our lives.

    If you can do this without tracking, more power to you, but for me the 5 minutes it takes a few times a day to log my meal and keep an eye on my macros gives me peace of mind. I don't have to wonder if I'm eating the right amount, I can see it documented and feel confident...and that reduces the stress I feel regarding my diet.

    If you eat correctly during the week, and workout (weekends included), having an ice cream sundae with 3 scoops and a little bit of fudge chocolate is plenty of indulging without guilt. Being aware of your deficit if you eat consistently is not very difficult. If you had a bacon burger today, and can't fit in a suitable workout until Saturday, don't eat two cookies and pack of king size Reese's cups in between time. Everybody's schedule works differently but for me, I rather eat consistently clean for 4, 5 days then eat a reasonable cheat meal or dessert on the weekend (still working out before hand). I average 1-2 lbs a week loss.
  • krawhitham
    krawhitham Posts: 831 Member
    It's great that it worked for you OP, but do you know what? I gained about 43 lbs over a little less than 3.5 years.

    I did the math, and it equates to me eating about 140 calories too many each day to add a small amount of weight each month. That's a very small amount of food.

    It was such a small amount of calories, it was almost unnoticeable, until I was maybe 30 lbs overweight.

    It wasn't until my size 8 pants didn't fit and I saw a photograph of myself that I realized I had to get my eating under control (I walked 3-6 miles every day while I was gaining weight, it made no difference)

    I even saw a nutritionist and did a food diary with her for 6 months and she said I was eating perfectly well. I wasn't losing any weight, though.

    So, it's good that not counting calories works for you, but to determine where those extra 140 calories were coming from that made me gain, I have to use a food diary to detect exactly where I'm doing the overeating.

    Fortunately over the last 3 months I have been successfully doing this, and I've lost 10 lbs! Yay!

    If anybody would like more information of how I am doing this successfully, feel free to PM me :)
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 8,400 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.

    The most supportive thing anyone has said in this thread. Thank you for understanding the context of my post. Also, thank you to the others who also acknowledged my point and congratulated me. I was able to break my weight barrier by joining this website and learning from you guys. Seems to be more negative people on here than I thought. To the poster that said I have a lot of weight to lose and that I'm still a young guy....Go Figure!!! That is why I am here! And I am proud of my youth and wouldn't trade it for the world. Enjoying life.

    I'm the one who said you're a young guy with alot to lose and that's why your plan is working--you don't get it at all. As you get older this won't work. It's easier to lose when you're younger. In 20 years I'd like to see you on this plan of yours. However, I don't want you to fail, and I don't think anyone on MFP wants that. All of the negative comments are from people that have seen it before. They are just trying to inform you to be careful as you get closer to goal so you won't stall. I think that's nice even if you don't.
  • Domineer
    Domineer Posts: 239 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.

    The most supportive thing anyone has said in this thread. Thank you for understanding the context of my post. Also, thank you to the others who also acknowledged my point and congratulated me. I was able to break my weight barrier by joining this website and learning from you guys. Seems to be more negative people on here than I thought. To the poster that said I have a lot of weight to lose and that I'm still a young guy....Go Figure!!! That is why I am here! And I am proud of my youth and wouldn't trade it for the world. Enjoying life.

    I'm the one who said you're a young guy with alot to lose and that's why your plan is working--you don't get it at all. As you get older this won't work. It's easier to lose when you're younger. In 20 years I'd like to see you on this plan of yours. However, I don't want you to fail, and I don't think anyone on MFP wants that. All of the negative comments are from people that have seen it before. They are just trying to inform you to be careful as you get closer to goal so you won't stall. I think that's nice even if you don't.

    Yes it is easier to lose weight when being a young adult. I agree. By establishing these healthy habits now, in 20 years (lord willing), I should be one of those healthy fit older men. Aging shouldn't be acquainted with being fat and out of shape. Yes, weight gain is inevitable but it doesn't have to be a major weight gain. Looking at BMI and Weight Charts for men, a man in his 40s and 50s shouldn't be significantly heavier than when he was in his 20s and 30s. Us Americans like to use age as a crutch to get lazy and out of shape, and then blame age when we criticized. I don't feel like I'm setting myself up for failure b/c I have forums like this where I am learning so much about nutrition and exercise. I'm sure if I knew this years ago, I would not be on here worrying about weight loss. I gotta start somewhere.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 8,400 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.

    The most supportive thing anyone has said in this thread. Thank you for understanding the context of my post. Also, thank you to the others who also acknowledged my point and congratulated me. I was able to break my weight barrier by joining this website and learning from you guys. Seems to be more negative people on here than I thought. To the poster that said I have a lot of weight to lose and that I'm still a young guy....Go Figure!!! That is why I am here! And I am proud of my youth and wouldn't trade it for the world. Enjoying life.

    I'm the one who said you're a young guy with alot to lose and that's why your plan is working--you don't get it at all. As you get older this won't work. It's easier to lose when you're younger. In 20 years I'd like to see you on this plan of yours. However, I don't want you to fail, and I don't think anyone on MFP wants that. All of the negative comments are from people that have seen it before. They are just trying to inform you to be careful as you get closer to goal so you won't stall. I think that's nice even if you don't.

    Yes it is easier to lose weight when being a young adult. I agree. By establishing these healthy habits now, in 20 years (lord willing), I should be one of those healthy fit older men. Aging shouldn't be acquainted with being fat and out of shape. Yes, weight gain is inevitable but it doesn't have to be a major weight gain. Looking at BMI and Weight Charts for men, a man in his 40s and 50s shouldn't be significantly heavier than when he was in his 20s and 30s. Us Americans like to use age as a crutch to get lazy and out of shape, and then blame age when we criticized. I don't feel like I'm setting myself up for failure b/c I have forums like this where I am learning so much about nutrition and exercise. I'm sure if I knew this years ago, I would not be on here worrying about weight loss. I gotta start somewhere.

    Exactly---and I commend you. I really don't want to rain on your parade, but I will share something I've learned after a year on this site. Not counting calories means not hitting your macros. Yes, you will lose weight not counting, but macros insure that you get enough fat, protein, etc. Why is this important? Because you can risk being "skinny fat" at goal--alot of loose skin, wrinkles etc. Hitting macros help with this problem. I have been swimming for 18 years and have lost weight before. I've noticed this time with calorie counting that my body is different--sculptured, if you will. I started thinking about it and attribute it to my hitting my macros. Now you may think this is no big deal, but I am 59 yrs old, and at my age this is a real plus. I would think that as you lose weight you would be even more interested in this aspect. After all that work you'll want a nice body. I really wish you all the best, and I've learned so much from the nasty people on here--probably because they write in a way you'll remember.
  • elyelyse
    elyelyse Posts: 1,477 Member
    I believe that counting calories can work for some things, but to base it on everything you eat is stressful and unrealistic.
    For some of us, the logging allows us NOT to stress about food.

    If I wasn't tracking my food, I'd always be wondering "hmm, can I fit in one more snack?" To which the answer would probably be "yes" because I couldn't look at my log and see "oh, no, I can't really fit one more snack". Either that or I'd get scared of eating too much and end up under-eating. If I can't actually measure and find the line between deficit/maintenance/surplus...then how do I know where the line is? For some of us "listening to our bodies" is how we got fat to begin with...we need some other tool.

    It also means that I can eat high calorie sweet treats without any guilt, because tracking it allows me to see that I totally have room for it and will still be in a deficit even if I eat half that pint of ice cream. Guilt free indulgence is a gift for those of us who have associated treats with being "bad" for most of our lives.

    If you can do this without tracking, more power to you, but for me the 5 minutes it takes a few times a day to log my meal and keep an eye on my macros gives me peace of mind. I don't have to wonder if I'm eating the right amount, I can see it documented and feel confident...and that reduces the stress I feel regarding my diet.

    If you eat correctly during the week, and workout (weekends included), having an ice cream sundae with 3 scoops and a little bit of fudge chocolate is plenty of indulging without guilt. Being aware of your deficit if you eat consistently is not very difficult. If you had a bacon burger today, and can't fit in a suitable workout until Saturday, don't eat two cookies and pack of king size Reese's cups in between time. Everybody's schedule works differently but for me, I rather eat consistently clean for 4, 5 days then eat a reasonable cheat meal or dessert on the weekend (still working out before hand). I average 1-2 lbs a week loss.
    If I eat correctly during the week?
    So what you are saying is that I should be mentally keeping track of everything I eat and my activity level and hoping that I don't forget anything in order to make sure I'm at a deficit, I hope, each week? And then I should trust my intuition/memory to know if I can have some high calorie treat, instead of having the documentation and confidence to be sure it fits? If I'm not keeping track, how do I know if I can even have that apple with yogurt tonight, and do I have room for some granola on that? At 200-300 calories, that's not unhealthy or indulgent, but, it could cut my deficit in half if I'm already at my goal for the day...which I wouldn't know if I wasn't logging it all.

    How exactly is all that mental keeping track better than actually writing it down and not having to worry about it? I don't have a regular schedule where I eat my meals at a specific time and only eat at those times, and only eat a specific kind of thing in specific amounts at specific times...nor do I want a schedule like that. If every day is different...well, I just can't (and don't want to) spend so much mental energy thinking about how much I've eaten. I can write it down and forget it. You seem to look down on logging because it's stressful and obsessive...for some if us, logging it all allows us NOT to stress and obsess.

    As I said, IF IT WORKS FOR YOU, that's awesome. I'm glad you've found a sustainable method that works for you, and I hope it keeps working that way even as you approach your goal and a couple hundred calories a day starts to make a difference...but the tone you are taking with those of us who are pro-logging is condescending. Please stop insisting that a method that is working for so many people is unnecessary, just because it's unnecessary for you. I would hate for a newbie to become discouraged because they read something that makes them feel like logging is too stressful, too obsessive and they should be better than that and not need it.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    I see a lot of people on this site talk about counting calories.

    LOL maybe because this is a calorie counting site!! wowz ….