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Calorie counting for life?!

2

Replies

  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    Some people seem to think they can continue counting ad infinitum. I don't see that as doable. What I do see as doable is stepping on the bathroom scale once a week or so, and making adjustments as needed. It is also doable to keep a kinda sorta calorie count throughout the day. Most of my meals are all pretty similar on calories each day, so as long as I don't start adding stuff I don't need, I'll do fine without counting.
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,151 Member
    I take a logging break every 6 months. It's fantastic, as I'll be a lifer.
  • Sarasmaintaining
    Sarasmaintaining Posts: 1,027 Member
    edited June 2015
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I logged for about 9 months while I was losing weight and keeping a diary was a great training tool. When I went to maintenance I quit logging and I have maintained for over 2 years.

    IMO, logging and keeping a diary is a lot like training wheels on a bike...it's a great tool to help you learn and a great way to educate yourself...but ultimately you just want to ride. I'm 40 years old and hope to be around at least another 40...I sure as *kitten* am not going to be logging every morsel for 40 years...I don't even think such a notion would be remotely realistic.

    Calorie counters are definitely in the minority...there are millions and millions and millions of people who maintain their weight just fine without ever logging a thing.

    Are these people who used to be overweight though? With the dismal rate for long term weight loss success among people who were overweight at one time and then intentionally lost the weight, I don't think you can include that group into your 'millions of people who are fine without logging a thing' category.

    So while there are lots of people out there who have never struggled with their weight and can maintain a healthy weight without counting/tracking calories, I don't think that would apply to most here on MFP. I think we're talking about two different groups of people here.

  • kittykaida
    kittykaida Posts: 12 Member
    Hey everybody :smiley:

    I've only been on MFP for a few months, and I honestly think I will continue to log as long as this place still exists. I have lost huge amounts of weight before, (60, 70 and 90 lbs all lost at separate times.) and found myself right back where I was, or worse a year or two later, and not really sure how it happened.

    I have been really paying attention, and not starving myself (both figuratively and nutritionally) or binging out of control like I used to, and the difference in how I feel is amazing. For me, this is really forcing me to pay attention, and be brutally honest about everything that goes in my mouth. I got a food scale and measure meticulously now.

    For do many of us, think that this is a great accountability tool, and I suppose if you are someone who can lose all of the weight and successfully maintain without it, then kudos to you. Personally, I know I really thought I could eyeball things and stay on track, and I failed miserably, and I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy.
  • bpetrosky
    bpetrosky Posts: 3,911 Member
    I don't intend to weigh and log the rest of my life, but I'll continue to monitor my situation and adjust accordingly.

    When I get to a maintenance point, I'll continue to log for a period of time as I adjust to that level of eating. If I decide it is a good idea to go on a building plan, I'll keep logging to support that goal, too. But at some point I do look forward to not logging daily and simply keeping an eye on the scale in the morning to see where I'm at.

    Of course, if I start getting fat again, I know I can fall back to planning and logging as a method to stop that trend.
  • professionalHobbyist
    professionalHobbyist Posts: 1,316 Member
    I fuel my car and check the gas gauge all the days I will drive it

    I don't really feel like monitoring fueling my body is a bothersome task.

    It has become almost an interesting hobby, reshaping my body, taking better charge of my health.

    Yeah, I will do some form of it all my life.
  • kcd1961
    kcd1961 Posts: 126 Member
    It's simple really (if logging helped you reach your goal).
    1) If you can maintain weight loss without logging, don't log (and that includes using the strategies listed above)
    2) If you stop logging and gain weight, decide - Do I want to keep my success or my freedom from logging. Choose one, because you can't have both (at this point in time).

    In other words, trust your experience. If you need it, you need it. If you need it and don't like it, then that is another part of the mental game you need to tackle.

    Personally, I'm not there yet, 4 kg to reach goal, 1 until my next maintenance break. I think I will probably need to keep tracking, because I am very prone to cheating if I don't.
  • Emilia777
    Emilia777 Posts: 978 Member
    edited June 2015
    I lost weight in two phases. In phase one, lost about 45lbs, and maintained for years without logging. However, I made permanent adjustments to my eating habits (i.e. eating less consistently), even though I still had days when I ate a full bag of chips cause I felt like it. I only gained a bit of it (~9lbs) back last summer, because some stuff went down that threw me off pattern.

    Phase two is happening now, as I want to get to my ideal weight (whatever that is). I’m going into maintenance soon and I think I’ll continue tracking, at least until I find my stride. I find it’s more about building habits (or stopping old habits that lead to being overweight) than necessarily worrying about calories (though I do plenty of that lately too).
  • _cdaley
    _cdaley Posts: 79 Member
    I plan to keep tracking because the act of having to actually add the item/calories into MFP is my way of determining if I really want to eat something, or if it isn't worth the calories. If I don't see the calories in the item, it's so much easier to just say whatever and eat it. It's a huge self control tool for me. It works for me, so I'll continue!

  • PaulaWallaDingDong
    PaulaWallaDingDong Posts: 4,632 Member
    I can't see not doing it. Trusting my own judgement is what got me fat in the first place. That doesn't mean everyone has to do it forever. I'm sure there are plenty of folks with better judgemetn than me. ;)
  • peterjens
    peterjens Posts: 235 Member
    Know thyself.
    Know what I have learned.
    In other words I will be logging as long as I am eating.
  • michellepearson224
    michellepearson224 Posts: 72 Member
    Thanks guys, some interesting points of view!
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 45,770 Member
    So I'm just over 5 months in and 20lbs down, with probably another 10 to go until I reach my goal. But I'm soooo fed up of counting every single thing I eat - I have had the odd day off but I just wondered how you all sustain it? Even when in maintenance I guess you have to count? I'm currently giving myself a week off from counting and logging, but still eating sensibly and exercising most days, just to see what happens.

    Just interested in other's thoughts on this.

    Michelle
    Everything is math. You wouldn't disregard counting how much money you spend or how many days till vacation or how many hours you work. And as you age, you actually need less to eat to maintain. I would bet dollars to donuts that ANYONE who's gained weight back stopped watching and paying attention to how much they ate.
    Do you have to count? Well if you're eating the same thing every day, then probably not.

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

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  • kickassbarbie
    kickassbarbie Posts: 286 Member
    I lost about 120lbs 8 years ago and I have not logged everyday during maintance but remained a healthy weight the whole time. The couple of years of logging taught me invaluable lessons I have never forgotten.
    One technique is to continue logging you weight and if it goes too far out of your "happy range" go back to logging for a few months to remind yourself about food quantity and eating habits. I am logging again due to a new goal (though on macro+). My weight wasn't stable to the lb without logging to be honest, but it stayed within range, when it went up or down too much I'd log for a few months and fell back into the habit easily.
  • kickassbarbie
    kickassbarbie Posts: 286 Member
    I lost about 120lbs 8 years ago and I have not logged everyday during maintance but remained a healthy weight the whole time. The couple of years of logging taught me invaluable lessons I have never forgotten.
    One technique is to continue logging you weight and if it goes too far out of your "happy range" go back to logging for a few months to remind yourself about food quantity and eating habits. I am logging again due to a new goal (though on macro+). My weight wasn't stable to the lb without logging to be honest, but it stayed within range, when it went up or down too much I'd log for a few months and fell back into the habit easily. I never stopped weighing my food though as for me portion control was and allways will be an issue.
  • magurski
    magurski Posts: 45 Member
    So I'm just over 5 months in and 20lbs down, with probably another 10 to go until I reach my goal. But I'm soooo fed up of counting every single thing I eat - I have had the odd day off but I just wondered how you all sustain it? Even when in maintenance I guess you have to count? I'm currently giving myself a week off from counting and logging, but still eating sensibly and exercising most days, just to see what happens.

    Just interested in other's thoughts on this.

    Michelle

    Calorie counting, in my opinion, is a way of learning appropriate portion sizes. If you've managed to learn that, and internalize the methods and sizing, you shouldn't need to actually count calories much as you enter maintenance. So long as you're no longer gaining (fat) weight, if you can get by, you should be OK. If you're not building muscle mass, but gaining weight, then, sorry, you probably need to go back to calorie counting... Sad, but sadly true.
  • LiftAllThePizzas
    LiftAllThePizzas Posts: 18,008 Member
    I would compare it to basic hygiene, just like wiping my butt, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, etc. I would also compare it to wearing glasses if my vision needed correction, except it's a corrective lens for my appetite. If you don't need it to maintain and you don't like it, then don't do it. But I spend more time flossing every day then I do logging my food so I don't see it as a big deal.
  • jennifer_417
    jennifer_417 Posts: 12,348 Member
    Some people continue logging. Some people pick a weight range that they want maintain, and if they go above that range, then they start counting/restricting calories again till they get back within that range. I don't really know if it's possible to maintain without doing one of those two things. Either way, you need a strategy, even in maintence, or you'll most likely go right back to your old eating habits.
  • athenasurrenders
    athenasurrenders Posts: 287 Member
    edited June 2015
    I'm nowhere near maintenance yet, but I'm already working on listening to my body in the hopes that one day I can maintain without logging. I imagine I'll still run new recipes through the calculator to make sense of it, but I have a pretty good idea of what's a light meal and what's more calorific, which snacks provide maximum satisfaction for the calories, which foods make me feel good. What I'm trying to learn is eating because of hunger, not habit or emotion, stopping when I'm full (as opposed to stuffed like before, or not satisfied but out of calories) and respecting my body's signals.

    I've learned that in my case, I had some pretty screwed up thoughts about food and eating behaviours. Logging has helped me learn what's in my food and get a realistic idea of the best way to fuel my body. But I know I have some serious work to do on my mental processes to get a healthy relationship to food and for me, logging has the potential downfall of just displacing those unhealthy behaviours and not addressing them. So for me, it's a learning tool and I hope one day to ride the diet bike without training wheels.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    I fuel my car and check the gas gauge all the days I will drive it

    I don't really feel like monitoring fueling my body is a bothersome task.

    It has become almost an interesting hobby, reshaping my body, taking better charge of my health.

    Yeah, I will do some form of it all my life.

    I don't. I fuel up once a week or every two weeks without looking at the gauge. I have a low fuel light, also, but I've only seen it once in five years. The only time I spend much time looking at the gauge is on a long trip, because I'm stepping outside of my normal habits. There's no reason why weight maintenance can't be similar. As long as people get the habits right, weighing and logging adds no value.