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Is counting calories/macros destroying our enjoyment of food?



  • scarlett_k
    scarlett_k Posts: 798 Member
    edited June 2017
    I find the opposite to be true; I had reached a point of binge eating where I wasn't even really enjoying the food I was cramming into my face. It had become routine, habit as well as compulsion.

    Now I am taking notice of what I'm eating I am enjoying my food more. I don't feel ashamed when I go shopping any more, and I actually take the time to enjoy whatever I choose to use my calories for. I haven't excluded anything from my diet. It is difficult to fight the urge to binge but that's not really to do with counting. It's no bother for me.

    Also I suppose it actually helps me to mend my relationship with food. Before I would feel guilty about everything I ate being "bad" (I mean, it often was due to the quantity!) but now that is taken away from me since I am eating within the amount of calories set for me. One less thing to worry about really.
  • spdaphne
    spdaphne Posts: 262 Member
    edited June 2017
    Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

    I'm learning to not focus on calories and focus more on what my plate looks like. I'm learning to go off these questions my nutritionist suggested to me

    (1) is this the best choice I can make
    (2) does it fit through the filter - WFs / sugars? / protein(s), fats & carbs
    (3) how am I programming myself to feel and function - what's the biggest/loudest message on your plate

    I'm not gonna count calories for the rest of my life because it's not realistic and calories doesn't tell you a lot about the nutrients of the food which is what I'm focused more on. But I enjoy food and make some super tasty dishes in the process and therefore look forward to eating.

  • lauracups
    lauracups Posts: 536 Member
    It has changed how I eat and most days I view food as fuel but sometimes I work in indulgences. I find its better to do that than totally denying myself, struggling with binge eating. Example, I enjoyed a piece of REALLY good cake yesterday, and for dinner I had a grilled piece of chicken with a measured amount of spicy mayo. Had I not had the cake I may have had something like a cheeseburger. I've been at this for a while, I have lost weight, I'm still finding balance as I get the last bit off it off, but life doesn't stop just because I'm over weight.
  • gymprincess1234
    gymprincess1234 Posts: 493 Member
    I don't count macros, I just try to keep them in balance, and I don't count kcal, the app does it for me. If I want a cake, I will eat it, and work on burning more kcal or eat some lower kcal meals after. My aim is to lose extra fat, not to make life miserable.
  • LucasLean
    LucasLean Posts: 100 Member
    Yes, but there comes a point, after counting calories for a long time, where you can eyeball things and just use common sense to gain and lose weight. Some people want to be exact and know exactly everything, but I'll only track if I'm not getting where I want to be.

    But once at that point, I eat what I want, but everything in moderation... just a common sense approach.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,932 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    I refuse to feel inferior for using a handy and convenient tool to lose and maintain weight.

    I like you!

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,699 Member
    it has and it helped start and make a eating disorder worst, a lot of things are very high in calories and if i had the higher calorie things i may still be hungry but used up all my calories or have very few left for later. i try to eat lower calorie foods so i can eat more for the same amount which means i don`t eat a lot of different cereals because they go over 110 and i know thats silly but its what i go through with and i really don`t like to drink things with calories because i feel that i will not be full and that could of been used on food and there are a lot of other foods i can`t or will not eat because of the calorie count, just to sum it all up its not fun but i can`t stop and life just is not the same.

    Your choices don't sound disordered to me - they sound smart :)

    I too have given up or reduced foods like cereal and beverages that don't provide much satiety for the calories. "One serving" of cereal is a joke - I want at least two and possibly three, and that's just too many calories.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,699 Member
    SezxyStef wrote: »
    my question would be how could it ruin our enjoyment of food.

    Calories and macros are numbers that is it...enjoyment of food comes from tactile senses like taste and smell...

    If you find you are not eating the food you love due to calorie restrictions you are doing it wrong....just eat a smaller portion or exercise to allow for it.

    For me it lessened (not destroyed or ruined) my enjoyment of food because I my enjoyment of food comes from cooking as much as from eating. But I don't cook from recipes and don't measure ingredients. There isn't much point in logging if you don't measure and having to measure made cooking a lot less enjoyable for me.

    Along these lines, I don't mind the measuring and recording, but struggling with the new and old recipe builder does suck a lot of the enjoyment out of cooking for me.
  • Matiara
    Matiara Posts: 377 Member
    Not at all for me. Calorie tracking is a tool that works for me. I haven't changed the foods that I eat, I just control the portions and I've hit my weight loss goal every week since I restarted. I enjoy my bedtime ice cream more knowing that I have the calories for it.

    As for eating out, I have no anxiety about eating at restaurants that don't have calories on the menu or going to events with food trucks/concession stands. I order what I want and enjoy it without stress or guilt. Calorie tracking is extremely helpful with keeping me on track, but it doesn't rule my life.
  • RebeccaNaegle
    RebeccaNaegle Posts: 236 Member
    I love food! I love to count calories and fit things into my diet too! Its all in how you view things I guess~
  • xmichaelyx
    xmichaelyx Posts: 883 Member
    Limiting something you enjoy should increase, rather than decrease, your enjoyment of that thing, because you look forward to it and savor it more.
  • Kimblesnbits13
    Kimblesnbits13 Posts: 369 Member
    My constant obsession with calorie counting, hitting protein grams, and avoiding things I feel are not part of a "healthy" diet, are *borderline* unhealthy, and borderline ruin eating for me.

    Only borderline. It's a little obsessive but it's nothing that's not controllable and definitely not damaging to me. But it definitely removes a lot if not all of the enjoyment of eating.

    But in the same breath I HAD to remove the enjoyment of eating. Enjoying eating is what got me fat. It was comfort, it was reprieve from emotional and sometimes physical distress. It's how I celebrated and how I grieved. It was emotion. I correlated enjoying food with happiness like a heroin junky associates heroin with being happy. I was literally killing myself thinking I was enjoying what I was eating. When I stepped back, and looked at how all that food made me "feel", I didn't actually ever enjoy it. It did nothing but hurt me in the most horrible ways.

    I still splurge. I still fall off track. But if we apply the pareto rule, I've removed enjoyment from probably 80% of what I eat now. Some of that is intentional.

    That's exactly what this post is getting at -- the obsessive nature of calorie counting.

    I got overly obsessive and in my personal case, it turned into a binge/restrict, all or nothing mentality for me unfortunately (which resulted in a ton of yo yo dieting) I wish I can go back to intuitive eating and how I ate before I found mfp 8 years ago. I was never "overweight" but I got to an uncomfortable weight for me when I was 25. From then on I've been yo yo dieting, tracking obsessively or never tracking at all. I'm happy to say i'm now at a comfortable weight but still trying to go back to basics before I found mfp. It's tough. I find that I don't wanna bother cooking meals in bulk because I don't want to measure everything so I just get pre packaged meals which are easier to track. I hope one day I get to the point where I don't need to track anything but maintain my weight.