Welcome to Debate Club! Please be aware that this is a space for respectful debate, and that your ideas will be challenged here. Please remember to critique the argument, not the author.

Is counting calories/macros destroying our enjoyment of food?

15681011

Replies

  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 1,020 Member
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.
  • TorStar80
    TorStar80 Posts: 252 Member
    I haven't even gone to a restaurant in over a month (since I started) because of calorie counting. But to me this is worth it. I've spent most of my life having an unhealthy relationship with food... I need to see it as nutrition for a while and not just comfort and enjoyment. I'd like to get to a point where I can enjoy it again but also be mindful of its purpose.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,849 Member
    edited July 2017
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.

    Yep. If I cycle hills as fast as I can for 2 hours, then I can make *half* the burger and fries fit (and I better have a long run/ride scheduled the next day for the other half). But it better be a place with a damn good burger & fries. Usually- I settle for a rum & diet coke and sneaking a few bites of a Clif bar when dancing at bar venues. 1400 estimated net maintenance calories. Athletic males usually have no idea how lucky they are (higher BMR + higher cardio burns = actually able to eat & drink restaurant food afterward on more than a rare basis).

    But- the alternative is being fat (or completely barring high-calorie-density foods altogether)..so on with the calorie counting
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,849 Member
    edited July 2017
    ritzvin wrote: »
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.

    Yep. If I cycle hills as fast as I can for 2 hours, then I can make *half* the burger and fries fit (and I better have a long run/ride scheduled the next day for the other half). But it better be a place with a damn good burger & fries. Usually- I settle for a rum & diet coke and sneaking a few bites of a Clif bar when dancing at bar venues. 1400 estimated net maintenance calories. Athletic males usually have no idea how lucky they are (higher BMR + higher cardio burns = actually able to eat & drink restaurant food afterward on more than a rare basis).

    But- the alternative is being fat (or completely barring high-calorie-density foods altogether)..so on with the calorie counting

    But damn, did I ever enjoy the hell out of that burger and fries though. =)
  • r4968
    r4968 Posts: 7 Member
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.

    I am in 1200 calories and that's why it's been so stressful, but I finally made progress. 5 pounds of fat lost in a month and 1.3 pounds of muscle gained. I hope I continue making progress. It's extremely tough though.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    edited July 2017
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.

    I ... how big exactly was this hamburger patty??

    Most of the restaurant burgers around here clock in at 800-900 cals including the bun. Now personally, I don't have a problem making that fit in 1400 cals, but I don't have a problem eating only eat two meals a day if both are on the heavier side. I know a lot of people don't do well trying to follow that kind of eating schedule.

    There are burgers that are more than that, but they'd involve cheese, avocado, pate, something additional that's also pretty high cal.

    Fries, now - those are hard to fit in unless you're satisfied with oven-baked. I love fries, but I'm super-picky about what type and how they're made. They must be steak fries, must not be double fried or be seasoned with anything other than sea salt. And of course they must be piping hot and can't be greasy. For my tastes, restaurant fries are almost never worth it.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    musicfan68 wrote: »
    Eating dinner with my husband I watched him pick a cherry tomato from the tray and pop it straight into his mouth. I felt genuinely jealous because I don't get to do that. The tomato goes on the scale first, then into my mouth. There was something so simple and straightforward about the way he enjoyed that tomato that I don't get to have.

    So yeah, I think for me counting calories does detract from the pleasure of eating.

    This is how I feel. You just can't eat a bite of something and just enjoy it. I have low enough calories that for 1 week I tried to fit in a hamburger patty - not the bun - just the patty - and I finally gave up because with only about 1400 calories a day, it just didn't work, so I ate chicken instead of what I really wanted. I'm constantly having to swap out what I really want for something I don't want as much, or "nope, can't have that snack because it would put me over my calories". I also have learned that I can't eat foods I "love". I have to eat foods I "like" otherwise I won't stop eating the things I love.

    I ... how big exactly was this hamburger patty??

    I had the same question, especially since this seems to be in the context of an at home meal.

    If you have 95% lean ground beef, a 150 g patty (raw) is only 200 calories. It provides 32 grams of protein, which is nice.

    Even with an 80% lean ground beef patty, 150 g would be 381 calories (lots but not that impossible to fit in a day if you skip the bun and are pairing it with vegetables).
  • PrincessTinyheart
    PrincessTinyheart Posts: 679 Member
    The first thing that comes to mind on this is the growing demands for calorie counts at restaurants.

    I love food, and have spent an appalling amount of money at some very, very high end restaurants. When I go out to eat, I want it to be an event, and I'm sure as hell not thinking about calories. But there are some people out there who believe that it should be mandatory for all restaurants to provide nutritional information, which I think would be the death of everything I love about fine dining.

    I mean, I'm all for the chains and fast food places which operate a production line kitchen having nutritional info and when I am grabbing something while out (as opposed to going out for the purpose of eating out) I tend to pick the ones that do have the info so I can track.

    But the restaurants I love, the ones where I don't even look at a menu and just let them bring us a parade of different food that the chef has whipped up for that morning's trip to the market, could never even try to give nutritional info without destroying that spontaneity.

    So in that way, I despair of the calls for mandatory information at restaurants and believe it would destroy the soul of those places, and thus my enjoyment of them.

    I agree about ruining the enjoyment of fine dining and treating yourself. I think the information should always be available for anyone who asks for it, but I don't think it's necessary to put it right there on the menu.

    I'm pretty certain that just about everyone who is concerned about calorie intake knows that anything that is breaded, fried or smothered in cheese/gravy/whipped cream is a bad choice... and those people who want to eat that probably aren't going to care about the calorie intake.

  • leanitup123
    leanitup123 Posts: 489 Member
    Bry_Lander wrote: »
    If tracking calories is destroying your enjoyment of food then I think you are approaching it with the wrong mindset. If you are eating something that is going to tank your calories and/or macros for the day, life goes on. Log it, enjoy it, review your day, and figure out what you could have done differently to stay within your limits, and do a better job tomorrow.

    Good words, my dude!
  • timtam163
    timtam163 Posts: 509 Member
    I think every time I try to lose weight I learn something and shift my mindset a bit. The biggest thing that's helped me is regular mindfulness sessions, that are just helpful in life overall. Even 5 minutes a day helps me center myself and re-evaluate WHY I'm doing something. I was mindless in the other direction before MFP; before, I'd tune out my body's fullness signals, and with MFP sometimes I tune out my body's hunger signals. It's important to listen to all of those. Over time I learned that some foods aren't worth it; I can eat way less dessert now than I could before. I still eat it, but I know how i'll feel when the insulin spike hits, so I eat less of it. But yes the first few times I tried MFP before mindfulness stuff, I stopped enjoying food.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,187 Member
    I think "calorie counts are ruining enjoyment of food" could be rephrased "things I like to eat are less-than healthy choices". Calorie counts are a reinforcement that choices have consequences and people don't like that. Be an adult, don't eat junk. Food is fuel, it doesn't have to taste bad, but it's not going to taste like a cinnamon roll.
  • 100catscrazy
    100catscrazy Posts: 16 Member
    I enjoy it very much because I'm diabetic. I still have to see how many carbs are in everything but knowing the calorie count is available to everyone makes me not feel like such a freak.
  • KrazyKrissyy
    KrazyKrissyy Posts: 322 Member
    Counting calories doesn't destroy mine. I don't even count calories that much anymore, anyways.
  • skymningen
    skymningen Posts: 532 Member
    Periodically.

    Sometimes when I look at what is "left over" macro wise I get discouraged. On other days that actually does help me come up with nice dinner ideas.
    But I am only starting out and I started this out because I figured that I was slipping into having a bad relationship with food. Meaning, eating too little, punishing myself mentally for wanting something "unhealthy", when eating out not choosing what I want but I what I perceived to be high protein and low carb. And I am still there somewhat. MFP has this thing about subconsciously praising you for staying under your goals. But I set up my protein and calorie goal to actually reach it. Stil, I feel encouraged to stay under rather than risking getting "in the red". I am not sure that is good for me, but I am for now continuing to log food as much as I can.
    I will be without a (reasonable) internet connection and without a choice of what I get to eat from Monday to Thursday next week. Maybe that will have a de-stress and de-load effect on my mind.