Is counting calories necessary?

I dislike counting calories. Before I started tracking on MFP, I started watching what I was eating, and filled my plate with wholesome healthy foods and drank a lot of water. Doing this, I lost 79 pounds over the past year. Since I started just counting calories on here,I changed my eating habits based on the macros they are telling me to eat and I gained 10 pounds back. Is there a way to set it up where you aren’t counting calories, and still get the support from this site?
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Replies

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,016 Member
    For what it's worth, you can change your macros to whatever you prefer by going to MY HOME > GOALS
  • Verdenal
    Verdenal Posts: 624 Member
    You don't have to count calories if you stick to foods and portions whose calorie content you know. If you gained weight you didn't account for everything, or, less likely, the calorie estimate on the package was incorrect. There is a margin or error of something like 15-20% allowed by law.
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
    edited August 2018
    Did you enter your stats correction into MFP to get a calorie recommendation?

    did you weight and measure all the foods to accurate log?

    how long ago did you make the change? did you weight yourself around the time you started?
  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,510 Member
    lr60372 wrote: »
    I dislike counting calories. Before I started tracking on MFP, I started watching what I was eating, and filled my plate with wholesome healthy foods and drank a lot of water. Doing this, I lost 79 pounds over the past year. Since I started just counting calories on here,I changed my eating habits based on the macros they are telling me to eat and I gained 10 pounds back. Is there a way to set it up where you aren’t counting calories, and still get the support from this site?

    You can change your diary macros. There's no reason to eat foods just to hit the default. Personally, I prefer more protein and fat than what the default gives me. I'm not low carb by any stretch, but I prefer making sure I get enough of the other two first.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    No, you don't have to log calories. You can log (I'd just use pen and paper for this) what you eat and the quantity or approximate quantity (e.g., two serving spoonfuls of X.) Then if you are maintaining or gaining, you just start eating less. Most of us eat the same meals over and over so this can be a reasonable way to track your intake. You just have to be sure you are being honest about what/how much you're eating (which you'd also have to do with calorie counting.)
  • Jackie9003
    Jackie9003 Posts: 1,030 Member
    There is lots to this site other than logging food, you can just track your weight and exercise for instance. There's a database for recipes and there are useful blogs and articles. And of course there's the forum with lots of different subjects being discussed and no matter what you want to know there will be someone who can help. It's a tool for you to use, it's up to you how you use it. Enjoy :)
  • DebTavares
    DebTavares Posts: 87 Member
    I don’t count calories and have lost just under a pound per week by eating less and exercise. No foods are off limits but I do try to make healthier choices.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,884 Member
    I'm trying to figure out how to manage my weight without counting. I still like MFP for the forums, and I like having a designated place to log my weight and put progress pictures. I have 6 years worth of historical weight data that I can look at which I find interesting.
  • jondspen
    jondspen Posts: 253 Member
    edited August 2018
    I noticed the same thing, I have to get 100% RDA of nutrients, meet a daily fiber goal, keep my calories down, and at the same time balance those calories between carbs, fats, and protein. Jeez - and I thought work, grad school and being a single dad to two teen daughters was hard to juggle!!!! :wink:

    I finally gave up on trying to meet every goal, for every metric, on every day for every meal. I take a vitamin, eat what I want but still healthy, and keep my calories down so I can lose these last 8 lbs and hit my goal. If I go over on protein or fats, then so be it.

    So, no it's not required - as you experience in the past. It does help you see your history and be able to accurately track what you have been doing, instead of relying on memory or perception. I hate logging too, and some days instead of being 100% accurate I just find something in the database that closely resembles what I ate and ballpark my calories from there. Perfect example was eating Chinese buffet one day - no way in hell I was going to measure out every item I got, so I just used the entry from the database and guesstimated. I will say that I do this now after tracking my foods for the last 2-3 years, so now am a fair judge of portion sizes and calorie content BECAUSE I logged calories for so long.

    But hey....whatever works for you, I say go for it. If it stops working, then time to try something different.
  • mph323
    mph323 Posts: 3,565 Member
    The macro and micronutrient information is there as a tool if you choose to use it. There's no reason to pay any attention to those numbers if your only goal on this site is to keep track of calories while eating in a style that suits you. Just as many people lose weight without tracking calories, many meet their minimal nutrition requirements without tracking macros.

    If you want to use this site just for the forums, that's fine too. Being part of an on-line community of people who have some common goals can be rewarding and supportive. Do what works best for you :)
  • lr60372
    lr60372 Posts: 7 Member
    Panini911 wrote: »
    Did you enter your stats correction into MFP to get a calorie recommendation?

    did you weight and measure all the foods to accurate log?

    how long ago did you make the change? did you weight yourself around the time you started?

    yes, i entered the correct stats
    yes, i weighed and measured all of the food i ate.
    i started tracking my macros and counting calories 1 month ago, and did weigh myself. my body fat also increased over the last month also.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    edited August 2018
    lr60372 wrote: »
    Panini911 wrote: »
    Did you enter your stats correction into MFP to get a calorie recommendation?

    did you weight and measure all the foods to accurate log?

    how long ago did you make the change? did you weight yourself around the time you started?

    yes, i entered the correct stats
    yes, i weighed and measured all of the food i ate.
    i started tracking my macros and counting calories 1 month ago, and did weigh myself. my body fat also increased over the last month also.

    If you were having success your way, why did you change? Did your weight loss start to slow, or did you want to start pursuing certain nutritional goals?

    Often, people will just "eat less" until that ceases to be effective and they need to more carefully track how many calories they are taking in (you need to eat fewer calories the smaller you get, and you have a much smaller margin for error). If your way was still effective, no need to make any changes.

    In what time frame have you gained the 10 lbs? If it was slowly over time, you are gaining weight because you are now regularly eating over your maintenance level of calories (for whatever reason). If it was a sudden change, likely it is water weight as the result of eating more carbs, sodium, or a new exercise program.
  • HeidiMightyRawr
    HeidiMightyRawr Posts: 3,349 Member
    You need a calorie deficit, but you don't need to count calories to do this.

    If you're making healthier choices and this results in a calorie deficit and weight loss then that's great, keep doing that. If you don't enjoy calorie counting and it's not helpful to you then don't :)