Is there anyone not counting calories?

124

Replies

  • fitmom4lifemfp
    fitmom4lifemfp Posts: 1,572 Member
    Mandy72CM wrote: »
    I find that when calorie counting I end up
    binging if I feel guilty. Is there anyone else that is just cutting back, exercising more and not logging?

    Nope. When I stop logging, I gain. I know myself well enough by now - I will have to log my food the rest of my life if I want to maintain a healthy weight.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,735 Member
    Mandy72CM wrote: »
    I find that when calorie counting I end up
    binging if I feel guilty. Is there anyone else that is just cutting back, exercising more and not logging?

    I lost around 20 Lbs or so before I ever counted a calorie. I started counting calories namely due to the fact that I was becoming more active and engaging in more strenuous exercise. Previous to that I was just walking and had cut out some sodas and was eating more vegetables and whatnot. When I started exercising more I wanted to make sure I was eating enough to accommodate my exercise, but not too much as to stop losing weight. I found MFP to be a great tool for that. I also helped me learn a lot about nutrition in general and how to eat better overall, including an appropriate number of calories.

    I haven't logged in about 7 years of maintenance...I usually gain a bit of weight in the winter due to becoming less active and take it off throughout the spring by just making a few dietary tweaks and becoming more active. I find maintenance to be relatively easy so long as I'm mindful of what I'm eating most of the time and mindful of what I learned during the weight loss process, and so long as I'm exercising regularly.
  • psychod787
    psychod787 Posts: 4,088 Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    This site is built around calorie counting. So most of us here do just that. :)

    @snickerscharlie , some of us just like the comrade like relationship we develop with others here. ;)
    I don't really track much either...

    Lost about 180lbs and never tracked anything. It really wasn't until I started trying to gain weight that I began tracking. When you are trying to build muscle and don't want to go to far over and minimize fat gains, a target of 250+ calories is extremely difficult to hit...

    Everyone will tell you, just weigh everything, which you really can't do if you want to maintain a normal life and even if you did there's just no reliable way to tell what your deficit is because there's no reliable way to know how much you're actually burning in a day...

    I'd use formulas and trackers and everything, and it always just felt like way too much food and it was...

    I do believe cico can be an effective tool but the only thing you can probably take to the bank is the calories in part, calories out tbh we don't really know... You can't trust fitbit, formulas or whatever, which is why it's unsuccessful for many people...

    Another thing you can't really trust is restaurant calorie estimates either... Plus you can still gain over a weekend in a deficit if you eat out or salt your food too much or drink alcohol...

    I know many disagree with me, but I've been at this for a while now and you can't argue with results...

    I have a tattoo on my arm that says "Eat wise and exercise" that's all you should need...

    I weigh just about everything I eat at home and my life is pretty normal.

    If you log relatively accurately, you *can* accurately estimate what you're burning in a day because you can compare your real life results to your estimates over time. It won't happen instantly, but this is how people figure out if their activity tracker (or other method of estimating calories out) is over- or under-estimating -- they're comparing it to their real life results.

    Restaurant calorie estimates can be tricky, which is another factor to consider when we're deciding whether or not we want to take steps to be more accurate with our calorie intake estimates when we can. I weigh my food at home precisely so I can limit the impact of the times when I'm going with someone else's estimate.

    Do I think someone *has* to weigh food and log in order to be successful? Obviously not. But I think it's one of the best ways for the average person to ensure they're regularly hitting their calorie goals. Telling someone to "eat wise" is very vague. How exactly do I implement that? That would be a lot harder for me than "Hey, generally net about 1,460 calories a day if you want to maintain your current weight."

    (Obviously, if it is negatively impacting your mental health, I don't recommend you do it).

    If it works for you as a tool to achieve good health, then I'm not going to disparage anyone from using it...

    But I have to ask, what do you do when you go over someone's house for dinner? I mean it's not like you can ask them to weigh the food out ahead of time for you, and don't you ever make any type of casseroles or dishes with a mixed amount of food where you're sharing amongst people, even if you do weigh your portion it's still not accurate...

    And as for the accuracy of the calories out part of the whole equation... They're still really is no reliable way to tell, I mean yeah you can look at your weight over time and gauge whether or not you've been in a deficit... But weight fluctuates day today on such arbitrary things like whether or not you had a good movement in the morning to water weight, to when you last ate, Etc... So considering the day-to-day fluctuations there's really no way to tell what kind of a deficit you're in... My whole point is it's not an exact science

    When I go to someone's house for dinner, I make my best estimate. It's unlikely to cause any issues because the majority of my intake is pretty accurate.

    You can use weighing to make a pretty accurate estimate for mixed/shared dishes too. I can simply measure the total weight of the dish against the weight of what I'm consuming.

    The fact that we can never be 100% accurate isn't an argument that we shouldn't try at all. Nobody is saying it's an exact science, but the inexact science can still produce great results and, for many of us, it's much easier than slogans like "eat wise." That's a meaningful phrase for you, but it doesn't mean anything to me.

    I lost 40+ pounds and have been maintaining since 2015 just focusing on consistently meeting my calorie goal by weighing food when I can and making my best estimate the rest of the time. That's why I don't think it's an especially unreasonable way to live.

    "Eat wise" may work for certain people, but I'd have no idea how to make that work. And if I was "eating wisely" and exercising and not seeing results, how would I know what adjustments to make?

    I'm not going to disagree with you on any of what you said... If it works for you then great, you be the example of how to make it work and I applaud you for it...

    For myself however, it has its place and can be a useful tool but not without limitations... I just don't believe tracking and weighing your food everyday should be necessary, we shouldn't have to do this in order to stay a healthy weight...

    But they you can argue that we should be able to eat what ever we'd like and not have to worry about "eating wise"... And you may be right

    Either way, congrats on your success

    While I agree with you in many ways, calorie counting is just a tool. I look at it like this, when I am working on my car, I might have a wrench that "works", but is just not quite right for the job. So, I reach into the tool box for a wrench that works better for this job. Controlling dietary intake is not much different imho. One wrench does not work as well, try another until you find one that does.

    Or you could save some time, but risk your knuckles by grabbing a monkey wrench and smacking it with a big hammer. Hmm... this speaks for my love of destruction and chaos.

    Or just use the hammer! 🤘
  • etherealanwar
    etherealanwar Posts: 465 Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    I always find it fascinating when threads like this pop up how some people say they don't count calories because it's so labor intensive and obsessive. I've been logging for about 4 or 5 years now, lost my excess weight and am now in maintenance, and after the first month or two, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've spent more than 2 or 3 minutes logging my food. I think about the calories momentarily when I'm planning out my day, and might spend another 30 seconds or so thinking about them if I'm tempted to go off plan, but that's really it. I spend more time brushing my teeth.

    For some people, I think they never get past that first month or two, and simply don't allow the time for practice to make perfect. Otherwise I suppose it comes down to how your brain works, for some people calories just naturally makes sense with how your brain works and it's easy, but for others it creates stress.

    OP, I'd guess the vast majority of people here have at least counted calories in the past, but there are a number of people including some veteran posters who don't count anymore.

    Regardless of what strategy you settle on, please do take some time to deal with the whole feeling guilty thing. No one is perfect and we all have days where we fall on our faces. It's not something to feel guilty about, it's something to learn from. Anything you can do to remove emotion from eating (feeling guilty for eating "wrong", rewarding yourself with food, eating to self soothe, etc) will make the road forward easier :smile:

    Creating recipes and remembering to weigh things and enter them in the mfp recipe function is what is labor intensive to me, especially while I'm in the thick of cooking dinner and dealing with kids or a crying baby or whatever. Sometimes I create the recipe and go to weigh it at the end and realize I never weighed the stupid pot it was cooked in so now I don't know what to subtract. I've been logging food for years off and on and I wouldn't describe it as simple as you just did, maybe I'm just stupid. Lol. I need to weigh every pot and skillet and dish that I cook with and keep a cheat sheet somewhere in my kitchen probably...

    I agree with you, if all I ate was pre-made packaged food and only needed to weigh those against the label than that is one thing but when making recipes from scratch it does take more than a few minutes. I deal with it because this is the only way for now that I can lose weight and keep on track.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    I always find it fascinating when threads like this pop up how some people say they don't count calories because it's so labor intensive and obsessive. I've been logging for about 4 or 5 years now, lost my excess weight and am now in maintenance, and after the first month or two, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've spent more than 2 or 3 minutes logging my food. I think about the calories momentarily when I'm planning out my day, and might spend another 30 seconds or so thinking about them if I'm tempted to go off plan, but that's really it. I spend more time brushing my teeth.

    For some people, I think they never get past that first month or two, and simply don't allow the time for practice to make perfect. Otherwise I suppose it comes down to how your brain works, for some people calories just naturally makes sense with how your brain works and it's easy, but for others it creates stress.

    OP, I'd guess the vast majority of people here have at least counted calories in the past, but there are a number of people including some veteran posters who don't count anymore.

    Regardless of what strategy you settle on, please do take some time to deal with the whole feeling guilty thing. No one is perfect and we all have days where we fall on our faces. It's not something to feel guilty about, it's something to learn from. Anything you can do to remove emotion from eating (feeling guilty for eating "wrong", rewarding yourself with food, eating to self soothe, etc) will make the road forward easier :smile:

    Creating recipes and remembering to weigh things and enter them in the mfp recipe function is what is labor intensive to me, especially while I'm in the thick of cooking dinner and dealing with kids or a crying baby or whatever. Sometimes I create the recipe and go to weigh it at the end and realize I never weighed the stupid pot it was cooked in so now I don't know what to subtract. I've been logging food for years off and on and I wouldn't describe it as simple as you just did, maybe I'm just stupid. Lol. I need to weigh every pot and skillet and dish that I cook with and keep a cheat sheet somewhere in my kitchen probably...

    I agree with you, if all I ate was pre-made packaged food and only needed to weigh those against the label than that is one thing but when making recipes from scratch it does take more than a few minutes. I deal with it because this is the only way for now that I can lose weight and keep on track.

    Yup this was exactly my issue with counting calories. I would reach for anything packaged (which I wouldn't even weigh) vs something fresh due to the difficulty of the recipe builder. Plus my kitchen scales could never handle my pots full of food so I could never weigh my finished product. Maybe I was doing it all wrong, who knows. At this point it makes no difference!
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,027 Member
    edited January 2020
    hesn92 wrote: »
    kimny72 wrote: »
    I always find it fascinating when threads like this pop up how some people say they don't count calories because it's so labor intensive and obsessive. I've been logging for about 4 or 5 years now, lost my excess weight and am now in maintenance, and after the first month or two, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've spent more than 2 or 3 minutes logging my food. I think about the calories momentarily when I'm planning out my day, and might spend another 30 seconds or so thinking about them if I'm tempted to go off plan, but that's really it. I spend more time brushing my teeth.

    For some people, I think they never get past that first month or two, and simply don't allow the time for practice to make perfect. Otherwise I suppose it comes down to how your brain works, for some people calories just naturally makes sense with how your brain works and it's easy, but for others it creates stress.

    OP, I'd guess the vast majority of people here have at least counted calories in the past, but there are a number of people including some veteran posters who don't count anymore.

    Regardless of what strategy you settle on, please do take some time to deal with the whole feeling guilty thing. No one is perfect and we all have days where we fall on our faces. It's not something to feel guilty about, it's something to learn from. Anything you can do to remove emotion from eating (feeling guilty for eating "wrong", rewarding yourself with food, eating to self soothe, etc) will make the road forward easier :smile:

    Creating recipes and remembering to weigh things and enter them in the mfp recipe function is what is labor intensive to me, especially while I'm in the thick of cooking dinner and dealing with kids or a crying baby or whatever. Sometimes I create the recipe and go to weigh it at the end and realize I never weighed the stupid pot it was cooked in so now I don't know what to subtract. I've been logging food for years off and on and I wouldn't describe it as simple as you just did, maybe I'm just stupid. Lol. I need to weigh every pot and skillet and dish that I cook with and keep a cheat sheet somewhere in my kitchen probably...

    Oh, absolutely and I just honestly didn't remember to mention it, but it helps that no one in my family likes to cook and we eat pretty repetitive and simple meals.

    And still I've done the "oh crap I don't remember how much the pot weighs" :lol:
  • RGv2
    RGv2 Posts: 5,785 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    RGv2 wrote: »
    Mandy72CM wrote: »
    I find that when calorie counting I end up
    binging if I feel guilty. Is there anyone else that is just cutting back, exercising more and not logging?

    If you don't mind me asking....what was your calorie goal when you were tracking calories.

    Insightful question.

    We see new many posters here who set an overly aggressive and ultimately unsustainable weekly weight loss goal, and the failure to adhere to that (unwise) goal could certainly lead to guilt and binging.

    That's exactly what I was wondering.

  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 6,220 Member
    Anyone count macros? If so, what’s you percentages to lose weight please

    @alex2017new

    Calories are king for losing weight, macros make it easier to stay within calorie goal.
    PAV8888 wrote: »

    Do you think that you will lose more weight if:
    a) You eat 50% Carbs, 30% Fat and 20% Protein for 1750 Cal a day
    b) You eat 20% Carbs, 50% Fat and 30% Protein for 1800 Cal a day or
    c) You eat 55% Carbs, 20% fat and 25% Protein for 1750 Cal a day
    d) You eat 10% Carbs, 50% Fat and 40% Protein for 1800 Cal a day


    Bonus points: If your carbs come from whole wheat pasta will you lose more weight or less weight given an isocaloric intake as compared to white rice? What if, in this scenario as given, we replace the whole wheat pasta with sweet potatoes and the white rice with a mix of white, yellow, and red baby potato nuggets instead?

    In the example above, b would be the best for me, even though it’s an extra 50 calories a day. It’s closer to how I eat naturally. I would have to force myself to eat different than I am used to for the other options, and that’s just harder than necessary.
    I would be able to stick with b better and easier.
    Which one comes closer to satisfying you and making you happy and better able to keep in your calorie limit?

    Bonus points. I hate whole wheat pasta. I don’t like white rice. If I had to choose, I would choose today, but tomorrow or the next day I would rebel and say “I’m tired of this d—- diet and I ain’t doin’ this no more.” But I like sweet, white, yellow and red baby potatoes. I could easily fit any of these in my meal plan.

    It’s easy.
    Calories count.
    It’s hard.
    How can you get the very most enjoyment out of eating, while eating healthy and staying within your calories?
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,482 Member
    edited January 2020
    Anyone count macros? If so, what’s you percentages to lose weight please

    @alex2017new

    Calories are king for losing weight, macros make it easier to stay within calorie goal.
    PAV8888 wrote: »

    Do you think that you will lose more weight if:
    a) You eat 50% Carbs, 30% Fat and 20% Protein for 1750 Cal a day
    b) You eat 20% Carbs, 50% Fat and 30% Protein for 1800 Cal a day or
    c) You eat 55% Carbs, 20% fat and 25% Protein for 1750 Cal a day
    d) You eat 10% Carbs, 50% Fat and 40% Protein for 1800 Cal a day


    Bonus points: If your carbs come from whole wheat pasta will you lose more weight or less weight given an isocaloric intake as compared to white rice? What if, in this scenario as given, we replace the whole wheat pasta with sweet potatoes and the white rice with a mix of white, yellow, and red baby potato nuggets instead?

    In the example above, b would be the best for me, even though it’s an extra 50 calories a day. It’s closer to how I eat naturally. I would have to force myself to eat different than I am used to for the other options, and that’s just harder than necessary.
    I would be able to stick with b better and easier.
    Which one comes closer to satisfying you and making you happy and better able to keep in your calorie limit?

    Bonus points. I hate whole wheat pasta. I don’t like white rice. If I had to choose, I would choose today, but tomorrow or the next day I would rebel and say “I’m tired of this d—- diet and I ain’t doin’ this no more.” But I like sweet, white, yellow and red baby potatoes. I could easily fit any of these in my meal plan.

    It’s easy.
    Calories count.
    It’s hard.
    How can you get the very most enjoyment out of eating, while eating healthy and staying within your calories?

    Ha! Correct! "Best for me while avoiding any "diet" sounding choices that you are just making to lose weight while actively not enjoying them" for the win!

    d) would have the fastest APPARENT weight loss in the SHORT term; but long term it will equalize with the rest. Body composition wise it is possible it will lag and/or still unclear and frankly more dependent on the effort one puts in.

    Very long term and correctly counted c) would have a minuscule advantage over a) due to the higher TEF of protein and I suspect that c) would provide an active individual with more of a boost during activities and exercise than d) thus resulting in a larger real deficit over time, assuming that the individual can stay within their calories equally or more easily than if they were to use d). The opposite if they weren't!

    Very long term given that between d) and c) there are approximately an extra 282 Calories coming from protein you would need to run a few equations that I am baffled as to how to even set-up where you have increased TEF from protein to the order of 20 to 35% while TEF from Carbs is only 5% to 15% and TEF from fats is "up to" 5% to 15%. If you can figure out the literature and the specific foods you're eating and that math... the energy your brain spends trying to do so will probably account for more than the TEF differences!

    Pretty much they're all a wash and the best results will come from what suits individual preferences--with just enough "controversy" to highlight that we're often spending a lot of time thinking about the margins! :wink:
  • threewins
    threewins Posts: 1,062 Member
    I've mostly lost weight without counting. I did that by weighing daily.
  • threewins
    threewins Posts: 1,062 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    I count carbs. When I get 25-35 carbohydrate mark, I stop. Seeing that it must be so freeing not be a slave to the calories, I signed up.

    If counting calories is being a "slave" to calories, then counting carbohydrates is being a "slave" to carbohydrates. I don't see a meaningful difference here.

    I'm a slave to carbs. In fact, I'm carbs' *kitten*. If I were in a jail cell with carbs, I wouldn't even have to be threatened. I would gladly bend over for carbs.

    Edited because I really WOULD gladly bend over for carbs. :)

    LOL!
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,528 Member
    Re recipes - I only create them on MFP once - not every time I cook them.

    Next time I just weigh my portion of pre recorded recipe

    Yes I realise we sometimes vary recipes - but most variations make little difference - it wont matter much calorie wise if I cook vegetable soup with or without carrots or leeks this time, for example, so I dont bother editing the recipe.

    Also re pots - yes a cheat sheet of empty weights of pots is good idea

    In case of my slow cooker, I have weight written on bottom of pot in permanant texta.

    Not sure how that would work on saucepans which go directly over the stove flames though

  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,528 Member
    Mandy72CM wrote: »
    I find that when calorie counting I end up
    binging if I feel guilty. Is there anyone else that is just cutting back, exercising more and not logging?

    There are many many people who lose weight just by cutting back food and/or excercising more.

    But you may not find many of them on MFP - which ,after all, is a site designed around calorie counting.

  • psychod787
    psychod787 Posts: 4,088 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    psychod787 wrote: »
    I count carbs. When I get 25-35 carbohydrate mark, I stop. Seeing that it must be so freeing not be a slave to the calories, I signed up.

    If counting calories is being a "slave" to calories, then counting carbohydrates is being a "slave" to carbohydrates. I don't see a meaningful difference here.

    Well in the calories case you're a slave to all macros, but counting carbs, you're the master over fats, protein, and alcohol. Maybe that lets a person feel they're a switch and not a pure slave in their food tracking relationships. 🤷

    Wait.... So what you are saying is, to be "free", we just shouldn't eat?!?!?! Bro.... just shattered my world! LOL :D

    To paraphrase Tyler Durden, "It's only after you've lost every macro that you're free to eat any macro."

    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to eat.

    (That comes out really dark.)

    Unless you are having lunch with Bobby McGee... lol