Tracking vs Not Tracking

I'm trying to drop some LBS and I've been tracking calories, steps, logging workouts and I thought about trying something different - no tech. No counting calories, no counting steps, no logging workouts, just eating clean, stay with my IF I've been doing (eating 11a-7p) and lifting based on how my body feels.

Anyone do this method? If so, results?

Thank you!


  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 3,893 Member
    I spent 38 years of my life fit and active and healthy and I never tracked a single calorie or workout up to that point. Six years ago I hit 132 pounds at 5 feet and I was disgusted with myself. I started tracking calories and workouts at that point and I got down to about 102 pounds and ran a Marathon, and I'm currently training for another. After losing, I stopped counting. I've since put on about 5 more pounds to weigh 107 but I don't count calories or workout and this is about as heavy as I'm willing to get at this point in my life. I don't want to track every calorie or workout and most people I know, personally, don't do it. I eat and exercise and stay trim.

    If you want to calorie count because it helps, do it! If you just want to use it as a weight loss tool, it can help. I wouldn't want to rely on it as a life crutch, though. To each their own. It's a tedious waste of time for me, though, to count every bite. I just don't need to...
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    It does not work for me in the long run. Short term is fine, but then my calories increase. If I don't track/log I eventually stop planning and start just grabbing whatever is fast and convenient. Those calories tend to be higher and portions larger, unfortunately. So for me: tracking & planning go hand in hand.
  • tayusuki
    tayusuki Posts: 194 Member
    It depends on the person. What's your hunger like? Foods you prefer? Portions? Do you stay hydrated? (We often mistake thirst for hunger.)

    If you tend to choose a good deal of vegetables and are easy on oils, listening to your hunger cues can work good! Some people find tracking stressful, but to stay in a defecit you need a different kind of diligence if not tracking.
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,204 Member
    edited June 2020
    Took me around four years of maintenance in order not to track and that was after one fail. I gained around 7 or so lbs a year for a decade. Not much per year, but 70 lbs plus overweight in 10.

    If you don't log, you better have some system to reign it in before you go into full out "chuck it" mode. Too many that do that and you see them back on here three years later, having gained all the weight back and then some.

    If I hit 195, big giant red warning signs go off in my head and I first buckle up. So far, it's worked but I'm very, very cognizant at this stage of what I eat. Though I do IF, it has nothing to do with my weight. It's about better choices and serving size along with 6 days a week of exercise. The IF just helps me keep my calorie count down without counting.
  • threewins
    threewins Posts: 1,148 Member
    There is nothing wrong with just winging it, and weighing regularly. I've lost weight using that method, certainly before smartphones people lost weight and before nutritional information was put on packaging. Try it for a month or two and see how you go.

  • I don’t track when I’m maintaining. I’m aiming to lose a few pounds atm so I have been tracking. I’ve never owned a fit bit. I don’t intend to get one either. I also don’t use the mfp method of eating back exercise calories either, I base my deficit off my TDEE.

    There’s a good podcast called “transitioning away from tracking” on the 3D muscle journey website. It’s relevant for lifters and non-lifters alike. I think tracking has a place but I’m not wedded to it myself. I do know many long term maintainers swear by it.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,853 Member
    What you are describing is exceedingly common outside the bubble of MyFitnessPal's little world:
    Aim to lose some weight by being thoughtful about what and how much you eat, getting some exercise.

    Having said that a huge proportion of people either fail to get to goal weight or if they do get to goal fail to prevent regain.

    See no issue with experimenting, worst case is you won't lose weight but you will have learned something about yourself. Best case is that you are successful and will have learned your personal key(s) to success and established some healthy habits.

    (For background my personal key to long term success is eating thoughtfully, monitoring my weight trend, setting an upper weight limit that triggers intervention and logging my exercise but not food. Doubt it would suit many current users of MyFitnessPal but their personal methods either wouldn't suit me or are just unecessary for me. I did find calorie counting useful and educational for the period of my weight loss and first year or so of maintenance but haven't needed that level of accuracy to maintain for over seven years.)
  • dawkson2017
    dawkson2017 Posts: 18 Member
    rainbow198 wrote: »
    I've been using a notebook and pencil to track my meals and exercise for the past 8 1/2 years. No tech.

    Within that time I lost a little over 80 pounds and have been maintaining my weight (a 10 pound range) for a little over 7 years with no regain.

    I started tracking this way before I discovered MFP and online calorie counting. I lost about half of my weight - it was working for me so I never stopped.

    I recommend having a plan of action to monitor your weight/progress. That weight creep is very real.

    I used pencil and paper with WW, and after for years. Then I found another calorie counting app, and now this one......
    Currently, trying low carb, time restricted eating..... weighing and logging everything until I reach goal of 110 lbs... currently 115 lbs.
    I have never gained more than 10 lbs before taking action.
    I view weighing and logging food akin to a financial budget..... but in reverse..... outgoings have to be greater than incomings equals a happy person.
    Ps.... I also account for ALL of my finances........happy!
  • Hanibanani2020
    Hanibanani2020 Posts: 523 Member
    I’ve lost most of my weight without tracking but as I got closer to goal I thought I would start tracking just to be sure.
  • gallicinvasion
    gallicinvasion Posts: 1,012 Member
    I have gotten so comfortable with logging my food and my body weight that the whole process takes me probably 10-15 per day altogether. And I actually enjoy doing it, because it allows me to plan and save my recipes, and be secure in the knowledge that as long as I’m counting consistently, I have a tool that works. It also allows me to be really flexible with whatever circumstances or changes life throws at me and still hit my weight maintenance goal.

    10-15 min is a tiny daily investment in something that so clearly and so effectively works for me (or at least, has worked for the past 2 years). I plan to continue logging my food and my body weight for the foreseeable future (if not in MFP, with any other medium, a spreadsheet being my second choice, and pen and paper my third).