South Beach Diet - Do you count your calories as well?

03-23-2009, 08:54 PM
Just curious if most South Beachers count calories? I know it's supposed to be a way to eat without counting, but I'm not very good at knowing my hunger cues and will eat way beyond stuffed.

03-23-2009, 08:55 PM
I don't think SB works if you don't restrict your calories as well, but I'm not on it.

03-23-2009, 08:56 PM
i don't restrict what i eat at all...every now and then i count for a day or so cause i tend to not get enough calories in, but have never had a problem with to many.

03-23-2009, 09:03 PM
Do you find that when you do count, your percentage of calories from fat is a bit high? I've noticed that my calories from fat are much higher than I think they should be the past few days...

03-23-2009, 09:15 PM
Are you eating more than 2T of added fats or salad dressing and 1 serving of nuts per day? If not then you should not be eating too much fat. If you have been on lowfat plans in the past, that may be why you feel your fat is too high. SB is not a lowfat plan, it includes moderate amounts of healthy fats, and they are important because healthy fats keep you satisfied for longer.

If you want to post a day's menu, the chicks will take a look and tell you if the fat is too high.

I think most SBers do not count calories, and it is not necessary to do so, but some do, and there's nothing wrong with that.

03-23-2009, 09:20 PM
Do you find that when you do count, your percentage of calories from fat is a bit high? I've noticed that my calories from fat are much higher than I think they should be the past few days...

when i have its pretty steady around 20-25% but i really don't watch it that much

03-23-2009, 10:03 PM
I counted calories from month two on. Obviously counting calories is not necessary for success on SBD (just look around) but it was and still is necessary for me. I also watch my fat % and have a target fiber number. It makes it more complicated for me than for many but I am one of those people who can just keep eating and eating and never know if I'm full. Even now I slip into that so counting will remain part of my maintenance strategy.

03-23-2009, 11:02 PM
I definitely count calories... I don't have that "im hungry" click in my head right- I doubt I ever will... I have a problem with eating when I am bored, sad, happy, etc... LOL. I count calories because if I don't I eat too much- and don't lose. Also, I try to keep my fat percentage around 30- and I find if I don't input all my foods in and watch the fat I tend to eat around 40-45% a day- I love cheese btw! Also, I try to eat AT LEAST 30g fiber a day- usually not a probelm if I don't track but I like to see that I am doing it!

I LOVE calorie King BTW!
I like fitday as well, but they don't have quite the database that CK does... I am a vegetarian and like not having to enter all the neat food products I find- most of them are already in CK!
I haven't tried it, but hear the daily plate is good too...

03-23-2009, 11:18 PM
I enjoy not counting calories. but the few times I have counted calories and fat grams, I was around 1500 calories, over 30 gms of fiber and about 30% fat. My fat and protein is higher than when I was on another plan, but my satisfaction is also higher with fewer carbs and more protein/healthy fats.

03-24-2009, 02:52 AM
I ran my menus thru FitDay for quite a while and still do fairly often. I lose weight best at about 1000-1200 cal/day so it was helpful in the beginning to see what I could have. I don't really count calories now (although I'm aware of them). I am mainly checking to make sure I am getting all the macro & micro nutrients I need.

Have you looked at the "How to Adapt Your Menu (" guidelines? That was extremely helpful to me in learning the portions of each food I should have at each meal/snack. It helped to spread foods from the different food groups throughout the day and that worked much better than the eat until your full guideline.

03-24-2009, 10:44 AM
I am now counting calories; I have been going back and forth since the beginning of the year with the same 6 pounds, so I'm trying to see what I'm doing "wrong"...I've been using

03-24-2009, 01:59 PM
I'm on South Beach but count calories on the recommendation of my trainer at the gym. It helps to know the number you normally eat in case you're on vacation or some place where you can't eat healthy. If you have an idea of your daily calories from your weight loss periods then you can eat the right amount of "something else" if the numbers add up.

Example: To maintain my current weight, I'm supposed to eat around 2700 to 2800 per day. Since starting SB, I've been hovering around 2200 to 2300 per day, which is a good amount for weight loss (500 under normal). Now if I'm at the beach and for some reason can't find healthy food, as long as I can eat that same number I should be ok. I don't do it religiously every day though.

03-24-2009, 02:09 PM
i dont count calories... but i write down in my journal every night what i ate throughout the day.... yesterday i was hovering around 1000 which i know isnt good.... i just guesstamate every now and then to make sure im eating enough or i will stall and or gain...

stacy xxx

03-24-2009, 02:25 PM
I did SB from May through December without counting anything; I lost 50 pounds that way. Since the beginning of January I have also counted calories, and that has accelerated my weight loss. However, it is totally possible to lose on SB without counting, as long as you are careful with portions of the restricted foods.

03-25-2009, 12:00 PM
I don't think SB works if you don't restrict your calories as well, but I'm not on it.

No, that's not the case, Kelly. SBD works for those who have problems with overeating due to physical cravings because it eliminates those cravings. This naturally reduces your caloric intake without any conscious restriction of calories. Sure, any diet works only because it gets you to eat less. But we aren't eating less on SBD just by deciding to do so--the elimination of cravings allows us to eat regular serving sizes more easily.

I lost over 120 lbs on SBD without ever counting a calorie. When I plateaued, I used calorie counting to help me get a feel for what might be going wrong or right. I did regain some weight due to emotional eating and going off plan too many times in a couple of months, but when I got back on plan (still without any calorie counting), I starting losing again. I've lost 20+ lbs of the regain and never counted a calorie on that, though I am aware of portion sizes. That's just my experience. :shrug:

As for counting calories, it can be a helpful tool, but it's certainly not necessary most of the time on SBD. Some of the SBD members use online sites like to help them track what they're eating when they have a stall/plateau or to make sure they are getting enough calories.

As long as you follow the tenets of SBD, including the restrictions on high-caloric items like nuts, fat, and lowfat dairy, you'll lose weight without counting calories. If you want to count calories, it won't hurt you--unless you start cutting out healthy things in place of unhealthy ones because you're restricting your calorie intake. That's a problem. :shrug:

Schmoodle posted a great method she uses to help her keep track of how many servings she needs of some foods and how many servings are the max she can have of others. Keep in mind that the numbers for grains and fruit are her personal combo for Phase 2--your numbers for those two categories may be more or less depending on your body. Here's the post from Schmoodle. (

03-25-2009, 11:54 PM
When I was on WW I routinely ate about 1200-1400 calories per day with my points, and wasn't losing. (And I was hungry all the time.) My usual foods included WW chocolate muffins, pretzels and limited portions of protein and fat. I was a carb lover.

I eat more calories than that on SB, around 1500 the few times I have counted. I eat much more veggies, more protein & more fat. The only thing I eat less of is the high glycemic carbs. I have lost weight quicker, with greater meal satisfaction and I'm not thinking about food all the time on SB. For me it's about the quality of the food on SB that really clicked with my body. I also eat a lot more dairy than I used to and have reduced my calcium supplementation. The healthy fats, dairy and protein (although higher in calories than what I ate on WW) are really key for me. I'll never go back to counting calories or points.