General Diet Plans and Questions - Not calorie counting?

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09-02-2010, 01:13 PM
I have tried calorie counting during the day and it gets hard to keep track of. I eat healthy and exercise and the weight seems to slowly be coming off.

I was just wondering: has anyone on here ever lost weight exercising and without calorie counting (but eating healthy and what-not)?

Slim CB
09-02-2010, 01:17 PM
I am....I dont know how many calories I eat per day and to be honest, I can't be bothered with counting calories. But what I do is work out regularly - minimum of 5 times per week. And I watch my portions carefully. I also write down everything I eat...good or bad. So far its been working. I started on May 20 and I am satisfied with my progress. Its not as fast as some would like, but I like it this way as it is a lifestyle change...its a marathon, not a 100m dash.

09-02-2010, 02:11 PM
I lost quite a bit of my initial weight without calorie counting, but the more weight I lost, the harder it was to keep losing without some kind of tracking.

The more days I track, the better I lose. For me, I use exchanges, because I find them simpler to use than calorie counting (and they help me insure a relatively balanced diet).

Even if you're not going to count, even if you're not going to write in it every day, I'd still recommend a food journal. At the very least, it makes you more aware of what you put in your mouth (especially if you vow to "write before you bite.")

09-02-2010, 02:21 PM
I've lost weight without counting before, and it only came back when I went back to my old habits. This time I'm finding it fairly important to count, but it can defintely be done without counting. Watch your portions though.

09-06-2010, 01:40 PM
I have tried so many diets and I have found that counting (for me/in my opinion) is so hard! The SBD is what I started two weeks ago and it has been so easy for me. No counting at all!

09-06-2010, 07:57 PM
I have lost weight with not counting calories and just eating healthy, but I've found when I get to the lower weights (for me under 170lbs is when I need to be stricter and count, measure and weigh food)

I usually plan ahead the night before on and try my best to stick to that. I'll have the same or similar meals and snacks a few days in a row so I don't have to plan ahead every night. If I unexpectedly go out to eat I'll try to go to a place where I'm familiar with the calories counts, or pick a simple food (like a simple salad with dressing on the side, wraps and sandwiches with no or little sauce) so I have a general idea of the calories.

It's not that hard once you get the hang of it

09-06-2010, 08:23 PM
There are people that have a lot of success with intuitive eating and other non-calorie counting plans, but I am not one of them.

For whatever reason (personally I believe a lifetime of emotional eating) I don't process hunger/satiety signals like many people who have never been overweight. I simple can't depend on my body to tell me when I'm hungry and when I should stop eating. I have to depend on meticulous planning and calorie counting to do that for me.

I get that it sounds like a drag, and maybe it would be for a lot of people. But for me, the benefits - an average of 1-2 lbs lost per week, while eating anything I want to as long as I'm tracking it - far outweigh any hassle in entering things in on my calorie tracker.

Maintenance is still a long way off for me, but I expect to be counting calories more or less strictly my entire life. And I'm OK with that - having a plan I can live with forever is the only reason I've been this successful after 20 years of more or less permanent "dieting."

09-07-2010, 05:02 AM
I have tried calorie counting during the day and it gets hard to keep track of. I eat healthy and exercise and the weight seems to slowly be coming off.

I was just wondering: has anyone on here ever lost weight exercising and without calorie counting (but eating healthy and what-not)?

Eating healthy, watching myself, never worked. It was just too easy to overspend on calories and not create that calorie deficit that is needed in order to lose weight.

For me, calorie counting is a MUST. It keeps me in check. It's built in accountability and forced portion control.
It seems simple to me - now. I've got a calorie budget that I must keep to.

I wonder though, what gets hard to keep track of? Initially, you won't be familiar with calorie counts, but I think you will find after a few short weeks, you'll become a pro at it. But like anything new, it does take a while to get down pat. But really, eventually, it won't be hard at all.

And for me,nothing, absolutely nothing was as hard as being super morbidly obese!! It really is a matter of "choose your hard".

Any effort/work/time put towards getting to a healthy weight is effort, time, work very will used. :)

09-07-2010, 05:09 AM
I think if it works for you, that's cool. I ate healthy and exercised my whole life and ended up overweight (and stayed that way). I didn't lose a pound until I started calorie counting. I always got really annoyed at people who said all you had to do was eat healthy and exercise, as if I was eating potato chips and pop tarts all the time while lying around on the sofa. I got overweight on oat bread and orange juice and fruit yogurt, &%(! it, because I was always told those things were "healthy".

I still have never had a Pop Tart in my life. It is totally not fair.

09-07-2010, 07:27 PM
I think if it works for you, that's cool. I ate healthy and exercised my whole life and ended up overweight (and stayed that way).
I got overweight on oat bread and orange juice and fruit yogurt, &%(! it, because I was always told those things were "healthy".

This has been very true for me. I gained eating very "healthy", 1 plate, no sweets except on the weekend occasionally, no snacking. Of course, it wasn't healthy as I was fat and fat isn't healthy.

09-10-2010, 07:18 PM
I think not counting calories is fine, but if hit a big plateau in your weight loss then it might be time to take a better look at what you're eating, even if it's only for a few weeks.

09-11-2010, 06:08 PM
I don't tend to track calories because I get frustrated with the details, and then I tend to give up.

Instead, I focus on eating healthy and eating healthy portions. That's worked great so far.

I do track calories once in a while if I've hit a plateau in my weight - this helps me see if it's my diet that's causing me to not lose anymore. But in general, I don't do it.

09-13-2010, 12:12 PM
Thanks for all of your input guys. I really appreciate it.

I think what I will end up doing is watching my portions and keeping a mental note of what I eat. I mean, I do look at the calories, fat, etc. on the nutrition label before I eat things to get a general idea of what is going into my body. The only hard part of the calorie-counting is documenting it I guess. :/

If my weight plateaus, I will most likely begin counting calories.

I have another question though (sorry!). For my height and weight, I keep getting difference answers from different calorie calculators for how many calories I should be eating. Does anyone know what would be a good range for me? I am trying to lose weight at a rate of 1-1.5 pounds per week.

09-13-2010, 11:47 PM
Yes, I've lost weight 3 times in my life and never calorie counted. The first was going into HS (I stopped eating junk food and exercised more). The second was before my wedding (South Beach Diet) and now I'm working on losing my baby weight. But I work I run somewhere between 2-5 miles 5x a week and walk quite a bit (we don't own a car). I also have cut out ALL sugar/artificial sweeteners and eat only whole grains (make my own bread even). I basically try to make most of my food from scratch more or less so I know exactly what's going in it. I also only eat either fresh fruit or frozen fruit (just to make smoothies) so I don't go overboad with that either.

So far I've had pretty steady weight loss after cutting out sugar (that's really my biggest no-no). Sugar messed me up pretty bad and I wasn't able to tell when I felt full or not. Now that it's gone I've been eating a lot less and just don't feel hungry hardly at all anymore (and even if I am hungry I'm not CRAVING food).

I still have a long ways to go but calorie counting really doesn't work well for me. We travel internationally often so it's not like I'm eating the same foods all the time. In some countries you can't even get the calories on the package and I certainly don't have stuff to measure the amount when I'm traveling. Plus we have to eat out a lot for work too and I have a toddler to deal with. I'd rather teach my body to know when I'm full and also look at the cues from my body on how I react to foods. When I have pizza I feel much more sluggish the next day when I run and that definitely tells me something! I figure people have been losing weight for years way before nutrition became a science. :shrug:

09-17-2010, 04:10 PM
I think as long as you are making healthy choices the calorie counting is already being taken care of. If you are losing weight than it sounds like you are doing the right thing.

09-18-2010, 07:16 AM
I think the way you said you are going to do it is the best way to go. I'm currently on the No S diet and love it. You don't count calories at all on No S and eat three times a day (3 portion controlled plates no seconds or sweet or snacks, except sometimes on days that start with an S). Weightloss is meant to be slow on this lifestyle change, but it's so easy and effortless that I am okay with that. I've found snacking only makes me more hungry and the No S diet has allowed me to enjoy food and has brought my appetite back to normal. It's really about what's finding what is right for you. Some people need to count calories to do well. For others, counting is a hard habit to get into and doesn't fit their lifestyle for one reason or another and is a set-up for failure.

I agree with Runningfromfat. The way I see it and the way I read from the No S book, thin people in other countries don't count calories, nor did people have to count calories in America back when we were thin. So why would we have to now to be thin? I may start counting later down the road too, but just for a short while just to get an idea of how much I should be eating. Good luck!

09-18-2010, 07:55 AM
I calorie counted for a long time and that got me to 184 but no further. I realized that even though I was keeping track of my food and was eating a reasonable number of calories that a lot of my choices were still crap.

I stopped counting. I started eating only whole foods. I started eating ONLY when I was hungry. I stopped obsessing over eating too many calories or not eating enough and the weight started melting off again. I don't eat many carbs because they make me feel like absolute crap. I am learning the kinds of foods that my body likes and the kinds of things that make me feel tired and miserable.

So no, I don't count... and yes, it does work :).

10-01-2010, 05:38 AM

10-03-2010, 02:51 PM
What works for one person may not work for others. Weight loss is not 'one size fits all' (no pun intended).

Have you considered using food exchanges from Richard Simmons or the American Diabetic Assoc. I switch off using calories counting (every day living) and exchanges (when traveling)

I like to plan because then I don't have food/meal thoughts spinning around in my head. It's kind of a relief. It's decided - that's it. Do I ever change my plan? Yes, sometimes it happens.

11-16-2010, 09:10 PM
I don't calorie count. I might start once I get out on my own at the end of the month but I seem to be doing fine on my journey without worrying about counting calories. (The only thing I don't do is drink my calories). But I'm starting to think I should start counting because I think I'm eatting way below the min requirements for weight loss.