100 lb. Club - Losing weight without a diet?

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09-26-2010, 11:19 AM
Has anyone successfully lost weight without counting calories, measuring food or following a specific plan?

I've dieted before. I also know how human beings should eat. I know what made me fat. I know to avoid processed, sugary, white flour, high fat, foods. I know to avoid trans fats. I feed my kids organic, lots of fresh veggies and fruits....in other words I KNOW what I need to eat...I really do.

When I've dieted in the past, I've found that adding up calories, looking at calories, referring to lists, measuring, etc.....wears me out and I throw in the towel.

So, what if I just made a decision to eat only lean proteins, healthy fats (small amounts) and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, without all the hassle of calculations and counting? Just simply choosing healthy foods over unhealthy foods every time it's time to eat or plan my family's menu?

Can that be enough? Has anyone done this with success?

09-26-2010, 11:39 AM
My goal is to someday be able to eat without gaining weight, without having to measure and count. So far I have not found a way.

I tried an experiment in the last year to be more lax, since I "know" what I should be eating and I have experience in roughly how much a serving is of lots of foods. In spite of my "knowledge," I have gained weight during that experiment, and now I need to go back to tracking.

It's just too easy when not tracking in some way to overeat or to forget what you've eaten during a day. Those little miscalculations can add up. The errors are pretty much always on the plus side (overeating), and almost never on the minus side.

I figure that if I had been someone whose normal way of eating was to maintain, I wouldn't have become obese. Obviously, my natural tendency has been to overeat. I was not one who always ate fast food or junk food--I gained a lot of pounds eating good, wholesome, often organic foods. Just too much of them.

Your experience may be different. Maybe you can find a way of tracking that doesn't seem so burdensome to you.

Good luck!

AZ Sunrises
09-26-2010, 11:39 AM
Dependent upon how much you have to lose, you might be able to temporarily get by with it initially--been there done that. However, it reaches a point where you need to know how many calories you're eating. If you're eating fewer than you think, your body won't be happy. If you're eating more than you think, the scales won't be happy.

If you have an Android phone, the calorie counter app is one of the coolest gadgets I've found. :) It makes life much easier for me. Barcode scanner for days you have a pre-packaged meal. Calories for restaurant food is easily added. It also has an exercise tracker and weigh-in.

09-26-2010, 11:54 AM
I love the calorie counter app for the droid. It is synced with fatsecret so I can log on my phone or the computer. It takes only seconds to enter my food and I always have my phone with me.

Back to the original question.

I'd love to be able to not count, measure, track . . . but I can and have gained weight running 20 miles a week and eating a healthy whole foods vegetarian diet.

My "you've had just the right amount of fuel today" meter is broken. I do believe that for some folks that meter works just as accurately as the one that tells me to take off my sweater if I am warm or throw on a hat if I am cold. I'm just not one of them.

09-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Yes it is possible - but not for me in the long term.

I have lost a lot before through making conscious choices to eat less but better, and move more. I couldn't keep it up though, I need the framework of calorie planning and logging. Within that I have set up other healthy choices, so that I never end up in the situation of eating the right number of calories of the wrong kind of food.

I find the calorie counting less hassle than making daily conscious choices to eat healthily at every meal. I got really worn out with the "Do I Really want this? No but really?" questions every time.

If it fits in with my calorie/carb budget (and isn't a bunch of deep fried, sugar-coated lard) I eat it; if it isn't, I don't. Simples x.

but that's just me.

However you do it, Do it! and good luck!

09-26-2010, 12:19 PM
When I first started out I went with the Core plan with weight watchers that basically gave me a list of what I could and could not eat but I also had to judge my hunger signals. I lost 60 pounds doing that. I slacked a little and maintained for a couple of weeks & then decided I needed a bit more so I started to count points along with it. That went great :) I lost pretty much the rest of my weight with that & when I got closer to my goal I'd switch back & forth from counting calories, points & not counting.

The not counting anything (just eating healthy & trying to judge) were the weeks I gained.
I can not eyeball portions is my conclusion :lol:

I think this whole process has to be gone through with an open mind. :)

09-26-2010, 12:20 PM
I think you should try it and see how it goes. Maybe put a three week time limit on it? Then write down your results. I would highly recommend taking up a regular exercise program 1 hour a day (like jogging, pilates, etc)

I think the human problem is, we tend to grossly overestimate how much we should be eating. If you don't want to count calories forever, what if you put another "limit" on your food? For example, count your bites: 5 bites of lean protein, 7 bites of carbs.... etc. Eating healthy, exercising, and counting bites could do the work of researching and counting calories for individual foods.

If there is a will, then there is a way. But you will still need a tighter, more well-thought out plan. You will have to be your own scientist. Our bodies want to carry extra weight, its never easy to lose.

Loving Me
09-26-2010, 12:22 PM
I've lost 118lbs in 14 months without following a specific plan as you put it, but really it is my plan.
I gained all the weight originally because I was an emotional binge eater and ate way too much of the wrong foods and took no exercise.
14 months ago I decided enough was enough, so I cut out all the in between meal eating except for fruit and vegetables, and joined the gym. And I also cut down the portion size of my meals.
So no eating between meals and smaller portions, combined with going to the gym 4/6 days a week for 45-90 minutes each session. The weight has come off consistently throughout my journey, on average 2lb a week.
More recently I've also been looking at the meals I eat and seeing how I can make them healthier, ie lower fat etc. I've also started trying to add in any exercise I can during the day so walking a little further, going up and downstairs several times to take something up or go get something rather than waiting and doing it all in one trip.
I feel for me that I have learned the way I want to live for the rest of my life, eating what I call normally. I have never cut out anything completely, if I want something I plan for it and enjoy it thoroughly but in a much smaller portion than I used to. I am still and know I always will be an emotional eater and have been known to have the odd mini binge still, but they are about 10% of what I used to eat on a daily basis, and all the exercise I do (and enjoy doing) helps to counteract those.
I did think when I began that at some point I'd have to start following a specific plan like WW or calorie counting etc, but I don't know whether it's luck or just that this is the way my body wants me to live, the weight is still coming off albeit slower now, and I truly believe that I will get to goal and continue into maintenance this way for the rest of my life.

09-26-2010, 12:31 PM
Thanks so much for the input everybody.

I think I will probably try it. At least for a trial period. I will review information about how to eyeball appropriate portion sizes, only eat veggies and fruits for snacks and exercise more. If that doesn't work then I'll at least be used to eating healthy foods and I can begin counting calories to see where I need to cut back.

09-26-2010, 12:37 PM
It seldom works in the long run. Some type of portion control - usually weighing and measuring - is necessary or those portions get out of control. Contrary to popular believe, those healthy foods do make you fat if you eat too much of them. A calorie is a calorie and our body can only burn so many in a day. The National Weight Loss Registery lists keeping a food journal and daily weighing in the must dos to keep weight off permanently.

09-26-2010, 12:43 PM
I have done it. I did it and then maintained for 6 years. I only gained because I was pregnant.

It CAN be done - but it depends on the personality. My original gain was due to ignorance generally (I truly didn't realize my lunch,a Wendys salad, was a daily calorie intake), so once I understood real portion sizes, I was able to do it. If you struggle with emotional eating or any other kind of major challenge like that, it can be very difficult and is not likely the plan for you. If you cannot cope with just a little hunger (very common but okay and normal when losing fat), it may not be for you.

There is only one way to really find out, and that is to give it a chance.

09-26-2010, 01:14 PM
YES absolutely. It is finally what worked for me. I actually saw Paul McKenna's "I Can Make You Thin" program on TLC and then bought his book. It focuses completely on listening to your body and eating naturally. He studied the habits of naturally thin people and what made them different from overweight people, and when I finally stopped counting calories and points, the stress that was lifted off me was amazing. I feel free and the weight has been coming off.

I do read labels though, mostly to know what a portion size is. Growing up in a world where a portion of cereal is a "bowl full" has made for a lot of re-learning on my part. Who knew a portion of cereal was usually 3/4c? LOL

09-26-2010, 02:08 PM
I lost quite a bit of weight a few years ago doing intuitive eating. You can google a book called the overfed head. There is also a thread here on 3fatchicks. What I did was I learned what was in the foods I was eating (calories, high fructose corn syrup, carbs) and basically stuck to foods I considered good for me.

My fiance got deployed to iraq and then we broke up so I fell off the wagon, but IE it worked for me.

katy trail
09-26-2010, 02:43 PM
i dont count,measure my food. if its something that has a lot of cals/fat i try to limit it, like 1 oz of cheese is like 3 dice. vs i would want to eat the whole plate. even if its a whole plate of broccoli, not good idea. but i dont worry about portoons for produce much. just try not to eat it all in 1 day. so i'll limit to 1 peice of fruit. 1 whole carrot etc.
like you, i dont eat alot of fast food processed stuff. alot of the time i just ate good stuff and went over board.
so i drastically reduced my portions. on a good day i only eat 3 or 4 times. too frequent meals and i start just eating all the time. now i eat when i'm hungry and stop when i'm full the best i can.
i focus on getting in enough activity. you can track how often, duration, intensity, cal burned. when i have a good w/o dont want to over eat to undo w/o.
also, sometimes when you count cal in food its a neg thought process. like, oh i only can have this many cal for dinner.
but cal burned is always positive. feel proud got it done, and if you did it even more min or intensity the number just feel better about it. thinking about food makes me want to eat more. thinking about exercise makes me want to exercise more. make sense? we always want more.
i also joined the no binging challenge. chicks in control forum. and i check in on a diff board, my exercise. being accountable to real people seems to be more effective.
i also do daily weigh ins, but only officially wi a few times a wk. sometimes 1/wk.

09-26-2010, 02:49 PM
I tried the method of just eating clean and it did not work for me. I started out by strictly counting calories and now I'm a really bad calorie counter. ;) But I've found something that really works for me.

I started out strictly counting six mini meals of 200 calories each. I never had to count higher than 200 and I did NOT journal. That was quite simple for me and very doable.

Now I still follow that principal, but I do not measure things. I eyeball it and have a really good idea of how many calories are in the things I eat. When in doubt, I over estimate.

I was recently guilty of calorie creep so I went back to measuring a few things and realized my portion sizes were getting larger. I got myself quickly back on track and am moving forward.

So for me, I had to be strict in the beginning. I had to learn about PORTION CONTROL along with the clean eating.

09-26-2010, 03:27 PM
In the book "Water with Lemon" which I just finished and really recommend the authors actually say you can lose weight without any counting or measuring. The book talks about 8 simple habits that are guaranteed to get you the success you want.

The habits are:
1. Drink water
2. Include Breakfast
3. Eat Often
4. Tame your sweet tooth
5. Find the fat
6. Replace processed, chemically enhanced foods for wholesome close-to-the-farm foods
7. Eat only until you are no longer hungry
8. Everyone once in a while, when the urge or circumstance dictates, it's all right to eat outside the guidleines of the other habits.

Now, I completely agree with the reasoning behind the eight habits, but I'm no where close to not counting and measuring. I have to have that accountability. Someday I sure hope to not have to enter everything into Fitday and just eat like a thin person. But I don't know if that day will ever come since I haven't ever seen me as a thin person.

09-26-2010, 03:31 PM
I don't consider counting calories a diet. To me the idea of a diet is something you do for a few months to lose those few pounds then stop.

While I think in the future when I hit my goals I won't have to be as careful or planned out. Even counting calories for a short time you begin to be able to tell about what calories are in things and serving sizes.

It isn't just about losing weight but making real changes that I can live with forever. I think for the rest of my life I want to know what is going in my body. What I am putting in it and why.

But I don't think we can lose weight -long term and keep it off, just not paying any attention at all. There has to be some idea about what is going in and what is going on inside.

I have found in the past my biggest problem would be saying I will lose weight starting today without any plan or ideas. So I would just be trying to choose healthy options. Half the time those healthy options were not as healthy as I thought. I would end up missing meals or eating more on some days then I should not even realizing it. And it was horrid.

It is all about those numbers calories in and calories burned.

But that being said I think some people need less structure then others. I need a ton. If I don't plan everything I won't stay on track. I need them guardrails lol I think others can be much more open and loose. It just all depends on what works for you.

I think you could if you paid attention to serving sizes really well and chose healthier options but I think sometimes I would still have to look up calories on some stuff to make sure it is as ok as I thought it was.

09-26-2010, 03:34 PM
Low-carb, non-counting diets can work, and they can work in the long run. There are quite a few people here who've reached and sustained maintenance on them.

Calories count, but it doesn't mean you have to count them (it also doesn't mean that you don't). A lot of people have success with low-carb or "good" carb diets. For me to succeed on a non-counting diet I have to completely give up grains, starches, and even natural sugars. So essentially no fruit, no grains, no starchy veggies.

I was able to lose weight on South Beach but only for a few weeks, because I tended to overeat "good carbs" like whole grains and fruit, nearly as badly as I did "bad carbs." I want to be able to include fruit, even some of the high sugar ones that are discouraged in low-carb diets such as pineapple, so counting is necessary. If I don't count, I can eat hundreds of calories in fresh fruit alone.

Try anything you want to, and stick with what works for you. You may have to do at least some counting or portion control. I can get away without limiting nonstarchy vegetables, but everything else I seem to need to count in some way.

If it doesn't work, or if it stops working you can always try something else. It's entirely untrue that you have to "stick with one plan" for your weight loss and maintenance, you just have to "stick with something." I've lost my 85 lbs on at least four distinct food plans (more if you count all of the minor "tweaks" as new diet).

In my opinion and experience, no-counting plans do tend to be much slower than counting plans (with the exception of extremely low-carb plans), but rapid weight loss isn't everything.

Don't be afraid to experiment, just be ready to learn and adapt your strategies to what you find helpful. Which is why a food journal is so helpful. Even if you don't "count" what you write down, writing it down gives you a record to look for patterns and problems. Through my food journal, I learned that bread was causing among other things, skin problems. I never made the association because I had eaten bread almost every day of my life for as long as I can remember.

Different people really do have different keys to success. Some people have to start strict and can be less restrictive later. Other people have to start with small changes and work up from there. Some people do best on non-counting plans, even if that means eliminating some foods completely from the diet. Other people need to be able to include high-calorie, high-carb treats - and counting allows them to do that.

There is no "right" answer, just "right for you" answers. No experiment is a failure (because it gives you information - even if only information on what not to do next time). Only giving up is failure, everything else is learning which will get you where you want to be.

soleil levant
09-26-2010, 04:50 PM
I have done it. I did it and then maintained for 6 years. I only gained because I was pregnant.

It CAN be done - but it depends on the personality. My original gain was due to ignorance generally (I truly didn't realize my lunch,a Wendys salad, was a daily calorie intake), so once I understood real portion sizes, I was able to do it. If you struggle with emotional eating or any other kind of major challenge like that, it can be very difficult and is not likely the plan for you. If you cannot cope with just a little hunger (very common but okay and normal when losing fat), it may not be for you.

There is only one way to really find out, and that is to give it a chance.

I am doing this starting tomorrow. Eating 5 times a day and calorie counting works for so many people but it doesn't for me. I think my problem is that I set too many rules for myself. I MUST eat every three hours, I MUST measure out everything, I MUST exercise no less han one hour a day, etc. It got to a point where it all just didn't seem worth it. It was too restrictive and not enjoyable anymore. What if I'm just not hungry every three hours. What if it's more satisfying for me to eat whenever I'm actually hungry and LEARN self control? That's my problem in the first place. Grazing throughout the day.

Of course, it's true that this will only work if you know your portion sizes and known when to stop. I dont know if eating intuitively is for me. But I'm going to make an honest effort for a while and listen to my hunger cues and signals.

09-26-2010, 05:19 PM
I was close to 300 lbs at a mere 5 foot nothing.... I NEEDED/still need forced portion control.. and the only thing that could do that (short of having all foods cooked, pre-portioned and served to me) is calorie counting.

When I finally woke up and realized what I was doing to myself and that I did have the ability to change it, I was fearful for my life - and I was done taking chances... and I knew calorie counting was the only thing that would ensure I wasn't over feeding myself.

So, I eat those healthy foods that you spoke of, but since I could still overfeed myself, take in more calories than need be and not create a calorie deficit, I combine it with calorie counting.

I definitely don't think of counting calories as *dieting*. I think of it as eating maturely, responsibly and carefully.

My thinking is why guess with something so vital, when you can know for sure? Why make it harder than need be?? :shrug:

It time is not of the essence, and for me it was, you can experiment and see how it goes...

09-26-2010, 06:23 PM
There is no "right" answer, just "right for you" answers. No experiment is a failure (because it gives you information - even if only information on what not to do next time). Only giving up is failure, everything else is learning which will get you where you want to be.

I definitely agree with kaplods here. I know there are some people who can lose or maintain weight by intuitive eating, but I don't think I'm one of them.

When I was younger, the idea of "being on a diet for the rest of my life" was very depressing. Now, at 48, I've been counting calories for 21 months, and it honestly doesn't feel like a burden. (FWIW, I don't keep a food journal--I keep a running total in my head.) But I still don't think I have a natural sense of how much I "should" be eating.

As kaplods said, if something doesn't work for you, might as well chalk it up as a learning experience. I learned that I can't tolerate a low-fat, high-carb diet. That and some other lessons have helped me to fashion a lifestyle that seems to work for me.

Best of luck!

Arctic Mama
09-26-2010, 08:44 PM
Honestly, on communities like this where most of us have been struggling with overeating/poor food quality/food addictions for years and years, intuitive eating often does not 'work'. Someone who has gained more than 100 pounds or continually struggled with yo yo dieting usually has underlying food issues to deal with, oftentimes ones that can't ever be solved but merely managed by a number of different techniques. I speak as one of these people!

If intuitive eating worked so well for most of us, it begs the question of how our eating BEFORE choosing to lose weight was so horrifically bad or out of control that we got to this point to begin with. Our intuition seems to be to overeat, and therefore some additional measures need to be in place for success.

This is NOT true for everyone, some people do fabulously with intuitive eating, even ones who have been obese for years, but for most of us a more structured approach that is slow and steady is the key to long term success and no significant creep or regains.

I personally combine intuitive eating with calorie counting and daily weighing. I don't highly structure my food but I must keep track of the overall calorie counts and what the scale is doing. I spent too many years failing on my own with this to be able to do without these measures. For me, it is like glasses - my eyes have problems and I need glasses to correct it, short of surgery they will not get better on its' own, and taking the glasses off won't make that change.

The same is true with my eating - I have a problem with controlling my calorie intake, and I need to use corrective measures to manage my weight at a healthy level. Short of surgery, my overeating problems will not go away, and not dieting won't solve that! So my food journalling and weight logging is kind of like glasses for my stomach, so to speak. It is just a thing I do to be healthier and manage an aspect of myself that doesn't function as ideally as it should. I can't live like there is no problem with my eating, ignoring it won't make it true. For me, this is just one of those things that I will have to manage for life, unless I have surgery to correct it, my body and mind simply do not regulate food like they should.

Intuitive eating works for some, but most on here are more like me - we CAN beat our weight issues with small, sensible changes and a few precautions against regain (be it avoiding carbs or trigger foods, limiting calorie intake, doing a certaint type of exercise, whatever), but very few of us can just 'try and make sensible changes' and lose all our excess weight. We can oftentimes lose a LOT of it that way, but after being obese maintenance of lower weights or even achieving those lower weights is a different matter than it is for someone who has never been obese. Our bodies do not function the same way anymore.

Sorry, I hope this makes sense or helps. You have to find what works for you, and that is different for every person! But intuitive eating is usually not, alone, enough for most people to really gain control of their weight.

The good news is that you have the rest of your life, plenty pf time, to try out any number of different approaches. It is certainly not unhealthy to try and stick with sensible, intuitive eating! You are your own science experiment, so give it a shot and see if it works for you. Don't be terribly disappointed if it does not, but you may be one of those fortunate people who find that a little mindfulness and healthy eating goes a LONG way in rectifying their weight gains.

09-26-2010, 10:17 PM
Wow, so many thoughtful responses. Thank you all for taking the time to share stories and give advice. I really appreciate it.

So many valid points, especially the one about how we (on this board) wouldn't be here if we knew how to intuitively eat. That makes so much sense. With emotional eating or any other issue that overweight women suffer from, it makes sense to assume that if we could we would....but I'm not talking about eating large amounts of healthy foods, just normal recommended portion sizes.

I'm going to go ahead and try it, because I do know appropriate portion sizes and I also knew every single time I ate crap, that I was killing myself. It's not like I didn't know better. I did know better, I just didn't care that I was getting so fat. Now I do care so I'll do better and just stop eating large amounts of food and avoid junk.

What do you all think of what I ate today-

2 eggs with a handful of fresh spinach thrown in, 2 cups of coffee with a tsp sugar free sweetener and a splash of milk each. (breakfast)
huge bowl of fresh spinach with a can of tuna dumped on top (no dressing) (lunch)
2 ritz crackers with about a teaspoon of smoked salmon on top (snack)
1.5 cups turkey chili made with ground turkey, zucchini, garbanzo beans, salsa and seasonings (dinner)

previously my Sunday would look like this-

pile of pancakes
Indian buffet for lunch, with like 3 trips to refill my plate
roast with potatoes and carrots for dinner- super large servings and eating til I'm stuffed
peach cobbler with ice cream for dessert- have a human sized portion with my family then chow down some more while husband puts kids to bed.

I am grossed out just thinking about all that food.

So, without counting calories or measuring food I think I did pretty good compared to how I was eating before and I didn't have to obsess over numbers or measuring. I just cannot believe that eating small amounts of healthy foods can maintain the weight that we previously maintained by stuffing my face full of sugar and fat. It just doesn't make sense that it won't work, but I trust the experience of others who have tried this so I'm going into it, knowing it may not work and I may need to switch to calorie counting in a few weeks.

09-26-2010, 10:43 PM
I also am not following a specific plan. I've made my own plan (no sugar/artificial sweeteners, pick foods with as few ingredients as possible i.e. basically make everything from scratch, use almost only whole wheat instead of white grain products). We also only eat out maybe once or twice a week and that's always either a sandwich or Japanese food (we normally go there to get fish so we don't stink up the apt making it :p).

So many valid points, especially the one about how we (on this board) wouldn't be here if we knew how to intuitively eat. That makes so much sense. With emotional eating or any other issue that overweight women suffer from, it makes sense to assume that if we could we would....but I'm not talking about eating large amounts of healthy foods, just normal recommended portion sizes.

Hmm... yes and no. I gained my weight due to pregnancy. NOBODY forced me to overeat during pregnancy but I can tell you right now it was sweets that put me at my starting weight. For me I just have never struggled much with anything else. Oh, I love pizza but once I started making my own thin, whole-wheat crusts and using high quality mozzarella (but not putting a lot on) my pizzas tasted much better and were not nearly as bad for me as ordering pizza hut.

Fat me used to finish up a whole bag of chocolate chips in 2 days!!! Now I don't have chocolate and maybe bake something sweet once a week using natural sweeteners (ok, I should really cut that out too, working on it...). I also workout A LOT. Normally 5x per week...

Good luck and definitely try it first, if it doesn'T work change. I took me awhile to figure out what worked.

ETA: One big reason why I'm not counting calories, now, though is because I'm still nursing and I don't want my milk supply to dry up due to lack of calories.

Oh, and I still eat pancakes but they are whole wheat. I grind up an apple inside and add cinnamon and leave off the butter/syrup.

Arctic Mama
09-26-2010, 10:53 PM
I think your day looks absolutely fine - the question is, how do you feel? Are you fighting any hunger? For me, that would not be enough bulk (food) to make me feel satisfied, which would set me up to binge later in the evening or a few days down the road? If you are not hungry on that food amount then your nutritional breakdown is good. I'd add in two more servings of veggies and a serving of fruit or dairy, as I think you are low on calcium and some vitamins you'll be getting from more fresh (and cooked) produce.

Other than that, it is a solid start with lot a of protein. Good job :)

09-26-2010, 11:04 PM
. I just cannot believe that eating small amounts of healthy foods can maintain the weight that we previously maintained by stuffing my face full of sugar and fat. It just doesn't make sense that it won't work, but I trust the experience of others who have tried this so I'm going into it, knowing it may not work and I may need to switch to calorie counting in a few weeks.

Though you are eating less than before, sometimes it's STILL not enough to create a calorie deficit. That calorie deficit is what's needed to lose weight.

The idea being - you burn a certain amount of calories a day living, breathing, functioning, etc. Calories is our fuel that allows us to do that. You need to take in the same amount of calories that you burn, so that you can perform these tasks. But you don't. You take in LESS than that. But you're still functioning. Where did those calories (energy) come from? Your body is forced to turn to your stored fat and use that for it's energy, thus creating a calorie deficit, thus losing the weight.

So yes, it's possible to eat waaaay less than before and not create that all important calorie deficit.

By the way, according to what you ate today, and I can't tell for sure, it looks like that won't be the issue here. It could be that you are actually cheating yourself by not counting calories. You most likely could eat MORE calories (food) and create that calorie deficit that I just spoke of.

I'm glad to hear that you have an open mind and are not totally opposed to counting calories down the road if need be.

Keep us updated. We want to know how your little experiment goes. :)

09-26-2010, 11:19 PM
Again...thanks so much for talking through this with me. This is like therapy and I can't share this with my husband, so it helps to have you all helping me through.

I am not hungry but not stuffed and that in between feeling is odd for me. I also had a serving of chobani greek yogurt a few minutes ago as a treat.

I think I'll keep a food blog here on 3fc with a rundown of my eating for the day, but not precise amounts. If I happen to know the exact serving size or calorie amount- fine, but otherwise I will just eat the way I think a fit person eats and see if that helps. I'll do daily weigh ins too, starting tomorrow morning. It will be interesting to see how this works for me.

09-27-2010, 03:46 AM
"Glasses for the stomach" - I like that!

The analogy also reminds of a woman I knew many years ago who (I guess when she reached about my age/state of menopause) was diagnosed with a mental health condition that required medication. She had a good doctor, she wasn't over-medicated but every time she began to feel better, she stopped taking the tablets. She was angry that this was a whole-life thing, she felt disappointment with herself that she couldn't heal herself without tablets; but she couldn't and, eventually, she learned to accept the medical help. That's kind of how calorie counting is for me. I Have lost weight by eating intuitively, in terms of content and portion size + exercise ~ but I could not, could not maintain it. I need the regime, the way this lady needed her tablets. When I get to goal/maintenance, please! Somebody remind me I said this!

Edited to add: not intending to condemn I.E. ~ I just can't do it!

09-27-2010, 07:58 AM
I think what you're doing is a good way to start. I hope you have success with it!

One of the reasons I like measuring foods (cups, Tablespoons, ounces) is that it has helped me to see what a "normal portion size" really might be. It's good to keep in mind that a "serving" on a package is somewhat arbitrary. So, for example, I find that for me, 1/2 measured cup of cooked rice is a serving. The serving size on most salad dressings is 2 Tablespoons--but sometimes I don't need that much. I certainly don't need what the ads on TV show--someone pouring ranch dressing right out of the bottle onto a bowl of greens. :eek:

I'll be looking forward to your reports!


09-27-2010, 01:11 PM
This has been my plan also - in essence, "don't be a pig." After several disciplined rounds of weight loss in the past, I know what healthy foods are and I know what sensible portions are. So I just ("just" ;)) apply discipline and self-control in those areas, making appropriate food choices and not over-eating.

I do count calories for a few days every month or so, just as a reality check, to help make sure my portions don't creep or that I'm not deluding myself about how many treats I can fit into a day. But that's all, just a few days a month to keep myself on track - the rest is just applying my brain and my will to not being a pig.

The upside is that it's not an all-or-nothing approach - I don't have to stress out if I can't estimate calories in something I eat in a restaurant, or worry if I can't get to my computer right away to record everything accurately.

I'm having great success - have a look at my stats - but it's not going to win any races. It's taken me a smidge over a year to lose 50 pounds. But, that's 50 pounds gone for good, without too much sturm und drang, without too much obsessing, without too much "dieting" - just not being a pig, eating food, eating less, and exercising more. I think it's working for me. :)

09-28-2010, 06:42 AM
Everyone has to find what works for them. I don't do well with rules either, because I can easily become obsessed with whether or not I did it "right." I don't count calories. I don't measure and weigh. I don't have any hard and fast rules. But I'm working on eliminating unhealthy foods and making a point to eat nutrient-rich foods, i.e., fruits and vegetables. Some days I make better choices than others. But I'm getting there.

09-28-2010, 08:10 AM
I started my blog if any of you want to follow. So far it's not much though-