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Does counting calories really work?

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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Question Does counting calories really work?

Hello! I am really trying to lose weight and have deicded to try something that I have never tried before- counting calories. Does it really work? Does it take a long time to see any results? I have tried low carb and they talk about how much weight you will lose in a few weeks and how fast you see results. It didnt work for me, and while I realize that calorie counting may take a while to see the results, does it work and how long does it take to start seeing it work? Was it hard to start doing? Are you always hungry? Id greatly appreciate any advice/thoughts/opinions anyone has to offer. Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:40 PM   #2
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Well, so far it has worked for me!

I started losing weight straight away but it has been about 1lb per week which I consider to be slow but it is working! I didn't really "see" any difference until I compared pics from months ago but people started noticing after about 3 months.
It hasn't been hard to start doing either. I use fitday.com to count my calories so perhaps you would find a calorie counting web site useful.
I am never hungry and I never go without anything. I have learned through calorie counting that I must watch portions but if I want a little treat now and again I can have it.

You say you have tried low carb, did you try a specific plan?

I lost a lot of weight on Atkins very quickly but I gained it all back and then some because it didn't teach me about nutrition or portion control. It works for some, but it wasn't for me.
So, give calorie counting a go if you like. You've got nothing to lose!
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:03 AM   #3
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I did Weight Watchers until recently (You can find my posts about financial troubles and not being able to deal with WW)-- and about a month ago I switched to Calorie Counting-- I'm now a total convert!
My body (as I know from YEARS of yoyo-dieting) loses a ton for a couple weeks, then nothing (or gains) for a couple weeks, then starts the cycle over-- And the losses have been bigger (for me), but the "plateaus" are lengthier.

I LOVE Calorie Counting because it's the first time I don't feel restricted... I'm using thedailyplate.com and I really like it. They have the most obscure options for fitness (I'm an Irish Dancer and they have it in their database!). Basically, for me, it's worked fabulously, and I would HIGHLY suggest using a website because it does the math for you

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:10 AM   #4
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Yes! It really does. Since January 3rd to now, I've gone from 210 lbs to 183 lbs from calorie counting, and I'm still going strong.

In fact, calorie counting is so effective, that almost all diet plans are based off of it. Low carb diets, for instance? Naturally, by taking in lower carbs, you end up with lower calories as well. Except the problem with that is that those diets can become too abstract, which leads to problems...

Weight loss, when it all comes down to it, simply only depends on a calorie deficit over an extended period of time. Eat less than what you burn and you've got weight loss. By calorie counting, you can directly control how much you eat to assure weight loss. It's straight to the point, and best of all, it's free.

The key to calorie counting is to set the amount of calories you want to be at every day and then get as MUCH food as possible out of that amount. The trick to this is simple: eat lots of healthy, low calorie foods. This way, you can fill up on tons of fruits and veggies and still stay in a low calorie range and lose weight. If you do it right, you'll definitely won't be hungry all the time. I surely am not.

It also definitely is not hard to start to do. I started by logging everything I ate on www.fitday.com, and to make sure I was exactly on plan, I planned out my whole day's meals the night before. At first, it did take a little time, but now that I've got the hang of it and have remembered the calorie counts for many things, I do it as I go along these days.

If you do choose to start calorie counting, I recommend FitDay but you can also go to www.thedailyplate.com. I hear that the Daily Plate has many more foods in their database than FitDay.

Hope I helped
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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chelle
I pretty much calorie count. I stay generally within ranges I have set for myself. 1200 to 1400 calories. 30 to 35 grams fat and 180 to 210 grams carbs. I lose about 1 pound a week which isn't slow at all. 1 to 2 pounds a week is considered safe consistent weight loss. Of course the more a person has to lose maybe the more they will lose at one time. I am never hungry. I eat about 6 to 8 times a day. It takes a lot of eating to get the required amounts of the four basic food groups in. fit day has been a real help for me. Not only ( after I put my own foods and own amounts in for those foods ) does fit day show me how much of everything I am taking in. I set up my menu for tomorrow tonight and I can see what I haven't eaten yet. I really think the success that I am having losing weight is getting those required amounts of the four basic food groups in and staying within some general ranges I have set for myself. I don't really bother with how much I have burnt off with exercise. For me, exercise is something that is good for the body and has very little to do with what I eat. I also don't do without a thing. I have a can of mountain dew a couple of times a week and can always have a yummy every night if I want one. For me, if I don't have the fat left over, if I don't have the carbs or calories left over, then I can't have the yummy. It really is about commitment. We get out of this what we put into it.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:14 AM   #6
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Calorie counting ROCKS!

When I started I lost 8 lbs the first week (mostly water probably) and then I steadily lost 1-2 lbs per week after that. I wouldn't worry about it not coming off fast enough. Studies have shown that if you take it off slowly it's more likely to stay off.

I also try to eat mainly whole foods, which works great with calorie counting. Because most of the foods I eat are high in fiber and low cal I eat quite a lot of food. I try to eat every 3-4 hours as well, so I'm rarely hungry. I'm in maintenance mode now, but when I was losing I didn't go under 1500 calories (at least not very often.)

The greatest thing about calorie counting is that if you want to eat something "junky" and it fits in your calories, then it's not cheating. I don't like to be told what I can and can't eat, so it worked well for me.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layri View Post
Yes! It really does. Since January 3rd to now, I've gone from 210 lbs to 183 lbs from calorie counting, and I'm still going strong.

In fact, calorie counting is so effective, that almost all diet plans are based off of it. Low carb diets, for instance? Naturally, by taking in lower carbs, you end up with lower calories as well. Except the problem with that is that those diets can become too abstract, which leads to problems...

Weight loss, when it all comes down to it, simply only depends on a calorie deficit over an extended period of time. Eat less than what you burn and you've got weight loss. By calorie counting, you can directly control how much you eat to assure weight loss. It's straight to the point, and best of all, it's free.

The key to calorie counting is to set the amount of calories you want to be at every day and then get as MUCH food as possible out of that amount. The trick to this is simple: eat lots of healthy, low calorie foods. This way, you can fill up on tons of fruits and veggies and still stay in a low calorie range and lose weight. If you do it right, you'll definitely won't be hungry all the time. I surely am not.

It also definitely is not hard to start to do. I started by logging everything I ate on www.fitday.com, and to make sure I was exactly on plan, I planned out my whole day's meals the night before. At first, it did take a little time, but now that I've got the hang of it and have remembered the calorie counts for many things, I do it as I go along these days.

If you do choose to start calorie counting, I recommend FitDay but you can also go to www.thedailyplate.com. I hear that the Daily Plate has many more foods in their database than FitDay.

Hope I helped



I just signed up to the daily plate, thanks to you! Already I am noticing more foods there that are available on Fitday. Thanks so much

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Old 03-26-2008, 12:51 AM   #8
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One thing I love about calorie counting is it is something you can do for the rest of your life!
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:04 AM   #9
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I use fitday.
I've found that tracking calories has taught me sooo much about the nutritional content of foods.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:26 AM   #10
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I think Calorie counting is a great way to go! It may feel like it takes a lot of time for the first few days, but it gets faster.
I like this website:
http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
If you put in your info and then click "calculate", you will have a good place to start on how many calories you should be getting a day. Then click "7 day cycle" to get an idea of how to shift your calories around a bit to trick your metabolism into not adjusting to the lower level of calories. It explains what this means if you keep reading.
You can do it! Just don't give up!
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:08 AM   #11
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It does work! It will take some time to find what works for you, because what works for one may not work for the next person!

I have tried Atkins in the past, lost for a week or 2 then it stopped, I felt tired and worn out all the time! I hated that I couldn't have dessert but I could have all the fattening bacon I wanted... now how in the heck was that gonna work???

I now count my calories, kinda keep an eye on my fats and try to choose better carbs. I also try to make sure to exercise for 30 minutes or more a day.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:11 AM   #12
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I am a dedicated calorie counter. I am at goal and still counting calories to maintain my loss. I averaged 1-2 pounds loss per week while losing.
it is not difficult, it does mean planning ahead, but it was because I didn't plan that I was overweight. in addition to all the benefits already mentioned , it is free.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:22 AM   #13
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I love calorie counting I have tried lots of things before and never had results like this I have lost 32lbs since january 2nd ( 10 other lbs were froma month a calorie counting last year and then I fell off the wagon :S) I lsot 8lbs the first week and then about 5-6 for the next couple now I am down to 2lbs a week but I figured it out and I should be my goal weight (losign 2lbs per week) by august...thats fine with me. I spent years being fat so 8 months to be fit and skinny NO PROBLEM!!!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:34 AM   #14
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I have lost seven pounds within about a month by tracking my calories. I think it is definitely the way to go!
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:52 AM   #15
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Yes, it works and works well. I have lost 40 pounds and have been maintaining for over a year now. I didn't start using FitDay intending to lose weight, I started it to find out why I was gaining. After I saw the calorie count of my very first meal entered, I have paid a lot of attention to what I eat. I also exercise a lot more so I can eat a lot more. I am tons healthier now than I used to be and wouldn't trade it for anything.

I binge when I don't count calories so I know that I will have to do it for the rest of my life. Thank goodness sites like FitDay make it so easy. It seems hard at first, but soon it will be as natural as brushing your teeth. You'll do it without even thinking about it.

I have only been reading for a few days, but I have noticed that almost all of the folks over on the maintainers board are calorie counters.

The best thing about calorie counting is that you can eat anything that you want to. You just can't eat as much of it as you want to.

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