carrots, strawberries, apples? Gotta count and measure.
I'm constantly amazed at the calories in fruit, especially. I bet I get 400-600 cals/day from fruit. That's a lot to not be counted!
I agree! I estimate a bowl of salad greens as 40 calories but the rest needs to be measured for myself. One banana can be close to 100 calories on its own. I probably eat 300-400+ calories from fresh produce. That amount would be the difference between losing and maintaining. I think it is more important to keep a closer eye on these things as we have less and less to loose
Failure is only a fact when you give up. Everyone gets knocked down, the question is: Will you get back up?
The Weight Watchers plan in Europe has allowed "free" fruits and vegetables and the plan will be introduced in the U.S. for the new year. Apparently, it has been very successful there, that is why the Weight Watchers plan will be revamped, and they're introducing that same plan to North America, Canada.
I too have the Mayo Clinic Diet book. No way will I ever count fruits and vegetables (except for starchy vegetables and fatty fruit like avocado). They help me lose weight. But I do count everything else. Personally, I feel that a diet plan that makes me count everything is just too restrictive to stick to over the long haul.
I don't find anything restrictive about counting everything. but I don't find it restrictive to write every check I write into my checkbook register either.
I can eat a whole watermelon by myself in two days. That's a lot not to count. Counting and documenting isn't punishment for eating, it's simply documenting what I eat so I can learn what works best for me.
I don't see my food plan as "restrictive" in the sense that I'm constantly aware that I can choose to stick to my plan or to deviate from it. Just as I always have the choice to spend the rent money on shoes, budgeting gives me the freedom to spend my money in the way that I get the most benefit, and my food budget is the same. Deviations from the budget are always an option - and not always a terrible thing, but I find that having a budget (even one I occasionally deviate from) works better than not having the budget.
I do tend to view my fruit and vegetable exchanges a little differently than the other exchanges however. I consider most of my other exchanges firmer limits. If I've spent all of my exchanges and am still hungry, hungry enough to go "over budget" I'm going to reach for veggies (ideally) or even fruit.
It's not any different than having a financial budget. Some folks stick rigidly to a budget. Some people have no budget at all, and just wing it, and some people have a flexible budget.
Budget whichever way you find most effective and most comfortable (sometimes you can't have both and you have to compromise somewhere in the middle).
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I can understand not counting items like salad greens and non-starcy vegetables. But I would caution against not counting things like potatoes, bananas, avocados, etc.
Before I got lazy and took a (eep!) month long vacation from my health, I was steadily losing 2-3 lbs a week by counting everything except non-starchy fresh fruits and veggies. What works for me is allowing something like a serving of baby carrots to be a 'free' snack. If I can eat my carrots in the afternoon and not count it against my calories, then I am more likely to eat the carrots instead of a fiber bar or something like that. I do the same thing with apples, grapes, blueberries, salad greens, cucumbers, and the like.
BUT, I do not use that logic as an excuse to gorge myself on healthy 'free' foods. A serving size is still a serving size and I do weigh practically all of my food before I consume it.
I think if someone eats very few fruits and vegetables, then not counting them gives them incentive to eat them (that's good) and they'll probably lose a good deal of weight just because they're getting "just as full" on fewer calories.
But it's definitely possible to maintain and even gain weight on a diet that's high in fruits and vegetables.
You may not have to count the calories, but that doesn't mean the calories don't count. It's certainly possible to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and not lose weight, or even gain.
You need to do what works, and if not counting fruits and veggies works for you, that's great. You just have to be willing to do something else if it doesn't work (or if it stops working) for you.
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@kaplods - I think that you hit the nail on the head. What a person decides to count or not count is fine as long as it is working for them. At my current weight and activity level, allowing myself 1500 - 1600 calories a day of foods that I count and 1-2 servings of 'free' treats is working for me. But I also don't let myself overeat on 'free' treats. What doesn't work is when I stop counting totally and overeat on healthy foods. But, at the end of the day, as long as I've consumed 8-10 servings of fruits & veggies, 30 grams of fiber, and lots of water...I'm a pretty happy person. :-) And if my current plan stops working, you can bet that I will tweak it!