You can count things like meats and fruits by looking at an online calorie counter or buying a calorie counter book.Some people use scales that measure their foods and provide the calories.You can use fitday to record your foods to see how much you've bee eating or you can just write it down after every meal in a notepad.There are also other calorie counting websites but I'm not sure if I can mention them here.
To answer your other question..I think that people can lose weight without counting calories if they are mainly eating"clean" foods..and watching the portion sizes.I lost weight before with only exercise but I was exercising for 90 minutes a day 6 days a week.It is better for my sanity to count calories and only exercise 2-3 days per week.
80% + of weight loss happens on your plate. I lost 20 pounds over the summer without exercise. When school started, I started moving and tracking calories. What a difference. Stick around here and read all you can from 3FC and reputable sources on the net. You will learn the tricks in no time.
I log my food and measure it. If I eat nuts, I count them. I know a lean protein is supposed to be the size of my fist. It really becomes second nature after you do it a few days. It is SO worth it. Good luck to you.
"Be who you are, say what you feel. Those who matter, don't mind. Those who mind, don't matter." --Dr. Seuss
Some people can lose (at least some) weight with just exercise, but often the body's response to exercise (at least initially) is with excess hunger to compensate, so you have to be careful not to eat more in response to the exercise.
You don't have to count calories, but it's one of the easier ways to monitor your food choices. I like exchanges better, because I can do the math more easily in my head, it provides about the same food quantity control, and I need the added incentive to eat from all of the food groups - but it's a more restrictive plan than calorie counting alone. Generally, I believe that people do best when they start with the least restrictive plan that works, and only add restrictions onto themselves as they need to. So, if you can lose weight without calorie counting, more power to you.
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Those are some really good answers, probably the best you'll be able to get. Yes, you can lose weight other ways, but calorie counting works very well for some of us. You don't have to question what you can/can't eat, or how much- you just add it up and (if done correctly and besides times of dreaded plateaus) you will steadily lose weight. But whatever works for you is best.