I'm with Changergirl. I count calories. I also count carbs, because it helps with my Insulin Resistance (something many of us with PCOS struggle with), and I can be more satisfied and less ravenous with fewer cravings when I'm in the low-carb "sweet spot" (which for me is about 30 carbs/day, mostly from vegetables).
My overall framework for eating, though, especially if I'm eating carbs, is the IR Diet. I borrowed it from my library, or you could find it on Amazon.
It basically teaches you three rules that are easy to remember and very flexible for eating out and such:
- LINK: When/if you eat carbs, always eat it with protein.
- BALANCE: For every serving (15 grams) of carb, eat at least one serving (9 grams) of protein.
- LIMIT: Do not eat more than 30 grams (2 servings) of carb in any meal (or three -hour period)
If you eat carbs alone it can lead to high insulin in the blood stream in those of us who are IR, and that leads to fat cells "holding tight" to their fat and not releasing it as they should.
If you eat too much carb in a sitting, the insulin will actually start pushing fat into your cells for storage rather than allowing it to be pulled out for fuel.
It's a pretty simple framework, and easy to remember if you're not close to a calorie/carb counting software or book. If you follow this plan you can eat up to 120 carbs/day -- 30/meal x 3 and 15/snack x 2. That's pretty moderate in carbs compared to what most Americans eat.
So, for instance, I could have a sandwich, or a burger on a bun as part of my meal. The sandwich/bun has two slices of bread, so I already have my two servings of carb. That means I can't also have chips, fries, or fruit with that sandwich/burger. If I eat the sandwich/burger filling but not the bun/bread, then I can have fries. But not both.
I find the IR Diet framework really easy to remember and follow, once you have a good feeling for what 30 grams of carb looks like in the foods you usually eat. The book has some great lists, if I remember.
Personally, I now eat much lower carb than this. But it is still my overall framework for how I deal with the carbs that I do eat.