I didn't want to do it either, but the fact is that a large part of the reason I got overweight to begin with is portion sizes. Many times the portion size listed on nutrition facts is WAY smaller than what I'd eat if I wasn't tracking.
It's very hard to know how many calories you are consuming if you don't measure anything. And it's hard to create a calorie deficit if you aren't aware of what is going into your body.
You don't *have* to do it, but it can certainly be a reality check. I don't intend to do it forever, but until my mind can wrap itself around normal serving sizes I've just got to. I can only imagine that once you've done it for awhile you could pretty much eyeball it.
Started the last leg of my weight loss journey 02/14/2011, stats are since then
I always assumed a serving of chicken was the whole breast. Once I started weighing - I discovered a breast of chicken is actually TWO to THREE servings. Things like that can really add up if you aren't aware.
"I'd rather waltz than just walk through the forrest"
- Sprint Triathlon: 9/11/2011
- Half Marathon: 9/18/2011
- Weigh under 210: GOAL!!! As of 7/16/2010
- Next goal: Get BACK to under 210
It is possible to lose weight without weighing food, as evidenced by your experience, but the way I see it, as soon as weight loss stops or slows it's time to crank things up. Get more precise, get more strict, etc. What worked for the first 30% of weight loss suddenly doesn't work any more and it's time to adopt new tools to keep things going.
Scales are an integral part of ensuring you are intaking the right portion size, and that you are intaking exactly what you think you are intaking. A lot of people on this board have them. Especially as you get closer to goal weight, precise accuracy in portion and calorie calculations becomes more and more important, and the only way to ensure this level of accuracy is by weighing- not measuring- your food.
I had a similar conversation with my mother a few weeks ago- she is depressed because she has already given up sodas and sweets and now realizes she must give up/do more to get where she wants to be (about 10 lbs, but that will still take a while). She realized though that this is her decision, and if she wants to lose the weight badly enough she will do what it takes to get there. She also knows that the sacrifice involved is worth the benefits reaped.
I too used to see it as 'depressing' that I had to give up more and more, but I almost see is as a positive now. I realize that if my weight loss stalls that the decision to give up, to get more strict, to spend more time on weight loss is in MY hands and there's always something I can do to help my weight loss along. It's not an inevitable process and I'm at the mercy of its whims. No, if eyeballing portion size isn't working I know there is a solution: buy a scale. I know that if counting calories isn't working there is a solution: look at macronutrient ratios. Cut out soda: not working. Next step: Cut out diet soda and everything except water. Etc.
My point is, try to find some comfort in the fact that there are tons of options at your disposal that you can use to "tighten up", restrict, crank up your weight loss process- that you are not at a dead end with no other options to go. You still have tools and methods to try. One of those right now is buying a food scale. I'd highly recommend it.
A separate issue is your concern about starvation mode. Just because you buy a scale doesn't mean you aren't going to eat enough. A scale will help you portion out the proper amount of calories and nutrients you need to be healthy and lose weight. Starvation mode is largely a dietary myth- that your body will stop losing weight if you eat too little. I don't know how many calories you are eating but if you aren't losing weight that means you are not eating too little. Yes you do need to eat the proper amount of food every day to ensure the energy, fats, protein, and vitamins necessary to be healthy, but it doesn't seem like you're in danger of not doing that right now (or that you will be if you buy a scale.)
I was never one to use food scales until the past week or so. I sort of felt like people who used them were going overboard and that it was unnecessary and that I had a pretty good idea about serving sizes already. I joined WW in January and things were going well for me, I'd lost 25 lbs. But then I got stuck 3.5 weeks at the same weight and began getting frustrated!
Upon the suggestion from some posts on this forum-- I pulled out my small digital scale. It technically was a food scale, but I had been using it for other purposes. I had never realized or thought much about how the serving sizes are usually listed in grams in the nutrition information so I weighed some of my favorite foods. Wow! I realized that almost all of my servings sizes were off! Most of them were double. I had been eating twice as much for alot of things than I had thought I was! It was a real eye-opener.
I've cracked down in the week since and I'm weighing my food at home and I've started losing weight again since that first day!
The scale should help! You can weigh your portions and check calorie counts online so you know exactly how many calories you consume per day. What kind of diet have you been following? I see that you are in Italy so your options may be a little different than they are here. Is there a diet plan that is very popular there right now?
This may be a really useful guide: http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/pages...hunkiid=192237. It shows the portion sizes for most foods. If you stay within the portion sizes and only eat the correct number of portions (perhaps use the USD food pyramid for that information), you will likely be able to ensure you are eating the right amounts- not too little, not too much. You may have to start adjusting and reducing a bit more when you get further into your weight loss, but this could be a good start
PS I see your current/goal weight is listed at 70 lbs and 60 lbs. Do you mean kgs?
I don't know..
You are all right but I still think it's depressing. I was doing the counting calories, weighing everything and writing everything down. It was so time consuming and I got obsessed with it. Then it blew in my face and I binged because I was so stressed about the whole thing. I have a life and thinking about what I was going to eat, at what time and how much was just ruining it.
I do a vegetarian high in carb diet and still lose weight witout weighing anything.
What I'm trying to say is that buying a scale is great but don't think it's not possible to do without it.
Btw Marmot12 I was just in Rome last month, what a great city, people and the food OMG the food!!!
I've always used scales. Mainly for pasta, I am hopeless at judging how much to put on by eye, but I know that I use 3 oz for a serving. (Similarly, I use 1/3 cup for a portion of rice, and 1/4 cup if it's going into soup.) They're also useful for following recipes, especially baking. I don't think I weigh food much for dieting, probably because I'm vegan, you can't really go wrong with quantities of most veg, and I was already measuring the pasta and rice.
On the other hand, I'm trying not to feel silly about counting out almonds and such, and I'm probably avoiding doing it in front of anyone who might think it's daft (such as my slightly-diet-sabotaging neighbour).
Marmot12 I know your problem trust me I am big fan and I eat italian food almost every day.. But I'm a vegetarian so it's easier to eat healthy, maybe just watch with the pasta portions a bit. I think mediteranian diets are the best. Esofia Thats what I mean, I am not a vegan but some of my meals are so I feel I don't really need to weigh stuff. I have a scale at home, I also sometimes use it for measuring pasta like you said but when I was counting calories I weighed EVERYTHING! I also calculated how much I burned in exercise and the nutritional ratios.. I don't know. I got carried away.. BTW How long are you vegan? I was for about 6months, but my blood results were bad so now I eat some feta cheese, milk in my coffee, occasional omlette.. Stuff like that.
You don't *have* to do it, but it can certainly be a reality check.
^^^ Yes, Yes, YES!!!!
I thought I was doing it "right"...doing it "well"... turns out my "eyeballing" method was a scam! I mean, I know that you should eat a chicken breast or whatever the size of a deck of cards. duh. I know what a deck of cards looks like! Yeah...So, I started weighing my food & counting EVERY.SINGLE.CALORIE. I was kinda shocked! - I was like "WHAT? that's a serving size? THAT'S 3 oz??????"
But now I'm steadily losing. Scale read 168.6 this morning. HappyHappy, JoyJoy!!
__________________ CHANGE IS HARD.
BUT PERPETUAL DISSATISFACTION AIN'T NO PICNIC EITHER!
You CAN have ANYTHING you want,
but you CAN'T have EVERYTHING you want!~my mama!