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Old 05-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Default Just Counting Calories...

I have HAD IT with diets! I have been on and off so many diets in the last 10 years and I have nothing to show for it.. I am pretty much right where I was 10 years ago. Sure I would lose 20.. even 30 pounds but it always pours right back on when I can no longer conform to "my eating plan".

I have lost the same 20 pounds over and over and over!

The ONLY thing that has ever made much difference was just counting calories. I managed to lose over 60# several years ago (gained it back too though using food to numb myself after a few tramatic events).

I seem to remember feeling so much more free with just calorie counting. It was easier to be accountable for my food and if I "slipped".. I would still add it and over the next few days make up for it.

I didn't have that "good food vs. bad food" mentality.

I do know good whole foods are the way to go too.. I am not going to live on 100 calorie snack packs.. although I know I could and still lose weight.. but I care about my health at my age now.

I also know I need volume foods right now too.. filling, low fat. I seem to want to eat all day and I have to figure out a way to have lots of foods that fill me and stay within my calorie range again.. I used to eat lots of green apples for snacks with raw almonds and huge salads with grilled chicken tenderloins..

Sorry to go on and on but I am so frustrated that I am STILL trying to do this.. years later.

Who here just counts calories?
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
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I try to make healthier choices but, yeah, counting calories is my main "thing". I lost 30 pounds doing it before and I've dropped 30 this time so I know it works.

If I were you though I'd check into that low fat thing. People believe fat is massively bad but I wouldn't be so quick to make that judgement. I watched Fat Head and this guy lost weight by cutting back on carbs and eating more fat so I decided to give it a shot. I quickly realized that eating two eggs and three pieces of bacon in the morning was enough to fill me up for about 6 or 7 hours. I continued losing weight, didn't stumble one bit, but was eating less food overall because I wasn't hungry. The only reason I have slowed my low carb roll is because I think the hormones in the meat gave me acne. It's not the meat itself, it's not the fat, it's what they do to it that I think did it. But when I asked about it here in the low carb forums, only one or two people responded that they had the same problem so it seems like a rather uncommon reaction. =/

So now I just try to cut back on carbs, add in a little more fat, you know, balance it out in a way that works for me.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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Hi...
Nice to meet you..
Ya, fat is not the enemy.. I lost weight on Atkins and I love ketosis but I had a problem with constant dehydration.. for weeks.. not just induction, I just lost electrolytes more than most I think.. plus I live in Orlando and walk allot so the heat has something to do with it lately too. AND I was always thirsty so I was drinking tons of water and flushing even more electrolytes out. I am not good at remembering to constantly take minerals or I would have done much better on Atkins.

Basically when I mention low fat I am thinking mostly lots of veggies and some fruit to fill me.. for a while, until I get my appetite in check.

For breakfast I had two eggs and two bacon and a whole grain English muffin (I just like it with my eggs.. no need for butter really).

I totally agree that fat is not the enemy.. sugar for me is. It's a major addiction.

Excellent job on the weight loss!
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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i initially did a low-carb way of eating to get ahold of sugar addictions and level off my rising blood sugars...i later transitioned into only counting carbs because i wanted to add back healthier foods such as certain veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc...ive lost almost 40 pounds in just over a year and have kept it off...which is the first time in my life that i've maintained a loss for any time longer than a week or so...this is a real way of eating for me, which occasional treats in moderation, and so far has been successful
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runundefined View Post
I also know I need volume foods right now too.. filling, low fat. I seem to want to eat all day and I have to figure out a way to have lots of foods that fill me and stay within my calorie range again.. I used to eat lots of green apples for snacks with raw almonds and huge salads with grilled chicken tenderloins..
I wrote this before, but it could help

Volumetrics eating is an awesome way to stay really satisfied and get a lot of nutrients in. I've been known to make obscenely large meals that are low in calories/points, just because they're bulked up so much with non-starchy vegetables.

For example, with pasta - I'll take my 2oz portion of pasta (sometimes even cut it down to 1oz), sauté onions, an array of colored peppers, sliced mushrooms, and spinach and mix it into my pasta and add tomato sauce. It's a huge bowl of food that sometimes I can't even finish because I've added so many veggies.

Peeling zucchini and/or yellow squash into ribbons Link) and mixing it 50:50 with fettuccine and making an "alfredo" sauce is another favorite pasta dish. I even add in asparagus and peas for more bulk, nutrients, and general deliciousness . You can also mix your pasta 50:50 with spaghetti squash or just eat the spaghetti squash instead of pasta (Link).

My Asian noodle bowls and stir fry meals are mainly veggies. I'll use mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, and usually a frozen stir fry mix too. A little bit of oyster/hoisin/sriracha or whatever you like, maybe an added protein, and you have a great meal. You can omit the noodles and serve the mix over brown rice as a regular stir fry.

I shred zucchini and/or squash into my burritos and enchiladas (Link) so that it's mostly veggie, and the beans are a smaller component of them. I make rice and beans but I use A LOT of bell peppers to bulk it up.

Burgers (Link), meatloaf, and meatballs can be made with shredded zucchini or any other veggie, but zucchini is my favorite, and veggie nuggets with squash, zucchini or a mixture (Link OR Link )

Cauliflower is great to add into everything. I make my dal half cauliflower (Link), mix it with potatoes in baked potato soup (Link) or mashed potatoes (Link), or I'll make mac and cheese with cauliflower puree mixed in (Link), or just mix a little pasta with a lot of broccoli and cauliflower to give it more nutrition.

I love eating soup - and I'm a thick soup kind of woman - so I use pureed veggies in my soups. I love broccoli soup (Link ), carrot soup (Link), and tomato soup (Link OR Link ), and I puree them all. I make chili with about every vegetable under the sun (Link) . It's not vegetarian, but it can EASILY be tweaked.

If you’re using ground beef in a recipe, food process 8-16oz – your preference - of mushrooms into small pieces for each pound of beef when you brown it. You’ll never notice it.

Be creative! Whenever you're making something, think of how many vegetables you can add into it to make it more nutritious. It will fill you up!

Last edited by Munchy : 05-08-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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I'm with ya!
I've done many a plan in my day, only to end up at my highest weight ever this year. Can't say it's the plans that are at fault. I do believe that most will work if you work them. And of course all anyone can do is what works for them, we're all so different.

But that was just it FOR ME, and what finally clicked this time, I didn't want to do it on what felt like somebody else's terms. I am a do-it-yourselfer, independent kind of person ... and I would end up rebelling against what the PLAN said I can and can't do, how it wanted me to count, what it told me to eat, etc. I would have some success and then just end up sabotaging myself every time! And when people ask, 'What are you doing to lose weight?' Well, I want to tell them I AM WORKING HARD MY WAY, not give the credit away to a name brand. LOL (admittedly totally psychological on my part) But I wanted ownership over me, and my body, and my methods, what I decide to eat, etc, and take credit for my success and setbacks.

Now, I'm only 24 pounds into a over 100 pound goal, so I cannot say what will happen down the road. But for now I have never felt this confident and liberated when trying to lose weight. I told myself this time will be on MY terms with food I love and exercise I enjoy doing, etc., even if it ends up taking longer than it would if I was following a plan. I am not going to worry about superfoods, etc, that I simply don't like! Yes, they would be amazing for me, but not so much when they only want to make me eat a hershey bar afterwards to get rid of the taste. LOL

Not to say I haven't been eating healthy, I have, very much so. But with fruits and veggies I enjoy! I give into my cravings once a week, and count them into my calories and feel NO guilt. And the best part is not having to learn how to adjust to eating normally when I hit goal... I AM eating how I will eat already. And I am teaching MYSELF what fills me up, what doesn't, how many calories I need, what works at what times, etc.

Anyway, all this ramble was just to say I'm also on the calorie counting bandwagon. Own it and kick butt!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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myfitnesspal!! i can't say it enough. this app/website and others like it make counting calories so easy and less stressful. i like how MFP has the "friends" thing going for it so you can see what other people are up to and how much they lost, etc.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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I, too, just count calories, which seems to automatically make me eat healthier, since I gravitate to filling foods like broccoli and lowfat protein/meat. The fried and fast-food meats are high in calories, so I avoid them.

I also like to be able to eat pastry or chocolate or ice cream sometimes and it not impact my weight loss as long as I stay under my calorie limit. It really does give me all kinds of freedom to eat whatever I want - even eating out. I had lost 31 lbs. calorie-counting but have regained seven of that, but I'm back on the wagon now. I just need to buckle down tonight - when I get my yummy homemade birthday cake.

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Old 05-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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Yup, me too, I seem to be capable of over-eating ANYTHING so eating "healthy" doesn't work for me. Not losing weight anyways. I am calorie counting again its the only thing that works I think I'm stuck with tracking for life. I can sort of develop a routine and maintain for the most part without tracking. (that gives me hope but at a lower weight I might need to be way more strict).

I'm tracking intake and exercise, I am contemplating running windows VM ware on my MAC just so I can get fitday back (but I'm not that techieand just generally lazy) so I am using Calorie King software at the moment its better than nothing. I just like having tracking software myself makes it easier If I lived somewhere with better cell service I'd probably use a app on my phone but its not practical where I'm at so I just e-mail myself from work, or from my phone and input everything at night before I go to bed. I've done it enough times that I have a ROUGH Idea and I'm not usually over my cals without knowing. But just KNOWING I have to input everything into the software usually gives me a little pause.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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I too just count calories. I love to eat all kinds of different things, so any plan that tells me I can't have this or that is not for me!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #11
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I'm a calorie counter and still love it! I too had tried so many other diets but this is just much easier for me.

You are definitely onto something with the idea of volume foods. The only way I can continue to eat large volumes of food is to include tons of veggies.

Good luck with your goals!
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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Yeah!!!
Such great posts. I feel very good about my future with counting calories, it's worked before, I can do it again!

Munchy!
Amazing post and exactly what I was thinking.. lots of veggies! I also have missed fruit..

DaugT,
Totally agree with your entire post. Oh and the super foods.. OMG, I was way into them... spiraling anyone? Maca?
I've learned allot though, every program, every book, I have learned something each time. It looks like we are really close in our stats.. good luck to you!

Valal..
I have not used my fitness pal but I don't have an iphone for the app and I think that's why everyone loves that one, right?.. I do use fitday though. I have LOTS of custom foods and recipes already listed in that baby!

Tricon 7,
Hi neighbor!
Oh and happy Birthday. See.. you can have your cake and eat it too with calorie counting!
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #13
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I lost approx. 45 lbs. from June 2011 - Nov. 2011 just counting calories. I'm still doing it. The struggles I have---i.e., eating more than I need---would occur with ANY plan I'm on. In fact, I'll venture to say that if I were on some more restrictive plan, I wouldn't stick to it very long. At least with calorie counting, I can treat myself to some of the fattening stuff as long as I don't do it all the time and as long as I control my portions. I calorie cycle, too, so if I do overeat (as I have for the last three days), I can make that up later on during the week by shaving off a couple hundred calories or so a day.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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I started out just counting calories and focusing on real foods (not diet product junk food) and it was a definite start. But I necessarily evolved from there and tweaked until I found what fit and what didn't. In my case, I eat low carb/paleo/whole foods/high fat/ etc etc. It is a low inflammation diet without sugar, starch, and most dairy, because that is what my body needs. But that was just a test-hypothesis conclusion I came to as I stalled or didn't feel well, craved, you know the drill.

It is an excellent place to start, I think
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #15
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As a vegetarian, I find sparkpeople helpful as a tool. There is insulin resistance in my family, and when I started out just recording the foods I was eating, I realised that most of the day I ate really healthily, but then I consumed a tonne of calories in the evening, and they were almost all carbs.

Calorie counting has been the only thing I can stick to. I did it for over a year and then fell off for the last 6 mos and have been, in the past week or so, getting back on the horse.
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