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Old 07-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #1  
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Default To calorie count or not to calorie count...???

So, when I started this process I decided that calorie counting would be the best option for me, cheap, easy, etc... however, I have come to realize that I don't have the patience to keep a really good, precise count of my calorie intake. So my thought now is to try simply cutting back portions, and making a menu for myself so that I'm not just making random decisions as to what and when to eat. And of course keeping healthy items on said menu. Any thoughts on this? Has it worked for anyone? Does it sound like a good idea? I figure if after a few weeks it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference maybe I will go back to trying to calorie count, or adjust my food somemore. I will also be adding excercise to my plan, like 5 days a week and two (at least) of those days being treks to the park with the kids where I walk and my boys play.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:36 PM   #2  
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I don't calorie count, I just can't. It was getting to the point where it would take me HOURS to plan meals because I was getting OCD about how many calories were in what. I couldn't go out to eat because I would disect everything on the menu. I just found that portion control is my best friend. I stop when I'm GETTING full, not when I already am. I found that this is the best for me because I walk out of a restaurant feeling good, not feeling like my boyfriend could roll me down the street and I'll pummel cars. It was getting so bad that I would cry or freak out if something was 2 calories over my daily intake. I couldn't do it anymore. I feel much better since I stopped counting and I don't beat myself up.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:42 PM   #3  
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I log calories. I don't lose if I don't - BUT I'm not obsessive with being 100% accurate. Really, I just use it as a way to help me be conscious of portion control and so I know how much I've eaten/have left to eat in a day. It's only an estimate anyway, our bodies don't burn exactly X amount of calories each and every day.

I say just play around with stuff and find out what fits best for you. There isn't a one option works for all when it comes to weight loss.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:55 PM   #4  
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I never had the problem of not being able to calorie count. My problem was OBSESSING over them. I made charts and tracked weight vs. calories in. It was terrible. I know if I start tracking by calories, it's just going to drive me nuts.

I suggest at least keeping track of everything you eat. I know if I don't, it's easy to forget that I had a chocolate here, soda there, etc. It holds you accountable without taking too much time.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:42 PM   #5  
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I either have to have a plan that counts calories for me, or I have to count them myself. If I have no counting at all, then I eat way more than I would if I were counting and I vastly underestimate how much I'm eating.

I'm not absolutely fanatical about it though. Livestrong.com has most of the foods I eat on a daily basis already, and then for things that don't have an exact count, I let it estimate for me (like a cup of tomatoes or 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella).

If you can control your eating without counting calories, more power to you! For me, out of sight is out of mind - which can only lead to no good.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:25 PM   #6  
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I count calories and it works for me. Especially at the beginning I learned a lot; it helped me get a sense of exactly what and how much I was eating. I did not have a good concept of that before. With that being said, I've been taking a break from it. I've been taking more of an intuitive approach, kind of like what you described. At this point, I'm also good at estimating- I know about how many calories I want to eat at each meal and I get close. Doing this I've been focusing on eating healthy whole foods, eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. In other words, helping my body be more of a gauge instead of a number, which I think is also a learning process for me. Before I completely ignored by body and over-ate. Then I completely ignored my body and used only calories to determine my eating. What I'm doing now feels a little more real-world to me, something I'll do long-term, not just as a weight-loss effort. I might go back to a more focused calorie-counting effort, especially for the last few lbs, but I think you need to find balance in whatever you do.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:59 PM   #7  
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You could try just keeping a food diary. I've been having better success just keeping a food diary and being very careful with portions and choices than when I was calorie counting.

Whatever works best for you is the best option.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:33 AM   #8  
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I think you can do both! Have a menu for yourself, calculate the calories for it once, maybe at the begining of the week or something, so you dont have any nasty surprises and then if you stick to the menu you would know you arent over eating by accident Thats what I do pretty much
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:48 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickapea View Post
I'm not absolutely fanatical about it though. Livestrong.com has most of the foods I eat on a daily basis already, and then for things that don't have an exact count, I let it estimate for me (like a cup of tomatoes or 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella).
I use livestrong.com too! Well, I use the livestrong app on my iphone and it sync's with .com and I can manage both, from my computer or my phone. Yey! I <3 it! And she's right, it has almost everything I eat. Even things I eat out. But when I eat out, I always "pregame" at home and check the menu and have a GIANT bottle of water while I do so.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:37 AM   #10  
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i have been calorie counting with really good results. I have been averaging 8-10 lbs. a month for the last few. However I'm starting to get burned out. When i go out to eat with friends or my boss buys lunch I will make what i think is a smart healthy choice but then it will drive me crazy that i dont know exactly how many calories was in it.
I have been debating wether to continue calorie counting. Sometimes I step back and say so what if i went over my calories a little, I made good choices and ate like a normal person. Then i go back to thinking i only have 24 lbs. to go I need to buckle down get this done.
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