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Old 07-28-2010, 03:47 AM   #16
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It is interesting how different we all are, isn't it? My bingeing has gone WAY down since I dropped calorie counting. One thing that has stuck with me is making changes for LIFE. I can't count calories all my life. I eat lots of healthy food and I'm losing weight! I love it.

If calorie counting works for you, more power to you! I'm glad that we are all figuring out what works for us.
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:29 AM   #17
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"Dieting" doesn't work for me either. What does work for me is calorie counting, exercise, smaller portions and goal setting. I'm certainly not alone in thinking this plan works--people who stick to a plan similar to mine typically lose 40% more weight (and keep it off longer) than those who don't. That's not at all to say that people with different ideas won't lose weight (or as much) because if this forum tells us anything, it is that we have differing successful ideas on weight loss. I calorie count because I like to know how much I am eating. Statistics prove that people underestimate their portions and calorie intake, typically from 20-200%. Calorie counting doesn't feel restrictive, it feels liberating to me because I am aware and accountable for everything I put in my body; there's certainly no hiding behind "I didn't mean to eat it" or "What's a little candy going to hurt?"

This certainly doesn't feel like a diet, and "going off" is dangerous thinking to me. This has clearly worked so far so I won't quit what I am doing.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:09 AM   #18
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I agree with everyone who said "Try something else" It's not going to do much harm. You'll soon notice if it's not working. Calorie counting doesn't go away. You can always go back to it.

I learned an awful lot about nutrition by counting calories.

Did someone already mention South Beach-ish style eating?
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:32 AM   #19
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I was so glad to read this thread. Being just two weeks into THE DIET, thinking of it long term makes me feel very discouraged. But the lifestyle change and the whole attitude of it NOT being a diet makes it so much better. I WANT to change my eating habits. It's not that I ate bad choices...it was the amounts. We eat a fairly healthy diet, better than most people, judging by what's in the carts at the grocery store!!
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:23 AM   #20
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I personally need the accountability and FORCED portion control that calorie counting provides. Whenever I just *watched myself*, *cut back* or *made better choices* - it didn't "work". It was too open ended. Not enough boundaries, limits, guidelines.. I couldn't just "wing it". For me, there is no point guessing with something SO vital. I count my calories (at this point just estimate). I adhere to a calorie budget. It is the amount that I have already determined is the *right* amount for me - the amount that keeps me at a healthy weight, a healthy person. It is directly related to my well being, my future, my health and it's worthy of the time and effort. It is the most productive use of my time in fact and frees me up to have the best life possible. I am now a vital, energetic, productive, confident, happy, active, slim person who is at her optimal. So yes, time very well spent.

For me, I became tired of being super morbidly obese. THAT was tiring.

And like someone else said, CC (along with making them the *right* calories) IS the life style change. I track my calories. At this point, I can do it with my hands tied behind my back so to speak. It is natural, automatic, effortless.

I had to change my mind frame and NOT think of this has a diet, but just what I need to do, should have always been doing. Being mindful, careful and responsible.

Just as I am mindful, careful and responsible with my money. I can't take a chance and use my debit card that there not be enough money in there.

So for me, I don't look at it as a burden - but a key to freedom, that's opened up doors for me, ones that I didn't even know were closed.

That being said, we have come from different places - I was close to 300 lbs at only 5 feet tall, you have been no where near that overweight, so clearly we've got *different issues*.

And like Susan, you can try losing without counting, experiment with it and if it's doesn't provide you with the results you are after - you can always take it up again, but hopefully with a renewed good feeling about it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:35 AM   #21
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I stopped dieting years ago but recently started to modify my portion sizes and the number of times I eat and it works. If you ask me how many calories I eat, I cant tell you 1550 or 1600 or 1780....cuz I really dont know. What I do know is for breakfast i have a sandwich, for lunch I will have 1 piece of chicken with 1 cup of rice and some veggies. Dinner is usually one of the lower fat Subway sandwiches again filled with veggies. My snacks which I eat 3 times a day are within 100 - 140 calories.

If I eat out, I make sure that my meal is filled with veggies and I choose grilled or steamed or stir fried items from the menu. Nothing to greasy or fatty. If I want to eat a dessert, I split it with my friends.

Thats all I do...modify the amount of food I was eating. And I also make sure I exercise at least 4 times per week. Thats all...and it has been working! This is a lifestyle I can maintain for the rest of my life and I intend to.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #22
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I know for me I have tried it all (Low Carb ,Low Fat,CC etc...) anyway what I am doing now is take note of my calories. Meaning I don't try and shoot for a certain amount everyday, I see no point in forcing myself to eat when I'm not hungry just to meet some caloric goal for the day. I look at the serving size of food which really shocked me b/c I was definitely eating double/triple the serving size before. I look out for added sugar as well. I try to stick with whole foods for the most so I can get the most bang out of my calories.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:58 AM   #23
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I should add a caveat my original post. I don't calorie count, but I'm a huge fan of portion control and measuring. I like measuring because it helps me learn what a proper portion is. But I don't count the calories in something.

I was in OA for 4 years and I have adapted their philosophy. Advanced planning was central to their way of eating. And I was heavily influenced by the "3-0-1" plan, which is 3 meals, nothing in between, 1 day at a time.

I love the old fashioned divide up the plate thing... 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, a bit of fat. But in my plan, I usually skip the starch and add a low fat dairy.

So I am a counter... a portion size counter, not a calorie counter.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim CB View Post
I stopped dieting years ago but recently started to modify my portion sizes and the number of times I eat and it works. If you ask me how many calories I eat, I cant tell you 1550 or 1600 or 1780....cuz I really dont know. What I do know is for breakfast i have a sandwich, for lunch I will have 1 piece of chicken with 1 cup of rice and some veggies. Dinner is usually one of the lower fat Subway sandwiches again filled with veggies. My snacks which I eat 3 times a day are within 100 - 140 calories.

If I eat out, I make sure that my meal is filled with veggies and I choose grilled or steamed or stir fried items from the menu. Nothing to greasy or fatty. If I want to eat a dessert, I split it with my friends.

Thats all I do...modify the amount of food I was eating. And I also make sure I exercise at least 4 times per week. Thats all...and it has been working! This is a lifestyle I can maintain for the rest of my life and I intend to.
This is pretty much what I do as well. I have tried meticulous calorie counting in the past, and it indeed does work very, very well. But I burn out on it, throwing all my energy into obsessively tracking calories in and calories out. And when I burn out (typically after about 6 months or so), there's no fallback position and I just gain everything back.

This time I'm trying an approach more like the one Slim CB has outlined here, one that is sustainable to me even when the rest of my life gets too busy for me to be meticulous about counting calories, or even when I just flat get bored with counting calories.

I know what healthy foods and healthy portions are, so all I need is the discipline to eat that way. And thus far I've lost 40 pounds this way, including a stable plateau of several months when I did not have time or energy to focus any effort on weight loss. I consider that a positive: I managed not to gain through one of the most stressful work cycles I have ever experienced.

I know I won't lose as fast this way as I did when I counted calories, but I'd rather lose slower and keep it off thanks to a sustainable plan, than lose quickly and put it all back on when I get bored with the plan. (I do count calories for a few days once a month or so just as a reality check.)
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:31 AM   #25
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I lost about 30 pounds by making better choices, and pretty much following the original poster's to-do list. I have never been a calorie counter, though I read a lot about nutritional info. Calorie counting just sounds like a huge drag (FOR ME). I'm pretty sure I would resent it and it would backfire for me.

What worked for me was putting veggies in the CENTER of my diet, cutting out the things I tend to overeat (you know who you are, pasta...), making most of my own food and packing lunches and snacks, cutting way down on my wine consumption... and PLANNING so I never found myself ravenously hungry. It worked, and it was surprisingly easy, once I got in the habit. I really never felt deprived. (I have never been a fast food, junk food or soda consumer, so it wasn't so much of a stretch for me, just more consciousness)

Over the past year I've gotten sloppy (I would have gotten sloppy calorie counting, too) and started drinking wine more often, eating out more often (and choosing more caloric food), eating pasta more often (I should say overeating...) and guess what? So I'm back to my zucchini-instead-of-pasta, huge veggie-filled salads, planning ahead. It feels great.

Calorie counting has obviously worked for so many people here, but it's not the only way to go. So give it up and see how it works for you. You can always go back!
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:16 PM   #26
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Hehehe, I love the good old fashioned portion size measurements on the plate! I do 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 starch. For example dinner yesterday: 1 small lean steak(I didn't weight but I knew it was about 4 oz because there were 2 steaks in the package and it was under 8 oz), 1 half of a baked yam, and half a plate full of kale! My mom got a lap band and they gave her a special plate with lines to divide portions. I used until I became accustomed. My "starch" is always a whole grain type carb; I try to eat carbs every meal. Only the good kind though

While I applaud people for calorie counting, is kind of nice for me to find others that don't count calories. For awhile I thought I was alone in that one and it's nice to know that I'm not alone
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:36 PM   #27
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I've been an exchange counter most of my life, beginning in the mid 1970's with Weight Watchers when I was around 8 years old. (the youngest age, Weight Watchers would accept with a doctor's permission slip).

Weight Watcher's was an exchange plan until fairly recently (they switched to points, sometime in the mid 90's).

I tend to "translate" almost any plan I'm on, into exchanges. It makes food journaling super easy. I just create a worksheet (you can find them online too, on diabetic websites) that has boxes for each food category, and I check each box as I use it.

I've even made a pocket version of the journal that is only 2" x 3" and about a quarter of an inch thick. If I write small I can even write down what I ate (although usually I just check off the boxes).

I've been exchange counting for so long, that I can do most foods in my head. I'm also prone to less obsessing than I am on "straight" calorie counting.

I'm trying to follow primal guidelines (the philosophy behind "ancestor diets" such as Primal Blueprint, Neanderthin, The Paleolithic Prescription, The Paleo Diet, The Evolution Diet...), and that fits right in with Paleo theory - I just pick paleo-friendly choices for my exchanges, and distribute my exchanges in a lower-carb pattern (more protein choices a few more fat choices, and a lot fewer carb choices than most standard exchange plans - but low-carb exchange plans aren't uncommon either).

I don't always meet my own guidelines. Sometimes I eat too many carb choices, or I eat non-paleo foods... I don't punish myself when I go off-plan, and for me that's what makes it a lifestyle and not a diet. When I dietied, I was horrible, even abusive to myself if I veered off-plan even by a smidgen. An extra piece of fruit, and I'd be telling myself that my failure to stay on plan, was proof that I was doomed to failure and fatness.

It's interesting that my goals are fairly similar to when I was "dieting." Even most of the behaviors are the same (including the proportion of days that I fail to adhere perfectly to plan). The only significant difference is my interpretation of the situation.

I no longer expect perfection, and I don't punish myself for imperfection.

When I think about exchange or calorie counting for the rest of my life, it seems unreasonable, until I look at why I think so.

I can't really come up with a good answer. It's not any more difficult than washing my face, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, showering, balancing my checkbook and a thousand other things I do on a regular basis.

Since I do it in my head anyway out of habit, writing it down takes an extra five minutes per day (at most).

I skip days now, out of laziness and I still lose weight as long as I'm journaling more often than not. As I get smaller I may have to be more dilligent, or maybe I can be less. I only have to follow the simplest plan that works.

I think we sometimes make too much of saying that you have to find something you're willing to do for the rest of your life. Yes, it is pointless to make choices you have no intention of keeping up. If you want to eat "normally" (meaning the way you ate to gain weight), that isn't going to work. You can't behave fat, and become thin.

However, you don't have to be committed to a specific course of action forever, you just have to commit to following a plan that is effective. You can change plans as often as you like, as long as you're getting results. For weight loss or weight maintenance the formuala is the same - do what works.

Finding "what works," and finding a way to incorporate those strategies into your life isn't exactly rocket science, but it's not "easy" either.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #28
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Default still a little compulsiveness about calories

Interesting concept. I have been counting calories for a while (my plate app) and losing, so it seems to be working. At the same time, I wonder if I quit, if I would lose the awareness. Not ready yet.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:39 AM   #29
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I also want to add to my original post that I'm actually not as hungry or prone to binges anymore. I just don't want/can't eat as much food as I used to. If I would lapse back into craving junk food or binging at night I would have to go back to counting calories, for sure!
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