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  • To count or not to count calories

    I read the Primal Blueprint a year ago, went Paleo completely tracking every calorie & micro-nutrient. I lost about 20lbs, but then fell off the wagon and started eating some carbs. I maintained that loss until Thanksgiving of last year when I quit smoking! Woot! It's been 5 months smoke free! However when I quit it was the Holidays and tons of junk food around and I ate everything in sight! I gained the 20lbs back. Brutal. But then in February I decided to lose that weight again, unfortunately I had brain damage (read: carb addiction) and decided to follow CW. *hangs head in shame* Luckily I wised up and last week digitally dusted off my kindle copy of PB and started over. All that to get to this. I struggle with tracking everything. I hate it, but I feel like I should. Weight, waist size, calories, carbs, protein, fats. It doesn't feel primal, but it nags at me in the back of my mind. Is that CW telling me to count calories and get on the scale? I doubt Grok worried if he was getting enough calories. Do you count calories? As a newbie should I?

  • #2
    I'm sure everyone's different but I find it helpful in determining whether I am actually hungry or am eating out of boredom/habit/etc. If the end of the day rolls around and I am on the fence about whether to eat again or not, I can refer to Fitday and make a decision based on my total calories for the day. I also refer to it throughout the day to see that I am getting plenty of fat in my diet because I have found that if I don't keep my fat intake at 40% minimum, I will experience carb cravings.
    I do NOT, however, obsess about any of this, especially micro-nutrients as I have a very diverse diet that includes just about anything Paleo you can think of.

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    • #3
      There is a distinct difference between "carbs" and "refined" or "processed carbs". The former is highly beneficial, the latter is not...

      Counting calories is a great habit to get into at the beginning of the journey until you begin to understand how it works. It can also be beneficial for advanced folks when fine tuning, or tweaking lifestyle elements. It can quickly become detrimental if it becomes obsessive, however.
      http://stackingplates.com/

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      • #4
        I think it really depend on your preference. I personally don't keep track of calories, but I know a lot of people do. A good hybrid between the two systems would be a food journal. Just writing down what you ate at each meal tends to be a good snapshot of your daily nutrients rather than calculating calories. Good luck on getting back on track!
        Primal Journal of a Filipino Cherokee Grok
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53103.html

        SAD weight: 250
        Current Primal weight: 183.2

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        • #5
          Thanks that's a great idea to really keep track & make sure I'm eating good food, but not being so uptight about tracking. Because for me I have a tendency to be uptight about it.

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          • #6
            i track my calories from time to time using myfitnesspal. i find if i track too much i get obsessive, so every few months i will track for a week just to see how i am doing.

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            • #7
              there's nothing inherently wrong with tracking calories, but don't let it drive you crazy. you can put yourself in a caloric deficit without tracking, too. but do it if it helps!

              and if anyone else says "grok didn't do _______," i'm gonna puke. grok didn't wipe his ass with toilet paper, and i could care less, i buy rolls of the stuff.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jmbrunson View Post
                I read the Primal Blueprint a year ago, went Paleo completely tracking every calorie & micro-nutrient. I lost about 20lbs, but then fell off the wagon and started eating some carbs. I maintained that loss until Thanksgiving of last year when I quit smoking! Woot! It's been 5 months smoke free! However when I quit it was the Holidays and tons of junk food around and I ate everything in sight! I gained the 20lbs back. Brutal. But then in February I decided to lose that weight again, unfortunately I had brain damage (read: carb addiction) and decided to follow CW. *hangs head in shame* Luckily I wised up and last week digitally dusted off my kindle copy of PB and started over. All that to get to this. I struggle with tracking everything. I hate it, but I feel like I should. Weight, waist size, calories, carbs, protein, fats. It doesn't feel primal, but it nags at me in the back of my mind. Is that CW telling me to count calories and get on the scale? I doubt Grok worried if he was getting enough calories. Do you count calories? As a newbie should I?
                I'm less than 6 months in, and I haven't counted a single calorie or stepped on a scale. The only measuring I've done is counting the belt notches as they get tighter. My clothes are telling me that my shape is changing, and I dont need a scale to confirm or deny it. I'm learning to eat when I'm hungry, and not eat when I'm not hungry. And I'm learning to enjoy being hungry for a little while each day, because it confirms that my body is working the way it should. I eat primal food at home, and as close to primal as I can when I'm away from home, without obsessing about it, and go back to primal at the next opportunity.

                Trust this lifestyle. Trust your body. Your body knows what do to with real food, so it will tell you when you've had enough.
                Sandra
                *My obligatory intro

                There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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                • #9
                  Worth considering is this book written in 1961, Calories Don't Count:
                  Amazon.com: Calories Don't Count: herman taller: Books

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sandra in BC View Post
                    I'm less than 6 months in, and I haven't counted a single calorie or stepped on a scale. The only measuring I've done is counting the belt notches as they get tighter. My clothes are telling me that my shape is changing, and I dont need a scale to confirm or deny it. I'm learning to eat when I'm hungry, and not eat when I'm not hungry. And I'm learning to enjoy being hungry for a little while each day, because it confirms that my body is working the way it should. I eat primal food at home, and as close to primal as I can when I'm away from home, without obsessing about it, and go back to primal at the next opportunity.

                    Trust this lifestyle. Trust your body. Your body knows what do to with real food, so it will tell you when you've had enough.
                    Thanks for the words of encouragement.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jakey View Post
                      there's nothing inherently wrong with tracking calories, but don't let it drive you crazy. you can put yourself in a caloric deficit without tracking, too. but do it if it helps!

                      and if anyone else says "grok didn't do _______," i'm gonna puke. grok didn't wipe his ass with toilet paper, and i could care less, i buy rolls of the stuff.
                      Very good point about grok. We live in a modern world and I guess I shouldn't take things like that too serious when I enjoy a lot of modern conviences, like learning from people from all over the world via the Internet on my iPad. I won't say that again because I certainly don't want to be the cause of your puke. I guess I just meant counting calories didn't seem very primal, but obviously everyone has their own opinion about what is primal.

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                      • #12
                        oh sorry, i didn't realize you were the one that actually mentioned the grok thing! oh well. i'm an asshole, but i still make a good point about the calories count 'em if you need to.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jakey View Post
                          oh sorry, i didn't realize you were the one that actually mentioned the grok thing! oh well. i'm an asshole, but i still make a good point about the calories count 'em if you need to.
                          You're not an a**hole. I thought it was a good point. I love this way of eating, and am slowly working on incorporating the rest of the philosphy into my life - but I'm not going nuts over it. I don't understand the "I don't use soap" people - or the other extreme stuff......... we live in 2012 AD ........ not 2012 BC. I want to ask some of those people if they use electricity or have a tv - or even a short wave radio? They aren't using soap (gag) - but they are using the internet to tell everyone about it. I'd guess most of them have smart phones and drive cars that burn gas -- and they probably put out a weekly trash can that gets picked up and ends up in a landfill someplace. They probably mow their grass with pollution causing gas mowers.......... but heaven forbit they count a calorie or wash their bodies with anything but water.

                          But - to each his own. I won't tell them to put down their kindle and go take a nice long HOT shower with some real soap, if they don't tell me to ditch my bottled water and pain meds.

                          As for the original post - I count, every calorie that goes in my mouth! I do it to stay on track - and to figure out what works and what doesn't. So, if you're more comfortable tracking calories and measuring your waist - I say go for it! I would guess there was a cavegirl who had a peice of vine and put it around her waist to see if she was getting chubby or not - vanity has always been with us. Don't sweat it - as long as your eating healthy and moving your body - the rest doesn't matter.
                          1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                          2. Eat to heal
                          3. Move to live
                          4. Embrace today
                          5. Live with intention
                          6. Respect my body
                          7. Cultivate joy
                          8. Find my passion
                          9. Meditate on peace in my soul

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                          • #14
                            Count your calories, like you count your fingers and toes...once a year to make sure they're still there

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                            • #15
                              If you have trouble with eating past the point of fullness and you have a tendency to snack or eat primal food that should be consumed in limited quantities (like nuts) then count calories. If not, then just focus on eating a clean diet with a lot of vegetables and good proteins/fats and don't bother.
                              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                              "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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