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Calorie Counting vs Eat What You Want

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  • Calorie Counting vs Eat What You Want

    Hi everyone,

    So it turns out I have some visceral fat to lose... I was wondering if there was value in counting my daily calories using "myfitnesspal" app (it has a good UK database) to create a weekly caloric deficit or if I should just continue to keep carbs in the sweet spot and eat till Im full?

    Here's my rough weekly routine:

    2x lifting heavy
    2-3 30min yoga sessions
    7x 1hr walks

    No sugar, minimal fruit. No starchy veg. Eating yogurt and some cream.

    Not done any sprints yet. Im 2wks into going primal. Im hoping to do my first next week.

    Advice most appreciated!

  • #2
    you'll get different answers on here about counting calories. I say eat what you want for now if you're not losing then count calories.

    I myself count calories when I'm trying to lose body fat. I tend to overestimate servings and I eat a lot more than I should be hence I know that i'm eating at a maintenance calories for my activity level and weight. Once I start counting I drop a lb a week consistently without having to do any extra exercise.

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    • #3
      it depends where you're at in terms of bodyweight, and it depends on whether 'listening to your appetite' has gotten you in trouble in the past (i.e. too fat!).

      you're going full keto, some people feel a diminished appetite in ketosis (i never did), and are able to auto-restrict calories. also, the more overweight you are, the less carefully you have to track. almost any conscious intervention into the SAD will yield benefits.

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      • #4
        Thanks Cayla,

        Jakey, Im not really overweight per se, but I have discovered I have internal fat pushing out my abdomen from just below the sternum downward. I think that is what's termed "skinny fat" round here right?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
          7
          I myself count calories when I'm trying to lose body fat. I tend to overestimate servings and I eat a lot more than I should be hence I know that i'm eating at a maintenance calories for my activity level and weight. Once I start counting I drop a lb a week consistently without having to do any extra exercise.
          +1 - I use myfitnesspal too and use it to see how I am doing on my carb/protein/fat counts rather than looking for a calorie deficit, but I gotta tell you, just there mere fact that I enter my calories each day really keeps me honest.
          Height - 5'8"
          SW - 191
          CW - 162
          GW - 155

          Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

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          • #6
            I track now and then but don't really see a lot of correlation between caloires and whether or not I lose weight. I do seem to lose more weight if I am both more physically active AND more hungry, regardless of the actual calorie content. So I guess that would indicate that my hunger does work as an appropriate tool, it's just that I have to understand what it's telling me.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Yeh, it certainly makes you think about all those little "unreportables"

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              • #8
                That works for me even when I don't count. I find that simply writing down my food makes me far more conscious about my choices and more likely to really consider whether I really want to eat a particular food.
                “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                Owly's Journal

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                • #9
                  This seems to depend a lot upon personality type, outlook on life and goals.

                  Generally, I would say just ballpark calories to give you an awareness, but don't stick to a rigid regime of a set number of calories per day, in order to avoid obsessive behaviour, plus a rigid regime is totally artificial and it is not in the spirit of primal to count exactly.

                  I believe it is valuable to ballpark to ensure that you are not eating a calorie deficit chronically. i.e. Ensure that you eat a clear surplus at least 1-2 days a week, to keep your metabolic rate up. I find it much easier to lose weight being in deficit 2-4 days a week than being in deficit chronically.

                  However, experience shows that as you get closer to your goal it is likely that you will have to get stricter about counting calories.
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                  • #10
                    I haven't needed to count but I do need to consider portions and not feed myself the same amount of food as my much larger male partner who needs about double the food in a day as I eat (and I eat a lot for a woman).
                    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                    Owly's Journal

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                    • #11
                      calories definitely matter, but i don't think you need to build your life around them. try tracking your calories for a week or two to get familiar with calorie amounts, how much you're eating, etc. while eating until you're no longer hungry. try it for week the way you normally eat. then a week with slow, mindful eating. you'll probably find that you're eating below maintenance on most days anyway. if you're not, you'll have that tracking to see where you need to make an adjustment.
                      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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                      • #12
                        Interesting what you say about eating below maintenance levels Rob. In my first week or so of PB i found I was eating way below what I needed... Now Im tracking just to make sure that I get enough calories (and dont go over now my appetite has been adjusted)

                        thanks everyone,

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                          This seems to depend a lot upon personality type, outlook on life and goals.

                          Generally, I would say just ballpark calories to give you an awareness, but don't stick to a rigid regime of a set number of calories per day, in order to avoid obsessive behaviour, plus a rigid regime is totally artificial and it is not in the spirit of primal to count exactly.

                          I believe it is valuable to ballpark to ensure that you are not eating a calorie deficit chronically. i.e. Ensure that you eat a clear surplus at least 1-2 days a week, to keep your metabolic rate up. I find it much easier to lose weight being in deficit 2-4 days a week than being in deficit chronically.

                          However, experience shows that as you get closer to your goal it is likely that you will have to get stricter about counting calories.
                          I don't count calories or macros. I ball park/eye ball it. I come from a family of big eaters, so it's been a process of reducing, over time & organically, my portions & tendencies to go back for 2nd & 3rds, which I still do some. I'm not here to suffer, I'm here to thrive. So sometimes I still over-eat & sometimes I don't. Mostly lately I don't. Fasting for +- 48 hrs straight thru every week has helped, as it reduces my weekly calorie count & also hikes up my fat burning & autophagy rocks all around for many reasons. I AM consciously eating smaller portions, some of the time, which is progress from my normal piggish repasts...
                          "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                          "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                          "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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                          • #14
                            wether your consciously eating less or counting calories your still cutting calories. calories control, not carbs. you could get skinny on cake if you wanted to, it wouldn't be healthy but you could do it
                            Paleo since November 2011 - Carnivore since June 2012
                            Before and after pics
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65846.html
                            Primal Sucess Story
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65400.html
                            Primal Journal
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...tml#post955444

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                            • #15
                              For myself I need to count calories to make certain I am hitting my macronutrient splits without exceeding my calorie targets OR at least reaching them. I've more of a problem of not eating enough calories rather than too many,especially on hard workout days, and keeping an eye on them "via 'Lose It' on my phone) enables me to do that. Occasionally I input a day into My Fitness Pal to check my micronutrients, but I don't do that to often.

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