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Do any of you count calories?

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  • #16
    When I first started eating primally 2 years ago I just focused on the types of food and how I felt. Those fist 30pounds came off rather easily for me and then I hit a major plateau and did some tweaking and then more tweaking. Now I do track calories and macros, but still do not get overly concerned if I am over some magic number. This is currently working for me.
    “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

    SW (January 2011): 208.5
    LPW (March 23, 2013): 156.0
    CW (July, 4, 2013): 172


    • #17
      Yes, just eat good Primal food to satisfaction and you will do great. There may come a time when tracking becomes necessary, but for now just get used to this new way of eating.
      Primal since 9/24/2010
      "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

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      • #18
        we don't need to lose weight, so we use it to make sure we are meeting our caloric needs. DH discovered today that his protein is a bit low, so he'll make an adjustment with thta this week.

        It's a helpful tool for some.


        • #19
          Count, but don't limit.
          I'm keeping a log of what I'm eating. I note how many kcals, how much fat, protein and carbs and whether or not I had something outside my own Primal guidelines (so dairy is good, but too much hurts me: over 300g high-sugar dairy is noted, yoghurt is not; I'd note if I had hummus, but peas and green beans are just "normal" as well). Then, I can observe how my body responds. For example, last night I had a cider and a half (added sugar ones) and quite a bit of creme-fraiche. Today: digestive disruption. Neither probably helped, but I can assume that either on its own wouldn't cause that much trouble, as my log shows I've had more cider and more dairy before and not had the problem. However cheap cider + excessive dairy = disruption. A mix to avoid.

          Same goes for kcals. If I eat 1500kcal on a weights day and feel fine, I'll know that that amount of exercise and that balance of fat, protein and carb works well. If I do the same exercise, have 1500kcal, keep protein about the same but have less fat and more carb, then feel unwell, I'll know that adding more fat could help curb it.

          My example is excessive (I'm also using it as evidence for family and Drs, when they doubt me), but the idea can be simplified: don't limits kcals, just log them (even if just a couple of days a week: one quiet day and one active day) and keep an eye out for "odd" days. That way you can gauge what works vs what doesn't.
          With my example: protein levels are high, so I don't need to add much on weights days, but I process fat better than sugar (all equal, I need less kcals when eating mostly meat and more when eating mostly veg) and have trouble with large amounts of dairy, I can eat green legumes, but not dry ones and some rice, but must generally avoid wheat and oats.

          It helps you adapt as your body "gets used to" eating natural foods and also helps you work out and around intolerances and cravings. I only recently worked out that what I thought was a "pizza craving" is a "dairy and meat" craving that can be solved by melting the smallest bit of cheese on some ground meat or bacon!
          Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

          I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
          I'd apologize, but...


          • #20
            I think I'd say that I record my calories rather than count them at this point. Being formerly morbidly obese it was a necessary tool to help me achieve a normal body. Being able to look at my carbs, calories, protein in conjunction with the scale helps me see what's working or not. I just finished my first month of Primal eating. I love it and hope that it will help me find a good balance with life/food/movement.


            • #21
              I don't count. I made a rough estimate of my typical day (+a bit extra for a good measure) on fitday com and seems I consume 1400-1600 cal. a day. Les than maintenance, which is good as I am loosing weight. 2 clothing sizes down already. One more to go. Or one and a half to be precise.
              About binging it easy to remember: much carbs => more carbs => bingo!!!


              • #22
                I didn't when I first went Primal, I lost 25 lbs. within a few months but then nothing more. I maintain my weight effortlessly eating Primal, but weight loss is a different story, so I have to count calories now. I have the metabolism of a snail, and can only lose weight when I eat less than 1200 calories a day, so it's pretty important for me to count since I still have 20-30 lbs. to lose. I've started using paleotrack, it's pretty much like fitday but with primal/paleo flags.


                • #23
                  I used to count calories just to get an idea of how much I was eating (the meat and increased fats left me clueless). I don't anymore. I eat around 1500 a day and just kind of know how much food that is now.

                  It helps to track when you are starting out. It's so easy to overeat fats (calorie wise) and not realize it.

                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by magnolia1973 View Post
                    It helps to track when you are starting out. It's so easy to overeat fats (calorie wise) and not realize it.
                    This exactly, I was still a little fat phobic when I first started eating Primally, so I bet that's why I lost weight initially. Once I started embracing fats, it became harder to lose weight. I don't fear fats, and will eat every crispy inch of skin off of a roasted pastured chicken, but I can't pretend it's calorie-free because it's Primal. Instead of dousing sauteed veggies in bacon grease, a small pat with a drizzle of EVOO is plenty.


                    • #25
                      I have tracked calories on and off for the past almost 6 years. It helped me to lose 90 lbs so far. I think it's kind of fun and definitely useful, but there are many days that I don't track and I'm fine with that. Do it if it helps, don't do it if it's becoming obsessive.
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                      • #26
                        You're doing everything right. But depending on what your diet was previous, I think 30 days is too little time. You may need to extend to 60, or even 90 days before tweaking.
                        5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by the_walrus0 View Post
                          I have decided to really give the primal lifestyle a good 30 days to sink before trying to tweak it for weight loss, but as an overweight woman, who's been overweight a very long time, I can't help but try to calculate the calories I've had for the day.
                          Commit to the lifestyle for AT LEAST 6 WEEKS. Get used to the FOOD, and the FAT, and how you FEEL. And remember that FOOD only makes up part of the blueprint. You can't only switch the food, and change nothing else, and then complain that it "doesn't work" 4 weeks later. Sleep, destress, move, play.

                          I think when you come off of a lifetime of CW and futile calorie counting (clearly this isn't the magic bullet to weight loss), switching to PB and continuing to count calories will still be futile.

                          I think today, eating until full and trying not to overdue it, I will end the day at about 2500 calories. For me that's what generally leaves me at the same weight(maintenance calories).
                          Just eat real food when you're hungry, and stop when you're full. NO SNACKS. Focus on the quality of the food, including the fat.

                          I wonder if, after being off grains and sugar for a while, I will have an easier time eating less and still feeling satisfied? I am happy to be eating maintenance and feeling satisfied, don't get me wrong, but I'm afraid as soon as I try to step into a calorie deficit I'm going to fall right back in old binging and overeating habits.
                          The fat will help you feel full and satisfied much, much longer. As tasty as the food is, its really hard to binge on steak and eggs.

                          Anyways, for anyone who's losing weight or trying to lose weight, do you count calories?
                          The only thing I count is the hours/minutes until I'm actually hungry again and can eat more fabulous primal food.

                          Oh yeah, and don't weigh yourself for the first 6 weeks. Just don't do it. Even if your clothes fit better, don't use the scale to validate what you already know. It will always betray you.
                          *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


                          • #28
                            Thanks for the suggestions!

                            I think I just might extend my time, Oxide, to 60 days. I have no reason to rush the process, other than wanting to finally get some of this weight off.

                            I am going to start logging my food and at least a guesstimate of calories just to see what's going on. I am not going to stress if it's 2000, 2500 or even 3000. I think it will help to just see where the calories are coming from, especially if one food is putting me substantially over in calories. If, at the end of 60 days, I find milk in my morning coffee is adding up to 300+ calories it might be good to cut back, or if I'm using too much olive oil or something...those are things I can work on without sacrificing much.

                            I do think I've been liberal with the olive oil and coconut oil. I have found butter to give me more bang for my caloric buck, so to speak. I'm also having a hard time getting the amount of veggies I'd ultimately like to be eating, but given that it's only been two days and one shopping trip I think I'm doing really good!

                            The best part is I don't even want to binge at all. I feel really great about that, but I do think I'm getting 'carb flu'. I woke up with some gas and a bit of a stomach ache this morning. But to be honest I don't miss the junk much, at least not yet.


                            • #29
                              counting calories has always helped me and i have been doing it for a number of years. i keep my log on my phone notepad. it helps to see if ive eaten too much, too little, or if ive eaten too much/too little during certain times of the day, to help me balance out my day. i listen to cravings and listen to my body but i want to be aware of what i am eating and what time of day. also it helps to pinpoint right away if poor habits start creeping into my diet again - i can easily add (and see) up all of the calories/times of day where there are foods that ive consumed that i didnt need to/werent optimal choices. i think it helps to hold oneself accountable every day for the choices you make - having to write out what you ate and how many calories it was. if it was a poor decision, you can say, okay im not doing this again tomorrow! or if it was a good day you just feel good about it. at the very least, it does inherently force you to skip out on almost every high calorie food that is not needed in ~any type of diet. for people who have never counted calories, when they start, they are shocked to learn just how many calories they were consuming with different favorite foods. my parents were a good example - they started calorie counting for the first time ever this year - my dad lost 20 lbs and my mom lost only a few - she is 51 and pre menopausal so lots of different hormones going on. she eats a lot of carbs though, but so do i, and ive always been skinny on millions of carbs. she may have to try a different approach, but it worked for my dad (and me in the past). calorie counting is not for everyone. it is perfect me, i am just that kind of person, but i can definitely see how its not for everyone.
                              Last edited by caitijayne; 02-03-2013, 06:33 PM.


                              • #30
                                For those who count, do you stop eating if you reach your calorie limit, even if you are still hungry?