How to Re-train My Calorie Counting Brain?
I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks to soothe the mind regarding calorie counting? I've done it for so long, and with no real result (I pretty much always go over my intended caloric goal) and I think it's time to put the habit to bed. It just seems to stress me out more than anything and I'd rather develop a more positive relationship with my food (where we can walk hand in hand into the sunset....).
Since I started eating primally, I know I've been eating better and I feel great because of it. I want to be able to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full, without trying to do some crazy mathematical equation in my head every time I put something into my mouth. Unfortunately, I still get panicky about how many calories are in what I'm eating and I have such trouble detaching myself from the rigidity of tracking.
The other day I was checking out the Whole30 Challenge and they said something along the lines of not stepping on a scale for 30 days or tracking your calories and I thought "impossible!". But then I REALLY thought about it and it's a really good idea. I wonder what it would be like to have freedom from those numbers.
Anyway, back to my point: if anyone has successfully weaned themselves from counting calories, I'd love to hear your story and how you completed what seems (to me) like an insurmountable task!
It's awesome to have freedom from those numbers. First step - hide or throw away the scale. I was weighing daily and it was crazy-making, so I now limit myself to once a month. It helps me to focus on the important stuff like "how do I feel?" and "how is my energy?" and even "how do I look in the mirror?" I am seeing subtle changes in my body - toning, tightness, etc. My clothes aren't falling off, but things feel different. That may or may not reflect in the scale and I'm trying to be okay with that and okay with not knowing exactly.
Originally Posted by Robynbee
As for calories, it's a hard habit to break, but it is critical to get to know your body's own signals and eat intuitively, not based on some (relatively arbitrary) set of numbers that you "should" be eating. Stick to a variety of meats, veggies, and some fruits and eat what you enjoy in an amount that makes you satisfied but not stuffed. When you're hungry again, eat again. It sounds simple because it is but for someone who's been accustomed to counting something their entire life, it takes a while to get used to.
"Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me
My primal log
i used to count calories, and no problems stopping my counting/weighing/etc.
if you can't just step away, one thing i suggest is to track your food, not your calories. keep a food log (on paper) with just the foods you are eating. you can still track what you're eating, but you're not chasing some number. do you best to only eat when you are hungry, then write down what you ate...don't plan out your food.
at the end of the week you can log all your food into a calorie counter if you are curious, but take note of how you feel and look before you do that. if you're eating primally, i think a couple weeks of this will help you kick the habit because you'll see you can succeed without counting.
The scale part is easy. Take the scale outside. Set it on the driveway. Go get a sledgehammer. Smash the scale with the sledgehammer. Throw the bits in the garbage can and sweep up the shattered stuff and toss that, too. Put away the sledgehammer.
The calorie-counting bit starts with finding all your calorie-counting books (and I know you have them; all counters do) and tossing them either in the garbage, or burning them in a fire if you think you might be tempted to fish them out of the garbage. The barbecue might work, or a backyard fire-pit. The second step is to look at your food on the plate and say "This is food, not math class. I am going to eat food, not numbers." Then eat until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Wait until you're hungry again; do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I wish you luck.
It does feel a little like counting calories is just me trying to ignore how my body feels and instead make it fit into some bracket that someone decided was "right" a long time ago. My scale is so going out the window (by that I mean out of my bathroom and into storage).
I like the idea of food logging, for a little bit anyway. I just want to get to a point where food isn't a constant stress for me.
Bah ha, I didn't read your reply, Griff, until it was too late.
I have both a sledgehammer and a fire-pit. Done and done.
Well, yes, but this presumes that one wants to do that kind of workout.
Originally Posted by ennasirk
Go you! You'll feel better and less stressed the further away you get from counting, measuring and weighing.
Originally Posted by Robynbee
A mind trick that helped me was realizing that I should not be eating food that has calories/nutrition information listed on it, and so if I was eating foods without preset calorie counts, that meant that I didn't need to count calories....I'm all about the mind tricks!
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