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Thread: To count or not to count calories page

  1. #1
    jmbrunson's Avatar
    jmbrunson is offline Junior Member
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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?

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    freds4's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    StackingPlates's Avatar
    StackingPlates is offline Senior Member
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    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.

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    rccrsphil's Avatar
    rccrsphil is offline Senior Member
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    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!

  5. #5
    jmbrunson's Avatar
    jmbrunson is offline Junior Member
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    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.

  6. #6
    primaltreehgr's Avatar
    primaltreehgr is offline Senior Member
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    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.

  7. #7
    jakey's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Sandra in BC's Avatar
    Sandra in BC is offline Senior Member
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    Quote 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

  9. #9
    fiercehunter's Avatar
    fiercehunter is offline Banned
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    Worth considering is this book written in 1961, Calories Don't Count:
    Amazon.com: Calories Don't Count: herman taller: Books

  10. #10
    jmbrunson's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Quote 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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