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  1. #1
    LauraSB's Avatar
    LauraSB is offline Senior Member
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    Reformed calorie counters?

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    I'm hoping people who started out counting calories and then were able to step away from it can offer some insight.

    Starting in April 2012, I lost 75 lbs over 10mos while religiously counting calories and getting on the scale every.single.morning. I found MDA looking for grain-free recipes and I'm >80% primal most of the time, with carbs in the 100-150g range. For the most part, I'm really relaxed about little bits of non-primal stuff though. My original goal weight was 130 lbs and I've been at 122 for about 4 mos now. For over a month, my weight was super stable between 121-123. I was averaging about 1800 calories/day, with a range of maybe 1600-2500. I thought it was time to try just eating. 90% of the time I don't mind calorie counting, but one of my original goals was to be able to eat like a thin person - and most of them never think about calories.

    Three weeks ago I stopped counting. I felt like my portion sizes were unchanged. In 10 days I gained 4 lbs. I doubled down on my diet, eliminating all cheaty-type stuff, and over the next 4 days I gained another lb. I was freaked! I went back to counting and in 1 week I lost all 5 lbs.

    I can think of 2 possibilities, 1) After 18 mos of religious calorie counting, I still have zero sense of how much I'm eating and I over ate to the tune of like 1000 cals/day (I don't like this option because it makes me feel like a moron) or 2) Being a little bit of a control freak, giving up my numbers shot my cortisol through the roof and it's all water and inflammation (I don't like this option because it's kind of woo-woo, also I didn't noticed feeling stressed by not counting).

    Have any other obsessive counters found the transition really complicated?
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

  2. #2
    JoanieL's Avatar
    JoanieL is offline Senior Member
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    I'll see your calorie counting, and raise you standing on the scale every day. If I skip either, I'll gain weight. For whatever the reason, there's a disconnect for me between how much I'm eating and how it will affect my body. I've tried quitting both numerous times with the same results. I don't have an answer for you. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

    I'm going to continue counting and weighing because that's what works for me, but I hope you find a way that makes you comfortable.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

  3. #3
    Paleo0731's Avatar
    Paleo0731 is offline Senior Member
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    I personally don't see anything wrong with counting. If it works for you, do it. Just don't rely on the scale too much and stress out about it.

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    LauraSB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    I'll see your calorie counting, and raise you standing on the scale every day. If I skip either, I'll gain weight. For whatever the reason, there's a disconnect for me between how much I'm eating and how it will affect my body. I've tried quitting both numerous times with the same results.
    LOL, I love my scale so much! Ha! I ate 2500 cals yesterday and the scale didn't budge. Ha! I drank three pints of beer last night and the scale didn't budge.

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only person who has almost miraculous results from counting. I would like to have an explanation though.

    I'm thinking of trying a hybrid strategy of mostly counting and then just totally guessing when it seems like too much trouble.
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

  5. #5
    lillygirl07's Avatar
    lillygirl07 is offline Junior Member
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    Are you using a calorie counting app or program?


    Sent from my BNTV600 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

  6. #6
    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is offline Senior Member
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    I deplore the 2 most common methods to assess "progress".
    - The food scale
    - The human scale

    I started as a counter years ago when I went onto paleo....but I will die before I put my beloved steak on a food scale again.

    My main problems with it, for me, is this:
    -- It does not leave room for insanity, or extreme efforts. I mean if I fast for 2 days, what exactly should I be setting my cals up to after? If I hike 30 miles for the hell of it, take a swim in 55 degree water (a cal is just heat), or decide that I will be eating nothing but rabbit and cold raw potatoes for the weekend?

    For me, taking my diet and fitness by the "project" or "mission" is much more effective than measuring stuff out every day. For me, that is not a sustainable strategy. I travel often, must eat out, camp a lot, etc. I would say perhaps 50% of my meals are made at HOME, then eaten immediately. Often I make huge piles of meat and eat it over several days. Think cooking up 3 whole chickens at the same time, a 6lb Boston Butt (tonight), or deciding that for the weekend I will be eating nothing but lamb shanks and green peppers.

    I have found that my "mission" approach is either 1) crazy to the "ounce counters" or 2) very normal to athletes

    In general, I consult people with that in mind; extreme enthusiasm and pride in your discipline will beat regimentation every time, over the long haul. For some that isn't possible, but I have found it to be preferable.

    I like to play games, make scenarios for my dieting. It's much more fun, and my friends find it entertaining.

    "Why didn't you eat yesterday?"
    "Oh, I am in a famine right now. No meat for the past 3 days, only greens.....but we are migrating to better food sources. Tomorrow I am going to attempt eating a 5lb grass-fed roast in one sitting. We had to hike 20 miles first though. That bitch was heavy."
    "You are so comfortable in your weirdness it is kind of spooky."
    "Thanks. Next weekend we find a fruit pasture."

    Keeps it fun, and been able to do it for a few years now. The results are proof enough?
    "They now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry." - Thomas Jefferson, 1826

  7. #7
    LauraSB's Avatar
    LauraSB is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillygirl07 View Post
    Are you using a calorie counting app or program?
    I use LoseIt on my phone. The database isn't great - I've added a lot of custom foods - but I like the tracking format. I downloaded and graphed a year's worth of data in this thread http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread81185.html because I was interested in seeing how my calories and weightloss correlated. The data is on pages 1 and 6 with a bunch of CICO bickering by the usual suspects in the intervening pages, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    Laz's strategy
    I actually don't disagree. (Well, except maybe about fasting for the fun of it. That's just twisted. ) As I stated in my original post, one of my goals when I started was to be able to eat like a thin person, never thinking about the calories in my food. I don't find counting and weighing to be quite so soul crushing, I mean they got me from here:

    to here:

    And you can't argue with results , but I am ready to give it up. I was just surprised I couldn't just quit cold turkey.
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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