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Do you 'count calories'?

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Just curious, following a long discussion ( or rather, me eating dinner whilst two friends with polarising views, both in nutrition-based fields of work, debated this ) on the issue whether you count calories or 'eat intuitively' or have a rough idea of how much you 'should' be eating?

I've always come from the old school theory that says if you're hungry, keep eating, if you're not hungry, don't eat, there is much wisdom about the existence of calories and I don't disbelieve that but I figure it'll balance itself out ( overeat one day , less hungry the next day etc ) . Plus part of me doesn't really believe we all need the same amount of food ( plus or minus more or less for weight and size etc ) anyway.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 85
Nope, never counted calories and I probably never will. I eat when I'm hungry. However, I found that there are much better lower calorie foods to get full on than the SAD.
post #3 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassette View Post

Just curious, following a long discussion ( or rather, me eating dinner whilst two friends with polarising views, both in nutrition-based fields of work, debated this ) on the issue whether you count calories or 'eat intuitively' or have a rough idea of how much you 'should' be eating?

I've always come from the old school theory that says if you're hungry, keep eating, if you're not hungry, don't eat, there is much wisdom about the existence of calories and I don't disbelieve that but I figure it'll balance itself out ( overeat one day , less hungry the next day etc ) . Plus part of me doesn't really believe we all need the same amount of food ( plus or minus more or less for weight and size etc ) anyway.

I don't count, but I'm moderately calorie-conscious. "Only eat when you're hungry" is fine for some people, but not necessarily for someone trying to lose or maintain weight. It can be hard to differentiate between food cravings and hunger sometimes and also there's a lag period between eating and feeling full.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forster View Post

However, I found that there are much better lower calorie foods to get full on than the SAD. \t\t\t\t\t\t

I'm unconvinced that you can get equally full by eating lower calorie foods. What's the SAD, BTW?

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post #4 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

I'm unconvinced that you can get equally full by eating lower calorie foods. What's the SAD, BTW?

Standard American Diet.

I'm convinced on the getting full thing though... lots of high fiber foods have been my friend in getting and staying full.
post #5 of 85
Depends on what you're eating of course.

Just because it contains a lot of calories doesn't always mean that you're going to get full faster than with food that contains less calories.
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post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Envy View Post

Depends on what you're eating of course.

Just because it contains a lot of calories doesn't always mean that you're going to get full faster than with food that contains less calories.

I certainly don't deny that that is possible. I'm just personally unconvinced because I haven't been able to find any studies that reach that conclusion.

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post #7 of 85
Soda comes to mind for an example of neither filling nor lacking in calories, but I guess that it's an non-issue since it's a liquid.

Of course, protein is quite filling and low in calories.

But I guess I would have to search the web and make some conclusions on my own about that.
"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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post #8 of 85
I don't count calories, but I did a lot when I lost weight about a year ago. Now it hardly ever crosses my mind. I'm not sure about the theory of always eat when you're hungry. Couldn't this be similar to "I'm craving chocolate so my body must need it"?
post #9 of 85
I rarely eat "empty" calories, so I don't watch calories either.

Must be my lifestyle.
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post #10 of 85
Every once in a while I might track what I eat for a couple days to get sort of a rough idea as to what I'm taking in. Simply from experience I know about what calorie/fat range I'm in. But in general, no, I don't count anything.

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

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"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine." Bruce Lee.

"On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

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post #11 of 85
Thread Starter 
Wow. Really interesting stuff?!?!
post #12 of 85
Oh gods no, I can hardly even see the stupid things.
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post #13 of 85
I don't ever count calories. My brain and body work together to crave what I need. My doc told me to lose weight, so I made the decision to, and my body craved the healthy stuff, and I've lost all but 5lbs at this point. But no counting, no telling myself no, no hating my intake.
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How come I love reading other people's witty signatures, but can never seem to make an awesome one for myself?! Life is hilariously cruel.
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post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limes View Post

I don't count calories, but I did a lot when I lost weight about a year ago. Now it hardly ever crosses my mind. I'm not sure about the theory of always eat when you're hungry. Couldn't this be similar to "I'm craving chocolate so my body must need it"?

Food cravings and hunger are different. I definitely have the desire to eat when I'm not noticeably hungry sometimes. But I agree that cravings are not a good indicator of what your body needs.

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post #15 of 85
No, I don't. I'm the same healthy weight today (a decade and a half later) as the day I was 20. I've been vegetarian/vegan the whole time though, and stick to some rough rules about what I eat and not.

I no longer post here after the 2012 schism and exodus. (See my profile.) 

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I no longer post here after the 2012 schism and exodus. (See my profile.) 

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post #16 of 85
I don't count calories, I count points. Yes, I'm on WW. I did start eating about 95% raw a week ago and supposedly, if you eat a high raw diet, you will lose weight automatically. I can't take that chance. I don't know how to only eat when I am hungry. My brain and soul are always hungry (eating disorder), so if I don't keep track, I always eat too much. Eating raw is VERY satisfying, though.

Laura
post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

Food cravings and hunger are different. I definitely have the desire to eat when I'm not noticeably hungry sometimes. But I agree that cravings are not a good indicator of what your body needs.

True, they're not the same thing. If your stomach is rumbling, it's a good idea to eat something

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven815 View Post

I don't count calories, I count points. Yes, I'm on WW. I did start eating about 95% raw a week ago and supposedly, if you eat a high raw diet, you will lose weight automatically. I can't take that chance. I don't know how to only eat when I am hungry. My brain and soul are always hungry (eating disorder), so if I don't keep track, I always eat too much. Eating raw is VERY satisfying, though.

Laura

Good luck
post #18 of 85
I do count calories. I use sparkpeople.com to help me. I did this as a reaction to gaining weight last year, and I wanted to get control of it before it got out of hand. I certainly don't count every day, but I would say most days I do. I don't just count calories either; I also keep track of other protein intake and some vitamins.
post #19 of 85
Yep, I do. Sometimes I do it officially on Livestrong.com, but I nearly always keep track in my head. I wish I didn't, but my mother raised me to be pretty self-conscious.
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post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsail View Post

But I agree that cravings are not a good indicator of what your body needs.

My body does need chocolate some days. Most days.

I don't count calories.
post #21 of 85
Yes! It's part of my daily routine. I count the calories of all the foods i eat and see if I ate too much or too little that day. Works out great!
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post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post

My body does need chocolate some days. Most days.

I don't count calories.

Mine used to need red bulls and cigarettes.

Chocolate is good for you though.

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post #23 of 85
I lost 110lbs almost 10 years ago counting points. ( I'm a WW success story Raven ) These days I count calories as I have the ability to gain and retain weight very easily and I plan on never being obese again.

Additionally the program I use also tracks nutients which I am interested in from a health, exercise and wellbeing perspective.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein
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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein
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post #24 of 85
If I am trying a new recipe, I might use a site like nutritiondata.com to estimate how many calories a serving has. For the most part, I don't could EVERYTHING on a daily basis. I just try to get a gist so I make sure I am within an acceptable range. I allow myself indulgences from time to time, but I am mostly concerned with just maintaining my weight. I have always had a big appetite, so if I didn't use portion control, it would be easy for me to over eat.
post #25 of 85
No, I don't count calories. I have a rough idea of how much is in something but I think it is difficult to do if you're preparing foods yourself, most of us do not measure out our food.

I find keeping a food journal to be really helpful in evaluating if I am making good choices or not. It also gives me an idea of what I can change or why I made an unhealthy choice.
post #26 of 85
I used to. I've decided to stop because it only serves to make me think about food more while listening to my body less. I'll keep a food journal and my portions in check, but I can't live my life counting.

ETA: Also, I've gained weight faster when counting and lost it faster when not counting. Oh well.
post #27 of 85

I don't count calories, but I only eat a meal every other day.

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post #28 of 85

I lost about 50 pounds about a year and a half ago by counting calories.  I have since maintained it without calorie counting.  I would like to lose more weight am considering going back to calorie counting.

post #29 of 85

I was used to count calories, but I felt so bad, I was to obsess by it, it bacame a nightmare. It took time and now I do not count them anymore and I feel really really better.

 

the more important is to eat when we need and to have a good balance beetween fat, glucides and proteines. We have to avoid taking raffined products and trans fat.

 

than the amount of calories means most of the time nothing. If you eat the same amount of calories of milk candy bar and the same of raw carrots, the results on your body won't be the same even if the number of calories is the same!

 

so please do not count them, you ll be better. pay attention to the ingredients, vitamins, trans fat, sugar....

 

take care

post #30 of 85

Yes, I'm totally OCD about my calories and have such horrible panic attacks when I dont count lol

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