Do you 'count calories'? - Page 3 - VeggieBoards
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#61 Old 03-13-2013, 05:44 AM
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Oh wow! I never realised that food was such an issue for some people. I never give any thought to how many calories I am eating. I just eat the food that I prepare and that's it! I eat breakfast (sometimes 2 if I go to work really early) and a 3 course dinner every day with a small snack mid day sometime and a rather large bowl of dried fruit and nuts in the evening. I have no idea how much I weigh but I'm fairly fit for a 59 year old and as long as my clothes fit it's all cool!


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#62 Old 03-13-2013, 03:49 PM
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Yes. I count every single calorie and weigh everything I eat. I am aware I have a problem though!

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#63 Old 03-13-2013, 08:40 PM
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I count calories with MyFitnessPal. I started doing it about 8 years ago using a program called DietPower. It gave me a lot of insight into nutrition and also into my poor eating behaviors: how I would mindlessly snack or binge. It also gave me more freedom to feel good about some indulgences because I'd earned them by "banking" calories. Whenever I stop using a program to monitor my caloric intake  I tend to gain weight. Granted, as a vegan I don't gain weight as quickly as I did before, but I still gain weight.

 

My husband has done Weight Watchers in the past and had success (count points intead of calories) but he found that he prefers to eat a low-fat vegan diet instead of counting. That way he can eat as much as he wants and can simply let his body tell him when to stop. It works great for him.

 

I hope to raise my son to be an intuitive eater. We never do the "clean your plate" thing. And I try not to bargain with him about food (but sometimes I do say "Do you want the candy or the toy, you can only have one" and luckily he usually chooses the toy). I encourage him to eat enough to feel full, not more or less. I praise him for eating healthy foods and I try to make it fun (not always successfully, however).

 

I think most people can be intuitive eaters from the start but it might take time to relearn how if they didn't come to it naturally from childhood. Once you learn bad habits of binging or eating mindlessly, it's hard to unlearn. Counting calories can help train your body and mind to eat smaller (or in some cases larger) amounts.

 

I also want to point out that counting calories is not just about counting what goes in, it's also about counting what goes out. I use a heart rate monitor and track how many calories I burn during my workouts. It's very helpful to me. It pushes me harder than I would on my own and that makes me stronger.

 

I just love data - it's helpful for me to have accurate measurements of progress. Logging your nutritional intake and exercise are good tools that can be very helpful to many people. They can also be abused by some people, just like how a scale can be abused by some people. Some people will weigh themselves way too much and obsess about it. But a scale is a scale all it does is provide data. It's really how people use that data that becomes good or bad.

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#64 Old 03-13-2013, 10:56 PM
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Having to count calories is a symptom of a poor diet, you only need to do it when you're consuming too many unnaturally calorie dense foods. So no, I don't count calories, I just eat natural foods and maintain a naturally lean physique. The only time I see my calorie count is when I plug my daily meals into a site like cronometer, its usually between 2,200~2,500 calories.

The funny thing is, you can't even effectively count calories. Not only is the "calories" written on food labels an estimate of the amount of energy that is absorbed from the food, but there is no way to know your caloric output. So both input and output are estimates with a significant margin of error....how do you effectively count calories under those conditions? You don't.....
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#65 Old 03-14-2013, 04:13 AM
 
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I don't count calories, way to time consuming, plus it's only an estimate anyways. I eat when I am hungry. By eating mostly healthy foods including lots of fruits and veggies I maintain a slim figure without trying. I usually eat about 5 times a day: 7am, 10 am, 2pm, 5pm, 9pm. These are all just estimates but it works for me and it helps that I love fruits and veggies.

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#66 Old 03-14-2013, 05:21 PM
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Heart rate monitors can reasonably estimate caloric expenditure when it factors in individual data like resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, VO2 max, weight.

 

Reading labels or using calorie charts (for unprocessed foods that don't have labels) can reasonably estimate caloric intake.

 

These estimates can be very good and very useful to many people.

 

---

I also want to point out that there are metobolic disorders that some people have that makes it so they simply cannot eat ituitively. Their bodies do not function the way they're supposed to and so they need to carefully monitor their food. The obvious example is Diabetes.

 

Another example: neglected or drug-exposed babies can sometimes develop Failure To Thrive because they do not learn to eat intuitively. Someone caring for babies like that needs to carefully monitor the babies' caloric intakes. They cannot just feed the baby whenever the baby acts hungry; they need to actively encourage the baby to eat. They need to count calories to make sure the babies survive.

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#67 Old 03-14-2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Heart rate monitors can reasonably estimate caloric expenditure when it factors in individual data like resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, VO2 max, weight.

Reading labels or using calorie charts (for unprocessed foods that don't have labels) can reasonably estimate caloric intake.
How does one define a "reasonable estimate"? Obviously with more information, your estimate will become more accurate. But the vast majority of people aren't rigorously estimated their caloric needs, they are just looking at some chart that has a pretty large margin of error.

Food labels tell you how many calories are in a food, that is straightforward to determine. But how much of that energy you actually absorb is another matter entirely and absorption is effect by all sorts of variables, individual biology, how the food is prepared, how foods are compared, etc. The caloric values on food labels are rough estimates.

Regardless, since both figures are estimates the combined figure needed to determine energy balance is rather rough.

Diabetics don't need to calorie count to lose weight.
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#68 Old 03-15-2013, 10:27 AM
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*head* *desk*

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#69 Old 03-16-2013, 02:11 PM
 
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I'm only just starting in my weight loss efforts but so far I have lost 10 lbs just by eating intuitively. I'm trying really hard to just listen to my body and feed it if I'm actually physically hungry and try to ignore the crave monsters. So far so good. 

 

I can count calories but I live with family at the moment and I don't cook (and most of what they make is Indian so counting calories with THAT is a total nightmare). Besides, I tend to obsess with calorie counting. Oh, 100 calories over my daily budget? Well, the damage is done, pass the chips, might as well make a binge out of it. I know it doesn't make sense.

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#70 Old 04-09-2013, 06:44 AM
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Avoid fad diets
 
It is important to stay away from fad diets (liquid protein, low-carbohydrate diets and other diets very severe). These plans are very restrictive and seldom balanced. In addition, when the plans are severe risks are higher drop when changes are habits gradually so as to be well understood. Following a very strict diet, you are exposed to a resumption of rapid weight once you start to eat again normally. This is the phenomenon of yo-yo. A healthy weight loss will, however, help maintain weight in the long term.
 
Congratulations to all those who take the initiative to begin the process of weight loss in a healthy and balanced. Your health will never look better! Good luck!
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#71 Old 04-10-2013, 04:43 AM
 
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I do not count calories, however sometimes I feel that its enough for today and then I just stop smiley.gif
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#72 Old 04-13-2013, 06:56 AM
 
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I don't thing so that most of do count their calories or other ingredients before eating something, but it really does effect you health and physical growth. So keeping these in mind adn at some moderate pase could really help you maintain a proper health and shape.

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#73 Old 04-16-2013, 03:14 AM
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For many many years I did not count calories and naturally maintained a normal or slighty underweight status due to being very physically active.  I just didn't think about it and while my diet wasnt the greatest (I cringe at some of what I ate) I took for granted the freedom I had.  In 2005 I went through a traumatic life changing event and at the same time was put on a medical anti candida diet for chronic yeast infections.  It triggered an eating disorder I still struggle with almost eight years later, and a few times I nearly died.  I wish I had never started counting calories.  It is a terrible obsession, along with obsessive meal planning, nutritional content etc and of course I focus on my body constantly.  I wonder if I will ever be able to eat normally and intuitively and love my body the way it is.  I came close when I went vegan in 2011.  I was in a process of recovery (for the third try).  But I unintentionally lost too much weight at first, followed by a natural weight gain as I adjusted and learned to eat more naturally as a vegan, and it retriggered everything.  Sighs.  When I see young men and women starting to count calories I want to tell them to run far from it.  But I guess for some people it helps control weight and make them more aware of what they put in their bodies.  It isn't for everyone.


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#74 Old 04-26-2013, 01:29 AM
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I count calories whenever I try to lose weight. At the moment, I am trying to lose a decent amount of kgs, so I am counting the calories I consume and the calories I expend, even though I know these are just estimates. I find it helps a lot!

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#75 Old 04-26-2013, 06:34 PM
 
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I have a bad relationship with food. I love it, but it hates me. I have never been able to control my intake if I do not track what I eat. And since I still have bouts where I eat even when I'm not hungry, if I don't track I gain weight. Real fast.

I don't count calories, because I do Weight Watchers (have been doing it for more than 15 years, and it works for me - this is not a WW ad, it's what it is). I wish I could just eat healthy and just enough, but that's not my reality. So I found a system that helps me keep my weight of.

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#76 Old 04-27-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logic View Post

Food labels tell you how many calories are in a food, that is straightforward to determine.

 

 

But on the downside, they may be terribly inaccurate.

 

 

I don't count calories. I'm strongly against dieting for weight loss and honestly wouldn't recommend counting calories to anyone regardless of their weight. I personally think it's best to simply eat when hungry, and stop eating when satisfied. Or at least try to anyway since for a lot of people that's easier said than done.

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#77 Old 04-29-2013, 12:53 PM
 
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I've been counting calories for the last 8 1/2 years and maintaining a 50 lb wt loss. It is essential that you keep a tab on what you eat by daily documentation, whether it is calories or carbs or what ever, if you want to lose and maintain. It is much too easy to slide if you don't. Study after study of successful dieters back this up. Not counting is like using a checking account never knowing how much you got left. If you want to look terrific, count. If you want to just get by, don't count. And btw, in my journal I also count how many weight lifting workouts I had and how many cardio minutes I log each week. It gets easy as the years go by.

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#78 Old 04-29-2013, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by henrybemis View Post

I've been counting calories for the last 8 1/2 years and maintaining a 50 lb wt loss. It is essential that you keep a tab on what you eat by daily documentation, whether it is calories or carbs or what ever, if you want to lose and maintain. It is much too easy to slide if you don't. Study after study of successful dieters back this up. Not counting is like using a checking account never knowing how much you got left. If you want to look terrific, count. If you want to just get by, don't count. And btw, in my journal I also count how many weight lifting workouts I had and how many cardio minutes I log each week. It gets easy as the years go by.

Congrats on your keeping up the weight loss. smiley.gif:thumbup:

Counting calories and weighing and such does work for some, but for some people, counting and putting that kind of emphasis on food is triggering for their eating disorders, so it probably isn't for everyone.
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#79 Old 06-01-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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I believe that counting calories can lead to an unhealthy obsession for some people. Others are able to count calories as a tool, to lose, gain or maintain.

Sometimes I count calories, and other times I can't be bothered.
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#80 Old 06-01-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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For me, counting calories originally helped me understand that I needed more to maintain my weight than just being full. Once I got the hang of it I slid into what probably counts as intuitive eating though and recommend freeing the tallying section of your brain up by doing so! Food energy contents are all just estimates anyway so even counting closely is rough guesswork... :)

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#81 Old 07-07-2013, 10:17 PM
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Craving for meals and starvation are different, i definitely have the wish to eat when i am not clearly starving sometimes, but i believe the fact that desires are not a good signal of what your human demands....

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#82 Old 07-17-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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I've never tried it wow I had no idea so many ppl do!

on a random topic does anyone know what a great natural source for vitamin B12 would be? (Other than meat products of course)
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#83 Old 07-17-2013, 11:42 PM
 
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Calories are not something I worry about. I obviously make sure my diet is balanced and my body is getting everything it needs.

I eat probably around 50% raw and only around 10% is processed so calories are not something that concerns me.
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#84 Old 07-24-2013, 04:04 AM
 
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Counting calories by using 'My Fitness Pal' is working for me right now. Helps me stay accountable and not be in denial about just how much I'm eating.

Sing your song looking up at the sky.  -- Nootka

 

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#85 Old 07-24-2013, 11:21 AM
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I don't count calories, but I do kind of know how much things are roughly in the calorie department. I don't bother counting though because I run lots. I've lost about 5lb in the last month just because I started running properly again.

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