Weight Loss
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is it very important to count your calories?


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okay, i HATE counting my calories! i have been busting my ass at the gym and burning atleast 500 calories in cardio. do you feel its very crutical to count your calories to lose weight even if you're eating healthy? 

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so how many calories should we be eating a day? i have heard many different answers. does it just depend on your body type? i know portions and i never over fill myself 

thank you for your wonderful input!! :) i think i will have to go meet with a personal trainer at my gym very, very soon! 

I spend a year at the gym, working my ass off and eating healthy - but didn't lose a pound of weight. I only started shedding off pounds with counting calories. people just don't feel what the right amount of food is.

But, in case you keep losing weight, you can do without counting. When you stop losing - it's time to calculate. 

I think it helps at first just to realize what you are doing. I thought I ate pretty good, but I see what needs to be changed as a result of counting.

I think you should count calories at least once a week.  That way at least you will have some idea how much you are eating.  Portion size is half the battle - eat the right kind of foods and you really shouldn't need to count calories every day.

Caveat - when you first start out I would suggest counting calories more often until you get a feel for different foods.

I lost 150lbs not counting calories, and i kinda regret ever starting honestly. I mean it has helped, but when you have OCD it kinda just turns into a pain.

#7  
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Basicly, you need to find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), whatever the number, decrease by 500 calories... keep track of those calories, and you will loose weight!

Just google Basal Metabolic Rate, there's tons of calculators, Im sure CalorieCount.com has it.  Good Luck!

Original Post by mackd5:

Basicly, you need to find your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), whatever the number, decrease by 500 calories... keep track of those calories, and you will loose weight!

Just google Basal Metabolic Rate, there's tons of calculators, Im sure CalorieCount.com has it.  Good Luck!

First, CC does not provide us with our BMR. It does use it in its calculations for our actual burn rate, which brings me to my second point

We don't burn our BMR. We burn at least 20% over that being sedentary, more if we are active. So you don't want to eat 500 calories less than your BMR. You want to eat at least your BMR. Your weight loss will come from that 20% extra burned from being sedentary and whatever exercise you do on top of that.

#9  
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soo my total calories burned say 1,728 per day. The max calories it says for me is 1200 a day. The difference is about 500 calories. Ive also heard that if you eat 500 calories less a day, you will loose weight. I guess this is all wrong...

so, today i have decided i am going to count all my calories. what a pain in the ass it is! and i can totally see myself obsessing over how many calories i am eating a day! i think i may do it for the next couple weeks and see how it works out for me and if i notice a difference in my weight loss! i really like all the forums on this website! i just found this site this morning!

 

Original Post by mackd5:

soo my total calories burned say 1,728 per day. The max calories it says for me is 1200 a day. The difference is about 500 calories. Ive also heard that if you eat 500 calories less a day, you will loose weight. I guess this is all wrong...

No, that's mostly right - except 1200 is the minimum, not the maximum you should eat.

But the 1728 isn't your BMR, and so telling someone to look up their BMR and eat 500 less than that is incorrect.

#12  
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yea your right... I shouldnt tell anybody anything, its not my place. Im sorry Mandyjean for misinforming you, I thought I was doing the right thing, but I was not. Im just not going to post anything else up on these forums. Amethystgirl seems to know what shes talking about, I guess when I get into work I will have to do a teaching with our dietician. Good thing I didnt tell any of my patients this information.  Sorry again.

#13  
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I spoke to my dietician, google the 500 rule. That explains it all, and this is what I was trying to explain.

I used to count calories but honestly I hate it.  So I did get used to knowing how much I should be eating roughly, and now I don't bother counting calories anymore and I'm still losing weight.  I'm making better choices and exercising 6 days a week and am losing at a healthy rate.

Original Post by mackd5:

I spoke to my dietician, google the 500 rule. That explains it all, and this is what I was trying to explain.

The "500 rule" (as in, eating 500 less than you burn) isn't wrong. Your use of the term BMR is wrong.

To lose a pound a week you have to eat 500 calories less than you burn.  You do not burn your BMR in a day, unless you are in a coma. A sedentary person burns at least 20% more than their BMR.  So subtracting 500 from BMR will not give you the proper intake to lose a pound a week.

If your dietician doesn't understand the difference between actual burn and BMR, you might need to find a new dietician.

Edit: FWIW, I did google "the 500 rule" just to make sure that we were talking about the same thing. The first hit described it as a way to estimate how many grams of carbohydrate will be covered by one unit of insulin. The next two hits were about investing, then a link to college golf. Fifth on the list: card games. So I'm just assuming that you are talking about the "eat 500 less than you burn" rule of weight loss, since google didn't really confirm that for me.

So I wonder, how do you cope with hunger when you realize that you've been eating three times the amount you should have? I also recognize that when I'm not counting calories I tend to overeat ( about 2600 kcalories/day). My hope was that if I workout everyday then I can still eat a little bit more and lose weight, that' what I am trying now. Otherwise, in the past I have tried to reduce quantities and it worked but I was starving and was obsessed with food all day long instead of focusing on my activities. 1500 kcal is just not enough for me :( 

I need a minimum 1800 kcal to feel alright and not think of food all day long.  I don't know how to cope with hunger in the long run. Some people say that you appetite will diminish with time but it is just not happening with me.  That's why I was wondering how you could reduce your quantities so much and hold it on a long run...

The first week is always tough, but you'll be amazed how much your body adapts. I was always starving in the morning, so I ate lots of eggs in the morning that made me feel full. Now I have a bowl of bran flakes with bananas and I'm  not hungry until 12! 

Before I counted calories, I always thought it would be a pain, but it's the only thing that has helped me lose. It keeps me accountable and I can't lie to myself and say "oh I've been good all day, I'm going to have a treat" and then eat some outrageous thing that throws off my counts for the day. I've also noticed that the weeks I get lazy in counting, I don't lose weight.

I'm sure there are those that can just make healthier choices, don't count calories, and still lose weight, but that just doesn't work for me. Counting calories and adding in workouts has helped me lose 25lbs! I'm going to keep it up until I hit goal weight and beyond!

I agree with what many people have said above, that they thought they were eating healthy but maybe too much. For me the biggest change with counting calories is that I was always guilty about every single thing I ate all day (even an egg and toast for breakfast) and it didn't stop me, whereas now, if I have kept my calories low throughout the day, maybe I can enjoy two cookies or something, and it's completely guilt-free!

Good luck with your journey no matter which way you choose!

Original Post by anniew1973:

I spend a year at the gym, working my ass off and eating healthy - but didn't lose a pound of weight. I only started shedding off pounds with counting calories. people just don't feel what the right amount of food is.

But, in case you keep losing weight, you can do without counting. When you stop losing - it's time to calculate. 

The reason people don't feel their hunger/needs properly is because of hormones and eating the wrong stuff.. if you eat 1800 calories of the wrong crap (grains, vegetable oils and other processed stuff devoid of nutrients) its going to make you hungry/crave things because you are not getting the nutrient density and hormonal responses your body naturally regulates.

Another reason why people don't lose weight when "busting their ass" off at the gym is because of that very thing... you need extremely little [moderate-high intensity/weight lifting] exercise for efficient fat loss, because of how it stresses the body... though walking can probably be ignored since its such low intensity, do as much as that as you want providing you are fueling your body properly; 

I have lost about 100lbs without counting a single calorie or restricting myself eating wise (i eat to satiety, sometimes beyond on purpose, the amount you eat doesn't really matter as much when you are eating the right stuff) I have lost even more than that because I have been putting on muscle

OP: the scale weight is pretty useless once you get within 30lbs of a "typical weight" of your height/frame etc because eating the right stuff will encourage lean mass preservation/growth.

My advice; please don't look into quantities of food.. look into quality.. I realize this whole site is called caloriecount but the way foods affect hormones and stresses responses are far more important than further stressing your system by restricting micro-nutrients/minerals.

If you can lose weight without calorie counting, there's no reason to do so.  For me, it was discouraging to try to lose weight and have nothing happen.

It wasn't until I started counting my calories that I was able to see why nothing was happening.  Surprised  Waaaaay too many.  I was going over 2000 every day and hitting 3 or 4000 some days.  Kinda hard to lose weight at that, even with good activity levels and metabolism.

The CC ability to estimate the calories in virtually everything makes it easier to check.  Weighing and measuring my foods tells me what I was doing wrong.  So far, with CC, I've lost 20, with 20-25 more to go.

Good luck with it, however you do it.

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