Get Fit. Get Active. Get Inspired. Subscribe to get the latest updates and printables.

Counting Calories, No More

226 Flares Twitter 8 Facebook 21 Google+ 51 StumbleUpon 55 Pin It Share 91 226 Flares ×


counting calories

I am done and totally fed up with counting calories .  I use to be pretty dedicated to MyfitnessPal and counting calories religiously but it was totally stressing me out.  I know that calorie counting works for many people but I have a ton of anxiety issues and counting calories I feel triggers my anxiety which causes me some undo stress.  Now we all know that stress can hinder weight loss.

You are probably thinking this lady is crazy she is getting stressed out about counting calories but its true I actually have an anxiety disorder and all kinds of minor things to some can totally throw me off my game.   So the constant stress of remembering to count my calories when I am out or meticulously weighing every single ounce of food gives me extreme anxiety.  I think about all kinds of things from thoughts about if the measurements are actually right or accuracy of the nutritional facts on the packaging.  At that point my thoughts just kinda spiral out of control and I end up spending more time stressed than actually eating.

Through all of my research I discovered a number of things that have helped me make the decision to leave counting calories in the past.

Did You Know

  • The FDA allows manufacturers and packagers a surprisingly wide margin of error–the information can be off  by 20% in either direction and still be in compliance.  Nutrition Over Easy
  • Obesity researcher Zoe Harcombe reported that despite the UK National Food Survey confirming that we ended the last century eating 25 per cent fewer calories than in the Seventies, the obesity rate has increased six-fold since then.  MailOnline
  • Contrary to what your Momma, track coach or even Doctor led you to believe, all calories are NOT created equal, and thinking you’ll lose weight simply by counting them or cutting them will likely leave you hungry, irritable, malnourished and not much lighter than you were when you started.  Dr. Frank Lipman


counting calories

Once I discovered that the nutrition facts that I was meticulously living by may not even be right my level of stress just went up.  I had invested so much time in trying to get it all right and the FDA doesn’t even make companies get it totally right.  I know that a lot of people say that calorie counting makes them stay aware of what they are eating but for me I know what i am eating and I also know what is good for me and what isn’t.

I think the most important thing for me to reach my goal is to understand what made me gain weight in the first place.  So I evaluated what my triggers were when it came to gaining weight.   Here is what I have come up with as my major issues.

1. School Schedule- nursing school keeps me going non stop and with that I sometimes make the fast choice instead of the healthy choice.  So eating this way is out of pure convenience.

2. Stress-  most people know that stress can hinder weight loss.  I know that for me stress doesn’t make me eat more it just makes losing the weight harder.  I tend to stress about everything and on top of that my anxiety medication can sometimes make losing weight a nightmare.  I am happy however to report that I have not had to use any meds since the beginning of the year.

3. Lack of Sleep-  I am a night owl but I take it to the extreme because of my anxiety I also suffer from insomnia that keeps me up for the most part every single night til the next day.  As I am writing this very post it is 4am in the morning.  I find myself staying up till 10-11am the next day sleeping around 2-3 hours a day.   The longer you stay up the less time your body has to recover and also the more time you have to graze.   I have been good about not snacking in the middle of the night but the lack of sleep isn’t doing me any favors.

As you can see my main problems are not really about the counting of calories and knowing what food is good for me and what food isn’t.   My current lifestyle is the problem from cramming for school, stressing about school and everything else, to all the sleepless nights.

Although I won’t be counting calories I will be watching what I eat.  I do know what is good for me and what isn’t and I understand portion control but I won’t be focusing on the calories like I was before.  I actually feel like a weight has been lifted off of me and I feel free from the constraints of tracking every little morsel of food.

This video from the New York Times is worth a watch its only 5mins but they actually find out how many calories are in a number of  foods vs what it is said on the label and its pretty enlightening.

Do you count calories or have you ever?  Is it something that you think is sustainable for the long term?

226 Flares Twitter 8 Facebook 21 Google+ 51 StumbleUpon 55 Pin It Share 91 226 Flares ×

75 Comments on Counting Calories, No More

  1. tara pittman
    June 19, 2014 at 10:46 AM (1 year ago)

    I dont count calories as life is too short. I try to eat healthy foods and exercise.

  2. Kungphoo
    June 19, 2014 at 10:59 AM (1 year ago)

    That is a good app.. i have used it before..

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    June 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM (1 year ago)

    I had my fitness pal for a while. I ended up just keeping track myself. I don’t count every single calorie, though – I just guesstimate.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM (1 year ago)

      I just couldn’t continue to do it. It seemed daunting and time consuming. I usually eat the same variety of things that are pretty healthy so it just made sense to give it up.

  4. Jessica Peeling
    June 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM (1 year ago)

    I started using MyFitnessPal about two weeks ago, and I have desperately been trying to eat as healthy as possible (counting calories is driving me nuts, too) and working out every other day. I think my own stress and lack of sleep are contributing to me not seeing any tangible results. The problem is, if I don’t see any weight come off, I get more stressed out.. and I’m back to medical school in a month and a half, so I have to get this routine down now! I totally understand where you are coming from in terms of lifestyle.

  5. Miranda Sherman
    June 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM (1 year ago)

    As a mom of four I dont have time to count calories but admire those that manage to find the time and remember to count their calories! I probably should so I can lose weight better but I have been focusing more on choosing healthier options at this point, counting will have to wait for the future.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM (1 year ago)

      After the research I have done and what I have discovered about nutrition facts I don’t think its really worth your time to count them anyhow….lol

  6. Onica {MommyFactor}
    June 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM (1 year ago)

    I think calorie counting has gotten to be a too serious thing. It seems it was suppose to be more of a guideline. To make people aware of their intake. Much better to examine all areas of your life for weight management, like your doing.

  7. Lisa J. Jones
    June 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM (1 year ago)

    I Don’t Like To Count Calories Either You Made Some Great Points, Thank You For The Great Information

  8. Emilee
    June 19, 2014 at 12:18 PM (1 year ago)

    I try to just keep a mental note of what my intake was. Not just calories, but all around nutrition. I have myfitnesspal as well, but I’m horrible at remembering to enter things in.

  9. Jessica
    June 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM (1 year ago)

    I used to use MyFitnessPal for the same thing and it was driving me crazy. I deleted the app and started to eat healthier and drink more water. Counting calories doesn’t always work! It actually left me eating more in the end. How.. I do not know!

  10. Amanda
    June 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM (1 year ago)

    I don’t count calories, I just make sure our family eats healthy foods and we try to not eat processed foods or foods with manufactured chemicals in them.

  11. C.J.
    June 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM (1 year ago)

    Great article. I was also a MyFitnessPal fanatic but I realized that I wasn’t losing any weight. I redirected my eating lifestyle to eating lots of raw food and limiting my sugar intake. Once the sugar stopped…. the weight fell off and I haven’t gotten it back.

  12. Samantha Angell
    June 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM (1 year ago)

    I can’t believe they allow that big of a discrepancy! Definitely makes counting not worth it.

  13. Anna
    June 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM (1 year ago)

    I counted calories back in college and lost 15 lbs or so, but now that I have kids I just don’t have time for that. Between my 4, I’m lucky if I can sit down for the whole meal or not hold the baby in one arm while eating with the other. .

  14. Melissa Smith
    June 19, 2014 at 2:07 PM (1 year ago)

    I could never count calories & give you major props for doing it for so long. Not to mention the fact that there’s a HUGE discrepancy…makes me glad I never did.

  15. Lisa J. Jones
    June 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM (1 year ago)

    Such Great Tips I Never Calorie Count!!

  16. susan
    June 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM (1 year ago)

    So glad I’m reading this now. I’ve got the mid-afternoon munchies, and your post is encouraging me not to give in. Thank you for the motivation!

  17. Holli
    June 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM (1 year ago)

    I’m really bad about counting calories. I have a My Fitness Pal account that I go through spurts in using but, overall, I just try to eat a healthy diet and hope the rest falls into place (which might be part of the reason I’m fat :)).

  18. FamiGami
    June 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM (1 year ago)

    Counting calories, diets, exercise regiments – they’re all ways to control and influence a populace to buy (or not buy) something. Calories required depends on EACH PERSON – we are not all the same size and we are not meant to be the same size. There is an upper and lower health threshold that varies by person. Obesity is obesity and malnourishment is malnourishment – but the scale by which they are measured is variable – not fixed.

    What matters is that you FEEL healthy and stay ACTIVE. How you achieve both is irrelevant.

  19. Mandy@
    June 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM (1 year ago)

    I maintain my weight and health by eating cleaning and working out daily. Since I have a rough idea of calories in all foods I do have in my mind what I am consuming calorie wise but I dn’t keep track overall each day,

  20. Maketta
    June 19, 2014 at 3:22 PM (1 year ago)

    Right now, I’m on a vegetarian/vegan diet because of a health issue. I’ve discovered when trying to lose weight is dairy is a big factor. If you cut that out and lessen meat intake it works wonders. Counting calories wouldn’t do it for me either it just seems to time consuming. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  21. Cintia (Vanilla Dreams)
    June 19, 2014 at 3:29 PM (1 year ago)

    I have never counted calories because I was confused how much contans each dish. I chech the cover if I am not sure and if it seems much I don’t eat if I am not really hungry. Instead of counting calories I prefer chose healthier foods which means that I know I didn’t eat anything wrong but healthy :)

  22. Rebecca Swenor
    June 19, 2014 at 3:39 PM (1 year ago)

    I believe it is portions and what you eat along with when. You got this though. Stress causes over eating and a number of other concerns Good Luck to you on your journey. :)

  23. Bella Vida Letty
    June 19, 2014 at 3:58 PM (1 year ago)

    I never considered that the labels themselves would be wrong. Thanks for the info.

  24. Patty
    June 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM (1 year ago)

    I don’t count calories. Instead, I try to watch my portions and eat sensibly. I cut out soda and almost all sweets. I watch my carbs and try to eat naturally as much as possible. Great post!!!

  25. Heather
    June 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM (1 year ago)

    I think the most disturbing part is the discrepancies and by how many calories. I too say stop counting calories and just be active and eat well. Look at the scale like once a week and just make good choices like you are. Reduced stress may help you sleep a little easier too.

  26. Coolchillmom
    June 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM (1 year ago)

    I don’t count calories and I can see how I need to look out for what I eat.
    Lack of rest also is a cause of extra pounds

  27. Lady Lilith
    June 19, 2014 at 5:22 PM (1 year ago)

    Wow. what a lot of outside sources that can change weight.
    I am not one to have patience to count calories but we have downsized our portions.

  28. Danielle
    June 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM (1 year ago)

    I love this post!! I use the app Lose It and I totally agree it can get crazy! I almost always forget to put them in anyway! I love your tips!

  29. Stephanie
    June 19, 2014 at 5:58 PM (1 year ago)

    I don’t count calories but I was thinking about it cause I’m trying to get rid of my baby belly. I’m glad I wont be starting.

  30. Touristmeetstraveler
    June 19, 2014 at 6:08 PM (1 year ago)

    What ever works for you, I find counting calories is important in weight loss.

  31. Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM
    June 19, 2014 at 6:18 PM (1 year ago)

    I’m glad you decided to obsess calorie-counting. I think anything that causes us stress must be done away with. Life is too short, time is too precious. Thank you for the useful information on the FDA as well. We are vegan, so our intake of those foods is very limited, but it still affects us.

  32. Angela Christopher
    June 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM (1 year ago)

    I am not a calorie counter, I can’t keep track of all that, my ADHD won’t allow me! haha I just eat what I know I should, and steer clear of what I shouldn’t. I exercise, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, and hope for the best!

  33. Leira Pagaspas
    June 19, 2014 at 8:17 PM (1 year ago)

    I love my fitness pal!! I don’t count calories anymore too!

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:22 PM (1 year ago)

      I think it is a great website and I loved the idea at first. I think once it became an obsession that caused me more stress then it wasn’t as great or enjoyable….LOL

  34. Amber NElson
    June 19, 2014 at 8:38 PM (1 year ago)

    I really do like My fitness pal as well. It makes it so easy to stay on track.

  35. Rena (An Ordinary Housewife)
    June 19, 2014 at 8:58 PM (1 year ago)

    I tried doing “points” with Weight Watchers, but it was kind of a pain. My mom does WW though, and she is religious about counting her points! LOL

  36. janelle
    June 19, 2014 at 9:27 PM (1 year ago)

    i have never counted calories, and wrong or not, i think people get obsessed with it. i think as long as you are happy and healthy, or trying your best, you can do it without having to count each thing you eat.

  37. Lavende & Lemonade
    June 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM (1 year ago)

    I had no idea they had such a large margin for error! Very interesting! I agree wholeheartedly that counting calories is not the answer…simple, healthy eating is so much more enjoyable and effective!

  38. Michelle F.
    June 19, 2014 at 9:33 PM (1 year ago)

    I used to count calories every single calorie too and just quit. Now I just estimate in my head and try not to go over what I think I should eat.

  39. Jeanna McMicking
    June 19, 2014 at 9:36 PM (1 year ago)

    I gave up on my fitness pal a while ago. It was way to stressful. Made me want to eat cookies to make myself feel I hate counting calories.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:20 PM (1 year ago)

      lol…I am with you girl. I started hating the thought of food because it just meant more work having to plug it all in.

  40. krystalskitsch
    June 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM (1 year ago)

    I want to get a Fit Bit and see if that helps me get back into gear!

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:19 PM (1 year ago)

      I love my fitbit flex it is totally worth it!

  41. Jennifer Williams
    June 19, 2014 at 9:46 PM (1 year ago)

    I tried to do the calorie counting a couple times and ended up like you. I was stressed out and it took up too much time. I just try to eat as healthy as I can and pretty much graze all day long. That seems to work best for me to maintain a healthy weight and not be cranky waiting until the time for me to eat again. I had no idea they had that much wiggle room for nutrition information

  42. Franc Ramon
    June 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM (1 year ago)

    I guess it’s hard to enjoy a meal when you are so stressed out in counting calories but on the other hand, it’s also good that you are health conscious.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 19, 2014 at 11:19 PM (1 year ago)

      I can be really hard to enjoy a meal if you are stressing. I started loathing the thought of food and meal time while I was counting calories.

  43. Maria Oller
    June 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM (1 year ago)

    I have never counted calories but when ever I’m really over weighted I would only stop drinking coke and I start walking everywhere it never fails for me at least

  44. Sharon
    June 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM (1 year ago)

    That is crazy! What a huge discrepancy and I feel ya on the insomnia. I have it real bad too and sleep only 3-4 hours/night.
    I remember what’s always worked best for me is eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full. That’s it…oh, and choosing apples over twinkies help :)

  45. Curby Aardvark
    June 20, 2014 at 12:31 AM (1 year ago)

    If you wanna gain weight, eat over 2000 calories; if you want to lose weight eat under 1800 calories a day. Pretty easy!

  46. Ralff Dizon
    June 20, 2014 at 1:12 AM (1 year ago)

    Informative post, i will going to share this with my wife, i don’t do diet or whatsoever, i only eat delicious food.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 20, 2014 at 1:30 AM (1 year ago)

      lol…delicious food is always good!

  47. cococute life
    June 20, 2014 at 2:29 AM (1 year ago)

    I do not concern calorie and I know this is very bad but I just want to enjoy every moment and counting calorie will just be a waste of time for me. I eat what I can and what I love then at least I lived my life to the fullest.

  48. Kay Adeola
    June 20, 2014 at 3:29 AM (1 year ago)

    Counting calories is not worth it to me.I just eat what i want and add something like a salad to it lol thats my healthy.

  49. Moxiesgroovymom
    June 20, 2014 at 3:39 AM (1 year ago)

    That first fact you posted about manufacturers not telling us the whole truth really annoys me. We’re being lied to in so many ways on product packaging that it’s hard to know what to believe, especially if you’re buying for children or special dietary restrictions.

    • Danielle Stewart
      June 20, 2014 at 3:59 AM (1 year ago)

      I know its crazy. I spent so much time looking at labels and once I discovered that they weren’t totally accurate I just felt like all the time I invested was a big waste. I am focusing on the food that I know are good for me and incorporating good fats.

  50. Chasity Boatman
    June 20, 2014 at 5:44 AM (1 year ago)

    I never count calories. I think it can drive people crazy! I just try to eat healthy and go to the gym.

  51. Anita
    June 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM (1 year ago)

    Fabulous post. I’ve never counted calories. Way too much work.

  52. Ann BAcciaglia
    June 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM (1 year ago)

    I try to count calories but find it difficult and time consuming. I try to watch what I eat and not stress about counting calories as much.

  53. LaTonya (Detroit Mom)
    June 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM (1 year ago)

    I’m with you! I don’t count calories and I don’t step on that dreaded scale either LOL

  54. Amber NElson
    June 20, 2014 at 5:54 PM (1 year ago)

    After awhile you just kind of do the math in your head.

  55. Patricia
    June 20, 2014 at 7:09 PM (1 year ago)

    I never counted calories and just tried to eat healthy. I think counting calories can be tricky.

  56. Tess
    June 20, 2014 at 10:53 PM (1 year ago)

    I really dont count calories. I havent stepped on a scale for awhile either. lol

  57. Joanna Sormunen
    June 20, 2014 at 11:15 PM (1 year ago)

    Counting calories haven’t helped me a one bit. I don’t know what will help but calories are just a way to divert you from the issue.

  58. Dawn
    June 21, 2014 at 12:39 AM (1 year ago)

    I used to count calories. Then I realized that I had a life and didn’t have time for all that nonsense.

  59. Sandy Sandler
    June 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM (1 year ago)

    Wow I did not know that food can have that much of a discrepancy. Thanks for that tip. No I don’t count cals as you are right, that is stress full.

  60. tonygreene113 @ 113tidbits
    June 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM (1 year ago)

    When I was diabetic I had to do all of the counting and watching for sugar. But now that I don’t have the type 2 diabetes any longer, my focus is on how many calories that I burn during workouts.

  61. Susie (The Esthetic Goddess)
    July 8, 2014 at 8:22 AM (1 year ago)

    I never count calories. I just eat every 2-3 hours something nutritious. Also if I want a piece of cake or pie I will have one small piece to satisfy my sweet tooth and I will purposely eat it slowly to enjoy every bite!

4Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Counting Calories, No More

  1. […] schedule I didn’t do any weights on Tuesday.   On Wednesday was the day I finally decided to give up counting calories and I am happy to report that has gone swimmingly.   I have been more conscious about what I am […]

  2. […] counting calories.  This was huge for me because I had become so consumed with this journey that counting calories had become and obsession that wasn’t really putting a damper on my summer.  I learned a ton about eating mindfully […]

  3. […] I personally love Starbucks but one of those tasty frappuccino’s has 400 calories and honestly we can’t be real sure that is actually how many calories are in it given that the FDA allows a 20% margin of error in either direction but you can read more about that here. […]

  4. […] love my scale and it helps me keep track of portion size.  I stopped counting calories but I still make sure to weight my […]

On Instagram

© 2015 Danielle Stewart - Fitness Fashionista