Counting Calories, No More

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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?

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Comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    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.

  2. Jessica Peeling says

    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.

  3. Lisa J. Jones says

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

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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!

  6. Amanda says

    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.

  7. C.J. says

    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.

  8. says

    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. .
    Anna recently posted…Cheerio TreatsMy Profile

  9. Melissa Smith says

    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.

  10. says

    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!

  11. says

    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.
    FamiGami recently posted…Wantable Accessories Box Unboxing & Review (June 2014)My Profile

  12. says

    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!
    Maketta recently posted…The Etiquettes Of Participating In CommunitiesMy Profile

  13. says

    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 :)
    Cintia (Vanilla Dreams) recently posted…SHEINSIDE WISHLISTMy Profile

  14. Rebecca Swenor says

    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. :)

  15. says

    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!!!

  16. says

    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!

  17. Stephanie says

    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.

  18. says

    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.

  19. Jennifer Williams says

    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

  20. Maria Oller says

    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

  21. Ralff Dizon says

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

    • says

      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.

  22. Chasity Boatman says

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

  23. Ann BAcciaglia says

    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.

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