Why I Don’t Count Calories Anymore

Hi!  Welcome back.  Ready for another round of my eating for the day?  I hope so.  I also have a topic I really wanted to discuss.  Calories.  And calorie counting.  I used to use MyFitnessPal.  Guilty.  I would track my nutrition intake diligently daily and be ecstatic when my calories were under the projected ‘calorie goal’ set for my body.  Today, I have been calorie-counting free for a little over 1 year and will never go back to counting calories.  Why?  Let’s discuss…

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breakfast//Salted caramel smoothie (1 frozen banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 scoop whipped vanilla ProZero plant based protein, caramel extract, sea salt, ice and xantham gum), 1 whole grain Eggo waffle, 1 slice Ezekiel toast, 2 Tbsp peanut butter, real raspberry preserves

1. Calorie counting made me choose low calorie foods and foods that had a nutrition label vs nutrient dense filling foods.  Ie Eating a nutrition bar instead of a green smoothie. Or eating PB2 instead of real peanut butter.  Now I look at a food and think “Will this fill me up?”  and “Will this make me feel good?”.   Usually, if it won’t, I won’t eat it even if it is ‘low calorie’.

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lunch//2 slices Alvarado St. bakery flax bread, avocado, Trader Joe’s mahi mahi burger, side of broccoli (ate the whole pile before this)

2. I started using a food scale and REALLY understanding portion sizes vs logging foods and thinking I was eating a set amount.  This was huge for me.  I would undereat carbs and overeat nut butters.  I would go hours without eating.  I would restrict foods.  I finally buy all foods because all foods can fit into my diet.  Learning portions and how to fuel my body correctly was the best thing I could have done.

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protein power bowl//HEB brand plain greek yogurt mixed with vanilla stevia and frozen overnight, 1/2 banana, peanut butter Panda puffs, mini chocolate chips, 1 Smores PopTart, homemade chocolate sauce (Hershey’s dark cocoa, water, vanilla stevia)

3. I became confident in my food choices and don’t have to double check that I ate the perfect amount.  Counting calories at this point in my journey would just be repetitive.  I use a carb, protein, and fat exchange system and eyeballing portions to understand my meals and I don’t care what the calories are.  At all.  I care more about if I am getting a good source of each of the macronutrients with more carbs around my workouts and more fats if I am not going to eat for awhile.

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dinner// Wafflewhich made with 1 egg cooked in coconut oil and topped with sea salt, melted mozzarella cheese (added to waffles while in the toaster oven), and raspberry jelly all sandwiched between 2 whole grain “Nutrigrain” Eggo waffles. Also had a huge pile of roasted broccoli slaw for dat FIBER.

SP

dessert//1 hugh-ass sweet potato, peanut butter, ff reddi whip and 2 Lindt cookies and cream chocolates melted on top

Not worrying about calories can be scary.  Heck, I logged my nutrition intake pretty regularly for probably 3-4 YEARS before I finally stopped!  What have I learned from not calorie counting?  How to make all foods fit, how to listen to my body, and how to understand nutrients instead of just calories.  And you know what?  I am never going back.

And most recent progress pictures (for myself, mostly):

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23 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Count Calories Anymore

  1. I recently stepped away from MyFitnessPal…It can become too obsessive and I would have the same thoughts as you. Right now I am working on lots of healthy fats and I’m all about sweet potatoes and coconut butter…I cannot get enough of it. I never want to count calories again!

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  2. I love that you share the real deal stuff, the things that many people are questioning, and do! And that waffle sandwich looks amazing!

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  3. But HOW did you stop? My problem is obsessively counting AND measuring. I have no idea how to stop or trust my body. I’ve been doing this for over 10 years and feel hopeless. 😦 I’m working on gaining weight (eating more and lifting heavy) so that is another hurdle. I’d be afraid of not eating enough if I didn’t count but at the same time it is really affecting the livelihood of me and my family’s lives and making me miserable. Just stuck in a rock and a hard place. Thank you for listening and any advice. I think your blog and instagram are great. –Ashley, 35 and so over this 😦

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    1. If you’d like to work with someone and are ready to makes changes and a commitment, you can email me. If not, its ok to rant sometimes! I stopped by listening to a mentor, learning macronutrients, figuring out real portions using a food scale, and deleting the app.

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  4. Do you write down how much of the macronutrients you are eating? How do you know you’re getting the right number/enough of each macronutrient in your body for the whole day? What do you mean by learning macronutrients?

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    1. Macronutrients are carbs, protein, and fats. We need a certain amount of each to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight. These all add up to your total calories. I use an exchange system to know the carbs protein and fats amounts Im eating. I used to weigh out food and mostly eye ball now. Email me if you have more questions or want to use this technique!

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  5. Thank you! But how do you keep track of the macronutrients you eat in a day, for example do you write down how many grams of protein you eat at each meal so that if your goal was 100g in a day, you know that you hit that 100g for the day? With the broccoli and sweet potato above in your pictures, do you weigh them out cooked or uncooked? If you made sweet potato fries would you weigh them out when you cut them into fries or after they are cooked?

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  6. Thank you! What if your making homemade burgers with extra lean ground beef, will you make them and then weigh them out after they are cooked and if it’s too many grams just cut some of the meat off? Some thing with sweet potato fries, cut them up cook them and weigh it after? The nutrition label on meat is that for cooked or uncooked?

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  7. Thank you so much! This information is so helpful! You have no idea how much. What if the nutritional information on the box of chicken says it’s for one chicken breasts and I wanted to have more than one chicken breast, how would I use that nutritional information and convert it to oz? I’ve never weighed meat in oz before, do I need to be right on a number like hit exactly 3 oz or 3.5 oz? (Like I wouldn’t do 3.3 oz, either weigh 3 oz or 3.5 oz) The nutritional information on the extra lean ground beef is for 100 grams, how do I convert that to oz? It doesn’t say it’s for cooked or uncooked, do I still use that nutritional information for when the meat is cooked?
    If I have 50 grams of raw carrots, and then have 50 grams of roasted carrots (I didn’t add any oil or anything that would add calories), would they have the same macros? I know I would weigh the carrots roasted after I have cooked them and obviously weigh the raw carrots raw.
    If the carrots came in a bag with the nutritional information for 50 grams, would I use that same exact nutritional information for macros for when I have the carrots raw and roasted?
    I would really really really appreciate if you’re able to answer these questions, it would help me greatly. Thank you for your time and help.

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  8. the above questions are good. thank you for posting this. like you, I had disordered eating for a long time. I logged everything I eat on http://www.sparkpeople.com if I didn’t log it I didn’t eat. I centered my whole world around eating at most 1250 cals a day. to the point I wouldn’t go out for dinners, I even brought my own food to my moms thanksgiving dinner cause I knew she wud add butter to corn etc.., it was sickening. since eating better I have gained 30lbs. I used to weight 109. now im about 139-142. I have a lot of muscle on me and I still watch what I eat but if the girls are parting I may have beers etc.., I can actually live now and it was worth the extra 30lbs. 30lbs meant to me that instead of a size 00, I am a healhy size 5 no big deal at all

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  9. Hi Deanna,
    I’m so happy I found your blog! I’m stuck in a rut at the moment and have no idea about macronutrients. I have hit a major platue with my weight. If I email you would be able to help me with this? I would greatly appreciate it!
    Thanks- Ashton

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