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CALA51 Posts: 3,539
6/27/14 10:23 A

I count calories and I been loseing weight

OASIS88 Posts: 1
6/23/14 9:06 P

Definitely. I used to be 5'2 174 pounds and right now I'm 144 pounds, I lost all 29 pounds just by counting calories. I'm still losing and will continue counting calories until I lose at least 10 more pounds and then I'll rethink.

LAURENCLEAR SparkPoints: (19,740)
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Posts: 11
6/23/14 6:40 P

I am a bit confused and I hope someone can help me understand why, when I set my diet to 1200-1550 calories a day, then exercise, SparkPeople program says I need to eat more. Why does it do that when I'm trying to lose weight?

MARCELA_OLEGA SparkPoints: (312)
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Posts: 93
6/14/14 8:46 P

absolutely, everything needs to be in balance

JBARBER16 SparkPoints: (2,080)
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Posts: 42
6/12/14 3:10 P

I'm a firm believer that you need exercise too. You can lose counting calories but you will plateau sooner.

MARCELA_OLEGA SparkPoints: (312)
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Posts: 93
6/1/14 6:55 P

there is so much written on 'counting the calories', I just focuss on certain combinations of food and times of the day. So no food after 8pm, eat less at night anyway, make sure you get enough fibers so that your digestion is working and we eat here meat in combination with salad, no rice, no pasta, no potatoes and at least I am not getting fat while enjoying nice food

Edited by: MARCELA_OLEGA at: 6/1/2014 (18:56)
EWL978 Posts: 2,021
11/11/13 9:10 A

Yes, but not as quickly as you would if you also exercised!!

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
11/11/13 9:09 A

I count calories and it's working for me, however, I think it does matter which calories you are eating. I gave up sugar and lost 16 lbs after being on a plateau.

ACCEPTHECHLNGE SparkPoints: (195,315)
Fitness Minutes: (147,193)
Posts: 8,676
11/11/13 12:12 A

I think WHAT you eat is key. Calories of different food are not equal. Do you realize how much fruit and vegetables you can eat to equal the calories of an 8 oz. steak? It also will fill you up more. Try it. You will like it.

EWL978 Posts: 2,021
11/6/13 9:29 A

no, it is just something that happens when you learn how to eat properly and move around!! That simple!

BRASKIN SparkPoints: (74,348)
Fitness Minutes: (69,911)
Posts: 1,730
11/6/13 7:58 A

While the exercise will help tone and seems what you put in your mouth is the thing that really matters!

Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
11/6/13 1:28 A

Only counting calories will not help you. You need to focus on daily workouts and smart snacking which will assist you to lose weight.Comparing labels between different foods and beverages is vital for making the improved choices necessary to lose weight.

DELLA81156 Posts: 201
9/10/13 7:06 P

It's good to count calories. It shows you what you eat and keeps me right around my calorie allowance.

GARYGFON Posts: 393
4/4/13 9:35 A

emoticon Long before becoming a Spark person I counted and record all my food calorie intakes, and found that the only true way to lost weight was by counting calories and changing your eating habits. Thanks to my doctor, I saw the light and have in the last year and half lost over 100 #'s. I no longer have to take pills for high cholesterol and with the walking regiment I have included have really improved my fitness level and feel so much better then a 1 1/2 year when I had to go to my doctor. Even my high blood pressure is well under control and I truly believe that the doctor will take me off them as well. Also, I would recommend if you have any question , or even none , have your doctor check for a thyroid condition, as that also can cause a weight problem. I have turn 70 years young and am doing great and will continue with my healthy life style. emoticon
emoticon No matter what other dieting programs promise the only true way to lose weight is to count calories and limit your intake, it does not even depend on what you eat only that you eat in moderation and control your serving sizes and be honest as to the amount of intake to accurately count your calories. The food tracker is a great tool and so much easier than using my old notebook and looking up calories for ever thing I eat on the computer when its all kept right here in Spark's. Thanks , Spark. emoticon

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
11/9/12 8:03 P

I'm sure weight can be lost by cutting calories alone but even light exercise (such as walking) helps me feel so much better that I would not want to do without. I find that exercise helps work off stress and fends off stress nibbling.

Strength training's very important too, both for bone health and to maintain muscle mass.

There are so many great responses here - what a terrific resource!

MKDIVA962 Posts: 6
11/9/12 4:17 P

This is good info! I turned 50 in September and am going through the change. I've put on 20 pounds over the last year and am uncomfortable to say the least! I've gotten serious about using the food tracker and am trying to do some form of exercise a day. I have a desk job so I sit a lot during the day. I have about 40 pounds to lose right now.

SUSANS706 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 4,675
8/24/12 7:41 A

It definitely comes off slower, and exercise not only helps with weight, it helps to keep your bones strong, along with countless other benefits. The only way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you take in. But you need to do it in a healthy way, and a way you can stick with, or it will come right back.

BRASKIN SparkPoints: (74,348)
Fitness Minutes: (69,911)
Posts: 1,730
8/24/12 7:18 A

it is my understanding that watching what you put in your mouth is responsible for the greatest amount of weight loss...and that exercise can most certainly help it along and firm ya up! emoticon

MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (119,517)
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Posts: 2,414
8/23/12 10:30 P

Just answering the original question: "Can you lose weight by only cutting calories?"

Simple answer = NO.

TERID816 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 159
8/23/12 9:58 P

v-e-r-r-y slowly! Exercise, even moderate amounts help a lot!

WYSEONE Posts: 187
8/23/12 9:41 P

You may lose some with just calorie counting, but I find that exercise increases the weight loss, and you just feel better. Even a small amount of exercise each day helps.

RGPW30 SparkPoints: (225,861)
Fitness Minutes: (233,519)
Posts: 163
8/23/12 8:40 P

Once I started using the Nutrition Tracker I found out how many calories I was eating a day and no wonder I could not lose weight and was slowly gaining weight. Now I try to stay between 1200 to 1800 calories/day and exercise everyday. My weight has come down some but it is slow. I will continue to count the calories because it helps me stay in touch.

VERONICA722 SparkPoints: (5,591)
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Posts: 346
7/28/12 10:31 A

absolutely SUSANBEAMON!
that's a great point well described.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 10,939
7/28/12 1:26 A

To the plain question: yes and no. Yes because I've lost 35 pounds with just calorie reduction, although I refuse to go below 1800 per day. No because I'm all jiggly and flabby and I need to exercise more but my hip won't let me move that much without serious pain. Getting that fixed next month, and I will loose more of the weight that lives in the flabby skin all over me. How important is exercise? I used to be a size 22 at 260 pounds. I started to have trouble moving, lost some weight and now I'm a size 22 at 235 pounds. Inbetween I went up to a size 26 and only gained 10 pounds. I lost muscle and gained flab by not exercising.

JRFINLEY14 Posts: 65
7/23/12 11:02 P

For years, I would lose weight by carefully counting calories. I would lose the weight, but then put it and more back on. I have tried the low carb, low fat, and about anything else low that was on the market. I used the diet pills and supplements. I lost it and put it all back on, plus some. My family doctor told me I needed to make a choice to throw out all the plans and pills and other hype and do two things. First decide how much you are now eating and if you are gaining or losing weight, and the second thing was to get up and move.

I have lost a total of 60 pounds since my Doctor talk two years ago, and still gain and lose due to emotional eating. But, I am still overall losing. At first I could barely walk and had no motivation to do any exercising. First I just drove to the store, grabbed a cart for support and just walked up and down every isle. Now I walk outside and no longer need the support. Try just one step more each day and see how it goes.

One of my best friends can not walk. She broke her back a long time back so for her to lose weight, she does the swimming pool and/or anything else for upper body work out. You should see her juggle. She just moves and watches what she eats with a weekly weigh in to give her feedback. Mostly she is just starting to enjoy life again and has quit saying "Why Me!"

The nice part about sparks is that there are a lot of folks out there going through what you are, and if you are like me you can find one or more things that motivate you to keep moving and losing. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I can do it now!

MOONLADYMIO SparkPoints: (3,531)
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Posts: 50
7/23/12 10:30 P

I think that in the beginning you can lose weight by counting calories until you reach a plateau. Then you have to add more activity,exercise etc. to continue the weight loss. When I needed to lose almost 40 lbs., I could not exercise in the beginning (only walking), I could barely move - so I started out with watching what was being consumed and counting calories, etc.. My portions were too large and I ate the wrong things (even though I knew what I should be eating). After I had lost 10 or 15 lbs., I added dance workouts.

MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (119,517)
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Posts: 2,414
7/23/12 3:10 A

Can you lose weight only by dieting? Maybe, if you only need to lose 5lbs. But those trying to drop more weight cannot cut calories- day after day after day- below a certain amount! Your body needs a minimum number of calories to function properly.

We burn calories even when we're not exercising. But you CAN cut more calories by exercising more. At the same time, you need to eat more calories if you're going to do a lot of intense calorie-burning. Otherwise your body's going to burn up much of your muscle mass in addition to fat. Balance is necessary!!

PEGGIE57 SparkPoints: (93,220)
Fitness Minutes: (60,908)
Posts: 5,445
7/22/12 11:58 P

I acyually don't count calories, but fruits & vegie, proteins, whole grains, etc. I also have added as much exercise as possible. I haven't been able to record strenth exercises, but I do those too. I've had more success this year than any other year.

VERONICA722 SparkPoints: (5,591)
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Posts: 346
7/22/12 8:54 P

Hi, all- I'm new here. lots of good suggestions. In answer to the topic question that brought me into this conversation, Prior to age 60, I would have answered yes, without a doubt. However, this past year has proven different. And that's why I'm here.
I already eat healthy -- just too much for my activity level. before 60, that was not a real problem. now it is.
Hoping to get motivated for yet another lifestyle change - show shy grin.

I notice this thread began in February. How are you doing today?

thanks for the question foremost in my mind too.

ILOVEJIM851991 SparkPoints: (182,857)
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Posts: 2,053
7/14/12 8:11 P

I have found that in my journey cutting calories never worked long term for me. When I started my current journey (down 50 pounds) I started with walking the dog in the evening. Now I spend at least 100 minutes working out 6 days a week frequently going to 2 hours. I was diagnosed with diabetes at 52 and I'm 55 now. I do weight training and have seen some pretty dramatic results. I'm not your doctor but I can tell you I do have severe osteoarthritis with a bone spur and while I don't do any impact exercises I do do spinning, swimming, weightlifting, yoga, the elliptical and still walk. I believe a variety keeps life interesting. Just be careful with anything you do and always start with beginner moves. emoticon

SPITFIRE1958 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 119
7/14/12 3:15 P

I lost 7 lbs in 4 days just restricting caloric intake. I have arthritis and bone spurs in my feet and knees, so I cannot walk or do high impact exercise. I can "stroll" the doc says, or bicycle. Once I reach a plateau, I will add bicycling or casual walking to my daily routine. I cut my caloric intake from about 3,000 daily to under 1,200 daily. So, I'd say yes it can be done. emoticon

My goal is to lose 45 lbs for a cruise on Halloween!!

Edited by: SPITFIRE1958 at: 7/14/2012 (15:19)
COCHESE321 SparkPoints: (50,855)
Fitness Minutes: (46,172)
Posts: 1,017
4/9/12 8:28 P

I was 56 when I started getting serious about my weight. I was past menopause and lost 113 lbs - mostly without significant exercise. At 300 lbs, I wasn't much into moving, so I started out just moving more. I would go to another person's desk to ask a question rather than sending an email, go find someone to tell them they had a phone call rather than paging them, etc. By the time I was down 100 lbs, I was exercising more regularly, but not a lot.

I am exercising a lot more now, but I do it because I need the alone time and love the feeling of depletion and accomplishment I get when I'm done.

TOBEME SparkPoints: (14,113)
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Posts: 44
4/9/12 8:02 P

I am 52 and I started my serious SP weight loss right after I turned 50. Was going thru the change and I pretty much was just counting calories. I did try getting walking into the routine, but due to hip problems, I did limited exercising. I lost 90 lbs and maintained that weight loss til around last fall.... when I stopped watching my calories, my weight started creeping back on. Watching your calories does count and it does work. I've got back into tracking and have started to lose again. emoticon

COOKIE352 Posts: 443
4/9/12 7:37 P

Did you find the sparkpeople cookbook helpful?

A.DRAGONFLY Posts: 143
2/21/12 1:23 P

I like your approach, KJFITNESSDUDE. Your method of adding the walking to your day is terrific.

Changing activity and eating habits = Changing health

I will follow your lead and share my changes with Sharon.

Setting a time of day was my workout obstacle. I had a hard time finding a time during the day that I would stop and workout. It was never convenient. I now do my workout as soon as I wake up, before other things can grab my attention. If I don't get it done in the morning, then my final deadline is 8 pm.

Pretzels and Peanut Butter were my food obstacles. How were they dangerous for me? Pretzels -eat until the large bag is empty once every month. Now I get a small snack size bag once a month. Peanut butter -eat a peanut butter sandwich 4 nights out of the week before bed. Now I get 1 peanut butter tortilla roll up per week for lunch.

2/18/12 7:06 A

I am 51, doctor said going thru the big one. She said that the only way I will get some weight off (she gave me the impress that I would not get a big chunk of it off, those days were gone) is to count calories.

Please give me your opinion with this thought, Can I get rid of some weight by just counting calories?

Doctor's say words and then we interpret them to what we think we hear. I would say that you heard her right in that counting calories can help you lose weight but I doubt she said that it's the "only" way. But it matters not and you came to the right place to get help.

Sharon, there are as many ways to lose as their are SP members so I can only tell you MY way and what has worked for me.

When my doctor told me just about the same thing (but I'm also diabetic) I did a few simple things (BIG THINGS actually) to get me started:
1.) I started walking. I walked 15 min. in one direction away from my house and then 15 min. back. I walked at a pace as if I were late for an important meeting. I used my stopwatch on my cell and I made a mental note of how far I could get in that amount of time and rather than increasing my time in walking I increaded the distance but kept the time at 30 min.
2.) I gave up "Fried" everything......this nearly broke my heart. Fried Chicken isn't just food, it was my LIFE! The taste, the smell, the way it made me feel after 5 large pieces, and FRIED fish sandwiches loaded with tarter sauce,....gone, I gave it all up. No one really seems to relate to this so I sometimes lie and tell people I gave up chocolate and I hear *gasp!* (truth be told, I don't like chocolate, lol).
3.) Bread. I consumed a half a loaf per day. I limited myself to two slices per day.
4.) Lastly, and the worst thing I ever had to do; I drank water. YUCK!!!! I STILL don't like it but I know it's good for me. Also, I now know that it makes my muscles look bigger, too so I see it as an elixir at times, hahahahaha.....

I started this August of '06 and by May of '07 I was down 65 lbs. about 7 lbs. loss per month.

IDK what will work for you and you got a lot of great advice from all of us but you will have to do the research on your own and see what works for you.


Carol Vorderman is 51 and NOT "enhanced"

A.DRAGONFLY Posts: 143
2/15/12 5:07 P

Sharon, I found this Spark People article that you might enjoy reading.

KIPPER15 Posts: 8,944
2/12/12 9:23 A

By counting calories I lost a little bit of weight, but when I started walking I increased my loss by twofold. As I lost more, I added more vigorous exercise and weight training (found all my exercise on S.P.). I am 54, so it is possible.

LTMURPHY7 SparkPoints: (80,334)
Fitness Minutes: (51,403)
Posts: 5,004
2/8/12 8:14 P

No, you need to exercise too

BUFFEDSTUFF-- Posts: 2,520
2/8/12 6:58 P

Is the lower caloric figure detrimental to your health? meaning will you be able to get enough nutrients to safeguard your health.

does the lower caloric limit leave you hunger?

Is the lower caloric limit enough to sustain your physical exercise load?

those are just a few question I would ask myself

maybe it will help you in your discover of what works for you...I wish you well.

SHARONSMITH823 Posts: 122
2/8/12 12:29 P

Ok, for those of you who know, I went to BMR Caluclator to see how many calories I truly need. Now it is showing more calories than I had set for myself. Should I change the calories on my menu (nutrition) or should I leave it at the low goal?

KSANDIEGO SparkPoints: (8,680)
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Posts: 426
2/8/12 11:27 A

Weight loss = fewer calories in than calories burned. You can find a great calories burned website calculator at:
there you will learn more about how to measure your exact bmi and bmr to find out how you are burning calories and what you can do to increase burning more calories - it helps A LOT if you do a little fitness to increase the number of calories burned, like walking or housework or DVDs - but you do need to reduce calorie consumption to lose weight. Good luck.

LOOSEINGIT Posts: 4,078
2/7/12 9:43 P

Yes you can, but with a little walking it can really impact your weight loss and keep you fit as well..just start slow ..
The one thing I've learned while here on SP, never quit.. emoticon

BUFFEDSTUFF-- Posts: 2,520
2/7/12 7:20 P

I lost weight counting calories and training for results. So in my case it works. Give your doctors advice a try, maybe the doctor has a little wisdom. emoticon Good luck on your journey.

Edited by: BUFFEDSTUFF-- at: 2/7/2012 (19:22)
TATTER3 SparkPoints: (318,447)
Fitness Minutes: (177,669)
Posts: 14,832
2/7/12 6:59 A

I'm not

PATHFINDER52 Posts: 747
2/6/12 2:21 P

Sharon --
I've got nearly a decade on you and I've been through "the big one" as you call it.

In the last two years I've lost at least 25 pounds, so age may add its challenges, and certainly diminishing estrogen is one of them, but it does not make weight loss impossible for women of any age.

Be careful that you don't reduce the arguement to calories alone -- lots of the calories we consume are EMPTY calories, foods that offer us little or no real nutritional value. For instance, a 300 calorie donut and a 300 calorie bowl of chilli are not created equal!

One (the donut) will spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling tired (and probably depressed) within an hour of eating it. The other (chilli) is likely to have protein, fiber, veggies in it and can sustain your energy level for hours to come!

Take on this weight loss journey with an attitude of learning to make good choices. Learn to select foods that will bring you great nutrition, lots of energy, enhance your sleep and keep your digestive tract on an even keel!

Slow and steady wins the race, not calorie restriction for a few days and a binge on the weekend. You can do this. Set your goals around HEALTH, not merely weight. Ther rest will follow!

Hang in there.


JONEC14333 SparkPoints: (51,011)
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Posts: 546
2/6/12 1:04 P

Yes, but watch out that you don't really starve yourself and lose muscle mass. That's a big problem with over 50's. The more muscle mass you have, the greater your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body uses just sitting around), the easier it is to lose weight. Win, win on this one, because as you are exercising to keep your muscle mass, you are using calories that you would normally have to cut from your diet to lose. Also, the "use it or lose it" factor comes into play. Exercise makes you feel good, too, and releases endorphins--the natural feel good hormones that come from muscle use. Sweating releases toxins from the body, also making you feel good. You have positive things from exercise:
1. Keeping muscle mass (no floppy underarms or wiggly jiggly thighs)
2. Easier losing weight
3. Feel Good Endorphins
4. Getting rid of nasty toxins, making you feel even better.
Good Luck!

PRINCESS1959 SparkPoints: (130,393)
Fitness Minutes: (56,680)
Posts: 3,562
2/6/12 12:25 P

Yes you can. But calories are just the beginning.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 25,340
2/6/12 12:10 P

Weight loss is 80% nutrition, so yes, it is the most important thing you can do to lose weight. Strength training will help minimize muscle loss and firm you up. It also helps minimize bone loss when you lift heavy weights!
Cardio is good for your heart, but the least important of the three for weight loss.

SHARONSMITH823 Posts: 122
2/6/12 11:07 A

I am 51, doctor said going thru the big one. She said that the only way I will get some weight off (she gave me the impress that I would not get a big chunk of it off, those days were gone) is to count calories.

Please give me your opinion with this thought, Can I get rid of some weight by just counting calories?

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