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MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
1/4/14 3:06 P

Yes. In fact I stopped counting over the last few months of 2013, and re-found 5 pounds that I had previously lost! I do much better with portion sizes and making good choices, but I really love food, and it's difficult for me to say "I've had enough today" without seeing the numbers behind it.

So I'm back to tracking everything. I hope that when I get to maintenance I can just keep an eye on the scale and track every now and then. But for losing, counting helps me a lot.

SONICB Posts: 4,375
1/4/14 2:54 P

I counted calories obsessively for almost five years (never for weight loss, just OCD!). I have been working on NOT counting for the past couple of months. These days I will occasionally log a meal or snack on this site... or do a rough tally on days I am curious... but I am trying to rely on what I've learned about healthy eating from SparkPeople over the years.

DANIELLE2013 Posts: 112
1/4/14 12:50 P

Yes, but I am really more interested in how much protein I am getting.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (271,774)
Fitness Minutes: (135,146)
Posts: 13,256
1/4/14 9:42 A


HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
1/1/14 2:14 P

Yes, but only to make sure I am getting in what I need, but not to be a food nazi.

JENNA-LEEXOX SparkPoints: (385)
Fitness Minutes: (425)
Posts: 13
1/1/14 2:01 P

weight loss is all about cals in vs cals out, so yes i do, its important in my opinion, but if it gets addicting, stop right away cause thats how some eating disorders start

12/31/13 10:01 P

Yes, but not all always

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 9,764
12/31/13 6:45 P

Use portion control
emoticon emoticon

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,701
12/4/13 1:55 P

Yes and a number of macro nutrients as well

JUSTME9898 Posts: 2,895
12/4/13 12:54 P

I definitely consider calories and the tracker counts them for me. But if the website were down for a day I would not count calories. I would just guesstamate

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
12/4/13 12:36 P

How does that work? Do you have a minimum or a maximum protein goal that you try to reach?

Used to, not use too...entirely different meanings.

12/4/13 11:48 A


THUGPLAYA56 SparkPoints: (4,562)
Fitness Minutes: (845)
Posts: 7
12/4/13 10:09 A

Absolutely I do. Right here on Sparkpeople. It helps me be honest with myself and hold myself accountable.

QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 12,469
12/4/13 9:21 A

I used to, but not anymore. BUT I do still measure my foods with measuring cups and spoons.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
12/3/13 1:31 P

as a rule, NO. I do not count calories. I am more interested in the nutrients I get from the food. i find that if i get the right nutrients the calorie count miraculously falls into place. I don't track here either because i don't trust the counts as much as i used too.

12/2/13 3:47 P

Yes. I find it helps me stay on track.

PROPMAN1 Posts: 4,486
12/2/13 3:18 P

No. Too time consuming to stop and figure out the caloric content of every little thing i'm eating.

WEGENERCS SparkPoints: (134,806)
Fitness Minutes: (105,306)
Posts: 2,079
12/2/13 2:02 P

Yes, yes, and Yes!

DELLA81156 Posts: 201
12/2/13 1:11 P

I try not to....

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/2/13 1:08 P

I don't, and rarely did when I was losing. I find it too time consuming, and that a rough track in my head does the job. If I focus on eating plenty of protein, fresh fruits, and fresh veggies I stay in my ranges anyway.

JREIDY SparkPoints: (52,511)
Fitness Minutes: (52,153)
Posts: 284
12/2/13 12:30 P

Is the Pope a Catholic?

I've found over the years when I write it all down, calories, exercise, miles run, etc., I lose weight. When I quit it goes up.

Apparently there's some data that confirms this, so count 'em and write 'em down.

ZESTFUL60 SparkPoints: (10,916)
Fitness Minutes: (4,202)
Posts: 115
12/2/13 12:09 P

I have tried in the past several times to count calories but would find myself wasting time counting them, but kind of knew that I wasn't eating below my recommended amount. Thankfully now with the help of SP I don't have to count, now have to to push myself to eat a little more. emoticon

ASHLEYAMBER0710 Posts: 244
12/2/13 11:23 A

I do. If I don't I start to slip.

TINA8605 SparkPoints: (99,668)
Fitness Minutes: (12,395)
Posts: 1,764
12/2/13 10:57 A

I don't put anything in my mouth until it has been weighed and tracked. I have found so many surprising facts about food since I started doing this. It was a real eye opener. I think it has been one of the tools that has helped me so far. I suggest it for everyone, especially starting out.

TBOURLON SparkPoints: (18,835)
Fitness Minutes: (62,457)
Posts: 522
12/2/13 9:44 A

I don't count cals or even track food, and I probably should. I make more progress when I do. I don't find the Spark Tracker to be very helpful, it seems I have to enter half the foods I normally eat into the database, which is a pain. IF I were counting, it would be only calories, not carbs or protein and certainly not all those other nutrients - just don't have the time for it. When I do track/count, it's ususally in a small notebook that I can keep in my purse, and I use either a calorie book or an online calorie counter if the info's not on the labels. I would be interested in hearing from the trackers what they use.

KBEHNKE81 Posts: 12,488
11/29/13 8:30 P

I do. I need the reminder of where I am each day. I tend to lose track if I'm snacking more than usual, and I need to keep tabs on my portion sizes.

11/29/13 2:49 P


RUNUXTOO Posts: 136
11/29/13 10:54 A

Yes I do, otherwise, I would eat too much and the wrong foods.

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (271,774)
Fitness Minutes: (135,146)
Posts: 13,256
11/29/13 9:37 A


11/28/13 6:47 P


11/28/13 10:14 A

I used to when I first started my weight loss journey. It helped me learn which foods are high in vitamins and minerals and portion sizes. I learned that my dinner plate is far too big for someone my size, so I switched to the smaller one. Once I hit my goal weight and had been maintaining for a bit I relaxed on the tracking.

Now I'm eating unlimited vegetables and lower glycemic fruits. I make sure I eat a quality protein at each meal and often 1 slice of low glycemic GF bread a day. I choose to get the bulk of my calories from fats as they don't spike my blood sugar.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 11/29/2013 (09:52)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
11/28/13 9:24 A

Never. In fact, we're admonished against it by our doctor who prescribed our diet.
We religiously count carbs... even though I miss my target there sometimes.

The only "calorie counting" I do is when I'm setting my ranges and percentages for my macros. You have to have a calorie range to do that.
Otherwise, I pay no attention.

ESCHULMA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 12
11/28/13 7:00 A

In general, yes. One way to make this easier for those who dislike counting is to lay out a menu plan -- then you don't have to worry about it and just follow the plan. I have a fairly regular breakfast/lunch/snack plan, dinner is the main one that I have to think about.

BOREDA SparkPoints: (362,808)
Fitness Minutes: (245,724)
Posts: 4,002
11/28/13 6:44 A

I've been at maintenance for 16 months so far, but I still count calories religiously every day. I eat lots of fruit and veg, but I'm continually surprised by how quickly and how much the calories add up, even eating "healthy" food.

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
11/27/13 2:54 P

I've found most successful dieters count something...carbs, protein, calories, points. So there seems to be a pattern.

I'm transitioning from counting all calories to focusing more on protein and vegetable serving intake. Right now I count calories about 50% of the time. I'm trying to find something that I'd be willing to do for the rest of my life. Counting every single calorie is not one of them.

CAPTATHLETICA SparkPoints: (3,771)
Fitness Minutes: (6,266)
Posts: 266
11/27/13 2:04 P

I do like crazy, but since I've started eating a lot more vegetables I don't feel I need to anymore. I've just had 6 cups of vegetables, veggie burger, lean chicken and even pasta and I've only used up 700 calories. Its about eating the RIGHT foods not worrying about calories. I feel better about knowing this now, but I'm still going to keep on track with calories to make sure I do not go overboard.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
11/27/13 1:40 P

Calories are calories. I count 'em.

BOB5148 SparkPoints: (497,717)
Fitness Minutes: (201,503)
Posts: 17,281
11/27/13 11:34 A


GYPSYGOTH SparkPoints: (94,944)
Fitness Minutes: (72,557)
Posts: 45,743
11/27/13 10:56 A

I should hope that after half a year at maintenance, I will be able to keep on keepin' on without having to think about every morsel, as well, RenataRuns!


RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
11/27/13 9:52 A

No, I don't. I don't track at all, for that matter.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
11/27/13 9:01 A

I count almost religiously, but that's because I am still trying to lose weight, maybe when I go into maintenance I will feel I've learned enough to be able to do it mentally, or more automatically by keeping to the same general foods.

I have to so that I keep myself totally accountable. For me (still) it's too easy to be mindless about what I am eating.

GYPSYGOTH SparkPoints: (94,944)
Fitness Minutes: (72,557)
Posts: 45,743
11/27/13 8:17 A

I count EVERYTHING and make it a game to be within my range on everything I can.

I always seem to come up short on the minerals like selenium and magnesium, no matter how hard I try to include foods that contain those, but otherwise I am within range on my macronutrients just about every day.

If I were just tracking protein I would be worried that my vitamins were low and I wasn't getting enough fiber. Also, protein isn't necessarily low-cal; 3 oz of ground beef is through the roof compared to other foods.

MLAN613 Posts: 18,446
11/27/13 8:06 A

I have too. I initially lost 80 pounds and stopped counting daily. Unfortunately, 40 pounds crept back on. Of course, now that I am tracking, it's not coming back off. Guess I just get to be chubby. Oh well. :)

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
11/27/13 7:54 A

I did during my weight loss and into maintenance but I found myself becoming to obsessive and regimented with it and my numbers. I haven't tracked at Spark for around 2 months now. Ok, well it's not entirely true I gave up counting completely. I keep a very rough tally in my head.

I know some people continue to count calories in maintenance and plan on doing it for the rest of their life and it works for them. I couldn't see myself doing it, I don't want it to become a crutch. My goal is to learn how to maintain my weight without counting every calorie I eat.

Counting calories and tracking my food here at Spark has taught me so much about portion sizes, how to create balanced meals, how to save on extra cals, how to get enough protein, fats, carbs, how to choose filling foods and about the *right* foods to choose, etc. that I no longer need to count every calorie in order to maintain my weight. I am in the process of weaning off calorie counting and using the scale and just taking monthly tape measurements.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/27/2013 (07:57)
BEINGFIT26 SparkPoints: (1,262)
Fitness Minutes: (703)
Posts: 96
11/27/13 6:20 A

this is a good topic. will try counting protein .

MAGWINA Posts: 101
11/27/13 1:28 A

I use too. Like a mad woman. Then I switched to counting my protein. I've noticed its easier to do, and if you eat high protein foods they are lower in calories. Just a thought for those tired of counting calories.

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