Listen to your heart. One size does not fit all. You must do what you can live with on a daily basis. It sounds to me that you have weighed all the pros and cons and are basing your choice on something you know you can incorporate in your life. There's no reason to gain weight just cause you're "not tracking". I left Weight Watchers cause I could not bear to count another point..I still ate healthy, exercised and did not gain back the weight. Good for you, as a man thinks, so is he.
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
2,545 9/30/13 2:29 A
I tried to do what you are planning on doing and it didn't work for me. I regained 30#s before I admitted the truth to myself.
If I may suggest, weigh yourself at least once a week and adjust from there. If you are able to maintain within your set weight goal then more power to you. Some people can make this work.
I had to admit that I have to weigh myself daily, track my food and measure my portions in order to lose and maintain. I will have to do this for the rest of my life. And that's okay too.
9/29/13 3:24 P
I am working on portion control and planning healthy meals.
9/29/13 9:03 A
I think it's okay to not track IF you know your body's true hunger signals. If you are an emotional or stress eater, it's better to track or at least put yourself on a "feeding schedule" so that you don't overeat. Knowing those signals takes some practice if you've ever been on a diet, if you eat when angry, lonely, tired, stressed, bored, and if you have cravings (addictions) to certain foods. Good luck!
I gave up tracking my caloric intake and I only weight myself once a month. Instead I focus on eating real whole foods and it hasn't failed me, I've been maintaining for going on 3 years now just eating healthy whole real food. I eat as much as I can and want to eat but the catch is it's 80% real food, 20% packaged foods but even the packaged stuff is as clean as possible, no ingredients I can't pronounce get into my body if I can help it.
All the best to you!
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
9/28/13 8:42 P
It's certainly possible to lose or maintain without ever (regularly) tracking -- I've done it. But I do urge a whole heaping helping of caution. Though I did it/am doing it myself, I do have a LOT of rules-to-live-by that I stick to knowing full well I am likely to regain if I break them very often.
First, I do weigh myself, just about every day. With no tracking -- and given my beliefs in the utter unreliability of "how my clothes fit" -- this is my sole accountability. While I refuse to take day-to-day or minor week-to-week fluctuations seriously, you'd better believe I would take notice and take action if it ever drifted a couple of pounds upward for two weeks in a row, sort of thing.
Second, while I likewise have no use whatsoever for "you can never eat X in your life again" sort of strictures, when it comes right down to it, I mostly don't. My firm belief is that junk food (defined as pretty much just the obvious stuff; I don't worry too much about potatoes or white bread or whatever else people sometimes do. Though I am picky about my cereals. Anyway ...) undermines attempts at eating naturally/intuitively/according to hunger worse than anything else. So I generally do not indulge. I will eat small amounts (small!) sometimes if available, and I will eat larger amounts rarely (rare!) if socially or otherwise appropriate, but it's not a regular or large part of my life and I don't expect it to ever be again. I am OK with this (actually quite actively HAPPY with this, these days) and believe it is a necessary component of maintaining my weight from here out.
Finally, my other major rule is to put strict brakes on grazing and mindless eating. Stuff gets portioned out (according to rough guidelines I made up, much less strict now in maintenance, but took some experimenting to get right), and then put away. I do not eat straight out of containers, ever -- because it's my opinion that after junk food (and liquid calories, too, I should say, though that was never a major issue of mine) that's the fastest way to killing a goal to maintain or lose weight without tracking calories.
So again -- it can be done! And I'm ecstatic with the results just now since I'm maintaining with very little effort or concern about food at all, which is what I wanted and was afraid to hope that I'd get. But I think it needs just as much discipline and care to get it right as tracking does, if not more. It doesn't just happen because you need it to.
Again, good luck!
9/28/13 6:05 P
I wish you all the best in this endeavor
9/28/13 3:17 P
Yes, I agree with FROGISCO, just be careful. Healthful foods have calories too and it's very easy to overeat, no matter how careful you *think* you're being.
A friend of mine decided once to go vegetarian, assuming that change alone would cause her to lose weight. She ended up gaining instead. When we sat down and figured out her weekly caloric intake, she was taking in far more calories than she was before she went vegetarian because she assumed that since she was eating "all healthy stuff" that the calories wouldn't matter as much. But they do.
Fitness Minutes: (6,664)
251 9/28/13 2:19 P
I hope you have success with not tracking. Unfortunately, I tried that because I was so obsessed with every single morsel I ate I went a little nuts, however, I've gained back everything and I cannot lose a single ounce even with strict tracking for the past 3 months.
I wish you the best,,,but be careful. My gain was VERY fast....like in a matter of weeks, NOT months...even WITH eating 'healthy' food....apparently you CAN over eat vegetables and chicken breast.
9/28/13 12:02 P
I too had to stop tracking. I got tired of thinking about food constantly and weighing and measuring everything. I also got tired of being obsessed with my weight, so I gave up the scale as well. A huge weight (no pun intended) has been lifted off my shoulders. I still eat healthful foods because I truly do *enjoy* eating healthy. But, for me personally, it was becoming an obsession and I had to stop. It just wasn't worth it to me anymore to nitpick over every single calorie.
Don't look at it as a "diet", look at it as a lifestyle change instead. That's another thing that will take some pressure off. Do I still eat my favorite sinful foods? Yep, but in extreme moderation. Have I put back on some weight since I stopped tracking everything? Admittedly, yes. But not enough to make me want to go back to it. I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not too overweight, either. I'm comfortable where I'm at and I'm more at peace with myself since relaxing my habits. If i want something bad enough, I eat it. I just get back to the healthy eating and watching my portions afterward.
If you think tracking your food is taking over your life, maybe it is the better thing for you to do to step back.
Every time I do that I gain ten pounds, even though I exercise 4-5x/week and eat mostly whole foods. Then I have to work my butt off again to lose it again. I hope it works better for you.
goldfish are my "crack" too. If I buy a bag, I will eat the whole thing. They really have no nutritional value, so I don't eat them anymore. I don't miss them at all! Is there any way to change your mindset from being frustrated about not being able to have something, to wanting to properly fuel your body?
Fitness Minutes: (292)
9/28/13 10:51 A
Im giving something a try. Im giving up the diet, giving up the scale, and taking my life back. I truely do love healthy food but i love goldfish and the occasional brownie or cookie or animal crackers too. I decided that i will continue my daily workouts, usually burning off 500 calories, im going to relax about my eating as long as most of the things i am putting into my body are healthy. Maybe this will help ease the urge to binge so much and the desperate feelings of frustration when i feel that i cant eat something. I will go solely off of how i feel look and how my clothes fit, do you think i can maintain my weight by doing this? I want to build something that i can have a lifestyle with. thoughts?