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Do you count calories?

Me, no but I'm starting to think twice when I get that extra blue cheese dressing on my salad.

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  1. No, but when clothes start getting a little tighter, I do portion out the starches a little more sparingly. :)

    1. I tried calorie counting for weight loss before I found low carb (didn't work), but I haven't done it since. I do try to be mindful of portion sizes when I find my weight drifting up, but usually cutting carbs is a better solution than worrying about portion sizes in general.

      1. I do weight watchers and have lost about 30 pounds. I'm at a point now where I don't track everything I eat, but having done it off and on for three years I have a pretty good idea of when I need to lay off the extra bites.

        1. Yep, when I'm on the wagon.

          I track them with MyFitnessPal.

          I'm much more disciplined when I track everything I eat, as well as how much I exercise.

          1. Yes, pretty much daily, on sparkpeople.com. Actually, on weekdays, I PRE-count my calories, and put it in my calorie tracker up to a week ahead of time. That way I don't have to think about what to eat on the day of, because my history has shown me I don't make good choices if I don' plan it out ahead of time. All of my homecooked recipes are built out in SP's recipe builder, it does the mathy stuff for me in terms of dividing up for servings etc.

            But, now that I've hit my goal weight, I get a little more lenient on weekends.. I usually do not count anything on Saturdays since that's usually SO and I's only day to spend together and we frequently do things out of the house (go to the bar, go to sporting events etc). I also count on Sundays as much as I can but I don't pre-plan. When we go out of town, I do not plan or track anything, I just try to eat mindfully.

            Maybe I'm a freak, but I rather enjoy calorie counting and putting it all in ahead of time while I'm meal planning. It's sorta like a puzzle, and I like numbers. I've been doing it over a year and I don't see myself stopping. I might if I got pregnant but that's about it :)

            11 Replies
            1. re: juliejulez

              I did that for a long time. I think just being that involved is helpful sometimes, for some people. Sit down and crunch the numbers to the nth. I'm a retired accountant so I'm a numbers guy anyway.

              1. re: juliejulez

                i so agree about the puzzles and numbers. i tend to wonk out on numbers and i take it as a challenge to cook up something good within my caloric limits.
                counting calories has been a great help to me for portion control. being able to see what a 4 oz piece of steak looks like and knowing it actually filled me up (along with veggies and some starch) is very empowering. another example is by starting with the smaller portion it turns out i am just as full as if i had eaten the larger portion . that means a 1/8 slice of a frozen pizza at 180 cal fills me up just as much as a quarter slice if i wait several minutes. i hope i am making sense here. :-)

                1. re: juliejulez

                  Actually, Julie, it's funny, but being a person who loosely calorie counts (I am not nearly as dedicated as you :) I even kept up my habits during my recent pregnancy. Helped me feel in control of my weight gain, and definitely helped me keep it right in the "healthy weight gain" range OB's like to see.
                  People remarked through my whole pregnancy that I looked great, and healthy, and I really think keeping my healthy habits intact helped tremendously.
                  I've seen too many friends let their weight gain spiral out of control solely due to the fact that they used pregnancy as an excuse to eat ANY and EVERY thing they craved!

                  1. re: ItalGreyHound

                    Yeah I had a friend who was rail thin before having a baby, because she never ate and exercised a lot... not healthy really, but was very thin. As soon as she got pregnant (on her honeymoon) she ballooned way up because she took it as an excuse to eat all the stuff she didn't eat for so many years... frozen pizzas, fried chicken, mac and cheese etc etc. She gained a ton of weight and then really struggled to take it off after the baby was born. She got pregnant a year later and did the same thing again so who knows if she'll ever get back to a healthy weight.

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      I definitely indulged in things I wouldn't normally have, but just tried to keep it all in check. Of course, speaking of calories (totally empty ones at that) it probably didn't hurt that I couldn't drink wine while I was pregnant, either! Helped widen the gap for some of those other milkshake/ice cream/french fry/thelistgoeson indulgences :)

                      1. re: ItalGreyHound

                        When I was pregnant I traded my Friday and Saturday night glasses of wine/cocktails for Dulce de Leche ice cream bars. I figure they still had less calories and I was getting calcium!

                      2. re: juliejulez

                        The question for me is...

                        Was the baby healthy? It's really all that matters, isn't it?
                        I've known a few woman, myself not included, who've watched their weight and exercised like they're manic while they're pregnant, and had tiny babies as a result. Their doctors begged them to knock it off but the mothers refused. They wanted their bodies perfect while pregnant...the kind you'd never know they were pregnant until they turn around and there's a small bump during their 3rd trimester.

                        I work out religiously, and hard, and keep track of my calories but during my pregnancy I thought only of the health of my child I was carrying. Dieting wasn't in the cards for me.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          Yes her kids were healthy... although the 2nd one came 2 weeks early (just this week!). You don't need to "diet" while pregnant, but sitting around eating junk food like frozen pizzas and fried foods all the time like she was isn't really a great idea either. She even said that she was using being pregnant as an excuse to eat all the unhealthy stuff she never did before.

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            When I gave up all wine, alcohol, chocolate and anything with caffeine in it for nine months, oh and sushi and raw fish and all the other foods on that list that I adore...

                            I sure didn't think twice about having an extra helping of mashed potatoes or rice or any of my other favorite foods that I normally watch calories with. I ate lots of salads and healthy things through those wonderful months but having an

                            extra icecream wasn't a problem for me.
                            All I could think about was having a well-developed, to term, healthy baby and food, and the amount, wasn't something I focused on.

                            1. re: latindancer

                              When I get pregnant, that's what I plan on doing... pretty much continue to eat like I normally do (whole unprocessed foods, fruits & veggies, etc), just larger portions, and maybe a few extra treats that strike my fancy (like dessert, which I don't normally do). I definitely won't use it as an excuse to have a food free for all... I figure if I wouldn't feed my kid something once he/she is actually out, then I shouldn't be eating it when I'm pregnant either.

                              Then again, all that might change once I'm actually pregnant... I may end up stuffing my face with cheeseburgers if that's the only thing I end up wanting to eat LOL! But, I don't plan on it.

                              1. re: latindancer

                                I am currently 8 months pregnant. I am definitely one of those on the smaller side that hasn't gained a whole pile of weight. I haven't had the desire to "stuff my face" which has me a bit perplexed as to how some women gain a whole bunch of weight while pregnant.

                                I do watch what I eat- obviously no alcohol, raw fish, raw oysters, organ meats or canned tuna which has meant that I have had to switch up my usual diet a lot.

                                I tend to eat more salads with protein, greek yogurt and fresh fruits. For me, I have to continuously remind myself to eat more.

                                Eating a lot of garbage food while pregnant puts you at risk for gestational diabetes and too much weight is just as bad as too little for premature labor.