8 months of counting calories behind me and I am not sure if it truly helped me lose any weight. OK, yes I am sure it helped me, but how much it helped me I will never know. I was losing quite a bit of weight before I tried counting calories by just portion control and working out. It wasn't till I came across the Traineo website that I even thought about counting. On "My Page" at Traineo there is a place to track your diet, although it is not the greatest tool, I wanted to track my diet so I started to look into counting calories.
I spent some time on the web looking for and trying to understand how to count calories. I came across a site Called Fit Day which is a free site that allows you to enter what you eat and will count up what you are eating as far as calories go as well as Fat, Protein, Carbs, etc. I found that the great database that Fit Day had was great, coupled with the fact that they would let me enter my own food, I was off and running in no time.
Counting Calories has helped me learn so much about eating and how I ate. I was able to learn more about what a good portioned meal looks like, as well as how much nutritional content my meals contained, or didn't contain. Even though I said I don't know if counting calories truly helped me or not, I do know that the results of counting calories has helped me tremendously.
Around the holidays I decided it would be just too difficult to count calories with family in town and how the schedule was going to be so I decided to take a break from counting. Mysteriously enough, though I was addicted to counting, when I stopped counting my weight kept dropping, and in fact the very slow weight loss period the couple mouths preceding seemed to speed up. You see, one of my problems with counting was that I was absolutely fixated on getting the calories I determined was the right amount for my body. That in itself was not bad, but what was bad was that I was not all that great at determining that amount. I only took into account my weight and where I wanted to be when determining my calorie deficit. I did not take into account that I was weight training multiple times a week as well as running multiple times a week. This type of calculation can be hazardous to your weight loss. The fact that I wasn't taking my calorie burning into account meant that at times I was eating too few calories, which made my body think it was starving so it held onto the calories I was giving it. This caused me to slow down drastically, and at times even stop losing weight.
I have not gone back to counting calories since the holidays, and so far I am doing well with my average weight loss around 1 lb a week. This is right where I want to be since I am so close to my goal weight. Losing too much more than that could be very unhealthy at this time, and make me more susceptible to putting it back on. I guess you could say in a way that I am starting to move into more of a way of eating that I will be maintaining the rest of my life. That being the case, my body at some point will just stop losing, and at that point I will know that I am right where I need to be.
Counting calories for me was absolutely necessary to help me understand what I am eating and what the food I was eating contained, however for me I don't feel like it is a way of life. I will forever look at labels, but I will not forever do the math on paper.