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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Counting calories: Their role in my journey

I'm on my trip right now but here's something interesting (I hope):

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a calorie counter.  With all the bad/crazy connotations that calorie counters are associated with, I'm proud to be one.

Why?  Because counting calories saved my life.

Lets look back almost 4 years ago, to the beginning of my journey (don't worry, this will be a very brief history).

September 2008.  This picture pissed me off so much, it started my journey:

 September 2008.

I knew right then and there, I needed to change my lifestyle, but I didn't know where to start.  I've tried Weight Watchers before and counting points just wasn't my thing.  Back then (2006ish), almost nothing had WW points listed on the box like today so figuring out the points was too much trouble.

So for me, calorie counting was my next try.

I found a site (My Food Diary) that offered a several-week trial offer so I signed up.  I promised to give my full 100% effort to this site till the end of the year (3 months away) and then reevaluate if counting calories was my way of losing weight.

Long story short, I lost over 20 pounds in 3 months and the rest is history.

April 2012

Yes, weight-loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out and I honestly believe that's why I've gotten to where I am today, but my calorie counting today is VERY different than what it was 3 years ago.

Today, I still like to keep my calories in a certain range (1300 - 1700), however the make-up of the calories I eat take precedent over how much I eat.  1700 calories of clean, whole foods will make a big difference in your body composition compared to the same amount of calories coming from processed food.

Do I plan on counting calories for the rest of my life?  No.  It's all about reevaluating where I am on this journey and finding something (new or old) that will work for me.


Raeesa Samizdat said...

It's a continual struggle for me. And because of this and so long as this continues to be so (I don't anticipate changes), I'll always count. Be it one meal/day, or one day per week, or one week per month.

It is absolutely calories in-calories out. When this doesn't make sense, or doesn't "work" there's a variable that one is not taking into the account: accuracy (and let's face it, 100cal meal is just an estimate, no matter what the packaging says), medical conditions like thyroid issues, record keeping (I forgot that cupcake I had!)...

And you have to revisit what worked and works for you, and for me it's record keeping and workout planning.

Sharon said...

Boy are you ever right...1700 calories of clean, whole foods will result in a faster weight loss than 1500 calories of junk. And your body composition will change dramatically. You look amazing! I enjoy your blog.

Becca said...

Exactly! I struggle to make myself count, but only because I want to play ignorant with how much I'm actually eating. Calorie counting and clean eating and exercise are the tickets...if i'll just "pull 'em" Great job!

affectionforfitness said...

Calorie counting and the clean food is actually two different things you do. The calorie counting keeps you eating the right calorie amount. But the eating clean foods also does that by reducing all the cravings that make you want to eat more than a reasonable amount of calories.
So the clean food helps the calorie count.

:-) Marion

Caron said...

I'm counting points but it's still basically counting calories. You have done great!

PlumPetals said...

You're absolutely right - the type of food makes such a big difference. It's a practice that took me quite a while to learn, understand, and adopt, but a worthwhile lesson!

safire said...

Congratulations on your success!!

I definitely started out as a calorie counter too just to get an accurate idea of my portion sizes and what I needed to work on. I've eased into portion control and exercise to continue on my journey though. I do find myself buckling down and getting strict sometimes though (for a week or two) when I get off track for too long.

Miles In Murray said...

I am 100% back to calorie counting. That is what works for me, as well.

You truly inspire me, Annie! I love seeing your updates :)