Calories revisited

This past week or so, I have been feeling really good about my food choices. I also feel like I have found a healthy balance again (i.e. not eating an entire loaf of French bread and box of cereal in a few days).

I feel like I’m back in control!

Therefore, I have decided to back off of calorie counting for a while. I had started doing this at the beginning of the year (January 4th) after overdoing it over the holiday break and especially when I began the Pound for Pound challenge in February.

Sure, it took a few months and a few setbacks to get here, but I’m in a good place again now and don’t feel the need to do it anymore for the time being at least. Personally, I think its okay to go back and forth with anything health-related that you do, depending on the situation.

No decision I make on here is forever.  I’ve changed my mind about my diet, about running, and a lot of other things over the past three years. There are things I don’t anticipate changing that sometimes do. I remember saying on my blog that I could never be a vegetarian, ha!  And I actually like to change things up from time to time, I think it goes with the seasons and keeps things exciting for me.

I shared a lot about my personal experiences with calorie counting back in February 2009.

You may also remember, I last gave up calorie counting (and weighing!) in May 2009 and did great until the summer when things got out of whack.

I went back to what I knew would work — food journaling and accountability — in September.  Then, in October I did a 30-day vegan challenge which is now responsible for my new way of living!

Even though I’m taking a break from counting anything, I’m still going to use my journal red notebook to plan meals, jot down notes and thoughts about my eating and workouts but there won’t be any numbers on there for a while. I just don’t need to spend time adding them up and would rather use that time for finding new recipes to try out!

I believe the best thing for me to do is to listen to my body for hunger cues, eat only when I am hungry and fill up on nutritious, whole foods.

But for me, it’s hard to do this all of the time and there will be occasions when I get out of “harmony” with my body, which is when I usually go back to tracking but only temporarily while I get balanced again. I know there are arguments on both sides of calorie counting, but I think it is up to the individual, their situation, and what is healthy for them.

For me, it is helpful to see how much I have “let go” and to become aware and focused on healthy eating. It’s also interesting to me to see how my body needs more certain days and less on others. It’s never the same! It is also one of the tools that helped me lose 70 lbs. But I know a lot of others out there, like fellow blogger Meghann, who were successful with weight loss and did not count calories.

So if you don’t need it, then don’t bother with it. It does get old sometimes and doesn’t give you the whole picture in terms of nutrition. And while this didn’t happen to me this time, calorie counting can also become an obsession and cause you more stress than it will help you.

So I’m not giving it up completely, I’m just taking a break from it for a while. We’ll see how it goes.  I’m confident that with my vegan diet, blogging regularly again, and a renewed focus on more whole and less processed foods, I can do just fine. I’ll still pay attention to the calorie counts of certain foods but I won’t keep a tally.

And by “do just fine” I mean I will be able to stay positive, energetic, balanced, and either maintain my weight or lose a few pounds. I did pledge to lose 10 pounds through the challenge!

This is just my story and my experience. I’m not trying to give anyone any advice other than search inside yourself, learn from your experiences, treat your body well and stay positive always.

About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on April 8, 2010, in calories, changes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. this was such a fabulous post! You always ALWAYS Inspire me to do better! I don’t know if I could ever give up food journaling and counting calories but I hope that one day, I could put down the pen and just live without worrying how many calories are in this piece of bread. I know that for me, at the moment counting calories is important for my weight loss journey. I like to refer back to my journals and see what I was eating when I was at my lowest weight.

    It’s ironic that you posted this tonight because I was about to email you and pick your brain! Ha perfect timing.

  2. This was a great post. I have been a hard core calorie counter and stopped and now I’m questioning myself again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind about what works, but I think it’s good for us to change things up from time to time!

    Great job on articulating yourself- good luck!

  1. Pingback: Pound for Pound: Week 8 « See Sarah Eat

  2. Pingback: Deja vu « See Sarah Eat

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