Counting Calories?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  fasting_me 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • Does anyone Not count calories?

    Hi BrendaLea,

    My advice is count if you need to, for as long as you need to.

    When I started 5:2 I carefully counted calories on my fast days to make sure I stayed under 500. Because I have a particularly low TDEE I also found I had to count calories on the other days as I had a tendency to eat more than I should on non-fasting days. The 5:2 program says you should eat normally on the NFDs, but that only works if “normal” is a moderate diet that’s within your TDEE and initially for me it wasn’t. The 5:2 book talks about 2000calories as the example of an average TDEE on a NFD – mine is only 1400 calories so I needed to adjust my thinking (and food choices) quite dramatically.

    Eventually I found that I knew what a normal day should look like to stay within my TDEE so I was able to stop counting calories on NFDs. I also fell into a routine with my FDs where I followed the same eating pattern and always made one of a small number of favourite recipes. As I knew these were always within the 500 calorie limit I was able to stop counting calories on FDs as well.
    I think that the more variety you eat and the more snacking your do on a FD, make it more likely that you’d need to keep counting calories. I choose to eat only dinner on a FD and I allow myself a cup of milk for cups of tea throughout the day, so as long as I know my dinner is low cal there isn’t much to monitor. I did go back and check the calories in several FDs recently to make sure they were ok and they were mostly around 400cal, so well within limits.

    Counting calories is a tool that may or may not be useful. It’s not compulsory but sometimes it’s helpful to use it if you aren’t sure your calories are within the appropriate limits on either fasting or non-fasting days.

    I did it once to find out how much 2000 calories looked like, proportion wise. Its NOT a lot of food. Do it a few times until you are comfortable what that amount of food looks like then if youre comfortable about it don’t worry counting. I don’t count as Im a pretty good judge of calories now. Plus I don’t eat crap processed foods. That really helps. For breakfast if you cant cup all the food in one hand its too much. Lunch and dinner if you cant cup the food in two hands its too much. Pretty simple way to judge it and gets you about right.

    Good luck.

    Thanks for the suggestions and for responding 😊

    Brenda, I count only when the weight bounces up and stays there for a few days. The rest of the time I don’t. But I always read labels! My ODHusband will buy things that look good to him, but he doesn’t look at labels. I’ll notice that one sausage has 200 calories per, and have only 1/2 of one. That matters.

    I’ll try that and if my weight creeps up I’ll just cut back.

    On the topic of counting calories, can I put a plea out to cookery book writers/publishers – please give calorie count for recipes. A few do (like Jamie Oliver’s latest) but it would make dieting life so much easier if everyone did.

    I too am frustrated by that, Horset. So I have begun to annotate my favorite recipes in cookbooks with the calorie counts [Calorie King is a good site for that. they have commercially available food from brandnames and restaurant chains, as well as calories by the ounce or cup for common ingredients]. Also, I have now 2 file boxes of recipes for Fast Days and for ingredients that I use a lot. This helps me to plan meals and to create new menus.

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