3

votes

do you track calories though you don't believe in calorie in/calorie out?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Just "fit day"ed my nuts for the am an it says over 800 calories. Roughly 4 servings of 3T worth of mix cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.... then I had 6 brussel sprouts and 1/2 ground beef.

I'm tracking not for the caloric intake but rather the carbs. So I should be ok for the day.... calories just thru me.

so far here is my intake for the day..... Total 1,413 fats 111.1 carbs 60.0 protein 65.3

Food for the rest of the day is planned to be 2 fried eggs with 1/2 saut??ed spinach, strawberries, and steak for dinner with salad.

Daily total 2,230 F 160.3 C 73.0 P 144

My activity for today will be 1 hr of hot yoga and possibly an olympic lift. Does anyone else love this lifestyle! Enormous amounts of food and low carb!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 05, 2012
at 05:29 PM

@DFH, if you track more and more variables we approach being a closed system. The first law certainly does apply.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 01:35 PM

We know that happens. We all see it. That won't change but it's in our best interest to learn all we can from it. We see people showing off how bad they can eat, but we don't see them 25 years later paying the price either.

Dc77df0e0b3a7643c94ce84eb0ae1fb4

(944)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:51 AM

nothing will matter because every living thing on earth is different, where my mate will loose weight eating pizza and 3x his kcal recommendation and is almost sedentary, I and most people will not :)

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:38 AM

The first law haa been used wrong by people who don't understand it. The first law applies to calculations in a closed thermodynamic system. We are not. Sure, the law applies to a rock with the sun heating it up, but not for calories in a human.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 05, 2012
at 07:10 AM

2230 calories = enormous amounts of food? Really. Roughly 300 more than maintenance, with exercise. So you are appox eating maintenance calories, of good quality foods.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 05, 2012
at 06:53 AM

And what does it tell you? Are you able to eat way more than maintenance calories and not put on any weight (just 'cause you eat paleo)? Or do you average out to approx maintenance over say the course of a week?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 28, 2012
at 08:08 PM

Then I have to retract this answer because I would rather be wrong that in agreement with you ShaBam!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on January 28, 2012
at 07:46 PM

+! I agree with you twice in one day? End of days baby. End of days.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:20 AM

My mom's motto was "it's tougher when there isn't any". Whatever landed on the plate was expected to disappear without complaints.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Me too--my eyes are still bigger than my stomach even after 9 months of ancestral eating. The difference for me now is that I give myself permission to leave food on my plate and put it back in the fridge. In the past I ALWAYS cleaned my plate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:49 PM

I'm getting better at eyeballing portion size. My problem is that I didn't learn it when I was young and I can gorge on almost anything.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:46 PM

Most people here are data freaks, and it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the non-responders are closet calorie counters. It's a core principle of LC dieting that the fat does the work for you and calorie counting doesn't matter. But once sweet potatoes creep in, the LC principle is null and void...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:40 PM

I'm sloppy on the calories in, but keep a close eye on calories out. Either way calories are easy to count in fixed unit clusters. I use groups of 70 kcal both in and out as a simple mental shorthand.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Having counted ADA carb exchanges to control D2, carb counting is much harder than calorie counting.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:49 PM

lady_arwen -- what do you mean, exactly?

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:46 PM

+1 for tracking to divvy up large recipes...some of these delicious Paleo recipes are calorie bombs, and 1/8 of the recipe is enough to feel satiated, but when I dish up 1/3, I somehow always eat all of it-

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I track food quality not quantity ...

C7fa1bf712d466cf7e9f2a404d5f0e34

(40)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:27 PM

For men at least, it's difficult to reach low body fat (<10%) without tracking calories (and protein). So I guess it depends on your goals.

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16 Answers

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4
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 28, 2012
at 07:42 PM

I use FitDay to track calories when I need to lose weight. There's nothing magical about a paleo diet that lets me eat excessive amounts of food and not gain weight. Sometimes my eating pattern does change, and I start packing on the pounds. Fitday makes me reliably and systematically lose the weight, plus it resets my eating pattern for lower caloric consumption so that I can go back to eating ad libitum.

14
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 27, 2012
at 03:29 PM

"...don't believe in calorie in/calorie out" - You are confusing ELMM (eat less, move more) with CICO (calories in, calories out). Just because you do not count calories does not mean calories do not count.

The First Law of Thermodynamics is not just a good idea, it's the Law! For more, please see the following - http://paleohacks.com/questions/33298/calorie-in-calories-out/33303#33303

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 28, 2012
at 08:08 PM

Then I have to retract this answer because I would rather be wrong that in agreement with you ShaBam!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on January 28, 2012
at 07:46 PM

+! I agree with you twice in one day? End of days baby. End of days.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:38 AM

The first law haa been used wrong by people who don't understand it. The first law applies to calculations in a closed thermodynamic system. We are not. Sure, the law applies to a rock with the sun heating it up, but not for calories in a human.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 05, 2012
at 05:29 PM

@DFH, if you track more and more variables we approach being a closed system. The first law certainly does apply.

4
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 27, 2012
at 10:56 PM

I track my calories-in (but not my calories-out).
I have a nice little app on my phone that makes it easy.

I use it to keep an eye on my average daily calories over time (as well as my macronutient ratio). If i need to reduce or increase my lean weight, i will make a conscious adjustment in my calorie intake.

So, i guess that makes me a believer in calories-in/calories-out.

Another thing i may have observed in myself, is that a macronutrient ratio change may require an adjustment in calories. ie. If i up my fat intake percent i may need to reduce my total calorie intake a bit to prevent gaining body fat. I'm not 100% sure of this yet, i would need to test further on myself to correlate.

Edit: just read a related article here http://freetheanimal.com/2012/02/synthesis-low-carb-and-food-rewardpalatability-and-why-calories-count.html
entitled "Low-Carb and Food Reward/Palatability, and Why Calories Count"
It talks a bit about why people who are trying to lose weight are initially successful on a low carb paleo diet, then stall (plateau) after a while.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:40 PM

I'm sloppy on the calories in, but keep a close eye on calories out. Either way calories are easy to count in fixed unit clusters. I use groups of 70 kcal both in and out as a simple mental shorthand.

4
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:34 PM

I track calories intermittently, in order to make sure that my "gut feel" of how many calories and where I'm getting them from, is on track and accurate.

A couple of times after not tracking for a while, a week's tracking gives me the huge "uh-huh" moment of "so that's where I've been going wrong!" followed by the obligatory face-palm.

In general I try to eat quality and focus on my feelings of hunger/fulness - but it's nice to vindicate those now and again with some data...or get a gentle reminder that my "gut" leads me astray sometimes.

I also track certain large cook-ups. EG I threw together a big stew of beef, sweet potatoes and veggies on Monday and it was good to get an idea of the total calories as a guide as to whether I should portion into 5, 6 or 7 meals...which can make quite a difference.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:46 PM

+1 for tracking to divvy up large recipes...some of these delicious Paleo recipes are calorie bombs, and 1/8 of the recipe is enough to feel satiated, but when I dish up 1/3, I somehow always eat all of it-

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:37 PM

I track, more out of geeky curiosity than for any other reason. I however believe in CICO. Not that one needs to "believe" in something backed by scientific study.

3
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on March 05, 2012
at 05:01 AM

I'm a former binge-eater, so yes, I track my numbers -- calories, protein, carbs, fat, the works.

I have tried not to, but every time I attempt to cease, my brain thinks, "Yay! Food free-for-all!" and I'll eat well beyond satiety. My hunger/fullness signals are completely wonky, but tracking allows me to see that yes, I have eaten a normal amount of food and allows for me to pause and wait for the "I'm quite satisfied now, thank you," message to be delivered to my brain.

I'm also monitoring my carbohydrates in order to repair my menstrual cycle, as I am now convinced that my excessive mittelschmerz (okay, I confess, I just wanted to use the word "mittelschmerz" in a sentence there) and other mid-cycle woes are related to my carbohydrate intake. Again, without tracking, my brain will be like, "Z0mg! Dark chocolate! Bananas! Must. Have. Moar!"

Also, whenever I /think/ I've overeaten, I panic, and will actually commence an overeating fest in response to that anxiety. It's silly and absurd, and I have no idea why (probably some deep-seated issues not unrelated to my former binge tendencies) so having a compilation of numbers that permit me to acknowledge that I did not overeat makes me feel "safe" and thus staves off any subsequent self-destructive binges.

Plus! Numbers are fun! Huzzah for nerdiness! :D

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:39 PM

If I track anything, it's the number of grams of protein I'm eating. That drives the whole thing for me, because I eat the amount of fat that makes the meat and vegetables taste great.

Based on my favorite food choices, I know I won't go extremely low or high on carbs, so it's about protein and the fat that naturally follows the protein.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:20 AM

My mom's motto was "it's tougher when there isn't any". Whatever landed on the plate was expected to disappear without complaints.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:49 PM

I'm getting better at eyeballing portion size. My problem is that I didn't learn it when I was young and I can gorge on almost anything.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Me too--my eyes are still bigger than my stomach even after 9 months of ancestral eating. The difference for me now is that I give myself permission to leave food on my plate and put it back in the fridge. In the past I ALWAYS cleaned my plate.

3
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:58 PM

I still track sometimes, but not for calories...for nutrients. Days I fee compelled to eat 'weird' I track to see what vitamins or minerals I was craving, so I can better identify that specific 'I want...something...' feeling next time and address it more directly. And days I feel I ate totally normally I also occasionally check to see if my normal really does cover all the bases.

3
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:20 PM

I log mine, I've found that calories aren't that important, but calories do matter (just to a lesser extent than CW determines). I've lost weight on as much as 3500 quality calories per day, but it is more effective at 2100-2200 quality calories per day.

And I log pretty much everything.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 27, 2012
at 11:46 PM

Most people here are data freaks, and it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the non-responders are closet calorie counters. It's a core principle of LC dieting that the fat does the work for you and calorie counting doesn't matter. But once sweet potatoes creep in, the LC principle is null and void...

2
7b8abef902ba9bc14ba30975a6519875

(20)

on January 29, 2012
at 03:45 AM

I've worn a Bodymedia armband for the past year to track my calorie output, and I use their website to track what calories I eat. Since starting to eat paleo, I don't care about the numbers so much, but I'm in the habit of tracking these things, and I like to know roughly how many calories I'm averaging per week / month.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 05, 2012
at 06:53 AM

And what does it tell you? Are you able to eat way more than maintenance calories and not put on any weight (just 'cause you eat paleo)? Or do you average out to approx maintenance over say the course of a week?

2
273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:06 PM

I track mostly for Macro-ratios. If Im eating 2500 cals. one day its mostly because I've eaten more fat/protein. This is usually on my rest days. If Im eating 1700 cals. a day its because Ive upped the carbs (usually workout days).

I usually end up eating less calories on workout days, but my carb intake is higher by 30-50 g. Adding in starches like sweet potatoes/bananas gives me energy and keeps my full. I track to make sure I never (or almost never) go over 100g. My goal is weight loss.

I use the previous day's tracking to adjust accordingly to the current day's activities.

2
6b9880683eb73a6d1c0c9941e8fa07eb

(180)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I'm mostly tracking variety of foods to maximize nutrients, and not worrying about the calories. If I'm hungry, I up the fats content to satisfy myself.

1
Ec6e6cb0bee067776433dea987d6c844

on March 05, 2012
at 01:42 PM

I do not count calories because they don't seem to matter for me. Tracking calories, the few times I've focused on it, has actually distracted me from more relevant aspects of my life, whether that's toxin avoidance, macronutient ratios/timing, stress, sleep, exercise, etc. I suspect I may be somewhat of an outlier here.

1
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on March 05, 2012
at 12:37 PM

Whilst it seems daft to say that calories don't count, this doesn't mean to say they ought to be the primary focus of attention.

In order for them to count, first of all you have to establish what they are counting towards. I assume fat/weight gain/loss is the subject.

Whilst calories certainly are a factor in this area, junk masquering as food, intolerances and lack of other essential nutrients are more important factors in my opinion.

When I made my first forays into this lifestyle/arena (I have never been absolutely strict paleo, rather just informed myself with the concept, among other ideas), I made made massive improvements to my health, appearance and fat percentage primarily by cutting out wheat and table sugar. At the same time my appetite improved, my fear of food disappeared and I started to eat a lot more, incluing plenty of fruit, potatoes and rice.

I am unsure if I can say my calorie intake increased because although I ate more, including starches, I had quit bread, cakes and cola, which must have previously contributed large amounts of empty calories; however, it certainly wasn't necessary to worry about calorie intake in order for me to go from 12 stone to 10 stone.

My instinct on the subject was that I had reduced substances my physiology could no longer handle and increased the nutrient intake required to process the other carbohydrates I was eating. Result - appetite increase, weight loss, massive energy increase, greatly improved appearance.

1
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 10:53 AM

No I don't track, but I'm starting it to see how it goes.

Calories always matter, always have. The concept has just been wrongly applied and abused.

Managing your food intake based on calories alone is crazy. If you are incompetent in managing food any other way, it's one way to do it. Just make sure you have 2,000 calories of twinkies a day, and take notes. You will see.

In practical terms, I think if one knew all there was to know about someone that seeks to lose some weight, for any given length of time (thinking months or weeks) we might say that dieting is macro-driven OR calorie driven.

What does this mean? That means there are times in transition when the macros you pick drive your weight more than the calories, within reason.

Take 2 people of exact weight, 300lb, SAD diets, they need help. One eats 2,200 calories in twinkies for 3 months. One eats Low carb Paleo, same calories. What do they look like at the end relative to each other? What mattered more, the match in calories or what they ate?

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 05, 2012
at 01:35 PM

We know that happens. We all see it. That won't change but it's in our best interest to learn all we can from it. We see people showing off how bad they can eat, but we don't see them 25 years later paying the price either.

Dc77df0e0b3a7643c94ce84eb0ae1fb4

(944)

on March 05, 2012
at 11:51 AM

nothing will matter because every living thing on earth is different, where my mate will loose weight eating pizza and 3x his kcal recommendation and is almost sedentary, I and most people will not :)

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Sometimes I track out of curiosity, but I no longer need to track in order to stay on track, if you know what I mean.

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