0

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Safe to stop counting calories and just eat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 19, 2013 at 2:55 AM

I didnt count today and ate plenty of healthy paleo foods, and felt great, less stress, and had an even better workout. I for once had ENERGY and ran faster longer and could lift more. I didnt feel like death after my workout, i had energy for the first time in so long. I overate a little, but only on paleo foods, and I could stop myself, so not really a binge. just overate, probably due to the fact i really starved on the weekend and worked out more. Bad foods were staring me down, but all I wanted was chicken breast, almond butter, fruit, and broccoli. I think my body needed these foods, i restricted on the weekend. now i think i am ready to start a fresh and be healthy, no over or under eating. I would really like to stop counting because i am obsessive, and just eat when im hungry and stop when im full, and eat only healthy paleo foods. good idea? or should i continue counting?

5'7, 107? pounds (havent weighed in a while), 15, no period since 13 workout 20-30 mins interval/hiit cardio 30-1.5 hours lifting (probably 45 average) been eating 1300-1500 (usually 1300) on workout days, and 1200> weekends, and felt week and like crap

sedentary/little walking on weekends sedentary/little walking during day

I would like to maintain, but i dont mind if i gain lean weight. i want to be healthy, so whatever it takes.

Also I ate some carbs from fruit and squash, and it really made me feel good and energized, along with the chicken and almonds of course. would it be bad to re-introduce paleo carbs back into my life? i average around 75 carbs a day, and have less than 50 most weekends.

Also, if I start doing this, could my period possibly come back if I start eating balanced, healthy paleo foods? i haveent had it since i was 13, and even when i gained to 157 pounds i never got it back, probably due to the fact i ate really unbalanced.

thank you for your time

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on February 21, 2013
at 11:00 PM

I'm not sure where you live, but there is probably some sort of service for you at a steeply reduced price. Back when I was unemployed and broke I got to see a counselor for very cheap through my local community health center. If even reduced-cost therapy isn't an option for you, try group therapy. I've seen group sessions come in a $10 per. Plus, in a group you'd meet people struggling as you are. You could develop a great support system for yourself and that is invaluable.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:22 PM

I have to do this on my own, I think i can. i just need guidance.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:22 PM

I cant get professional help, we are really broke. :/

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:53 AM

Hard to say but significantly low weight = undernourished, and I think that solid nutrition and adding a few pounds can only help. Whether or not fruits or nuts are ok depends on your perspective on Paleo. Many try to cut them out to lose weight -- but you might want to gain weight, so I wouldn't matter. I wouldn't eat too much of either of them (i.e. don't eat 6 oranges at a sitting or something). Our hunter-gatherer ancestors certainly ate fruits and nuts, probably sparingly, so I would do the same.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 07:22 PM

I am VERY strict paleo. Not even snap peas pass my lips! But nuts and fruit are still ok correct?

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 07:21 PM

Would it be healthier to gain? Is my low weight contributing to my feeling drained/weak?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 19, 2013
at 04:03 PM

Try it out for a few weeks, measure your progress with body measurements, mirror, how your clothes fit, and how much energy you have inside/outside of gym.

15dfddb2195385569014b970890b12ad

(120)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:28 PM

just my opinion, but I don't think a very active teenager can "overeat" - you are still in the growth phase! if you have been restricting, you may want to consider seeking out someone to talk to - and I say this with lots of love; if you can change those thought patterns while you are still young you will save yourself a world of pain when you are older. (I watched my sister go from healthy, to restricting, to obsessive, to full blown anorexia and that takes years to recover from)

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:35 PM

putting food in her body. I feel like I recommend this site all the time, but if you are interested, go to www.paleoforwomen.com. There is a lot of really great, inspiring information there. I liked this post especially- http://www.paleoforwomen.com/stefanis-soul-on-a-plate-my-personal-journey-with-food-body-existence-and-love/

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:31 PM

It sounds like you are looking for reassurance...no one here can tell you if you are going to gain weight if you don't measure, count, or eat when you're not hungry. None of that really matters without getting the psychological part under control. I think the best thing for you would be to see a therapist who can help you figure things out. Sites like PH can be helpful, but I think they can be damaging too if you aren't in the right state of mind, so I'd be careful here. I wish I had something really smart and motivational to say because it breaks my heart to see a 15 year old so worried about

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:12 AM

also should i measure food still? after today perhaps i could post what i ate, and you guys could tell me if im on the right track? i would really appreciate it. this site has been so much more helpful than anything else, aside from my mom haha :P

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:09 AM

for example, sometimes i never get hungry until i eat, then i overeat because i havent eaten all day because i havent been hungry (weekends) and weekdays i eat 4 times a day, breakfast, lunch, pre/post workout

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:08 AM

What about portion size though? I dont want to over/under eat. I want to be fueled for my workouts! And how does my working out sound?

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:08 AM

EDNOS since 13, almost ana this round. But I never recovered properly, and I think using paleo as a tool will really help because 1. i will be healthy 2. i wont yo-yo (gain and binge then restrict) and 3. i will feel good about eating But is there certain portions and such? like what if im not hungry for breakfast? i should eat it anyway, because then i usually binge at lunch?

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8 Answers

best answer

4
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on February 19, 2013
at 04:01 AM

Zombers, you will be just fine if you eat carbs and stop counting calories and macros. Eat healthy, don't restrict, and don't over-exercise and you will be fine.

I think it's probably more important to figure out why you have been restricting yourself and why you are worried about eating more.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:35 PM

putting food in her body. I feel like I recommend this site all the time, but if you are interested, go to www.paleoforwomen.com. There is a lot of really great, inspiring information there. I liked this post especially- http://www.paleoforwomen.com/stefanis-soul-on-a-plate-my-personal-journey-with-food-body-existence-and-love/

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 19, 2013
at 01:31 PM

It sounds like you are looking for reassurance...no one here can tell you if you are going to gain weight if you don't measure, count, or eat when you're not hungry. None of that really matters without getting the psychological part under control. I think the best thing for you would be to see a therapist who can help you figure things out. Sites like PH can be helpful, but I think they can be damaging too if you aren't in the right state of mind, so I'd be careful here. I wish I had something really smart and motivational to say because it breaks my heart to see a 15 year old so worried about

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:12 AM

also should i measure food still? after today perhaps i could post what i ate, and you guys could tell me if im on the right track? i would really appreciate it. this site has been so much more helpful than anything else, aside from my mom haha :P

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:08 AM

EDNOS since 13, almost ana this round. But I never recovered properly, and I think using paleo as a tool will really help because 1. i will be healthy 2. i wont yo-yo (gain and binge then restrict) and 3. i will feel good about eating But is there certain portions and such? like what if im not hungry for breakfast? i should eat it anyway, because then i usually binge at lunch?

3
Medium avatar

on February 19, 2013
at 10:38 PM

Sounds like you're definitely working out too much and undereating for your age and size. I don't quite understand the purpose of that much exercise. 1 full-body workout per week is plenty + walking. I think you should consider taking a reasonable dose of a zinc supplement as well (15-25mg of zinc picolinate per day) and/or replacing the chicken breast with red meat.

Not only is it safe for you to stop counting calories, it's unsafe for you to continue to do so. I'm guessing that your idea of "overeating" is probably just normal eating. The restriction/binge cycles never helped anyone.

Furthermore, I don't see a reason why carbohydrates would be restricted at all in your case. Just eat balanced meals: steak, veggies, 50g or so of carbs from tubers and a piece of fruit for dessert if desired. Nutritious meals with high satiety are what you want. If you eat more or less of them, you'll be hungry less or more frequently.

2
7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6

(454)

on February 19, 2013
at 12:25 PM

Zombers, I have found that if I ate only Paleo foods and ate when hungry and stopped when full, I easily maintained my weight without counting cals/carbs or weighing food.

2
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on February 19, 2013
at 03:13 AM

It sounds like your making some really good decisions to become healthier! Good job.

1
90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

on February 20, 2013
at 05:26 AM

Zombers, I think you should see a counselor about this problem. Please make every effort to fix it yourself by taking the measures outlined by Travis Culp above, but get professional help as well. It can be exceedingly difficult to change our deeply ingrained thought patterns on our own, and I think a few visits with a counselor could help with this.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:22 PM

I have to do this on my own, I think i can. i just need guidance.

90bcfafd2ef73fea5398c483c593349e

(872)

on February 21, 2013
at 11:00 PM

I'm not sure where you live, but there is probably some sort of service for you at a steeply reduced price. Back when I was unemployed and broke I got to see a counselor for very cheap through my local community health center. If even reduced-cost therapy isn't an option for you, try group therapy. I've seen group sessions come in a $10 per. Plus, in a group you'd meet people struggling as you are. You could develop a great support system for yourself and that is invaluable.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 20, 2013
at 03:22 PM

I cant get professional help, we are really broke. :/

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on February 19, 2013
at 11:43 AM

I would say be strict about eating only foods that are "on the plan" but then feel free to eat as much of them as you want (ok within reason -- don't eat a whole chicken at every meal). This should allow you to know that you're on track without worrying about counting calories and weights and all that.

You are underweight and could stand to gain 5-10 pounds (just based on your numbers). If you are eating well and working out (sounds like you are) then that weight gain should be pretty lean and make you look and feel better instead of worse. If you are energized by the carbs, I'd keep eating them, also explore other options like sweet potatoes, root vegetables (but not white potatoes), yucca, etc. which are great sources of potassium and nutrients. However don't go crazy on the carbs, something like 100-150 grams per day is a lot, and try to make them later in the day (no sugary/starchy breakfasts) or after workouts.

There are a lot of stories of women regaining their period after improving their diet, exercise and lifestyle, so that is possible. You should also mention this to your doctor (if you haven't already) so they are aware and can watch out for anything else that could be interfering with it. Don't forget about the lifestyle -- make it a point to relax and have fun, try to make your workouts fun and enjoyable rather than a job, try to keep your overall level of stress down and cut out sources of stress.

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 07:21 PM

Would it be healthier to gain? Is my low weight contributing to my feeling drained/weak?

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 07:22 PM

I am VERY strict paleo. Not even snap peas pass my lips! But nuts and fruit are still ok correct?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on February 20, 2013
at 12:53 AM

Hard to say but significantly low weight = undernourished, and I think that solid nutrition and adding a few pounds can only help. Whether or not fruits or nuts are ok depends on your perspective on Paleo. Many try to cut them out to lose weight -- but you might want to gain weight, so I wouldn't matter. I wouldn't eat too much of either of them (i.e. don't eat 6 oranges at a sitting or something). Our hunter-gatherer ancestors certainly ate fruits and nuts, probably sparingly, so I would do the same.

0
05a79ce8488b4fd939825cd87ed4fdec

on February 19, 2013
at 03:19 AM

It's amazing how well you feel when you eat the right foods! Don't worry so much about counting calories. Worry about what TYPE of calories are going in your mouth. That's much more important than counting calories.

When you eat the right foods, you will find yourself feeling full sooner. Just make sure you have a good mix of protein, veggies and fats.

You're on the right track! CONGRATS

15dfddb2195385569014b970890b12ad

(120)

on February 19, 2013
at 03:28 PM

just my opinion, but I don't think a very active teenager can "overeat" - you are still in the growth phase! if you have been restricting, you may want to consider seeking out someone to talk to - and I say this with lots of love; if you can change those thought patterns while you are still young you will save yourself a world of pain when you are older. (I watched my sister go from healthy, to restricting, to obsessive, to full blown anorexia and that takes years to recover from)

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:08 AM

What about portion size though? I dont want to over/under eat. I want to be fueled for my workouts! And how does my working out sound?

370751438907115abacc67f4466b398d

(118)

on February 19, 2013
at 11:09 AM

for example, sometimes i never get hungry until i eat, then i overeat because i havent eaten all day because i havent been hungry (weekends) and weekdays i eat 4 times a day, breakfast, lunch, pre/post workout

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