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TOPIC: Does the calorie tracker really help you lose weight?

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July 24, 2013 9:46 PM
Hi everyone!! I am new to this so I am a little skeptical. I just wanted to know if anyone had success with the calorie counter? did it really help anyone lose weight? I mean with exercise of course but you need both to see results not just one or the other. I just want to make sure this will help a bit because I have been struggling for to long with losing weight!! hah
  30440293
July 24, 2013 9:49 PM
You actually don't need to exercise to lose weight with the calorie counter, provided you add all information correctly. Exercising will help you shape your body and preserve muscle mass.

Yes, it does work. Honestly tracking your consumption can be a little tedious, and sometimes a little humbling, but no "quick fix" can do what it does.
July 24, 2013 9:49 PM
Been struggling for the better part of my life as well, iv been using this straight for 7 days or so, its helped me a lot so far just mentally. it also shows you more than just cals, you can track everything.

It feels good to have control, using this ap has given me some control over what i eat, it makes it way easy for me to be more productive with my eating.

Hi btw!
  22254724
July 24, 2013 9:51 PM
Hi! I've been using this app for about 12 months. It's really not the counter, its you. You need to make yourself accountable for what you consume, this tracker just puts in a better perspective. In other words, because you are visually looking at how many calories, sugar and fat you are eating in that particular meal, makes you want to change and make better choices. Don't get me wrong, its hard to keep track of every single thing you eat, but it gets easier along the way. Good luck!
Edited by anhellica2001 On July 24, 2013 9:52 PM
July 24, 2013 9:52 PM
I only started 2 weeks ago, but to be honest, it's pretty amazing what happens when you suddenly feel 'accountable'. To me, writing the calories up means that I am responsible and in control - as another person posted above. It's way too easy to be like 'oh, another [cookie/chocolate etc.] won't hurt' and suddenly you've had 5. With this, you can easily figure out what you need to do to fit in ONE, and it's crazy but it's easy to control yourself when you know you have to write it all down.

Funnily enough, I was 1 week in when I went to the doctor, and I told her I was watching my weight. She told me to do a food diary! I was like oh yeah I'm already doing one, and she was impressed :)
  46776222
July 24, 2013 9:57 PM
I personally don't agree with calorie counting, but I believe in awareness of eating. What you eat really really matters.
I don't look at calories when I see my log. I see the portion of nutrition, especially if I eat too much sugar and too less protein. And there's difference when I care about what I eat or not. Logging is not the only way but a great way to be aware what you're eating. Exercise alone isn't enough for most of normal people, because many people eat a lot of junk and we don't have that much time to consume by just exercising. Also if you're not providing enough nutrition, your body can't exercise well.

The way I see calorie counting is not being obsessed about calories but understanding better what you eat, and calorie is a part of understanding. For example, if you see nutrition composition, soda is definitely something you should avoid. It has nothing but sugar. You'll not be able to lose if you drink soda like water.

So I would say what you eat really matters, but calorie is only small part of the whole picture. You don't need to count crazy but genuinely care about nutrition composition.

Does this answer your question?
July 24, 2013 9:57 PM
how do you deal with eating out at small restaurants that aren't chains and thus required to have nutritional information. we don't eat at chains. Mostly high end boutique kind of restaurants.

I am thinking enter the baseline for what you know was in it and then figure an extra 1/4 oil?
July 24, 2013 9:57 PM
It has really helped me. I stopped logging for a while and then I stopped losing weight. I started back just little under a month ago and I have already lost over 5 pounds. I was eating way more than I thought. When you log it in it makes you see how much you are really consuming. Then you have to be accountable for what you eat. So yes, it does help a lot!
July 24, 2013 9:57 PM
Just take a look at the success stories. Tracking your calories is definitely an eye openernoway So much information, motivation, support, workouts, everything you could ask for. Once you get the hang of it, you look forward to logging on. Your only regret just might be that you didn't do it sooner!
July 24, 2013 9:58 PM
Thanks everyone!! it definitely makes a lot of sense. I am not use to this when I was in my teens I would make the mistake for barely eating to lose weight and of course it would bite me in the but haha!! So when I do a tracker like this I feel like I am eating to much. But it makes me feel a lot better knowing that others are have success with it!!
  30440293
July 24, 2013 10:01 PM
So long as you use it correctly, yes. I was becoming stagnant in my weight loss on my own (I'd lost 26 lb in 6 months, which is still significant, but I was beginning to plateau) and needed some extra help to figure out what I was doing wrong. Using the calorie counter has helped me plan out days in advance and know I'm getting the right amount of calories, not too much, and not too little. Also, the little "in 5 weeks you might weigh x amount! Yay! Go you!" thing at the bottom of the page helps quite a bit for me.

It's a lot easier than looking everything up on my own in a booklet, trying to keep track of how many calories is in what when my family loves to take things out of the original packaging and throw it away, or sitting down before every meal and trying to decide what I want and then how much and adding it up then and blah blah blah, or keeping a written food journal, and adding up all the calories and whatnot on your own.

IMO, the easier you can make it on yourself, the more likely you are to stick with it, and the calorie tracker does make it easier on me, so I use it.
  46432396
July 24, 2013 10:01 PM
Absolutely! I think when people ask me how I lost weight I tell them the food logging is the key. I'd exercised before 0ff and on and "dieted" from time to time even losing about 10 pounds with nutrisystem. (Yuck) The single -most important factor in my losing 30 pounds this last year was making myself accountable for the calories I consumed by logging them in. The past few months I had stopped logging and back crept almost 10 pounds! In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, "Try it, try it, then you'll see!"

Good luck!
  26443123
July 24, 2013 10:06 PM
QUOTE:

how do you deal with eating out at small restaurants that aren't chains and thus required to have nutritional information. we don't eat at chains. Mostly high end boutique kind of restaurants.

I am thinking enter the baseline for what you know was in it and then figure an extra 1/4 oil?


I try to find the nutrition info online, and if I can't do that, I enter a similar meal from a place that's known for unhealthy food (just to err on the side of caution).
Edited by VioletNightshade On July 24, 2013 10:06 PM
  46432396
July 24, 2013 10:59 PM
QUOTE:

how do you deal with eating out at small restaurants that aren't chains and thus required to have nutritional information. we don't eat at chains. Mostly high end boutique kind of restaurants.

I am thinking enter the baseline for what you know was in it and then figure an extra 1/4 oil?


I eat out a lot! And mainly at higher end restaurants that don't post nutrition. I either search for something similar (e.g. had a really rich/really fancy table side of macaroni the other day--I ate 1/4, friend ate 1/4 and we each took 1/4 home--I figured that 1/4 of it = 1 side at Ruby Tuesdays = 453 calories (even if it was much higher quality cheese, etc.)). I also do this religiously with ethnic food b/c it's harder to count...and it's getting easier with nutrition posting laws and the likes so more even small chains have data up that you can check and compare a nonchain place (e.g. for Thai food or empanadas). Or, I will add up the ingredients and add at least 2 tablespoons of oil to any meat entree and then butter/oil, etc. to veggies and other items (this is easy if the restaurant lists basically everything on the plate and you are good at measuring meat sizes--often you'll get 8 or more oz of fish instead of four, etc.). For desserts and other odd things (like chocolate pave or the corn and blackbean cakes I had the other night), I'll go onto epicurious or food.com and find a really rich recipe and use those macros. It takes a bit of time--but I don't believe others who say it doesn't work. Unless you weigh everything you eat, you'll never be 100% on for calories. I figure it isn't perfect, but it's better than (a) depriving myself and my social life or (b) not counting at all. I've been able to keep on track doing this.

Feel free to send me a message if you want more details about what I do.

Edit: If it really is a small local place, I've asked for a recipe or two before (e.g. one that I'd actually use--did it for a stellar tomato pie--i had certainty (it was wayy more healthy than I thought it was) and now I have the recipe too.
Edited by lar4290 On July 24, 2013 11:00 PM
July 25, 2013 12:55 AM
QUOTE:

Hi everyone!! I am new to this so I am a little skeptical. I just wanted to know if anyone had success with the calorie counter? did it really help anyone lose weight? I mean with exercise of course but you need both to see results not just one or the other. I just want to make sure this will help a bit because I have been struggling for to long with losing weight!! hah


I started actively using MFP on March 13, 2013 weighing 218lbs. I didn't start taking pictures until I was 210.6lbs. Point is with counting calories and exercising this is what I've achieved since March 13:

Image not displayed

I lost some weight before joining MFP with strict diet and exercise. You can read more about that here:
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/shadow2soul?month=201303
I personally don't recommend what I did before joining MFP and think counting calories is the best way to go.
Edited by shadow2soul On July 25, 2013 1:06 AM
  32374451
July 25, 2013 1:07 AM
It really does help. It forces you to be honest about what you are eating and how much you are eating. I have read in many many health articles that weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise. It's really true.
July 25, 2013 1:10 AM
it helps a lot the calories counter i use it to shed pounds i'm back slowly to train and to count calories is important at the beginning
July 25, 2013 1:47 AM
I have been trying to lose weight since November. I started working out, doing insanity and running. I lost some then plateu'd, i couldnt figure out what I was doing, because surely all my workouts burned what i ate right?! WRONG!!! I started this site 2 weeks ago and lost 6lbs already. Yes it would be great not to have to do it and eventually it would be nice if I just knew what I should eat and what I shouldnt but until that day comes I will log everything into my diary.

I downloaded the app as well so I write in my diary wherever I am.

As for eating out, I only eat out in places that have calories on the menu, in saying that, I hardly ever eat out as Im pretty poor!!
  46817202
July 25, 2013 2:04 AM
Yes, it works.


- And yes, if you exercise you will (probably) loose quicker as its easier to create a larger calorie deficit - plus you will feel healthier and look more toned.
  3981948
July 25, 2013 2:05 AM
100% yes. I underestimated my intake SO MUCH before I started tracking!
July 25, 2013 2:05 AM
QUOTE:

Hi everyone!! I am new to this so I am a little skeptical. I just wanted to know if anyone had success with the calorie counter? did it really help anyone lose weight? I mean with exercise of course but you need both to see results not just one or the other. I just want to make sure this will help a bit because I have been struggling for to long with losing weight!! hah

the calorie tracker helps you keep things clear and honest. obviously it's *you* who has to do all the work. but even though i've been on diets "all my life", and thought i knew everything about calories etc, it's been a real eye opener and has been helping me make better choices.

Just note that not every calorie amount on MFP is accurate, and you really should get into the habit of using a kitchen scale. what you *think* is a portion, is not always a portion, and you may be under or over estimating your intake.

and actually, you can lose weight without exercise.
  44333117
July 25, 2013 2:11 AM
As people have indicated it works

I was similar to you in that I tried doing it by myself without tracking and failed everytime

Points perhaps to take on board;

*Log evrything that goes into your mouth

*Try and stay within your calorie goal

*Eat less. move more (start walking 30 mins in the morning /30 mins in the after noon -build on that

I started like this just over 3 months ago and lost on average 2.5 llb a week and I consider myself not very good at sticking to anything-MFP has been brilliant

read the success stories and say to yourself : I can do that
Edited by stu1102 On July 25, 2013 2:11 AM
  42974381
July 25, 2013 2:13 AM
DEFINITELY! Well for me anyway. I have never stuck to any healthy eating plan as long as this (about 2 years now) and I truly believe it is down to tracking what I eat every day and the motivation you get from the friends of MFP smile
July 25, 2013 2:17 AM
Good Morning. I have been using myfitnesspal calorie counter for a while. I count calories and track my exercise too. I have lost 50 lbs since I started using it. It helps me to see what I am poking in my mouth. I was shocked when I first started at how much I was eating. It was no wonder I was 90 lbs overweight. Feel free to join me if you need a pal. I have lost everyone that was using it with me.
  27070297
July 25, 2013 2:18 AM
I love mfp! It really does work! You have to track everything you eat. I have not been exercising since this heat and humidity hit and am still losing weight. Once it gets cooler, I will be back outside again.
  44406322

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