How to break chronic calorie counting!!!


Tveen

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I just started my first whole 30 yesterday. I had a great first day with yummy meals and not feeling deprived at all! However, I ran into an issue at night where my brain automatically started counting all the calories I had for the day! I know we are not supposed to count calories on this plan (which is one of the things I LOVE about it)! But, since I have counted calories since I was 14 (I'm 24 now) and have used my fitness pal for the past 3 years, it's kind of an automatic thing. I want to use this plan to heal my relationship with food and I know that not counting calories is a big part of that, so I really want to not have that automatic response! Has anyone else had experience with this involuntary tallying of calories?? Any tips on how to break this habit?

Thanks!

Tveen

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only tip I have is to focus elsewhere. Stay off MFP and any other program that gives you calorie counts. You obviously know calorie counts in your head for some items, but Whole30 has no use for that information. It's more of a binary plan: an ingredient is either on the list or it's off. If it's off, you don't eat that food. It really is that simple, and if you follow the W30 food template, you don't need to know anything else about the food on your plate. Very freeing, really, you'll have to think of something to do with all that space created by the brain clutter that is cleared out.

So you have to ignore the "Nutritional Information" label with the large letters on the package, and search for the ingredients list with the small letters. I actually find that visual distinction helpful. I never look at the nutritional information label, because there is nothing in there I need to see, with the possible exception of finding the sugar count in a bottle of kombucha to make sure it's not too high for me, because that is a trigger that will take me to places I don't want to go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the calories of some foods, but not all. I don't think about calories anymore. Some of that is because I have no idea how many calories are in a plate of brussel sprouts or a pile of spinach. Could I find out? Sure, but that's info I don't need. It gets easier over time as you become more aware of how much you need to eat to be satisfied. Keep following the meal template and try to redirect your thoughts when they veer towards calories.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tveen,

Been there, done that. My best advice is to give it time. Do not weight food or punch your food in. I know that you can tell the weight of that tomato in your fridge by looking at it. I know you can calculate value of bowl of soup with hundred ingridients and will be 50 calories off. That's ok. Trust me, the more you are into this way of eating the less "curios" or obsessed you get. Relax and give it time. Best of luck with breaking this habit too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was never big into calorie counting, measuring, weighing things - I did go through a terrible bout of this (before I gave up as I was hangry all the time and not losing weight), but it always felt like an unatural way of feeding myself.

When you think about it - and this is how I justified NOT doing all of these things on the whole 30 - do you really think our ancestors went around measuring and weighing everything? Or did they eat just to fill their belly? Ate what was available to them? And at this point I am guessing that these people were reasonably healthy, and did not have the health problems that many of us are incuring today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all of the reasons previous posters have given you for not doing this and their success stories. What you may need is a really good plan of action to distract yourself from counting. Really, counting will mess all of this up. So, maybe you can create a mantra to recite to break the calorie counting habit. Maybe you can remind yourself of your goals and reasons for completing a Whole30. Only you can know what will work and you may have to try several things. When those numbers start to add up in your head, you need positive distractions to help you out until this all becomes more natural. Basically, I guess you have to treat it like a craving.

If you can list 3 things that you will do when your mind wants to count calories, you may have an easier time fighting your calorie counting dragon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To take what Nico said one step further- you could easily replace the typing in on MFP with updating your food log on this forum. You dont have to be specific about portions but you could have this as a way to be accountable and to get some valuable feedback and encouragement.

Also, if you title your food log somethig related to your struggle with calorie counting you will likely pick up some followers that are in your same boat and that kind of support will make changing that habit all the more easy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using MFP so I can remember what I ate and can judge how it makes me feel, but I don't look at the calorie counts. I'm basically just using it for the sake of journaling. I'm actually starting to get away from that because I got a Jawbone UP, primarily to track my sleeping, and that allows me to record my intake, with less focus on a calorie goal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.