Mar 9, 2010

counting calories controversy.

hellooooooooo homies.
     i am forgoing daily eats in order to clear up something i meant to touch on yesterday....
counting calories/carbs/points/food diaries/fad diets
        ***First of all, i am not an expert, nor do i know everything (but most things, yes :)).
          i would LOVE to hear your opinions and value them all.***

i keep a food journal.
     for a few reasons. when i started to lose weight my freshman year, i started becoming more aware of how many calories things had in them, but i was still confused about portions and how many calories i needed. i had intuitive eating habits, or whatever. i just did what everyone else did.
i quickly realized, however, that i did not eat the same as my 4'11" roommate (i'm almost 5'7"), nor did i eat the same as my roommate who didn't work out.
sandwiched between my stunning roommies.

     when i came home and started researching nutrition for my family, i realized that i was burning a certain amount daily, and i could track that! it was like magic (or common sense. whatever.) i started keeping track of my endless snacking habits, and combined with working out more, i started steadily losing weight. for me, keeping a food journal of everything i ate and the calories let me check out mentally for the rest of the day - once it was on paper, i could move on. i didn't have to dwell or obsess over every last calorie.

     last summer, however, i had some stomach issues and started new meds, and packed on the pounds. i had a medical excuse, yes, but i also let my habits slide. i started watching what i ate again, came off the meds, and the weight started to slowly come off.

     but life is never that simple, right? as my health started declining, i started losing my appetite (for the FIRST TIME EVER!). instead of dealing with ceaseless hunger, i never got hungry. ever. i went from struggling to stay within my calorie range to forcing myself to eat when i would rather sleep. it was frustrating on so many levels, but i realized i needed to start journaling again - for my health. medically, i knew i needed to keep my strength up, and withering away to nothing was not the answer to my problems, no matter WHAT i felt like.

soooooooooo i started keeping track of things. really simply - just what it was, and how many calories roughly. an example would be today for breakfast, i ate some toast with a water and protein powder spread on top. it was pretty small and i ate something else with it, but i checked calories and it came to about 150 calories, so in my log i just put "toast - 150 cals." that way, over the course of the day i can make sure i'm treating my body right. it also helps me see if i'm missing any food groups, like not enough fruit or something like that.
and i'm not gonna lie, my mom worries about me sometimes, and i keep it in plain sight so she can ease her worries too.

it's still a struggle for me somedays to get enough calories, but other days i'm a bottomless pit!
the point is - i journal as a safety net. i completely believe in intuitive eating, and think if you eat good foods,  you should eat in moderation when you're hungry. sometimes, though, something interrupts our bodies, like illness, and we can't necessary hear those hunger cues.

how about you guys? what's your opinion on counting calories or food journaling? is it helpful or hurtful?

hope you guys had a great tuesday! i know i did.
- rebekah


  1. I think it depends on the person and the motivation.

    Because I struggled for years with disordered eating habits, and often counted calories obsessively for the sole purpose of losing weight quickly, for me counting calories isn't really a good idea.

    However, for people who wouldn't get obsessive about it, it can certainly be a really helpful tool!

    And even for someone like me, keeping a food journal (just without the numbers) can be really important. I basically keep a mental list in my head just to make sure I'm getting enough veggies, protein, etc. throughout the day.

    Interesting post! :)

  2. Hello! I've just found your blog and stumbled upon this post!

    Your reasons for counting calories have sparked my interest and do make some sense. However, I truly believe counting calories can so easily and unwittingly become problematic. I think there are other ways of eating when you're not able to recognise hunger cues like just making sure you eat 3 reasonably sized meals a day.

    Anyway... Great blog. x


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