Calorie counting or otherwise artificially reducing your food intake is a waste of time and life


Well, how about you learn how much you need? Instead of some diet that requires sheer willpower you can learn to notice when you’re actually hungry instead of bored/lonely/tired / insert your triggers here?

The very idea that you know you have a calorie allowance, by my definition or any that makes sense, makes you Alsace to food, because you are not free to do what you want.


Ah well here you’re absolutely right - very much so. The actual feeling of hunger is so staggeringly rare that we generally don’t know what it is. What we actually feel is peckish, or we just fancy something most of the time. I always correct the family if they say anythign like “I’m Starving”.

We’re all afraid of the feeling, but when you actually are hungry, sitting with that feeling can be eye opening, a way of challenging and defeating those fears, being comfortable with the feeling.

I’ll amend the post about the group proposals or tag them onto a new post

I’ve been arguing on the Internet for so long that I know how to do it without ruffling any feathers, I once was thrown off an ISP for swearing on UseNet in the nineties which dates me…

The point being that I deliberately chose a confrontational tone to see what would happen. Whatever else it got was a conversation…


I replied and spelled this out but maybe you haven’t read the thread as closely as you could.

Your body does not need 2612 calories a day. Their idea that you need the same every day is quite obviously rubbish. The idea that someone who calls themselves a dietician could give you a calorie goal so accurate that it ends in 12 is more than dubious.

If you do eat mindfully, maybe 3500 one day, maybe 500 the next, and you’re doing it by actually listening to your body , you will lose weight because you’re eating what you need, when you need it. Not eating to a clock, not eating because there’s food available, you’re eating what you need when you need it.

All this by learning how to concentrate and listen to the signals coming to your brain and interpreting them consciously and correctly.

Sounds like a lot of hassle to me, who wants to be trapped running rules and systems?

I wholeheartedly agree. But logic doesn’t come into it does it, the vast majority of food decisions we make, are not conscious ones. This is a lifestyle change, learning what your body is saying to you.

[quote=“Andy_Gallon, post:58, topic:5708, full:true”]
I’ve lost 18lbs in a month through dieting, I’m confident I’ll lose the rest and even more certain I’ll maintain it.[/quote]

What makes you think you’re special? Statistically the chances of you maintaining it are less than 50%. If you’re maintaining it using calories counting and bloody mindedness, the odds are not with you because it’s unsustainable in the long term.


I’ve read what you’ve put, and I’m still waiting for the evidence. Telling me my body will ask for less calories than its maintenance requirement with no evidence is what is ludicrous. Relying on it to shift 5 stone is at the least wishful thinking.

As for the 50% chance of it failing, any factual evidence of this figure? I’ve tried other diets and calorie counting is the only one I can maintain long term, because I can eat what I want. Because I can eat 6 pieces of fruit a day, because I can eat a normal dinner with my family instead of cooking something different.

I’m genuinely interested in the mindful eating approach, like others it sounds like a good thing to do but I see it as a maintenance routine but not a way to lose 5 stone.

If you spent all the energy you’re throwing at the rest of us who can evidence through our weight loss that we’ve found a way that works for us on actually promoting your approach, the research and evidence that backs up mindful eating you’d have no problem getting members in your group.


Gentlemen. Can I go slightly off topic?

When was the last time you saw an overweight animal? Think about it.

Regardless of the size of animal from Elephant to Mouse. When have you seen an overweight animal in the wild? Elephants are big creatures and they differ is size due to age and inherited characteristics from their parents. But the one thing remains constant, when food is pleantyfull they are all at their ideal weight. Non of them are overweight or obese.

The only animals that I have ever seen to be overweight are domestic pets, where their food is controlled by their human owners.

A long time ago I read an article about lab tests on mice. The scientists needed fat mice to experiment on. They filled the food containers in the mice’s cages with copious amounts of food, but non on the mice gained weight. The group of mice in the over provided cages stayed the same size as the mice in the cages where the food supply was sufficient for their daily needs.
With out fat mice the experiment was doomed. That is until one bright spark had the idea of taking away the normal mice food and replacing it with the sort of junk food humans eat.
Soon enough the one set of mice started gaining weight. The fats and sugar with the added chemicals and inhancers started to do their work.

So thinking about what I wrote above; non of the animals followed a callorie counted diet. All the heathy animals ate as much as they wished to eat every day. They ate the food that Mother Nature intended them to have. They only ate enough to turn off their “hunger”. Non of the animals ate until they were “full”.
I know that certain animals will put on natural food stores during the summer, in preperation for winter and hibernation, but this again is in Mother Natures hands. When these animals come out of their hibernation, they are all scrawny and very thin.
Humans are also wired to prepare for famine and lack of food. In the survival of the fittest, our ancestors survived because they were able to put on weight during the good times in preperation of the bad times that were around the corner.
And here lies our problem. Our supermarkets are full. There is no famine imminent any more. The last time we had a national shortage of food was during World War II. And that is problem two. We are the children and grandchildren of those family members who remember severe rationing and a general year long shortage of food.
The people who love us the most have been force feeding us in preperation for the next food shortage. Hopefully it’s never going to come.
I have a bad relationship with food, due to the fact that my mother was mentally ill and didn’t feed me. At school I recieved free meals. I would go back for seconds, thirds and fourths from the dinner ladies every day. Sometimes it would only be cabbage and gravy, but I would keep on going back. During the school holiday I would lose all the food stores I and put on. When I hit Ten years old, I was malnourished and put into foster care. During this foster care, food was withheld as a punishment. This compounded my bad relationship with food.
Here today my kitchen cupboards are brim full of food. A friend last week saw my fridge and cupboards and said “My god! You are a feeder”. All I could reply was "I’m a good host and I like to make sure my guests don’t feel neglected"
I own up to my bad relationship with food and the fact that I store food supplies in the cupboards of other rooms in my home. I see a buy one get one free offer and I stock up on that product regardless of if it is teabags or tins of beans. Part of that is economics too. I live on a very low income so have to make a penny do the work of a pound.
So going back to callorie intake. I no longer do it. I try to eat food in a state that is as close to that which Mother Nature intended it to be.
I try to avoid factories produced, ready meals and snacks. I try to get my sugary treats from fruit. I try to listen to my body. I try to consciously eat. I ask myself as I’m eating, “Am I still hungry?” Then when my Answer is “No”, the next question I ask myself is “Are you still enjoying this food as much as you did when you first started eating?” If the answer is “No” then I try to put my fork down and leave what remains on the plate.
Non of this is scientifically tested and presented. But it seems to be working for me.
I eat every type of food, nothing is off limits. But what I try to do, is make my first choice of food a good one. If that healthy food option isn’t available then I will eat the next best option. But I still try to eat mindfully and ask myself the same two questions. “Am I hungry?” “Am I still enjoying this food?”


I am in the weight loss phase of this process rather then the maintenance. I am happy to give @Tetsugaku methods a go and report back to people who are concerned that it will not help them lose weight. I am interested in understanding and overcoming the mental aspect of weight loss and maintenance and for me worse case is that I do not lose any weight over the period. However I think that this is a small risk because being able to eat what you like does not mean you have too (or will). Ultimately the only way to see if this has any mileage is to try it and let others know what happens - that is the proof of the pudding.


Id be certainly up for giving it a go were it communicated at all well. If you can’t answer the questions your posts raise, you shouldn’t expect a big uptake of your ideas. I do think you’re onto something, just try to back it up a little with something other than ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ and a whole bunch of assumptions.


tyring to re-invent the wheel… the simple solution already exists & it’s free.

smh :frowning:


How about this… if Tetsugaku is up for it,

I’m willing to coach a group of guys for free (5-10) for 12 weeks with weekly updates (and daily support) based on feedback & tracking etc, if you’re willing to do the same and we’ll compare the two groups at the end of the 12 weeks to see if ‘mindful eating’ is a better tool for weight loss than creating & tracking a ‘calorie deficit’


By all means conduct it as a bet but let’s not pretend it’s a valid experiment, with a sample size so small and so many factors influencing you’d be really struggling to create anything with meaning.

And I’m afraid I’m out @Tetsugaku, as with others, I’m interested in the approach and mindful eating (would like to know which books you’re recommending) but I’m afraid your approach of ruffling feathers wouldn’t work for me, so I’ll stick to writing down what I eat every day - I’ll do it mindfully though.


Seriously? Your way is better and easier than everyone else’s regardless of results?


Yes. We’ve already discussed this more than once but your way is the bloody minded, making it hard for yourself way, calorie counting, this way, not my way, is about changing your habits so you donat feel hungry and eat less anyway without having to run your life by special rules or calculators.


It’s a shame it’s gone this way - I did expect there to be a lot of hostility to challenging the accepted wisdom though :wink:


Well I’m fairly sure I have explained it - you start to listen to your body , so you know when you’re hungry, as opposed to bored or stressed, so you eat less.

Less calories, weight goes down, all without having to count anythign, having to eat a special food or do anythign considered a diet. If you’re up for that, with an open mind, great, if you’re not or that isn;t enough of an explanation - I’d like to leave our back and forth here please. Is that ok?


This is an epic post that deserves way more of a reply than I can give you - firstly thanks for sharing such deep things about yourself and your relationship with food - being able to identify those things and openly and honestly talk about them is a massive achievement you should be proud of.

It sounds as if you are doing exactly what is suggested around mindful eating - honestly asking yourself the question “Am I hungry” and acting accordingly. I’m really impressed.


Well I showed you a video of a doctor telling you roughly what I’ve said, there’s some evidence.

As for Diets, why do you think people try them more than once if their success rate is so high?

The best evidence I could give you would probably be my weight chart but sadly it’s not over a long enough period of time to prove much more than a loss at the moment, maybe soon.

30 days trying it out won’t hurt you. Do you want to try to approach your eating motivations from a different angle?


Well, if we are going to be using weight charts to prove points, here is mine from a couple of months ago that uses calorie counting :wink: . There are many others here that can even show more extreme weight losses on theirs.

Now, I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong. I think you are actually making two distinct claims though seem to be mentioning both in the same breath. One against calorie counting, and another against food restrictions. My body does not care whether I eat a pound of chicken to get full or a pound of hamburger to get full. In either case it will feel full. However, in one case I get a good dose of protein (and some fat) and in another mostly fat and some protein (and even more calories as fat has more calories than protein). In one case I am getting the Macronutrients my body needs in another not so much!!!

How does “mindful eating” reconcile that?


I don’t think you understand how the hormone leptin works in the human body


I’m never going to cut any foods out of my options. I eat everything. But I am aware that some foods are better for you than others.
My personal problems was over eating past the point that my body was telling me it was full and I was ignoring the signals.
Because I wasn’t getting a full balanced diet, I would often be still looking for food.
I started off my re eduction using a calorie controlled diet of 1800 to 2000 calories per day. It was the first step in my journey. Knowing about portion size and balance is so important.
I firmly believe that calorie counting works. How can you eat mindfully if you don’t know what you should be eating to get a correct balance as you take the first steps towards a healthier you.
You have to put the three things together - mindfulness, understanding your food, knowing how big a healthy portion should be. Calorie counting in deeply imbedded in this. Eventually you can look at a slice of bread and know with out weighing, if it’s 80 calories or 150 calories.
This leads to reeducation and weight loss.


brilliant analogy