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# counting calories works! (Read 1529 times)

Counting calories only works if you are not counting too many.

I once had a boss that when golfing, always seemed to have a very low score, then I realized he was only counting his putts.

I've got a fever...

I used myfitnesspal last year and lost 33 pounds over less than 3 months.  Now granted, I've gained a lot of it back, but that's what not running and not tracking eating smart will do for you.

I have a little trick that works really well for making entering running numbers into myfitnesspal easy:

1. Take your run distance in miles and multiply it by 10  (i.e ran 3.6 miles * 10 = 36)
2. Enter that numbers as minutes under 6mph (10-minute mile) running, regardless of what pace you actually ran.
3. BOOM! You've got a reasonable estimate of how many calories you burned running.  Who cares about a time/pace discrepancy? -- your real running log is RA -- myfitnesspal is just for calories.

This works because running calorie burn is a function of how much you weigh and how far you run.  You burn just as many calories running 3.6 miles hard as you do jogging it; it just takes you longer the slower you go.  Calories per mile running is (for the most part) only a function of your weight.

Sure, you burn more calories per minute running fast, but you take fewer minutes to cover the given distance, so it evens out, as compared to running that same distance slowly.  It's a physics problem -- how much energy does it take move a given (m)ass  a given distance.

This is why the Calorie Calculator on RA ask for your weight and distance, not your speed.

Quick aside -- calories per mile walking is lower than running.  There is lower energy expenditure because walking is more efficient (i.e. it takes less calories to "move" your mass due to a more efficient motion.)

Point being, myfitnesspal know your weight, so you trick it into spitting out the right number of calories by converting your time/distance into an equivalent entry under 10 min/mile.

As for myfitnesspal being only for processed food/ things with a barcode -- yeah, that makes things easier.  But the database is pretty big, and it grows with user submissions. Also, after a while of tracking, you get a feel for how many calories a homemade meal might be.

On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

I used myfitnesspal last year and lost 33 pounds over less than 3 months.  Now granted, I've gained a lot of it back, but that's what not running and not tracking will do for you.

This is the real problem with calorie counting - people make a difference whilst they're paying attention. But then gain it back when they're not. It can be a good way to loose some weight relatively quickly, but the real challenge for most of us is to establish a routine that will last years and allow us to maintain a healthy weight.

It's a challenge that's different from calorie counting and short term weight loss. Going through a spell of calorie counting at least once is interesting - because you learn what things that you habitually eat really cost the big calories. But unless you plan to count calories for the rest of your life it's not really the way to find a life long sustainable pattern of eating and exercising.

I've got a fever...

This is the real problem with calorie counting - people make a difference whilst they're paying attention. But then gain it back when they're not. It can be a good way to loose some weight relatively quickly, but the real challenge for most of us is to establish a routine that will last years and allow us to maintain a healthy weight.

It's a challenge that's different from calorie counting and short term weight loss. Going through a spell of calorie counting at least once is interesting - because you learn what things that you habitually eat really cost the big calories. But unless you plan to count calories for the rest of your life it's not really the way to find a life long sustainable pattern of eating and exercising.

Well, I consider it more of a semi-intentional lack of discipline than anything else, on my part at least.

I think it really helps to count religiously (and run a lot) to lose weight.

Once you're at your goal weight, you just need to eat sensibly and run regularly.  I'm fully aware of whether or not I'm eating sensibly (I'm not) and whether I'm running regularly (I'm not).  Having counted calories, I know a good day from a bad one without counting.  When I feel like doing what it takes to be healthy/thinner again, I will be.

On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

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