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Old 06-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #31
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Here's a question for anyone in general: when people say they hate counting calories, what does that mean to you?
I think many people here, like me, have been on restricted calorie diets in the past, and don't have pleasant memories of them.

Why is counting carbs different? Because you can actually feel quite sated on 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day. Most do NOT feel sated on 1200 calories a day- a typical caloric suggestion of my low calorie diets in the past, considering most of that was supposed to be low fat, which means higher carb, which means you dieted yourself right into the brutal carb/hungry syndrome.

I think Dr. Atkins, and others, are/were brilliant when they kicked the whole calorie issue to the side lines---for the scientific reasons we have all read, AND for psychological reasons.

Of course, there is no silver bullet when it comes to losing weight and maintaining that loss, and Low Carb eating has its share of sacrifice too. But in general I would say that 20-30 carbs a day is a gold mine of good eating, compared to a calorie restricted diet.

And finally, I think many have found the old "calories in, calories out" thing didn't work for them, but counting carbs DOES. Nothing works like what works---without a lot of pain.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #32
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Hi Garlic and welcome to the board! I'm new as well.

I use a food tracker so calorie counting is automatic, which is a bonus because I refuse to spend another day adding up calories; it is simply not going to happen.

I do actually make use of the calorie tracking because I'm in the Atkins induction phase (20 carb per day limit in a 65% fat/30% protein/5% carb ratio) for two reasons:
  1. The Ratios: I have to have something to determine the ratios of. You know what I mean? If I did not count calories, then my question would be 30% percent of what exactly?
  2. The Carb Limit: 20 grams of carbs is 80 calories. (Carbs and protein are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram.) So combing the carb limit with the ratio, the max number of calories I should consume in a day is 1600. That is 65% fat (116g/1040 cals) + 30% protein (120g/480 cals) + 5% carb (20g/80 cals)

I am not always on target, but I try to stick as closely as possible and not to exceed 1600 calories. That being said, the carb grams are my highest priority, and I have lost weight in the past counting them alone. This time though, I'm using them to help me figure out how much I should eat of everything else.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:47 PM   #33
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I think my issue will be getting enough fat..... Not a fan of butter, or coconut oil..... Most of my fat per LC came from meat, and some fish....but mostly what was in some high carb foods.

OK, I thank you all for your responses.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #34
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I didnt at first and I lost easily. Then I started tracking them, and got back into the 'less is more' mindset and even though I'd been losing perfectly well at 1800-2000, I dropped to under 1500 and Im in a stall now....

When you low carb, you get a 300-500 cal/day on top of LFHC recommendations, just because it take so much more energy to make fuel.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:51 AM   #35
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Ok, well, I did get the 1350 from a website, that on the surface, at least, seemed credible. I have no affiliation with that site. It was just where I read 1350.
That same website you got your number from, reviews two different Bernstein diets. Dr. Richard Bernstein is the one your looking for. Dr. Stanley Bernstein is the one who does the low calorie one.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:12 AM   #36
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That same website you got your number from, reviews two different Bernstein diets. Dr. Richard Bernstein is the one your looking for. Dr. Stanley Bernstein is the one who does the low calorie one.
Shame on me, then!
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:18 AM   #37
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I do an 'nutrtional ketosis' approach and therefore count everything. It seems that most people will not need to do this kind of tracking. I recently came across this statement as part of an article about calories and think it worth sharing...

Quote:
The concept of the “calorie”, as applied to nutrition, is an oversimplification so extreme as to be untrue in practice.
Having said that, I don't think calories are completely irrelevant either just not the be all and end all.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:24 AM   #38
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I don't - won't - count calories.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #39
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I think my issue will be getting enough fat..... Not a fan of butter, or coconut oil..... Most of my fat per LC came from meat, and some fish....but mostly what was in some high carb foods.

OK, I thank you all for your responses.
You could check out some of the threads on fat bombs if you want to up your fat intake. I make an awesome chocolate peanut butter fat bomb, it has butter and coconut oil in it, but it doesn't taste like either.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:10 AM   #40
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personally I think its best to start off just watching your carbs and learning the diet, once you have a few weeks under your belt or you start to see your weight slow down significantly its good to look at the whole picture BUT if you're following the plan and getting enough protein, its sort of like a natural appetite suppressant and I find I don't eat as many calories anyhow
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #41
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Can someone explain to me, what is the difference between counting and...tracking? I see how some people are tracking their food intake, whether that means planning their menu ahead of time or just keeping account of what they ended up eating. But I don't understand how that is somehow considered "not counting". Which leads me to wonder what it is about the word "counting". Does that basically mean, to most people, "restricted calorie, low-fat and higher carb diet, automatic hunger, never getting to eat as much as I'd like"?

Like I said before: I don't care whether people prefer to do it or not do it; I respect that people have to find their own methods. I guess I am still not clear on what the word "counting" means and why, exactly, people hate it so much with regard to calories but not fat grams, protein grams, etc.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #42
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I don't count calories (in fact I don't count carbs or anything else either) but I do stay AWARE of them. A few years ago I spent a lot of time and effort counting calories religiously so I have a ballpark idea of how much I'm eating and I do keep that in mind when I'm planning my food.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:39 PM   #43
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To me, tracking means keeping track of the numbers, counting means consciously limiting them. Both mean that you're keeping track of every bite of food.

I don't do either, but that's the difference in my mind.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #44
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I lost the vast majority of my excess weight without paying attention to calories at all.
It's only the past month or so that I started looking at calories.
The suggestion was made by a few here at LCF. Seems like when your close to your final goal and most of your excess fat is lost, then reducing the fat intake and the calories associtated with it is needed. I know it worked for me.
I was stuck 3 pounds shy of goal for 3 weeks when I asked the community here for help.
After getting the suggestions, I cut way back on the hwc and lost the final three pounds.
So, the answer to your question for me was "no" then "yes".
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:13 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanutte
Here's a question for anyone in general: when people say they hate counting calories, what does that mean to you?

I think many people here, like me, have been on restricted calorie diets in the past, and don't have pleasant memories of them.

Why is counting carbs different? Because you can actually feel quite sated on 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day. Most do NOT feel sated on 1200 calories a day- a typical caloric suggestion of my low calorie diets in the past, considering most of that was supposed to be low fat, which means higher carb, which means you dieted yourself right into the brutal carb/hungry syndrome.

I think Dr. Atkins, and others, are/were brilliant when they kicked the whole calorie issue to the side lines---for the scientific reasons we have all read, AND for psychological reasons.

Of course, there is no silver bullet when it comes to losing weight and maintaining that loss, and Low Carb eating has its share of sacrifice too. But in general I would say that 20-30 carbs a day is a gold mine of good eating, compared to a calorie restricted diet.
I agree. For me, cutting carbs has meant that I'm not hungry on lower calories. I track my food so I know how many calories I eat, but I don't care much about the number. As long as I control my carb intake, calories are naturally low enough to lose and (so far) maintain without my having to depend on will-power to keep me on the regime.

I track my food so I know how many calories I eat, but I don't care much about the number. I have no desire to martyr myself to hunger so that I can prove how superior I am to people who aren't as "strong" as I am ever again. (Yes, I did think that way, although I mostly kept it to myself ...) Gaining a large amount of weight in a short time after years of very disciplined eating taught me that my daily gnawing hunger was a sign that I was doing something very wrong, not right.

I feel like I'm living like a normal person again for the first time in many years: healthy, mindful, satisfied --- empathetic. Happy ...
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #46
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So, the answer to your question for me was "no" then "yes".
avid, are you replying to the OP's title of the thread? Not to me, I assume, because I didn't ask if people choose to count them or think it's necessary or not. I asked why people have such strong feelings about the word "counting", and why they feel that way. It seems like people are saying the word "counting" means "restricting" or "limiting", and that is what they dislike so strongly. So if that's the case, OK, I understand what is meant.

I am interested in the power words have over us and how they shape our beliefs and opinions (and choices). Like when people say they hate "the scale", usually what they mean is something along the lines of "I hate seeing a number I don't want to see" or "I hate seeing a number that is disappointing".
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #47
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I must admit that it would be nice to be able to eat low carb and not be concerned about calories, but that's not my reality--and I suspect it's not the reality of many people from the number of posts I'm constantly reading about people being 'stalled.' When you are not losing or gaining, you are eating to maintenance, and unless you have a deficit, there's no loss. I totally agree that calories aren't 'everything,' but they are highly significant.

Since I began managing my weight when I was already post-menopausal and hypothyroid (but not yet diagnosed), I had to be mindful of calories--even at 300 lbs. For those of us with severe metabolic dysfunction who have been morbidly obese since childhood, low carb is incredibly helpful, but not enough. I am very sensitive to carbs and cannot maintain if I eat more than 25g a day, but I don't think of this as 'restriction' so much as eating wisely, having learned a lot about my body in the process of losing almost 200 lbs.

My relationship with food will always be problematic, and I can gain weight on even close to zero carbs (just meat and eggs) because whatever bodily mechanism signals satiety either doesn't work in my body--or I've ignored it for so long that I don't notice it. To insure that I don't overeat, I calculate calorie--which for me is as natural as brushing my teeth or taking a daily shower.

I lost my final 100 lbs with JUDDD because it enabled me to keep my calories at <1000, which is necessary for me to lose. Interestingly, when I first considered JUDDD, I didn't think I could survive on 500 cal for that one day, but I regularly ate 350 cal on my 'Down Days,' and not only survived but found it not unpleasant.

I don't feel any more 'restricted' counting calories than counting carbs--and I did both throughout my weight loss--and now three years into maintenance, I continue to count. In fact, I'm probably more conscientious about counting now because the challenges of maintenance surprised me, and I've had to be very vigilant to avoid regaining any weight.

At age 71, I am healthier and happier than at any other time in my life. The only Rx I take is for my thyroid, and my blood pressure and blood sugar are always fine. Because of my thyroid, I've been having labs every 4 months, so I know that this WOE is ideal for me--low calorie and low carb.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:35 PM   #48
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Like when people say they hate "the scale", usually what they mean is something along the lines of "I hate seeing a number I don't want to see" or "I hate seeing a number that is disappointing".
People personify the scale because it's often frustrating to them and it's hard to be mad at an inanimate object. I had a friend who named her scale. She called it "Rover" because she said it "roved high and low and all over the place."

And sometimes it's just shorthand for "I hate seeing a number I don't want to see." Either way, I don't think it matters much to one's weight loss. But for me, counting and tracking are two different tools and I have two different expectations of them.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #49
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avid, are you replying to the OP's title of the thread? Not to me, I assume, because I didn't ask if people choose to count them or think it's necessary or not. I asked why people have such strong feelings about the word "counting", and why they feel that way. It seems like people are saying the word "counting" means "restricting" or "limiting", and that is what they dislike so strongly. So if that's the case, OK, I understand what is meant.

I am interested in the power words have over us and how they shape our beliefs and opinions (and choices). Like when people say they hate "the scale", usually what they mean is something along the lines of "I hate seeing a number I don't want to see" or "I hate seeing a number that is disappointing".
Sorry for any misunderstanding. Yes, I was responding to the original poster's query of "Do you count calories"
I too believe in the power of words.
As for why people have strong feelings about the word "counting"...I can only speak for myself. I have nothing against the word per se, but when it comes to counting calories or carbs, I just am not that diligent. It's why I was never dogmatic about following Atkins or any other plan.
I do read labels. I buy foods that are low carb and I pay attention. For example, I don't restrict my meat portions, but I will limit my favorite snack of nuts and berries because they are carbier. It's just paying attention and being dedicated to a low carb lifestyle.
Hope this clears things up.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #50
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And sometimes it's just shorthand for "I hate seeing a number I don't want to see." Either way, I don't think it matters much to one's weight loss. But for me, counting and tracking are two different tools and I have two different expectations of them.

So Blue Skies, would you say (for yourself) that tracking means you aren't aiming for any particular amount of calories--just noting what you are eating; and counting means prescribing a calorie range or target?

If that's true, then it's kind of like looking at your bank account and noting the balance and the expenditures, vs. looking at your bank account through the limitations of strict budget. Do you agree with that? Or here's another one: let's say I don't really care how much gas I put in my car at any given time, as long as I have gas in my car and it's running. Other people might be more particular about never letting it go below half a tank, and others might have a set amount they plan to put in at regular intervals. Does it really matter? As long as my car isn't running out of gas and as long as my bank account is fine, I can't say what matters to anyone else.

I'm not trying to make a specific point with these analogies--just continuing to clarify what people mean. I know weight can be lost through different styles and plans, so it's just a way of exploring how people do things differently and why.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:29 PM   #51
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So Blue Skies, would you say (for yourself) that tracking means you aren't aiming for any particular amount of calories--just noting what you are eating; and counting means prescribing a calorie range or target?

If that's true, then it's kind of like looking at your bank account and noting the balance and the expenditures, vs. looking at your bank account through the limitations of strict budget. Do you agree with that? Or here's another one: let's say I don't really care how much gas I put in my car at any given time, as long as I have gas in my car and it's running. Other people might be more particular about never letting it go below half a tank, and others might have a set amount they plan to put in at regular intervals. Does it really matter? As long as my car isn't running out of gas and as long as my bank account is fine, I can't say what matters to anyone else.

I'm not trying to make a specific point with these analogies--just continuing to clarify what people mean. I know weight can be lost through different styles and plans, so it's just a way of exploring how people do things differently and why.
Peanutte, let me start by saying I've been a writer for much of my career (in addition to other things) and I too really believe in the power of words, and am often fascinated by how we put them together, and how that effort is interpreted so differently by different folks.

Some of us feel gob smacked that Eskimo cultures have hundreds of words for "snow," but we are only surprised because it's out of our context and life experience. Turns out we ALL have many words for what we mean on just ONE subject, and what we experience daily, and those words may not resonate in the same way for others.

To be honest, your banking and gas analogies don't resonate w/me when it comes to my woe. Not saying they're wrong, just saying I don't think about it in these ways. To put it simply "counting" and "tracking" mean different things to different people, and I don't know how else to say that.

And I don't feel my POV at all challenged by you, or anything unpleasant at all in regards to this conversation. In fact, I really enjoy the back and forth and understand your desire to delve further into it. It is indeed, very interesting. However, imo, there are some things and words that simply happen to a person at a gut level, through their own experiences, that can't be parsed to mean anything more than just that.

There will always be the mystery of how others think, and how they choose their words to express that.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #52
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So Blue Skies, would you say (for yourself) that tracking means you aren't aiming for any particular amount of calories--just noting what you are eating; and counting means prescribing a calorie range or target?
And one more thing. Oh brother, talk about getting carried away w/words. YES, this is exactly what I would say for me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #53
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It is indeed, very interesting. However, imo, there are some things and words that simply happen to a person at a gut level, through their own experiences, that can't be parsed to mean anything more than just that.

There will always be the mystery of how others think, and how they choose their words to express that.
Yeah, I'm sure there are many things that seem simple and patently obvious to others, that don't make sense to me. And the reverse as well. I'm glad you don't mind getting into it and discussing the different points of view.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #54
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To be honest, your banking and gas analogies don't resonate w/me when it comes to my woe. Not saying they're wrong, just saying I don't think about it in these ways.
They don't necessarily resonate with me either, because I couldn't fathom not being on top of my spending and bank accounts, and I couldn't forget to gas up a car or let it get almost to E. But I know there are other people have different expectations and that's their business.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:00 AM   #55
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I count calories. That means I write down my food type and quantity into an application and stay within a calorie limit for the day. I attach zero emotional significance to the act, it's as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth or pushing in my chair when done eating. Takes minutes per day and no thought at all.

There is no difference in my mind either in practice or association between tracking and counting. I only say counting because I was first introduced to the practice as a 'diet' in hearing it referred to as 'calorie counting'. Thus, I adopted that lingo and shorthand. But again, no emotional attachment either positive or negative.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #56
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I count calories. That means I write down my food type and quantity into an application and stay within a calorie limit for the day. I attach zero emotional significance to the act, it's as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth or pushing in my chair when done eating. Takes minutes per day and no thought at all.

There is no difference in my mind either in practice or association between tracking and counting. I only say counting because I was first introduced to the practice as a 'diet' in hearing it referred to as 'calorie counting'. Thus, I adopted that lingo and shorthand. But again, no emotional attachment either positive or negative.
Arctric Mama, you are one of the most confident and serene Low carbers on this site, and I really enjoy your posts and your total comfort w/your woe. It's inspiring to hear from someone who has made such peace w/their woe, and has been so successful w/it.

I feel like you do about calories, record them, no emotional attachment to them, mostly just observational and more info. So I call this tracking, which connotes a scientist's neutral eye to me---w/in reason of course.

Carbs are a different thing for me, because I started this woe because of a borderline Diabetes 2 diagnosis. So I am very concerned about carbs. I COUNT those very carefully, and barter my counts w/a lot of thought. If I'm going to have something a bit higher carb, I make darn sure it's worth it, and that I can live w/a carb deficit in everything else I eat that day to make up for it and keep w/in my range. IOW, it's not just "observational" for me when it comes to carbs. Don't feel at all the same about calories.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #57
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I agree with both of you about being non-emotional about it, almost like a science project or a prescription. And "observational" works for me, because as I continued losing weight, slowly and steadily, I was able to chuck my previously-held beliefs about how many calories I had thought I should or shouldn't be able to eat, or how much food was necessary for me to be satisfied--I just needed to pay attention to my own little science project. I guess I found myself observing what was happening, instead of what I might have expected, been led to believe, or wished would be happening.

I like your use of the word "neutral", Blue Skies. I was finally ready to get serious once I realized I needed to be rational and neutral about it--not emotional or fearful or defensive (which I was).
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #58
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Start Date: May 25th, 2013
So, interesting to me..... Today I logged food in a diary.... Then I entered them all at once, and tallied my calories. I felt satisfied, but not full, all day... My total was nealy 2400 calories.... That is about 600 more than what I normally eat, and have been eating since January.

Tallied them online, that is.

I am kind of afraid, yet curious if I see this reflected on the scale tomorrow. Still was at 23 carbs, before looking at net carbs.... Still too much protein.

Last edited by Garlic; 06-06-2013 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #59
Way too much time on my hands!
 
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 10,626
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Stats: 188/118
WOE: Atkins maintenance
Start Date: 01/03/09
What you see on the scale tomorrow is NOT a reflection of one day's amount of food. Please don't think that when you weigh yourself. Whether you're up, down, or the same, it isn't because of what you ate today.


Try to remember that daily weights fluctuate due to the water we drink, the food we've eaten, the amount of waste we have or don't have in our system, and all sorts of other variables. Personally I am comfortable weighing once a week, on the same day and first thing in the morning. Others weigh daily, but average their weights for the week. It's the average that matters over time.

Did your book arrive yet?
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:14 PM   #60
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Join Date: May 2013
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Stats: 326 / 260 / 175
WOE: Atkins 2010
Start Date: May 25th, 2013
The book arrived at 4:30. I have been busy since thn, including a trip to the dentist... I will probably read 25 pages tonight.... I also have to read WheatBelly.
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