I ran across this post, Why you should not count calories. Essentially the points are:
1 – Calorie calculation may not be accurate.
2 – Food provides more than just energy.
3 – Fat is high calorie, but healthier than low-calorie substitutes.
4 – Severe calorie restriction can hurt you.
5 – Calorie intake is just a number.
6 – Thinner is not necessarily healthier.
I have been (successfully) counting calories through LoseIt, and will continue, so I thought I’d comment on each point:
1 – I am aware that there may be inaccuracy, but as a guide, my LoseIt total keeps me focused on not binging. I “burn” 600 – 800 calories per day by swimming, running or cycling, but I don’t use that to justify more food calories.
2 – I do try to eat a healthy assortment of foods. Breakfast is usually milk and cereal. Lunch is a green salad with Annie’s dressing, a Brown Cow yogurt, grapes or pineapple, and an apple. I snack on low salt cashews. My wife includes meat and vegetables with dinner, and we eat a small bowl of homemade ice cream for dessert. We are eating less bread, pasta and potatoes.
3 – I don’t eat low-calorie anything, unless you count two percent milk.
4 – My food budget is 1,904 calories, but I range between 1,600 and 2,000. I rarely feel hungry.
5 – I agree that one can go wrong by devoting oneself to slavishly counting calories alone, assuming that the number is all that matters.
6 – No, and I’m going for leaner and more muscular. So far, I feel a lot better.
As a side note, I’ve noticed something odd with my inexpensive Taylor scale. It is basically a sheet of glass, so I store it on its edge to avoid damaging it. The scale displays to the tenth of a pound, and I enter the rounded off number in LoseIt. So if it displays 199.4, I enter 199; if it displays 199.5, I enter 200.
I weigh myself in the mornings, and what is odd is that the scale shows the same weight — to the tenth of a pound — for three or four days on end. I’d expect some variations, but saw the same ###.4 every morning for a week. So the other day after running in the PM, I weighed myself and it was again the same ###.4. “Is this thing jammed?” I wondered. I grabbed a heavy toolbox and stood on it again. The display increased by some 14 lbs. I stood on it alone, and it came back .6 lbs lighter than ###.4.
Taylor’s faq claims a two pound tolerance, but I have this theory that storing the scale on its edge causes it to to reinitialize every morning. Why it re-initializes to the last displayed value is still a mystery, but I’m going to leave it flat for the next week and see what happens.