Weighty Matters

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.


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4 responses to “Weighty Matters”

  1. trkingmomoe says :

    You are an insperation.


  2. Martin Schwoerer says :

    Thanks for the link to Loseit, Donal. I’ll check it out.

    I agree with you that you need to count calories. Everything else is just a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

    One thing I’d add, though: even “healthy” calories can put you in a situation where you are hungry again in one or two hours. On the other hand, you if select your food wisely, you can be sated for three to four hours. The difference is in the glycemic index. Low-glycemic foods keep your blood sugar level in a middling range that provides a constant flow of energy. High-gly foods give you a sugar spike that burns off too quick and makes you feel hungry soon.

    Sometimes the difference is quite surprising. For instance, the contrast between orange juice and grapefruit juice is enormous.

    The Montignac diet deals with hi/lo glycemic index issues. It seems it is one of the few diets that help people to lose weight in the long term.


  3. wartica says :

    At first I would count them, but then I got an idea of the calories on most foods, and gaged how much I was taking in at a given time:)



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