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Going Calorie Counting Crazy


#1

For the past few months i've been going "Calorie Counting Crazy". I mean i cant sit down and eat a meal without knowing exactly how many cals/protein is in each meal... i know your suppose to know each breakdown of your meals so you dont exceed or go under your daily caloric intake.

But its getting so bad that i measure everythng on a digital scale to the gram. For instanc efor a can of tuna i usually split it in 3rds and i have to add subtract and do all this math to figure out the exact measurements of each kind of food i eat. I have a calculator in my kitchen where i use quite frequently.

It feels like i have no life. All i do is count and calculate. My family thinks im psycho or something. Does anyone have any suggestions on this problem...Should i count portions not calories or what? What do yall do?


#2

You are psycho. That is completely unnecessary and no, everyone does not do that. I don't count calories and never have. I estimate if anything and usually only do that when dieting. I have yet to actually get out a calculator and add up the EXACT amouint of calories I take in. Bodybuilding to me is enjoyable, not a job.

Some people take it to extremes...just like you have. That is a choice made and not something that needs to happen. Are your gains even matching your extreme approach to analyzing everything?


#3

I have no idea what you're saying about the can of tuna. All the nutrition info is on the can. There's no need to measure anything. What are you eating that you need to do this complicated math for?

If you weigh/measure stuff for a couple of weeks, after that you should be pretty good at eyeballing.


#4

Ouch. Little harsh? :wink:


#5

Ay yi yi! I don't know whether or not you have an obsessive personality about other things, but judging from the snippet above, I am guessing you do. You have to nip this in the bud. I mean, with all of that ridiculous amounts of analysis and minutiae... are you even making any gains? Whether cutting or bulking?

Personally, I have only counted calories ONCE in my life, and that was because I was taking part in a study at UConn for their kinesiology department. I HATED it and felt it was a complete waste of time. I have a good feel for what I eat in any given day and if I want to get leaner, I eat less and if I want to bulk, I eat more and judge my results on a weekly basis.

Given the fact that your obsessiveness has given you a scarily clear idea of what you eat... why not just rely on that knowledge and stop with the ridiculous amounts of measuring since you are not getting anything out of it?


#6

Hi Serd-

I'd try to just force yourself NOT to weigh/count anything. I had an eating disorder for many years and this obsessive counting of calories is part of distorted eating. It can be hard to do...I still generally have a basic idea of how many calories is in every meal I eat but it is more of a rough guestimate and it doesn't effect how much I eat later at other meals. If you find yourself unable to stop I would suggest seeking some help perhaps from eating disorder support groups or from therapists. At least do some searching about information on eating disorders.

PM me if you want more info.


#7

To the exact gram?! Yeah, you're overdoing it.

Its not all that hard to count cals, especially when fitday does it for you.

I usually measure all the meat I have, just to make sure I'm getting all my protein in, then take guestimates on carbs since I'm doing the t-dawg 2.0.

Its not a horrible thing to count carbs, although you've made it to be.


#8

i never really thought about it in that manner, but i guess it is obsessive. I admit to have suffering from anorexia in the past and i thought i gotten over it but iguess i still have small habits that i exhibit.

for instance it feels like if i dont eat every 3 hrs on the dot im going to go crazy. Maybe Im just OCD i dont know i just want to get the maximum benefits from the nutritional guidelines i follow.


#9

"I just want to get the maximum benefits...."

I firmly believe this is the biggest 'problem' most people have. Stop worrying about the maximum. How's your sleep? How's your stress? How's your workout? My gist is this--stop worrying about perfection. It makes good unacceptable. It is a precurser to failure.

Eat healthy. Lift accordingly. Get your rest. If you begin to put on bodyfat, eat less. If you look in the mirror and want to get bigger, eat more.

This isn't a contest. It isn't about the other guy and what works for them.


#10

Good post. There are far too many people desperately looking for perfection when they haven't even mastered making any basic progress at all yet. I am still wondering whether his gains even come close to matching the extreme attention to detail.


#11

Obsession is just a word that lazy people use to describe dedication. Yes, what you are doing may be eccentric. If it is destroying your life in some way, causing you to quit your job or not being able to function well in outside society then yes, you need help.

Caveman, the fellow whose picture you see flashed around here all the time said the following. "I can tell you exactly what I ate 5 years ago"

Pen and paper tracking sucks however, it is time consuming and annoying. There is an open source computer package called NUT, seach for it on sourceforge or whereever, it runs on DOS and UNIX. It uses the USDA database to give a full nutrient profile of each food. You can add typical meals etc. In short, you can track 137 nutrient variables with a few button presses, it is very quick and easy to use. The author is very helpful, and answered my questions regarding entering undocumented food.

As was correctly pointed out, you need sleep, reduced stress, etc etc to truly meet your physique goals. However, accurate nutritional tracking is not a bad thing at all. It can be fun, especially with a good software package, such as NUT (which is free and the best you ask for). You can learn to prepare your meals very quickly, know exactly what is inside them, even faster than the average citizen (especially if its mainly clean food).

The fact you find it necessary to post regarding this however, indicates that you have a problem. The fact you listen to people who tell you that you are nuts, also indicates you have a problem.

In short, nutritional analysis is good. Note the use of the word nutritional analysis as opposed to calorie counting (which is very gay, gayer than Richard Simmonds).


#12

I only count calories when I'm dieting.


#13

What he is describing is beyond "dedication"- it really is obsession. He isn't using the counting as a tool, the counting has become an object in and of itself. Given that he was anorexic- which is also obsessive and controlling behaviour- this is something that he needs to keep an eye on.

After a few weeks of weighing foods and calculating the nutritional breakdown, he should have moved on to 'knowing' the values and working from them NOT focussing on ever more precise measurements.


#14

There's nothing wrong with measuring for a while.

Hell, I'm glad I measured food religiously for a short period of time.

I now can guess what I'm taking in pretty accurately.

If you've been measuring like you say you have you ought to be able to toss an educated guess and just run with it.

It does sound obsessive to me. Doing something that isn't fun isn't really worth doing in the long run.

I workout and eat the way I do because I enjoy the journey, not just the results.


#15

Yes, from the fact he wrote "It feels like I have no life", then yes, he is going way overboard, the fact he has been doing it for months without a break is funny too.

Me, I do an analysis when I alter my diet, up to 14 days at the most usually (this is the point i get bored of writing down my foods like a lab rat). Then stick to my diet until I feel the need to alter it.

Also, it should be noted that super clean eating periods have been the periods where I feel my worst. Cheating on a diet is not only enjoyable, but as far as I am concerned, essential to your health.


#16

Can I quickly ask how people came to the conslusion that Serd is a 'he'. I cant see anything in the posts that give this away.

Serd, if you are a he, and if you are 5'8 and 120 lbs as your stats say then I think that you need to stop calculating what you eat, and just eat more. 120 lbs at 5'8 doesnt sound healthy. This may sound overly critical, especially as you may have made significant gains since recovering from anorexia, for which you deserve huge congratulations.

If you are female, (I dont know if 120lbs is healthy for a 5'8 female but it doesnt sound too far off) I would suggest that you do need to relax a bit as you said yourself that 'It feels like i have no life. All i do is count and calculate. My family thinks im psycho or something.' That also doesnt sound healthy to me.

I have never had to deal with anorexia personally so I will not even try and guess what the ongoing effects of this are but I do think that you do need to either:

if male: relax and eat more.
if female: relax and eat.

So the underlying theme, whether male or female, relax and eat.

Also, and only you can answer this one, possibly seek professional help if you think that this may be due to not fully dealing with the anorexia.


#17

You really need to read Shug's new Blog "Out of Balance".


#18

Seriously mate you shouldn't need to get the calculator out all the time even if you did want to be precise, if you have any intelligence you will be able to remember the energy values, protein, carb, e.t.c for the food you take in.
Also, after a while you should just get a feel for how much you need to be eating; but for some reason you haven't.


#19

Maybe he doesn't know how to do simple math and relies on the calculator.

*Gosh...


#20

She/he said they had a history of anorexia, this is could be related. It's definitely better than that particular eating disorder, but it's still an eating disorder which should be dealt with.

Explicitly not trying to make a medical diagnosis over the web.