Why I’ve stopped counting calories

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Counting calories was the most important thing I ever did for my physical health.
Every day, I would religiously weigh and measure everything that I ate, and would stick to a strict limit, no matter what happened.

While that was extremely effective, it was certainly difficult to get used to at first, and took a long time to become dedicated and good at it. It is definitely the most proven and effective way of losing weight, and it was very successful for me, having helped me to lose 260+ pounds. It is also the most scientific method and is completely irrefutable.

BUT.

It takes a lot of effort to lose weight this way. It takes dedication and effort unlike anything I’ve ever known. Keeping a truthful log of everything that enters your mouth is more daunting than you might guess. Counting calories had it’s place in my life. It did exactly what I wanted it to do. Now it’s time to put it away for awhile and rely on everything I have learned along the way.

I’ve changed how I eat in many ways, and I have changed the way I think about food as well. I want to be able to rely on those mental changes to know when to stop eating, and what kinds of foods to eat. I want to be able to balance my needs and desires on my own, without having to write everything down or measure/weigh every ingredient.

I want to feel comfortable that I have the ability to maintain my current weight for a longer period of time, without being paranoid that a subtle indulgence is going to destroy all the progress that I have made. There was a long time when I became pretty obsessed with calories, and I know that over time, remaining obsessed won’t be good for my mental health.

So with all that being said, after counting calories religiously for 670 straight days, I stopped tracking on November 14.

Nothing special about this day. I felt it coming for a while, and I knew that it was time to enter this new section of my journey. I’ve enjoyed having my current weight (225lbs) become my new normal. I want to live like this for awhile and become very comfortable with my life at this weight.

I was scared at first that I would immediately relapse and start gaining weight, but thankfully that hasn’t happened. I haven’t actively tracked calories in 76 days. I still haven’t gained back any of that weight, and that makes me feel proud. I love that I could be indulgent over the holidays and also remain successful at the same time.

I also know that my January challenge has helped with this as well, being able to strengthen my discipline and control over what I consume. I still struggle with cravings, but I feel like I am finally beginning to let myself believe that I can remain successful for the rest of my life, without constantly writing down every single thing I eat.

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