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i want to stop counting calories!!

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I am going to maintain and i know i can't go through life every day counting every damn calorie. Its horrid... but its just a subconcious thing... I can't stop thinking about it!!

Anyone have any tips on just eating healthy portions of food and such w/o counting calories?!
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Good luck with that one...

I've been trying to quit for about 3 months now... Just can't seem to stop...

On the good side though, it's probably the healthiest "bad" habit I have lol...
It's really all about portion control and making good choices. Once you've been counting calories for a while, you learn how many calories various servings of foods have. So after a while you don't literally need to count the calories -- you just eat the proper servings. I guess you sorta are still counting in a way, but, unless you're a naturally thin person, who can eat anyting and not gain, then you pretty much HAVE to count, don't you think ...

If it's driving you batty, just stop logging and maybe everything will fall into place. Like with any habit, good or bad, you have to give yourself a little time to break free of it.
i never really logged it here though
Oh, I got so depressed the other day thinking "I'm 18 and counting every bite I eat! Will I do this for the rest of my life?" I thought about giving it up. What i'm going to try and do is still count (i'm a meticulous person. Its in my nature) then after a while, let myself go either side of cals (not too far under) and show myself my weight will be ok and I wont baloon out for eating an extra 100 cals one day, and then guess cals and work it in my head, not logging it on the net, but on paper. Then just going "well i'll aim for 350 at brekkie. EH, thats about 100, plus that bananaa makes an extra 90, ok, so need a bit more" and try and guess my way, meal by meal. If I go under/over I'll compensate later. Anything to stop me logging on the net which makes me obessed with an extra 10 cals.

Do it slowly. I lived without it before, I'll be too busy in the future to count, so the important thing is now i set up good habits, so it'll come naturally later. I hope!!
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I use the diabetic food exchanges, another option is looking at food groups.  With the diabetic food exchanges, I just make sure I get the correct number of exchanges of each type in a day (starch, protien, fruit, veggie, dairy and fat but I don't count fat).

One starch exhcange is 15 grams of carbs: 1 slice of regular bread (2 diet), 1/2 cup potatoes and pasta, 1/3 cup rice

1 protien exchange is 7 grams protien: 1 egg, 1 oz meat or cheese

dairy is 8 oz milk, 1 oz cheese, 6-8 oz yougert

fruit and veggie exchanges are roughly 1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked, 1/4 cup dried

Basically then I just check off the food groups and exchanges in my head and for me the fats balance out.  It's just a good reminder of portion control and getting in the correct foods but it doesn't feel so obsessive.
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Oh, and I forgot to mention that you can probably get some pretty accurate break-downs for the amount of calories you want to consume online.  There are several sites that list 1200, 1400, 1800, 2000, 2500 exchange lists.

I am anorexic and not wanting to recover right now but when I was recovering and gaining and hypo-metabolic I was eating 13 starches, 9 protien, 4 milk, 4 fruit, 4 veggies a day, so each persons exchanges are going to be different.  Right now I am refeeding and on 2 starches, 3 protien, 2 veggies, 2 fruits and 2 milks which comes to 800 calories.  I work with a dietition to create the correct exhcanges I need for me at this time.
I get along just fine without counting calories.  I use many of the features of this site, but not that one.

Instead of obsessing about calories consumed I just watch the results of eating - my weight.   I weigh daily and track it.  I don't worry about daily fluctuations in weight - that happens naturally from water fluctuations - but I do watch how my weight changes over time and make adjustments in my eating and exercise behavior based on that.

Maybe this works for me because I don't eat junk food or meat - both of which tend to be highly caloric and low in nutrients.  I eat a healthy, nutrient dense, whole food plant based diet and I've found that I can eat as much as I want without gaining weight as long as I exercise at my current level (60 minutes per day.)
I agree with bbnomo, exercise is KING.  For about a year I worked out for 60 minutes 6 days a week and I could eat whatever I wanted.  Now I have a new job and a husband and I don't get to the gym nearly as much, so I'm having to pay closer attention to what I eat.  It sucks, but not as much as my clothes not fitting.  ;-)
Great question.  I am back to counting calories at least for a while.  Fortunately, it is not actually necessary because I am not very accurate.  For example, tonight I finished off the fish and the rice.  When I logged them, I made a rough guess on the quantity.  The trick is to limit yourself to one platefull plus a salad and a small desert (sometimes).  Snacking doesn't work for me because I tend to binge.  If you decide to snack be careful about what you choose to snack on.  Cookies are loaded with the worst kinds of ingredients for the weight concious.  But crackers are surprisingly heavy hitters -- I think they go for 20 calories apeice.  If you are going to include them -- no more than 4.  Fruit is good but be careful some of it is pretty loaded.  Bananas are real high energy food.  A cup of grapes, a medium orange and a small to medium apple are under 100 calories each.  An ounce of nuts -- say 20 almonds or 14 English Walnut halves - runs about 170 calories.

If you don't snack, you can load your meals up to 500 or 600 calories apiece.  So you price out several of your favorites and stick to those as much as possible.  That way you don't have to count because you have already done the math.  For example, a bowl of cereal with a quarter of a canteloupe is in the 300 to 400 calorie range.  So is a one egg omelette.  A couple of pancakes, go light on the syrup, with a small glass of juice is in the same range.  So now you have 3 breakfast options.  Lunch could be a ham sandwich or a Healthy Choice dinner supplemented with some fruit or granola bar.  You can go a little bigger on the dinner, if you have kept the breakfast and lunch under your calorie budget.  Or you could splurge on breakfast or on lunch and lighten up on the other meals.  What you need to do is put together your own personal recipe/meal planning guide so you can easily stay on track without a lot of detailed calorie counting.

Another thing to remember, the process is very forgiving.  It takes more than one meal or even one day to change your weight significantly.  And as other have observed the more active you are, the more you exercise, the looser you can be with your meals.

I know exactly what you mean. i just got out of wrestling season and want to pig out but i cant because my mind wont let me

Hmm, I don't currently want to stop counting calories but I can't be doing this for the rest of my life when I have a family, full time job amongst other obligations. Maybe, this is like training and allowing yourself to become aware of healthy, low calorie and high calorie foods so that in the future your basically programmed to know what choices to make. Match this with a decent exercise regime and you should hopefully have a pretty balanced and healthy lifestyle.

However, any tips from experience would also be great! As this is something I hope to transition to in the future!

I'm trying to quit too. I can usually stop for a few days of strong mind power, but relapse and start again. I try to stop from counting by

A) every time I think about it I try to name all the colors in the world, do other complicated math in my head, sing a song

B) Make things complicated by adding a pinch of this and pinch of that in my oatmeal in the morning, eating a bite of my sisters food, a handful of cereal, etc. Which makes it harder to calculate

C) Trying to really focus on how much food I am hungry for, Instead of how much my calories will let me have. It is hard, and I have to be really mindful.

D) Whatever I do I must refrain from logging it anywhere or writing it down

I stopped counting calories.. I don't remember when. For me, counting calories takes too much time and hurts me more than helps. I understand sort of what is in each food and I just monitor my weight on a scale, at least when I'm home for the summer. I gained 2-3 pounds while abroad, but I allowed myself to indulge and exercise less. But still, 3 pounds while abroad for 4 months isn't bad.

It's just more..intuitive I guess. You could do it though. It might take baby steps in order to wean yourself off of counting, but it is possible.

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