Do i have to count calories forever? - Weight Loss NHS

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Do i have to count calories forever?


I went down from 90kg to 77kg counting calories as at last year January. But i stopped counting and now i weigh 88kg slowly but surely creeping back up to 90kg again. I really dont want to start counting calories again, iv tried but i feel like my body is revolting and i can't make it through a day counting calories and i don't want to anymore. What else can i do? I really want to loose the weight and keep it off for good. Is counting calories forever the only way. Please advice am really struggling. If thats the only way I'll do it but I'd rather really not. Any alternative suggestions? Thank you

21 Replies


Although not at my goal yet, I have been wondering the same. 

But over my weight loss journey I think I have learned a thing or two about calories and I create most of my current deficit through excercise rather than limiting my calorie intake by vast amounts. 

If you can't control your eating, for whatever reason, why don't you weigh in every week. This way you would notice when the weight creeps back up and you can pull on the handbrake before you're back to square one! 

Hope you'll find a solution. 😊

Aimeide in reply to Foodie87

Thanks for encouraging me. I think am obsessed about weighing myself ,i do it like twice a week, iv reduced it to just on Friday's now. I see the numbers going up and i become start and say what the hell i might as well eat the chocolate which is what i did today because i went from 86.5 last friday to 87.5 today so iv just gone a bit crazy eating everything am not supposed to. Its really hard. 


It's all about keeping an eye on things I think Aimeide. I'm certainly no expert, because maintaining has always eluded me, so far, but I've been taking lots of notes for when my time comes :)

Portions can very easily increase and therefore calories. How about buying yourself some measuring cups, so that you can control your portion size without always having to count calories. Once you know what the calorie count of food is, in the future, you know that you can have X measures of rice/pasta/potato etc :)

It's always best to weigh yourself regularly too, so that if your weight rises beyond your comfort zone, you can reign things in immediately.

Log onto this site regularly, even when you've reached your goal, it'll help you to stay accountable :)

To get you started, have a look at our welcome newbie thread, for handy hints and inspirational stories. It can be found in the pinned posts section to the right of your screen, along with several fun and motivational challenges :)

Finally, I'd like to invite you to join our monday group weigh-in. It's a friendly, non-judgemental, supportive group. Here's a link to last monday's, for you to have a look at. For future reference, Zest posts the new thread on a monday morning and the latest thread can be found in the events section, on the right hand side of the home page :)

I hope this helps. Wishing you all the best :)

Aimeide in reply to moreless

Thanks for your kind words. I have the measuring cups and the food scale from when i did the 12 week program last year. I was very committed then. But somehow i cant seem to muster up the enthusiasm to be committed again. I'll try your suggestion about using the measuring cup so that way i don't have to count the calories instead i restrict the no of cups or quantity in the cup. I'll love to participate in the group weigh in. Although i don't expect any miracles between now and monday iv already gone crazy on the food today because i added another kg this week so i felt what the hell i might as well indulge. But thanks I'll try what you said. Thank you

morelessAdministrator in reply to Aimeide

Whatever you weigh on monday, can be your starting weight Aimeide :) I shall look forward to seeing you there.

You can do this, because you've done it before, but this will be your last time :)

derrygeel1 stone in reply to moreless

What do you mean by measuring cups?

morelessAdministrator in reply to derrygeel

am not really sure how to participate in the group weigh in,iv looked at the thread you sent but its for last week. do i just need to look out for the same thread on monday? i won't want to miss the deadline because its at specific times right?

morelessAdministrator in reply to Aimeide

I'm so sorry for not making myself clearer! Zest posts the thread before 6.30am on a monday and you can either follow her to get a notifciation when she posts, or look for the most recent thread in the events section on the right of the home page :) There's a second thread posted at approximately noon on a monday, purely because by that time, so many people have posted, the thread gets very slow and difficult to use. You are welcome to post in either, depending which is most convenient to you :)

One, or more of us are around until quite late on a monday and we'll always look out for any late posters over the following couple of days, so please don't worry if you're late at any time :)

oh ok, thanks. have a lovely weekend ahead and see you monday .lol

There was an article recently saying that you need to follow a new diet for a year for the habits to set in. So maybe not forever, but I definitely recommend keeping a close eye on things for a good few months after reaching goal. Also be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are, whether it's having seconds, snacking after dinner, sweet treats, lack of exercise, or too much alcohol. If you know your weaknesses you can focus on preventing yourself repeating the same mistakes again and again (the last one is mine!).

 Thanks, I'll keep that in mind this time around. Hopefully second time lucky! 

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to Ruth_canal_runner

QYes, I agree with Ruth_canal_runner  😊  I am hoping these habits are mine for life now after 9 months 😊

 I count portions not individual calories which I find easier, look up the British heart foundation plan as an example. This plan also allows my favourite foods (bread, cheese etc) which really helps. I just have to watch portion size very carefully. And yes, doing this forever has to be the way, the alternative, for me, doesn't bear thinking about 😕

Best wishes 

Aimeide in reply to IndigoBlue61

Hi Anna61 Please can you tell me where i can get a guide to the correct portion sizes. the one on bhf list just around 8 foods in each group so am really struggling to get information on what constitutes a portion for food i eat regularly llike plantain,plain noodles, jollof rice,yam, whole milk, powdered whole milk. iv ordered a book from amazon but it will take some days to arrive and i dont want to wait till then to continue. thanks

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to Aimeide

The BHF website us not that easy to navigate! The booklet is called "eating well" and you can download it or have a copy posted out 😊 It does divide foods into groupings, so I would guess plantain yams noodles will all count as starches, approx 70-80 calories an ounce/28g for example, 😊 

There is also an NHS calorie checker which may be useful too

Good luck!

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to IndigoBlue61

Sorry, Aimeide  just double checked. The actual weight loss plan is in the booklet "facts not fads, your guide to healthy weight loss" 😊 And the plan I follow is on page 40, although the dietician set my portions slightly lower. 5:5:2:2:2 +100 cals 


Aimeide in reply to IndigoBlue61

Ok thanks il look at it again. I hoped it would have each food listed out specifically but it isn't like that

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to Aimeide

Have you tried the NHS calorie counter? I don't use it but many people on here do 😊 Good luck! 


Hi Aimeide,

Have you tried buying a book? I use Rosemary Conley's "Amazing inch loss plan." It has all the recipes weighed and worked out for you, so there's no need to count calories. Every day you can choose three meals, 2 power snacks, have 1 low fat dessert and 1 high fat treat as well as 3/4 pint of semi-skimmed milk. 

I find it SO much easier than counting calories and I use portion  pots too to weigh porridge, cereal, rice and pasta. It helps a lot.

I have lost 5 stone since 2011, but had 2 kids in between so my weight crept up with the pregnancies and then I had to shift it again afterwards. My last child was born in October and I had 3 1/2 stone to lose after I gave birth. 2 stone came off by February, but the last 2 months I've only lost 2 lbs cos I got off track, but this week I made a food diary and weighed myself and did my body measurements. Writing stuff down has helped. I'm determined to lose this last stone, but it's not easy and we're all in the same boat, which is why we're here!

Please stick with us - we will help you 😊

thank you all so much for the encouraging words. Monday will be my new beginning. ill do the weigh in and start from there.

IndigoBlue61Administrator in reply to Aimeide

Good luck! 😊

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