Confused - count calories or nutrition? - Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support

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Confused - count calories or nutrition?


Hi, this is my first time posting here and I am just getting to grips with it all. I have a LOT of weight to lose and I am fed up continually trying to "be good" then falling at the first hurdle yet wishing I could do something about it.

I have tried SW/WW etc and went to see a nutritionist a few months ago who told me not to count calories but to eat smaller portions of nutrient rich foods - 3 meals and 2 small snacks a day which also followed restricting carbs but eating lots of good fats. Then I see articles that say a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight no matter what the nutritional value. I am sooooooo confused! I don't mind tracking calories as I feel you can have more of a "normal" diet - following the nutritionist's advice I felt restricted and it was expensive too.

I would just like to know and understand once and for all which is the best way to ensure a good steady healthy weight loss.

Since turning 40 I feel I HAVE to make changes for good plus I have a lot of events on in the next year that I want to feel and look better for.

Any help or advice that doesn't contradict would be very much appreciated!!

15 Replies
Mrsjhw1 stone

Use to log your calories. You can set it to count whatever nutrients you want as well so you get a really clear picture of what you’re eating

JJ08 in reply to Mrsjhw

I'm glad you suggested MyFitness Pal as I am currently using it and I find it easy enough but then I read something that says we all burn calories differently and counting calories isn't the best way to lose weight and I doubt myself all over again!

I think I will continue to use it and count calories and see how I get on.

Thank you :)

IndigoBlue61Maintainer in reply to JJ08

MFP is very useful but please make sure you are eating enough, it can be quite low on calories!! 😕

Hi, JJ08...

Advice here is free.

I have managed to loose two pounds a week without counting calories... but most members here do count calories.

In the long term you need a lifetime healthy-eating lifestyle, without counting calories to maintain your target weight... and it is easier to graduate to this if you can avoid counting calories.

I eat a Carvery on Sunday, with as many vegetables as I can get on the plate

Three OAP lunches a week

A muesli/cereal breakfast

An apple, orange and a banana for tea/supper

I more or less miss lunch (or just have a snack) two or three days a week

I stick to these rules until I have got down to my target weight for the week.

I am disabled, but if you are more active, you will need more food to keep you up to you target weight for the week.

Approaching 70, and with a party to go to next month, and suffering bad health as a result of a heart condition and excess weight, I am loosing weight.

JJ08 in reply to S11m

Thank you so much for replying. You’re absolutely right about the lifetime healthy eating habits. My bad habits are evening snacking so I need to change that and the rest is simple enough for me.


Hello and welcome to the Weight Loss Forum. JJ08 😊

First of all, to help you find your way around and enjoy all the things we have on offer, please read the Welcome Newbies Post here

Take your time to read it carefully as it has lots of information.

With regards to which way of eating is best, that is your choice. Calories are important, eating less than your body needs is essential for fat loss, but nutrients are also important. I am actually heartened by the advice you were given by the nutritionist, which sounds like good advice, but I think, like me, you also need clear guidelines about portions size. I see no reason why you can’t do both.

So I suggest you sign up to the 12 Week plan (details in the link above) you will receive weekly emails and helpful suggestions, you don’t have to agree with everything it suggests. Then check your own personal calorie target on the NHS BMI checker, it’s often higher than you think. We always advise starting towards the top of the range, so you can reduce as you lose weight, especially important if you have a long journey ahead, being hungry is the single biggest cause of weight loss failure.

I also highly recomend coming onto the forum regularly, daily if you can, reading posts and replying to others. Being part of a community is proven to help weight loss. 😊

For your own privacy and safety online we suggest that you to lock your posts by selecting ‘followers in my community’ when you write a new post. Please read our security post here.

Out of interest, can I ask how you found us?

Best wishes for your weight loss journey

Indigo 😊



Welcome. I am also a newbie.

And confused on whats what. I find the more I read about weight loss the more confused I become. I also saw a nutritionist who put me on a high fibre diet plan. Fruit, yogurt, pulses, quinoa, fish, chicken, turkey and vegetables.

I have limited mobility so exercise is not really on the agends. However in 6 weeks I have lost 2 kilos. 🙌🙌🙌.

But am now bored with the plan so I am also looking to be pointed in the right direction. Wishing you all the best. J

IndigoBlue61Maintainer in reply to Hidden

That sounds like a really good plan you’re on Sunflower2710, maybe you need some meal ideas? Have a look in Recipes in the Topics section

Beth_19Healthy BMI

Hi JJ08 everybody loses weight differently so you have to find out which method works for you, but the basis of losing weight is that you must expend more energy than you are putting in through food.

I've calorie counted for the most of my weight loss journey (I tend to wing in on the weekends) and have been successful. I've still had "naughty" things as well, just moderated them. I would see my diet currently is 80/20 good to bad ratio and that seems okay for me. Even when calorie counting its important to have a balanced diet.

I hope you find a plan that works for you.

JJ08 in reply to Beth_19

Thank you so much for this great advice. It’s much appreciated. X

Hi and welcome JJ08

I started my weight loss journey at 14 stone - 6 years ago. I am just 4ft 9" tall and so was classed clinically obese.

I was 49 years old and had been trying to lose weight all of my life since the age of 9. I have a disability which makes exercise difficult (I am very sedentary and use a wheelchair outside of the house).

The one thing that I realised very early on in my journey was that I was just eating FAR TOO MUCH! I was a short, middle aged, sedentary female and I was eating the same as 5ft 9" active man (my now husband!). No wonder I was piling on the weight!

I started my journey at the end of February 2012, and - by weighing out portion sizes and logging my food consumption and sticking within a strict calorie allowance, I managed to lose 4.5 stone in 2 and a half years.

Then re-gained some, lost some again and have now managed to more or luess maintain for the past 6 months at around 10 stone. Still considered "over weight".

Ideally I would love to drop another stone to 9 stone and maintain there.

Here are a few of my past posts which I hope you will find helpful and inspiring. I won't try and tell you that my journey was easy - and you'll see that there were many blips along the way, but 5 years down the line, I feel about 20 years younger than I did when I was lugging around 4 stone more.

Please do pop back to the forums and share your journey with us - we are here for you, day and night and happy to share your success or support you when you need it.

JJ08 in reply to Pineapple27

Awww thank you so much for sharing all this with me. You’ve done amazing!! Well done you! Yep I can related to the portion sizes and eating way more than is needed.

At the moment I’m making the main changes to my diet and counting the calories so I will stick with that as I don’t feel too restricted at the minute.

It’s never going to be easy and there’ll be loads of bumps along the road but I seriously need to make this change once and for all. It’s mentaly damaging as well as physically and I owe it to my 3 wee children to be the best I can be.

This forum is just great so hopefully we can support each other on our journeys. Xx


I eat as much as I want and count only carbs! It works for me. Lost 50 lbs. (3 1/2 stone, right?) But it's not right for everyone either, because though you can have as many eggs, avocados, nuts, and cheeses...etc. as you want (no more "portion control") you have to give up bread and sweets you don't make yourself from lo-carb recipes. And Oatmeal! Potatoes! Corn! :o( And most fruit. It's a trade off.

For me, I hate hate hate feeling hungry, even a little. And I hate thinking and counting all the time (If I knew how to add an emoji of an idiot face, I would, right here! :o) So this works.

Also, I don't snack! Pretty much never! I don't need to.

Welcome jj08

I came here after years of yo-yoing, then years of Getting heavier because I gave up! I’ve been around the same weight for the last 8 years despite me quite often having yet another go and failing.

I’ve been here since March and lost 9lbs. Now, for some, that sounds like a disaster but I see this as a Long game. Ive learnt a lot, and I’m exploring a way that works for me.

March/April I counted calories religiously using MFP. I checked my bmi here and am using the recommended day calorie intake of 1650. I didn’t go on this forum much. I set myself a small short term target.

I lost slow but steady. May/June - A combination of being stressed, slightly bored of my food and impatience I stopped counting and logging on MFP.

I went to see my GP and he encouraged me to come back here.

I decided to change my approach and become more active on the forum - make food my number one priority.

Recently, I’ve extended my calorie counting to also trying low carb and high fat diet. It feels comfortable and very enjoyable. I feel better already and I think I’m going to be pleased on my next weigh-in. I’ve got a little more ambitious and reduced my short term target to lose a stone from where I am now.

Getting into a regular routine, not feeling deprived and really enjoying my food IS my success. I’m excited about my future weeks of weight loss and feel that finally I’ve found a way to get slimmer.

Progress isn’t always linear, it isn’t always about weight. It can be inches, more healthier activities and state of mind. It can be being just less confused lol!

I’m 55, short, sedentary and was 15 st 3 lbs. I dream of being 13 st, 12 stone feels out of my reach, 11 stone impossible. But.....let’s see!

Good luck. If I can offer advice - do Daily Diary religiously and ask questions. Everybody is so supportive, knowledgeable and share ideas.

Good luck

Budda7213st 7lbs

Hi I’m like some of the others on here I count the calories but I make sure I have the right nutrition too. You can do one or the other but you might fail along the way. IndigoBlue61 gave you a link for a BMI Calculator which will give you a range of around 400cals that you can eat per day, if advise to eat near to the upper range as this will help you lose weight but not feel hungry which will help you. I’ve lost 42lb since joining here and that is all I’ve done I do have an active life so this might have a factor on my loss but I know I’m going to be here for years as it took me years to gain the weight so it’s going to take the same to lose it. You’ll find something that your happy doing and doing it you see results so why change it. If you want to have a look at what others on here are eating look on the daily diary as this will show you what people are planning to eat plus there is the recipe link that you ca have a look at and decide what you want to do as not everything is right for everyone.

I hope you find what you want to do and enjoy it as well as that’s the best thing you can do. Have fun experimenting while you find what works for you.


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