Weight Loss Support - Question about chicken
08-13-2012, 02:43 PM
I eat a lot of dark meat chicken - in particular, chicken thighs (skin off). I'm counting one ounce as 40 calories based on several websites. I weigh it after it's deskinned and grilled. I wanted to make sure that squares with what most here think it should be, so as to not under-count and derail myself.
08-13-2012, 03:23 PM
Just average the counts of various websites and don't worry too much about it. There is variability in both estimated calorie counsels and in different pieces of the same type of food. One ounce of chicken thigh A might be fattier than one ounce of chicken thigh B. And even prepackaged food can legally vary in calorie counts from the stated amount, sometimes by a significant margin.
Just keep it ballpark and watch how your body responds. If your calories seem to be in excess and causing a gain, lower them relative to their previous amount. The actual numbers don't matter that much.
So long story short, you're over thinking this. 40 calories an ounce sounds fine, even if it isn't exact.
08-13-2012, 03:43 PM
I looked at FitDay. They say 58 calories, but I think they are cooking with skin on, but skin not eaten, so your fewer calories with it skinned first sound about right.
Arcticmama is right, we are over thinking this, but sometimes I can't help it. It always bugs me when I can't find the exact answer.
08-13-2012, 03:48 PM
I agree with Artica Mama too. I also don't think calorie counters are 100% accurate. I mean each chicken is going to be slightly different like each egg or each olive. I think being aware of portion sizes (weighing AND measuring) keeps you honest as far as calorie counts, but I wouldn't be surprised if scientifically calories can be off in either direction.
08-13-2012, 04:21 PM
This is one of the reasons I use an exchange plan, it reminds me that calorie counts are averages. For example, on an exchange plan, a protein exchange is one ounce for most meats (unless they're quite fatty). So dark meat chicken, light meat chicken, lean beef, they're all one ounce = 1 exchange. The calorie count averages 55 calories per ounce, but ranges from about 40 to about 65. Likewise fruit exchanges average 70 calories, but range from about 60 to 75. Dairy averagae 90 calories, but range from 80 to 95. Unless you always eat the lowest choices or always choose the highest choices, the average is always going to come pretty close to the exchange average.
I don't have to worry about how many calories a small piece of fruit has, I can just eat it knowing it's within the acceptable range and counts as one fruit exchange. Same with proteins.
I've found that estimation calorie-counting (whether by exchange plan, or by rounding calorie counts to the nearest 10 or 50 calories) all work about as well. I don't lose more by counting more accurately (surprisingly enough). However, I don't lose when I don't count in some way.
So it doesn't really matter if your estimation is a little off, you're going to adjust your calorie intake based on whether you're losing or not. So even if your math is off considerably, you're still going to be able to lose weight, just by being consistent.
For example, let's say your math is off by 15 calories (unlikely, but it'll help illustrate the point). And let's say you eat 8 ounces of cooked chicken a day. That means you're taking in 120 calories more than you think you are. That means that you're going to lose 4 fewer ounces per week (assuming you eat 8 ounces of chicken every day) than if your count was more precise.
Count to precision you're comfortable with, but keep in mind how much weight the imprecision really is accounting for. Counting to the nearest thousandth of a calorie isn't necessary (we all would agree), but neither is counting to the nearest calorie, or even the nearest 50 calories. Even being off by as much as 200 calories a day doesn't have the impact on our weight loss that we tend to think it does (even if you're underestimating your calories by 200 a day, you're only going to be losing less than a half a pound less than if you were actually eating the calorie count you thought you were."
Obviously eventually the inaccuracies add up, so you can reach a level at which you're not being precise enough, but the scale will let you know if your math is "good enough."
08-13-2012, 05:09 PM
I thought your thread title was "question about CHILDREN" and when I started reading the post, I was thinking "why is she talking about chicken when she wants to ask a question about children?"
My snafus crack me up sometimes. ;) :joker:
I agree with Arctic Mama. Sometimes you have to settle for "close enough" and kinda flesh out the rest. Altho I know a lot of people who prefer to weigh & measure, I go for the general consensus of what two or three websites post as caloric value of a food. If it says 100 calories, I may eat a little more or a little less & can't be positive it's 100 calories on the dot. So I'm going to say 125 calories. If it's less, then yay! If it's more, I'm probably not off by that much more, so I won't freak over it.
08-14-2012, 12:12 AM
40 calories/oz looks about right to me based on the counters I use.