Calorie Counters - just making stuff up?




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tinneranne2
08-10-2014, 05:25 AM
About half the time, I feel like I'm totally making stuff up.

I use the LoseIt! app on my phone, and it is very easy to navigate. The problem is, I eat out (either at a friend's house, school, or a restaurant) with relative frequency and therefore...am not sure what exactly the calorie count of my food is.

- nutritional information is not as commonly available in restaurants here
- I am basically incapable of requesting/understanding information due to the language barrier.

I log everything I eat...but I know I'm approximating and ballparking it big time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really counting calories or just keeping a high-tech food journal. I'm not failing in my efforts at weightloss or anything, I just feel a little silly spending all the time to enter in what I ate, knowing its probably way off the mark in terms of calories.

:?::?::?:


Valmorel
08-10-2014, 07:12 AM
I had the same problem. It's not like any restaurant here has nutritional info.

In the end I gave up logging food as it was so inaccurate and just focused on eating better, making small changes. But I'm in no rush to lose weight, I want it slow and sustainable so it's not too bad.

Maybe someone else can give better advice!

Wannabehealthy
08-10-2014, 12:48 PM
I have never been good at food logging. For a while I was using Fitday, but I found a few things I entered on there had completely different values on the package. Also, I make home-made chili a lot and everyone makes chili different. One time I entered all my ingredients into Fitday to come up with counts for my recipe, but after I did that, I didn't know how many total cups my recipe made, so I didn't know how to figure 1 serving. I guess the next time I make it I could put it in a big measuring cup and see how many total cups it makes, but that seems like so much trouble.

When I do log, I allow for the fact that I am probably underestimating the calorie count for most of my food, either because of portion size or difference in preperation. I think if you eat small portions and stop before you feel full you should be in the mode to lose weight.


kurisitaru
08-10-2014, 02:29 PM
I totally have this problem and found a decent solution, but it takes planning to do it.

1) I've never used the LoseIt app, I also once used Fitday, I decided I liked Myfitnesspal though. Also, it links into my fit bit and some other apps I used so I like that one.

2) My fitness pal has a lot of logs on it, so one app won't know what a breakfast at a restaurant is, but MFP usually has more information.

3) I use other restaurants sometimes. So, if I go to a Mom and Pop pancake house here and get hash browns, sausage, and eggs. I'll look at the equivalent of that meal at a Dennys, Ihop, Village inn. If they are all the same range, (And usually they are actually), then boom, I chose one of those (I usually grab the one in the middle).

4) PLAN AHEAD! Most the time when I go out, I know I'm going out. I went to Bronco's game Thursday and new about it all ready. I ate a small breakfast, light snacks and had 750 calories to play with by the time I left my house. I all ready knew (looking online at the stadium site) what a hot dog at the stadium would have for calories, and I knew where we were going for dinner. SO I looked at the restaurants website before I left my home and checked out their nutritional information and picked out my meal, logged it, before I even left my home. I was able to eat at the restaurant, and get my hot dog at half time, while staying in calories, just by planning and doing the research before.

I've also planned on family coming in to town, so I'll tell them I'll take them to a restaurant, then I'll check out that restaurants site for nutrition information. On occasion, none will be listed or it's hard to find. I've called these restaurants to ask, that actually does work. Most can tell you the nutrition or at least where to find it.

5) I'll "piece meal" a meal sometimes. If it's not comparable to another restaurant, and I didn't look ahead, then I usually ask the waitress if she knows the calories for my meal, I'll be honest, a lot of the time asking on the spot doesn't work very well or I feel I'm annoying them. But a lot of the time they will know. If not, I have a phone, so I'll check the website. Still not working? OK... time to piece together a meal.

What I do is look at my meal. Let's say I'm having an eggs Benedict but it's on a homemade biscuit instead of a muffin, and it's slightly different. I'll just add a butter biscuit, the ham, the poached eggs, the holandais sauce from another restaurant, and what ever else may be on my plate. This gives me a better estimate than just adding a generic restaurant that make their eggs with less calories for different ingredients.

6) Ok, last rule I follow. I usually go for the mid range or high range of calories I log. So if I have 2 options from restaurants for my meal, one that says the meal is 650 calories, and one that says it's 850, I'll choose the 850. Then I listen to my body later. I try to stay within my pre-set goal of 1200 calories a day, but if I did an estimate like this and I'm honestly hungry later but I'm "capped out" then I will allow a snack, like a boiled egg or something. This is harder, because sometimes it's hard to realize if you're really hungry or just emotionally/bored hungry. I usually grab some water or a celery stick first, but if I'm still hungry hungry... then I'll grab my small snack and log it. If I'm not that hungry, maybe I was under, I don't know... but I feel more confident in staying on track grabbing the bigger calories. (within reason... sometimes my options is 1500 calories or 400... that's a piecemeal time).

7) I get a to-go box at the start of the meal, take half my food and put it in the to-go box, and then only eat what's on my plate. Every time, even if the full meal fits into my calories, just to avoid the extra sodium for that day.