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Why is my estimate way higher than MFP?

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Old 03-31-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Why is my estimate way higher than MFP?

Since I started using MFP I Have been eating more because, while I think I have maxed out, it says I havnt. I can't always find the exact brand I am using on MFP, maybe because some Canadian products aren't listed, and so I take the calories on my package and find something with the same or slightly higher calories on MFP. But things that aren't packaged like produce I have to guess. I think I had been guessing too high before MFP but I'm nervous. I don't want to increase my cals because some weeks I don't lose at all. I have MFP set to 1200 cals which I understand is kind of a minimum. When I was guestimating calories, I lost 1.5 lbs/week at 1200 cals, but only half a pound at 1350 so I know I have a small window, that is why I am concerned. What would you do?
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Next mini goal- below 144lbs- 144 is my magic number. I have a mental block about 144. Whenever I get there I start gaining. I got to 142 briefly but it didn't last.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Every single thing I put into my Fitday is a custom food. I take right off the label of whatever I buy. And anything like produce, I have saved as a custom food after cross-referencing and verifying it. When i get home from grocery shopping, I either bring my laptop into the kitchen, or I bring my bags to my desk, and put all the new stuff I got in before I put it away. I weigh my all of my food, I don't measure by volume unless it's a liquid/dressing (and even some of those I do by weight). It sounds obsessive, but I don't see the point of tracking if I'm not going to accurately do it, precisely because of the problem you're running into.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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I agree with Jez. I will first search on MFP to see if there is the exact item with the same nutritional value in the database, but if it isn't there I create my own food to add to the database. Because I currently live in Korea I end up doing this with most of the foods I eat that come from a package. It sucks because it does take up some time, but I usually eat the same food so once it's in the system I don't have to worry about it again. And I know it's the right amount of calories.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:53 PM   #4
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I would go with what is in MFP, I find it to be pretty accurate even when I have to substitute items. You're very close to your goal weight and will probably up your calories quite a bit when your maintaining, so don't be afraid. If after a couple of weeks you find you're not losing then adjust. Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
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Like Jez I also weigh everything and only very rarely do I use volume measurements.

A lot of people like to use MFP, but I don't. I just use an old fashion pen and paper binder. I use this website to look up the nutritional value of all foods that don't have packaging, especially produce:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

I really like it because I can change the measurement from ounces to grams to cups to size of fruit, etc. I don't know if that's any help or not, but there you have it.

Good luck getting things figured out!
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez View Post
Every single thing I put into my Fitday is a custom food. I take right off the label of whatever I buy. And anything like produce, I have saved as a custom food after cross-referencing and verifying it. When i get home from grocery shopping, I either bring my laptop into the kitchen, or I bring my bags to my desk, and put all the new stuff I got in before I put it away. I weigh my all of my food, I don't measure by volume unless it's a liquid/dressing (and even some of those I do by weight). It sounds obsessive, but I don't see the point of tracking if I'm not going to accurately do it, precisely because of the problem you're running into.
I agree.

If it isn't exact in MFP I add it custom. It only takes a minute and if it's something you eat regularly it's worth it since it saves. If enough things are "off" by even a little bit it can add up quick (in either direction).

The whole reason I like MFP better than others I've tried is that their database is extensive; I was having to add so much stuff to SparkPeople and FitDay -- which is fine but it's easier if it's just already in there. But, since you (OP) are in Canada it may not be as extensive for the foods you eat. Like Jez, with fruit and veg I cross reference with like calorieking.com or the USDA website. Most fruit and veg I eat regularly are saved in my "recent" foods tab, so I don't have to worry about constantly double checking. Sometimes I'll search some veggie in MFP that I don't typically eat and it'll say something ridiculous like say 190 calories for a tablespoon of yellow onion. You do really have to watch it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody. I will try custom adding. I have to be careful I think because I am short and don't exercise a lot. Thanks for your input!
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Next mini goal- below 144lbs- 144 is my magic number. I have a mental block about 144. Whenever I get there I start gaining. I got to 142 briefly but it didn't last.
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