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sparkpeople calorie counts: how do you choose?



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ONLINEASLLOU
SparkPoints: (40,800)
Fitness Minutes: (29,162)
Posts: 3,464
10/28/12 7:30 P

Like most of the previous posters, I try to use common sense about it. I try to judge whether it seemed like a healthy (or low calorie) version of the food item ... or whether it included a lot of high calorie ingredients, etc. Then I make my best guess. If I have no idea, I try to choose one that is "in the middle" and figure I won't be too terribly far off.

I figure that it will average out in the long run -- above some days, below other days.



MMEEAAGGX3
SparkPoints: (1,281)
Fitness Minutes: (1,876)
Posts: 1,049
10/28/12 6:03 A

I have to admit, I usually choose the one with the higher amount of calories to be safe, but I would say it's most healthy to use a middle one. Like if one says 150 cals, another 400 cals, then another 300, I'd choose the 300.



EWILLIAMS1000
Posts: 217
10/28/12 12:10 A

I lean toward the high side if I am familiar with the food item. If I am not, there is a ton of nutritional verification sites that can tell you about specific foods at specific weights. For receipes, use the food calculator so you can input the individual ingredients. If you are stuggling to take off weight and are eating right and exercising you might me ungerestimating how much you are eating and using bad information from the lists. You can always enter your own nutritonal information you know is acurate and than save to your favorites.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
10/27/12 2:19 P

Consider the food you ate. That lasagna you had, was it really dripping in thick cheesy sauce or was it more spare on the sauce and more lean? Did it seem like it would be a healthier or unhealthier recipe based on what was on your plate? That'll guide in you choosing the 200 or the 500 cal serving.

How often do you eat out? How often is this a problem? What if it was 500 calories and you entered 200? What would be the worst that happened? You might think you're mid range today and end up 100 calories over - oh goodness!! Really, is that THAT big a deal?

As long as you're not guessing like this for every single meal, you'll do fine. You don't need accuracy every single day in every single meal item. What is most important is really your trends over time, and that you can see when you look back "I had lasagne that day". Not whether that particular lasagne, that day, with that recipe, was 200 calories or 500 calories.

And hey, if you're really not sure take a midrange of the values available and make sure you're 100-200 calories below your upper limit today. That gives you the freedom to have been a bit off either way and probably still end up in range.



KKKAREN
SparkPoints: (201,876)
Fitness Minutes: (85,876)
Posts: 11,172
10/27/12 7:50 A

I also guess on the high side but if it seems really way off then I go to an outside source and check it.



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,955)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,800
10/27/12 12:02 A

I will guess on the high side rather than the low.



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/26/12 10:49 P

I made an educated guess, and will err on the high side if it comes down to it.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (112,109)
Fitness Minutes: (31,780)
Posts: 20,424
10/26/12 10:01 P

I don't eat at restaurants but I have coffees at cafes. I have 1/2 strength flat white with Soy Milk. Because there are huge variables with the Soy Milk, I ask them what the brand is and which type in that brand, then I can make sure that the calorie count is more accurate. Other than that, you have to make an educated guess.

Kris



ARTEMISTHEGREEK
Posts: 249
10/26/12 9:58 P

I also try for the educated guess. I'm likely wrong, but hopefully over enough educated guesses over enough meals, this will all balance out. :)





DEEPINTHEWELL
SparkPoints: (2,398)
Fitness Minutes: (338)
Posts: 67
10/26/12 9:53 P

Like the others, I take an educational guess. If I'm eating out at a restaurant, I try to see if they have nutritional info online before I go and then input it in. If they don't, I'll ask at the restaurant if they have nutritional information. If they don't have that either, I'll select a different restaurant's lasagna on the tracker.



MISSRUTH
Posts: 3,023
10/26/12 8:58 P

I, too, take an educated guess. If it's a little neighborhood restaurant with no nutritional information, I'll try to find something in the Tracker that's similar. For example, was the lasagna like Olive Garden's? Or maybe more like Stouffer's frozen lasagna? I haven't looked, but both of those things are probably in the Tracker.



GRAMCRACKER46
SparkPoints: (24,596)
Fitness Minutes: (11,216)
Posts: 930
10/26/12 8:51 P

I take an educated guess. My theory is it averages out over the week. I found I can spend hours each day with tracking. So now I set down in the evening (when I have time) and fill in as much of the next day as I can. Good luck to you. emoticon



BITHOO
SparkPoints: (7,930)
Fitness Minutes: (2,249)
Posts: 292
10/26/12 7:52 P

I notice that, when I go to count my daily calories, I have multiple options for the same item - all at different calorie counts.

This isn't so tough when the item is, say, an apple - and the differences are just 10 calories or so.

But when I put in something like "lasagna - 4 ounces" and get answers all over the map, I get really confused. I don't know EXACTLY how much of what was in the item I bought at the restaurant, so I'm taking an educated guess... and it could be anywhere from 200 to 500 calories depending upon the selection I make on sparkpeople. I try to find a happy medium, but that could be completely wrong.

How do you choose??



 
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