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Calorie Counting Confusion

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 14 stats:
Calories 1390
Exercise none

Does anyone else ever overestimate their calories? I found myself putting in that I "binged" on chips today, and the calories said it was 640 calories, and since I felt bad about eating them I figured it must be right. Then getting the actual bag, I read that 1 oz is actually 10 chips at 160 calories. I can tell you that I did not eat even 20 chips. So my calculations were way, way, off. I think I need to learn my ounces.

On the other hand, I often find myself wondering if I am underestimating my calories. Some days, I'll put my calories in the tracker and it comes out to some ridiculously low calorie count like 700 and I know that I am not starving or anything. So then I go back through and purposely over estimate my calories to boost UP my count because I know there is no way in hell that I only ate 700 calories, and compensate by adding an extra 100-200 per meal to compensate for SOMETHING I must have made an error on.

It's all very confusing. But here's what I do know, in the past week I have only lost .2 of a pound. So whatever the issue is, I need to correct it because I need to see changes. This weight thing can not go on forever.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v SPARK_JO
    What Sara said. Scale and measuring cups help learning to gauge quantities better, even out of your own kitchen. And IMHO, it's not so much if you ate a cup or a cup and a half of green beans that is critical, but more to measure the dressings, the cooking fat, etc. that add so quickly...
    1136 days ago
    Okay, I'll definately get one. I think it will at least help me learn my portion sizes.
    1136 days ago
    Totally agree with Sara! I couldn't survive without my food scale. I am hopeless at estimating portion sizes. I have a digital one I bought at Walmart and it works great. I always WEIGH FIRST before I eat. Like last night: I put my plate on the food scale, zero it out, then add my salmon. 5.7 ounces. Zero it out again, put my baked potato on: 6.3 ounces. I will estimate zucchini, green beans, and other really low-calorie veggies, as well as sour cream, ketchup, and other condiments. When I record, I go high: 6 ounces for the salmon, 6.5 for the potato. I figure it evens out if I'm low on something else. Good luck!!!
    1136 days ago
    Get a food scale. Walmart has some cheap ones. Chips are hard because they are light, so I usually overestimated my portion sizes. Getting a food scale and a set of measuring cups, re-trained my brain to correctly guess portion sizes. I think that's where most of my problems lied. I was eating two or three portions when I thought I only had one!

    You can also download another calorie tracker, like -- and the phone app is free -- to compare your Spark calories to your MFP calories. I've found that they're a lot alike and I like to see where they both vary, but usually come close to each other by the end of the day.
    1136 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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