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
    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...
    1677 days ago
    Okay, I'll definately get one. I think it will at least help me learn my portion sizes.
    1677 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!!!
    1677 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.
    1677 days ago
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