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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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5/14/14 12:18 A

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emoticon

IMREITE's Photo IMREITE SparkPoints: (245,315)
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5/13/14 12:55 A

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mindless snacks

Don't forget to be awesome.


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5/11/14 7:00 P

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salad dressing they put on.

SHARIEANNE SparkPoints: (2,793)
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5/11/14 12:40 P

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err on the high side, especially if it's take-out


LET'S DO THIS!


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AMACUBA SparkPoints: (19,065)
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5/8/14 7:52 P

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I try to find something similar, and then over-estimate. I know there's a good chance that it's more than I think it is, so I make allowances for that.



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JANISMKW's Photo JANISMKW SparkPoints: (48,870)
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5/8/14 12:47 P

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If I eat at a restaurant and am tracking individual foods, despite ordering things like "scallops broiled dry" to avoid added fat and breadcrumbs, I will track some amount of oil or butter, because I know there is likely more in there somewhere than I think.



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RAMOUTH SparkPoints: (1,082)
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5/8/14 10:59 A

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How do you "verify" a food?

CARLAWILLDOIT Posts: 191
5/8/14 7:50 A

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ACHANSO - great suggestions!! I think someone also mentioned pics on their phone, which is also a great idea. For food I didn't make myself, I tend to increase my ingredient estimates by a percentage in order to account for unknown ingredients.



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5/6/14 5:46 P

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potato different colors and how much skin.

ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
5/6/14 3:55 P

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Yes lots of times I track what I plan to eat, before I even eat it if possible, so that I don't forget anything! :)

LIFENPROGRESS's Photo LIFENPROGRESS SparkPoints: (47,233)
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5/6/14 3:42 P

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I am getting very careful about using other members nutritional accounting. I find WAY too many errors. So, I manually enter everything I eat now!

I also carry a small food journal everywhere to write things down. Taking photos of your plate isn't a bad idea, either. Serves to show what portions you had.

"Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people's criticisms, carry out your plan."
~ Paul J. Meyer ~

bodynprogress.blogspot.com


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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
5/6/14 2:13 P

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To be safe, if I know someone has home made vegetables and added butter to the cooking, I go ahead and add that in.

LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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5/5/14 11:57 P

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Eating good for my body is why I joined. I come from fat stock both sides of the family. I would rather not and after open heart I was not burning like I use to for a while. Pounds creeping up . 10 pounds in 5 years or so but I am 4'10" and that makes a lot of difference to me.

M0TL3Y's Photo M0TL3Y SparkPoints: (5,885)
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5/5/14 6:58 P

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I loved the idea of flattering the host and asking for the recipe!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!
Age 40 height 5'4" Tired of sitting on the sidelines of life!
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2012 started running for the first time! Now I'm up to 10 miles
135# goal


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SARAHSLY's Photo SARAHSLY Posts: 525
5/5/14 4:11 P

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I'm excited to see that people aren't relying on "100", "200", etc calorie add ins to just track the calories. I'm finding that working towards hitting my nutrition goals, rather than just calories is giving me much greater success than I have experienced before. My previous stint with Spark People was slow and go... but I was still trying to eat what I wanted and force it into the calorie parameters. Now that I'm focusing on hitting objectives for protein, cholesterol, fat, sodium, and fiber in addition to calories, I'm having really good results.

I take the time to either work up the recipe for things I'm cooking, or try to break down the ingredients for other complex items. I often times will add in a bit of extra oil to the chart to cover any cooking process.




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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
5/5/14 3:44 P

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Yes I'm also happy for the verify button because for some reason there is some very inaccurate info entered!

BUSYGRANNY5's Photo BUSYGRANNY5 SparkPoints: (219,639)
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5/5/14 7:53 A

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Great tips... you can also add your own nutrition information

"It is better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't"- Van Zandt


 
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BUSYGRANNY5's Photo BUSYGRANNY5 SparkPoints: (219,639)
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5/5/14 7:53 A

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Great tips... you can also add your own information if you know it...

"It is better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't"- Van Zandt


 
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5/5/14 6:43 A

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I look it up in SP and then use the most realistic numbers. I appreciate the 'verify' function because even brand names can have inaccurate entries.

REIKOMINDER's Photo REIKOMINDER SparkPoints: (4,000)
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5/5/14 4:11 A

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@michelle
Agree with you. Well said.

Edited by: REIKOMINDER at: 5/5/2014 (04:12)

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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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5/4/14 11:50 P

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grapes, almonds, walnuts , all can be put in in small quantities.

MICHELLE73101's Photo MICHELLE73101 Posts: 288
5/1/14 5:35 P

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I usually give my best guess at the ingredients, and just sort of estimate. If your goal is weight loss or maintenance, then you should focus on getting the calories as close as possible.

For example, if I wanted to track a street taco, I might track 2 oz. of beef, 1 oz. of cheese, one Tbsp. of sour cream, and one corn tortilla. I may have missed some key things that would significantly alter sodium, fiber, protein, or even fat content, but when tracking difficult foods you can't get it all perfect. So focus on one thing. And I think for most of us that means calories.

Because, yes, it is about a lifestyle. And if you're living it, then being a little bit off on your tracking isn't the worst thing in the world! It is more important that you are accountable for the CHOICES you make, and less about accounting for every single calorie, 100% of the time.

Make sense? Hope I helped!

Michelle

Check out my Website and Blog for a complete guide to finding the Fit Life: Diet, Exercise, Inspiration and some of my best tips and tricks.

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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
5/1/14 12:22 P

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Yes, and I have found that using a food scale (when I'm at home) really helps too so that I don't have to 'eyeball' portion sizes. A food scale or measuring cups anyway!

SWEETLILBLUEYES's Photo SWEETLILBLUEYES SparkPoints: (14,356)
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4/30/14 3:58 P

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I do cook almost everything I eat from scratch because I am trying to avoid processed foods. But you are right, Life goes on and it can throw some challenges your way when confronted with the unknown street cuisine. I would recommend finding the closest thing to it with a search or recipe and go with the highest estimate for any given food based on portion. So street taco, was the shell corn or flour, fried or soft? The filling ground or not, beef or chicken/turkey? Estimate the cheese and sauce, sour cream or guac, and give it your best shot. You have got to enjoy your life! And 90% on is very good.

One day at a time.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that matters!'


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MSKEESH's Photo MSKEESH Posts: 260
4/30/14 1:42 P

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I also break it down based on the ingredients I can identify if I can't find the particular food in the database. I try to pick the food item that has the most nutritional values entered. I realize it is not 100% accurate, but at least it gives me a ball park idea...better than nothing at all.



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MOOMSHINE's Photo MOOMSHINE SparkPoints: (46,660)
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4/30/14 12:24 P

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Johnny-come-lately, here. What I do is to break it down. Street taco: one 6" tortilla, guesstimate one ounce of meat, 1/8 of a med tomato, 1 tbsp taco sauce.
I've found that there seems to be a consistency, and soon you will be able to make very close guesses.
These are the times that I use the suggested calorie range in my Nutrition Tracker, most of the time I use the low end of the range.
8-)

Edited by: MOOMSHINE at: 4/30/2014 (12:25)
Em
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HOTMAMA33MLH's Photo HOTMAMA33MLH SparkPoints: (12,598)
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4/30/14 8:32 A

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I usually eat at home or carry my own food with me. Don't eat out much. find it much easier to track the things I fix. I love the sparkpeople app on my phone. It lets me scan the barcode for everything I have and can save it in my favorites so it is easy to pull up everytime I eat it!



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LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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4/30/14 1:30 A

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just trying to get more vegetables raw instead of as much meat.

DENISE14971's Photo DENISE14971 SparkPoints: (8,320)
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4/29/14 8:32 P

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sometimes I forget to track my food I just get busy with everyday life that I forget but if I write it down on my to do list then I'll remember. I tend to find It's easier for me to track using weight watchers tracking points emoticon

LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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4/29/14 6:33 P

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How fresh can differ your vitamins.

DMARTIN302's Photo DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (49,129)
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4/29/14 10:34 A

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I use several methods for hard-to-track foods.http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/messageboardpost.asp#

For eating at another person's house, I've found that asking for the recipe tends to flatter the host. Either that, or asking about how the meal was prepared, gushing over the array of tastes/fresh ingredients/whatever flatters the host works well, too. Then I turn to the recipe calculator and try to find a similar recipe or enter it as a new recipe (not shared, as it's just an estimate).

For eating at the oh-so-popular and oh-so-delicious food trucks and locavore restaurants that don't have any nutrition information, particularly for those specials that are new tastes used just for that day using whatever's available locally and in-season, I have a few ideas. First, I'll try to find something similar that someone has already entered. Perhaps their entree is similar to something at a large chain, so I'll enter that. Take that. If not, I'll either look for recipes or enter each item that I can remember. If there's some sauce I can't identify, I'll error on the high side and use olive oil. I don't get too wrapped up with virtually no-calorie items like herbs, spices, lettuce, and such. And if I think I'll EVER eat there again, I'll save it as a grouping, so I can refer to it later.

And I've been known to photograph the meal so I can go back to deconstruct it. (Note that some restaurants prohibit this practice, many frown on it, and nobody wants to see your flash, so try the low-light setting on your camera and turn off the flash.)

When in doubt, do your best, round up, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if you're still thinking you're under, and call it a day.

If you're tracking specific micronutrients, you may have a good handle on which foods are low/high in those nutrients. As an example, if you're wanting to keep your Vitamin K intake low, you'll know that spinach and kale are high in K, but chicken is not. So that chicken sandwich isn't going to impact how high your values are, unless there's lots of fresh spinach on it instead of lettuce. In that case, take your best guess, then add a suitable amount of spinach to ensure that value . I also am interested in sodium, so when I eat out and have to reconstruct from ingredients, I'll add .5-1 tsp of salt in addition to whatever I add.



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KOALA_BEAR's Photo KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (16,971)
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4/29/14 1:30 A

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emoticon I find that combo foods like casseroles served at potlucks to be tough so I pick out some of the ingredients and look those up to get an average. Then I create something - either adding to the tracker or using the misc ( I also have some of those at various calorie counts.)

I think if you are a little high it is better because you may be getting added salt and therefore carrying more water. It will offset the low ball estimates on other items.
emoticon

K.bear


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RZILBOORG12's Photo RZILBOORG12 Posts: 2
4/28/14 1:53 P

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I find the recipe feature extremely helpful. I have tens of recipes that aren't shared just so I can feel I'm tracking responsibly. If I make something slightly different than the time before, I change it on the recipe. While it does change previous days I've tracked that recipe, that doesn't concern me so much.

I have a food scale and just keep track as I go, then add a recipe to the recipe feature, and add it to my daily tracker.

For store samples, I just keep walking, but it's a similar situation to eating over at a friend's house. One friend I eat with at least once a week orders regularly from Schwann's and thinks I'm an absolute nutter when I take the box and scan it before putting it back in the freezer or in the recycling. She's a big social block to my healthy eating, so I let her think I'm a nutter. That way it's not a matter of "how many pieces of chicken can I have?", I know when it goes into the oven that I can have two chicken breasts if I want two, and we spend the rest of our evening pleasantly.

If it is best for you and doesn't hurt anyone else, and you must have that sample in Costco or Kroger, just ask the nice person with the free food to hand over the box, scan the code with your phone or jot down the sample's brand and name, and figure the rest out when you get home.



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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
4/28/14 12:06 P

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Yes, samples at stores and home made items are so hard to estimate. As you guys said though, it's all about a range and estimating as closely as you can. :)

LINDAM.1 SparkPoints: (42,447)
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4/27/14 10:53 P

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I have trouble eating enough, most of the time. Unless it is all you can eat then salad at least twice.

POSITIVEHOPE's Photo POSITIVEHOPE Posts: 1,079
4/27/14 10:45 P

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Went out with a friend to a Korean BBQ restaurant. Had Bulgogi. Not a clue as to what it calculate. Went to SP Recipes and looked it up. Found a number of recipes that had differing values. Picked one that seemed in keeping with what I ate and tracked it. Figured it was the best I could do.
I usually try to eat at the low end of my range so if it was more I could still feel okay with the numbers.
The dish was delicious BTW.




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LIZARDREAMING's Photo LIZARDREAMING Posts: 199
4/27/14 11:25 A

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Have just moved back to using SP nutrition tracker. have been keeping calories and food quantities in a journal, but that wasn't giving me my protein/fat/carb relationship. Yes, tracking can be a problem and sometimes its putting in my own info and creating my own groupings and favorites once they're down. sometimes its finding something similar and adjusting my serving size so the nutrition comes out equivalent. There are foods listed where I'm only have a 1/3 serving or am having 2.5 servings!

My big problem is things like sausage and preserves. Make my own. my sausages are virtually no excess fat - so have to weigh and measure based on the meat in its original form - that is my sausages are from pork loin, so my nutrition base is that many ounces of pork loin rather than sausage.

Once the info is in the base though, then its just take the time and do it. Either as you eat, or copy down from your paper journal and do it once a day.



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AMYPOB's Photo AMYPOB SparkPoints: (15,089)
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4/26/14 12:00 P

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I usually eat at home, or bring foods with me so this isn't really my problem...

But I wanted to share the time I thought I was in big trouble tracking wise was when I was shopping at Costco, tasting the samples. This was more than a year ago, and when I typed in Costco Samples, lo and behold, someone had already created a 200 cal placeholder! HaHaHa! Now there are around 27. So funny.

We think that we are alone in this battle, but we are sooo not alone. This is a powerful community.emoticon

Have a great weekend everyone!



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ABROWN717 SparkPoints: (5,281)
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4/26/14 11:11 A

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Tracking food is very time consuming, but if I don't track it I feel like something is missing. It also gives me a good feeling when I'm on track and how I need to improve.



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4/24/14 10:59 P

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Most buffet have green salad, water, but tea often has sugar in it

MI-ELLKAYBEE's Photo MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (151,217)
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4/24/14 12:34 P

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If I can't get the nutrient content (like at a buffet) and I don't already know if its a high sodium item, (which is poison to me) I just will not eat it. Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. Nothing is worth gaining weight for.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you”
(Matthew 7:7, NLT)


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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
4/24/14 11:47 A

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It is time consuming, yes, but for me it's reassuring to know when I'm on track.

Or convicting when I'm not ! haha

NOTBACKINGDOWN's Photo NOTBACKINGDOWN SparkPoints: (1,643)
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4/24/14 11:40 A

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I'm just getting started with Spark again (third times the charm... right?) I have found that tracking the food is the most time consuming part, especially in the beginning. I like to enter my own info instead of rely of someone else's info, this way I'm sure it is as accurate as it can be. Once you have your database of go to food set up, it gets easier, but I would agree that it is difficult to get started.

Backing down, is NOT an option!
Anna
CMAD13's Photo CMAD13 Posts: 8
4/24/14 7:46 A

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I completely agree. Some of the foods are way off, and that's crazy sad because this kind of cheating just sabotages success...for them and the others that are using that info.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock


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4/23/14 7:50 P

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B12 and vitamin A are not always there. or what nuts are raw. emoticon emoticon

ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
4/23/14 4:57 P

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Never be afraid to ask.
Also, the internet has tons of retailer/company info that you can look up later.

TRAXINA's Photo TRAXINA Posts: 77
4/23/14 3:22 P

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I sometimes find a similar entree in the frozen foods -- like Stouffer's or Lean Cuisine or something -- and use that nutrition information. It will always be off some, but it's a good starting point.

If you're not at the store or don't have something comparable in your freezer, you can sometimes find the nutrition information on the manufacturer or grocery store website. For instance, Stouffer's lists all its entrees and nutrition info.

Edited by: TRAXINA at: 4/23/2014 (15:24)

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JACOBS024 SparkPoints: (3,644)
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4/23/14 10:04 A

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Sometimes its hard to track on here because I find that alot of the foods that are on here are entered incorrectly. I dont know if its on purpose by the user so they can allow more calories to not go over their goal but I like to know EXACTLY what im eating. So unless I have the package in my hand or can look it up elsewhere online, it's difficult to track honestly

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4/23/14 1:16 A

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Baby greens. we will see.

CARMEN213's Photo CARMEN213 Posts: 158
4/22/14 4:05 P

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I don't eat out a lot and fast food for me ia a burrito bowl from chipotle. My rule cut out bad carbs, eat lean proteins, small portions and I will be fine. I usually if ai know ahead of time "save" my calories for later on.
For example--Breakfast out is always scrambled eggs with veggies- no toast. and water or tea
Lunch on the go at Costco- Ceasar salad, only about a tbsp of salad dressing, no croutons and water
and dinner is fish and veggies



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4/22/14 2:15 A

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emoticon

SIMONEKP's Photo SIMONEKP Posts: 2,495
4/21/14 2:54 P

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Even if it's not a chain restaurant, you can use the chain restaurant nutrition guide as an estimate.

Simone

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!
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BOREDA SparkPoints: (122,981)
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4/20/14 6:29 P

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I don't eat out that often (perhaps once a week), and never at chain restaurants with publicized calorie counts for their menus. Most of my friends know that I am watching my weight, so when I eat at their houses they try to serve appropriate food -- but even so, when I get home and enter my estimate of what I have eaten into my tracker, I find that usually I have consumed almost an entire day's worth of calories in one meal! I think you can only do your best at guesstimating, erring on the high side if in any doubt, and be prepared to be surprised (horrified!) at the result. But we are here for a lifestyle change, not becoming hermits who never go out, so I think the occasional blip as a result of socializing is just part of the overall process and journey. If you think (or know) that you have gone over limits, you just have to cut back a bit and/or do a bit more exercise for the next few days. It does all even out over time.

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4/20/14 10:34 A

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i have been very religious about tracking my foods. and i also eat out. i put foods into SP but i do it by grams because i weigh everything. i don't know what it meant by 1 serving most of the time.

i use fitday to create my recipes and nutritional information and then transfer the info to SP. when i eat out, depending on the food, i do several things: ask for no butter - restaurants put butter on so many things, not just baked potatoes. when i order something complex sometimes i eat half of it and wrap the other half up and take it home to tear it apart and weigh it. sounds dumb but it works for some foods. sandwiches, desserts, for example.

chain restaurants have their nutritional info online. street vendor or ball park or theatre food is hard to gauge. sometimes the halfsies thing works with them. i know that some of the restaurant dishes hold a half cup so i gauge from that.

it's tricky - but it also takes my mind off desertion. seriously, if i eat slowly - putting the fork down between bites - it helps focus as well.

DISGUISEDBYPHAT's Photo DISGUISEDBYPHAT Posts: 185
4/19/14 6:56 P

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I want to get as close as I can so I will look at several different choices for logging. Like hummus I would pick the highest one prob. Better to estimate high than to estimate low.


Long term goal is 140lbs
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
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GRIZ1GIRL's Photo GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (127,191)
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4/19/14 1:18 P

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I finally had to give up on food tracking--it just never worked for me! I know what I eat everyday...and I know when I'm eating high-calorie high-fat bad foods...and I know when I'm eating healthier options!

Food is & always will be my "issue"--I think about it all day long...planning meals, denying myself junk foods, giving in to cravings.

All I can do is my best--every single day. Some days my best isn't very good. And other days, it's ridiculously healthy. :) I wish I was someone who craved healthy foods & never wanted Doritos or chocolate. Sadly, after 8 years of working on it, I accept that'll never be me!

Life is a journey--and the road isn't always straight & flat. (Unless you live in North Dakota--just kidding!) Sometimes life is full of hills--ups & downs! Weight is the same way. Do your best each day--avoid restaurant foods if you can--and always EXERCISE! And then just enjoy who you are & the life you're living.

All we've got is this very moment...yesterday is over, and tomorrow hasn't happened. Live for NOW--and find blessings wherever you can! :)

It Is What It Is.... :)


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SINGHALC's Photo SINGHALC SparkPoints: (1,035)
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4/18/14 5:59 P

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One can also use this great app called "Restaurant Nutrition" (available for IOS and android). This app helps you search the nutritional information of most of the restaurant food items on the go. Check items on a restaurant's menu before you order them!

**Suck it up so you don't have to suck it in!**
BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
4/18/14 8:20 A

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Thanks for all the great ideas, while I do not eat out a lot, my choices are poor at best when I do eat out. I will obtain the calorie king book to have on hand when I am out.
Thanks

All things are possible if you only believe, even losing 15 pounds


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4/17/14 8:32 P

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emoticon

DENISENTEXAS's Photo DENISENTEXAS Posts: 109
4/17/14 8:10 P

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I rarely eat out but sometimes have the same issue. How I handle it depends on the circumstances.

1) I check the internet and if the item and its nutritional info are found I use that. If I find it on several sites, I'll compare them to see if they're all the same, very different, or what. One of my favorite sites for restaurant nutrition information is Dottie's Weight Loss Zone. (Her site is a mess but the info is great!)

2) I use "Calorie King" or "The Complete Book of Food Counts", both of which go where I go.

3) I use the Sparkrecipes site to create a recipe as close to the item I had as I can and use it. Note, I don't share those - they're just for my benefit.

4) I punt. If all else fails, I simply put the ingredients, to the best of my ability, in the tracker. I figure it's better than nothing and probably fairly close.



“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ~ Thomas Edison
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4/17/14 7:21 P

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quinoa with spices I put together. How much dose parsley, onion garlic count? Not a cup. just a t dry.(Potassium) (roughage)

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4/17/14 1:27 P

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I don't eat out a lot and that is a good thing for me...both calorie-wise and pocketbook wise! I have a neat little book which has a back section containing lots of restaurant meals. I ordered it from Amazon and it is the "Calorie King" one!

Bene38464


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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
4/17/14 11:00 A

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Yeah the recipe tool is very helpful.

DJELIM Posts: 11
4/17/14 10:56 A

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When tracking difficult food, I usually end up finding equivalents and creating a recipe for it. I enjoy making a number of foods like spaghetti, but I tend to add veggies and garlic to the sauce because store bought sauce is relatively bland for my taste. The other day I made a recipe for a ham sandwich because it was easier than trying to track each individual component.



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ACHANSO's Photo ACHANSO Posts: 826
4/17/14 9:31 A

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Yes, sometimes I have to add a filler "100 calories" or something similar. Or something you can do is if you know what a certain food is in its original form (uncooked) but someone made it homemade and fried it, you can add a Tablespoon of butter just as an estimate to make up for the frying. Just an idea. As the others say- track what you can and you'll get pretty close .

DOCKO56's Photo DOCKO56 Posts: 218
4/17/14 7:22 A

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I checked the calorie lab as I had never heard of it before but I found it to be a little outdated--more like 2011 info. Many of the restaurants on their "Hall of Shame" have since provided info. I find a great website "healthy dining finder" to be more in line with what I like to do. It actually steers you to the healthier menu items at a particular restaurant and lists nutritional info.
http://www.healthydiningfinder.com/

The future is no place to place your better days. --David J Matthews

"Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat."
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CARINEVE's Photo CARINEVE SparkPoints: (18,376)
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4/17/14 7:08 A

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I love the misc. entry for tracking food!!
I have had the same problems as well when eating out, would track the separate ingredients and then I would stay on the low end of my calorie range that day (if that was still an option) or the next day. But just adding 100 calories to these ingredients (or 200) is much better for accountability, so thanks for the tip!!

Carine

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4/17/14 1:20 A

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other people have added food but not all the information I want.

LITTLE_DIVA's Photo LITTLE_DIVA Posts: 472
4/16/14 8:11 P

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It makes me so happy to see that others have added a "misc" to their menus! I added one a long time ago for 100 calories, but always felt like I was either cheating or being really lazy, and as a result gave up logging all together when I had so many misc items... Now I think that I am just in really good company and need to just get back to logging more consistently no matter what. Hooray!

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills

"Ever notice how "what the hell" is always the right answer?" Marilyn Monroe


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FIRECRACKERTT's Photo FIRECRACKERTT SparkPoints: (3,759)
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4/16/14 3:50 P

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I just love the tip about adding a "misc" entry. Thanks! emoticon



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4/16/14 8:30 A

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Tracking the difficult and hard to resist foods is a whole lot easier thanks to SP emoticon

HADLEY123's Photo HADLEY123 SparkPoints: (15,591)
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4/15/14 10:56 P

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That 'misc' tip was just awesome. I'll be using that myself from now on. Thanks you guys!!



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JMOUSE99's Photo JMOUSE99 SparkPoints: (101,926)
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4/15/14 7:11 P

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EXOTEC thanks for that link. I frequently search food items on Google but for some reason that site never comes up in the results.

Also thanks to all who have "misc" or dummy items. I never thought of that! Doesn't help with things like protein and veggies, but it's still a great idea.

Lenore (Vancouver, Canada)

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SUNSHINEMGM's Photo SUNSHINEMGM Posts: 17
4/15/14 1:43 P

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Like some others, I use a dummy entry for days/meals that I cannot or will not be tracking. Game days with friends; crazy vacation days. Mine's a little less conservative - mine just has 3,000 Calories for the whole day.

For something a little more specific, I add ingredients the way I would cook them and then add about 3 Tbsp of butter.



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4/14/14 6:53 P

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I got on Spark People because the National Nutation guide Pamphlet 25 (or perhaps a different number ,has lots of different food but it dose not add them together. Yes I like to track A, B12 etc. We do what we can. When I asked at Cardiac rehab they did not have answers that did not cost an arm and a leg.

TIFFFIT's Photo TIFFFIT Posts: 297
4/14/14 4:48 P

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There are some great ideas here--thank you to everyone! Although it looks as if I've just started to make progress, I feel very differently this time than I did during previous attempts and am confident in my ongoing and ultimate success. Check back with me in a year and see how I've changed!

"I can't get there from anywhere but here."

Rewards:
[X] 2 weeks: New water bottle
[X] 1 month: New gym shoes
[X] 3 months/10% body weight: New workout clothes (still haven't bought these yet!)
[ ] Birthday: Come and gone, no idea what to get myself :-(
[X] Cool weather: new hiking stuff
[ ] ONEderland -- start planning our next major vacation!
[ ] Some day/bucket list goal: hike to Havasupai Falls (and out again...)


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MULTIMOM's Photo MULTIMOM SparkPoints: (28,796)
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4/14/14 10:42 A

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EXOTIC: Thanks for sharing CalorieLab. I was able to log my pizza from Pizza Hut. I will use this site often, as I travel frequently! Thanks!



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GRAMMYX7's Photo GRAMMYX7 Posts: 334
4/14/14 9:53 A

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Thanks for the great ideas. I find it hard to track my evening meals. Some recipes don't put nutritional values with them or mark so many serving rather than amount of serving. I try to estimate but often wonder if I under estimate. If I find a recipe with nutritional values I add the recipe name and info into my food tracker so next time I make it all the info is there for me. Breakfast and lunch seem much easier to track and I find it so time consuming using the recipe tracker on Spark people.

Only I can make it happen
Marge


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NICKYCRANE's Photo NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (62,261)
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4/14/14 2:23 A

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I have misc, 100 and 1000. Otherwise guess, and try to estimate on high side. I also seem to burn more in cardio workouts than SP estimates, so I dont worry if i am slightly above cal guidelines. Nor do the scales seem to worry!



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IMDADOGGIE's Photo IMDADOGGIE SparkPoints: (15,894)
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4/13/14 8:05 P

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There are many foods I can't find exact counts on so I just guess the best I can. I know I am very careful with tracking and I depend on it.



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NEWYORKCHICK's Photo NEWYORKCHICK Posts: 226
4/13/14 7:56 P

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I agree with others who have said to just do the best you can. For me, nights out don't happen THAT often (maybe once a week at most), so it's not a huge deal if I'm a little off.

That said, whenever possible, I have been taking EVERY opportunity to eat foods that are easily trackable. For pretty much all of my meals, I know the exact calorie count, and even when I go out I'll try to steer my husband toward a restaurant where I can know the calories too (most of the major chains are pretty good about posting calorie info nowadays.) I figure, if I put forth my best effort to be exact most of the time, then an occasional street taco or whatever that's hard to track won't be as big a deal.

Edited by: NEWYORKCHICK at: 4/13/2014 (19:56)
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ODDMENTTWEAK Posts: 1,537
4/13/14 3:08 P

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When I was just starting out, I measured everything to get an idea of real portions. Now I'm able to eyeball more often when I'm eating out, but as others have suggested I often round up on the estimated portions so I can give myself a calorie cushion.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
- Helen Keller


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4/13/14 1:08 P

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I just type "taco" in the search and pick the highest calories. Same with popcorn and stuff. Since you know your going over anyway, its not a huge deal. Or, on those days you could just not track your night out and consider it a relax day :)

Starting weight: 185

1st Goal- 170lbs -
DONE! 12/13/10

2nd Goal -160lbs-
DONE- 1/19/11

**Mini Goal**158 (No longer Obese!)


3rd Goal-150lbs -

4th Goal-140lbs -

5th Goal- 130lbs -

6th goal- 120lbs -


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EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 3,153
4/13/14 10:38 A

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There are sites which list restaurant foods - including fast food. If I can't find something here on SP, I use

calorielab.com/index.html

which has a wonderful list of not only regular foods (from the USDA database) but a long string of restaurant and fast food sites, and even a "hall of shame" of those who refused to provide their info.

If you can't find the specific place you are looking for, you should be able to find something reasonably comparable.

I'm a nut for tracking, too. Good luck!

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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DEB_NC's Photo DEB_NC SparkPoints: (18,152)
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4/13/14 10:28 A

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I added a misc to my food tracker. I have one for misc 100 cal and another for misc 25 calories. I use that when I have to track a food item that I can't find. I most time estimate on the higher end, for tracking purposes. At least I have some accountability on my tracker, even if my estimate is off. That's about the best we can do for food items, that we have no idea how many calories are in them. I figure if I am eating right 90% of the time, that 10% when I eat out, will all work out.

If you don't want to keep starting over, don't give up in the first place.

9/9/13
SW 363
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CALLMECARRIE's Photo CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
4/13/14 8:26 A

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I think your attitude is perfect - try to do it really well, but recognize that there will be times you go out with friends and have a nice time, and it's OK to have a meal you can't really track. Sometimes I look at what other Spark users have entered for a particular food, pick one that's not too obviously low on the calorie count, and just put that in. It's not going to be possible to know exactly what you ate, and it's not necessary to know. I would come as close as possible without spending hours on it.

"I owe everything you see here to spaghetti."

-Sophia Loren


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MISSRUTH's Photo MISSRUTH Posts: 3,426
4/13/14 8:16 A

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I'd have to agree that always eating at home isn't an option, as I have no intention of never eating out or eating at a street fair or someone else's house or whatever. Personally-- I just do the best I can. Usually I'll gauge what I ate, against the types of things served at restaurants that publish their nutritional information. Since I don't often eat at the top of my calorie range, I figure if I'm off a bit it'd all average out anyway. I prefer to use a restaurant's nutritional information rather than just building the meal out of ingredients, as (in my experience) restaurants use more sodium, fat, etc that you'd get from just the ingredients.

Unless we're on vacation, we usually eat at home and I can get good calorie etc counts on all that food. So the occasional "unknown" or hard to guesstimate food isn't that big a deal. For example.... if you want to be as accurate as possible 90% of the time... that leaves you 10% of the month (or 3 days of *best guess* per month) to just do the best you can and go on.

Ruth in Cookeville, TN Central Time Zone


Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think - Christopher Robin to Pooh


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HAWKTHREE's Photo HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (25,919)
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4/13/14 7:51 A

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More practice helps! When you do eat at home, that's your opportunity to weigh, measure and be precise. That way when you go out, you can estimate more accurately.

Also, use SparkRecipe to create a "recipe" that estimates the ingredients and size of what you ate. If the recipe is marked "shared" you can pull it up for your Food Tracker.

Life needs balance


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MLAN613 SparkPoints: (156,079)
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4/13/14 7:38 A

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My advice is to just do the best you can. You maybe can't find "street tacos" in the data base but I think tacos are there or for sure individual ingredients. The calorie counts may be off a little but it's better to be off by, say 100 calories, than 1000.



TIFFFIT's Photo TIFFFIT Posts: 297
4/13/14 12:39 A

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I am religious about tracking and have quite a bit of experience judging calories and portions, but I know I'm not perfect. What tips do you have for tracking foods that are difficult to estimate? For example, this evening we went out with friends. We had a couple of drinks (coke + alcohol, trackable), hummus with pita triangles (trackable, but not as easily due to variations in recipes and portion sizes), street tacos (super tough to track) and popcorn at the movies.
Does anyone have any ways to simplify this process?
My goal is to stay on track 90% of the time, so even if I'm way off the mark tonight it's not a huge deal, although I like to be accurate.
Please don't suggest I just eat everything at home; this is a lifestyle change and of course there will be opportunities to go out with friends for the rest of my life! I'm going to keep living, I'm just doing it as a healthy person instead of one who's out of control.

Edited by: TIFFFIT at: 4/14/2014 (16:42)
"I can't get there from anywhere but here."

Rewards:
[X] 2 weeks: New water bottle
[X] 1 month: New gym shoes
[X] 3 months/10% body weight: New workout clothes (still haven't bought these yet!)
[ ] Birthday: Come and gone, no idea what to get myself :-(
[X] Cool weather: new hiking stuff
[ ] ONEderland -- start planning our next major vacation!
[ ] Some day/bucket list goal: hike to Havasupai Falls (and out again...)


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