I went ahead and created another cheat sheet and posted it to my blog... this time for those of us who use gram weights to measure our foods rather than traditional cup measurements. This has helped me tremendously. After putting this together and using it for the past few weeks, I find that I was WAY overestimating the amount of fruit and veggie servings I was eating. Since then, I have been having my 5 to 7 servings each day, and I know for a fact I'm getting them all in. This has also helped in my fiber counts, too, yay!
I know it's not a complete list, but it's what I eat, which is a start at least. You can see my formula at the top of the blog (link below) if you want to make your own cheat sheets or add the fruits and veggies that are not listed to this one.
Glad I could be of help. Those sheets certainly help me out a ton. I'm never tempted to wing it or eyeball stuff if my phone or the computer are far away from me when I'm ready to eat and I'm in a hurry. Now if I could just create one for the serving sizes of fruits and veggies, I'd be golden!
CMW405, what a good idea! I'm going to make cheat sheets not just of the portions of my most fruits and veggies but also for the foods that contains the best ratio potassium vs sodium. I'm going to think in several cheat sheets that I should have on hand.
Edited by: CRAFTSFAN1 at: 3/26/2013 (16:19)
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Fitness Minutes: (29,525) Posts: 32 3/26/13 7:32 A
I made myself a cheat sheet that hangs in my kitchen right near my scale that tells me the gram weight of popular measures for various foods like those I mentioned before and that has helped tremendously. I've been able to get away from the meal plans in the past month thanks to that and putting meals together goes much quicker. Weighing everything gives me peace of mind about eating within my calorie limits, but I'm still not sure if I'm eating actual servings. I thought the meal plans would give you measurements that equalled a serving and so I have been following those guidelines at a minimum. Think I made a poor assumption though, because I'm not getting enough fiber in and have needed to incorporate a supplement!
CMW, I do understand how you feel; I personally do not use the meal plans (I'm too flexible in my planning to deal with such things!), but trying to compare the measurements on the tracker drove me to distraction for a lonnnnng time when I first came here!
I was working with a dietician on a weekly basis for a few years at the time (she recommended I use the site to help with detailed tracking); she told me that measuring and weighing would actually simplify/clarify things for me and I thought, "the lady's nuts!"...but... now I agree. I have a digital food scale. A stalk of celery may be different in size from the next one but a gram is always a gram.
Example: I rarely buy pasta, but when I do? I weigh it and bag it into single 2-oz. serving portions. Takes a few minutes all at once, saving time in the long run.
Go to the non-plan format of the nutrition tracker and you'll see choices in how you measure. For example, grapes can be 1 cup (nope, they don't specify size of grapes) of grapes or you can weigh the grapes to let the SP system calculate the calories. If you want accuracy, weigh them and you'll KNOW what you are getting.
I weigh all my food to get the weight in grams and record my calories that way. I've had to go outside of Spark to find how many calories are in a gram of some vegetables but that's the way I want to do it. I don't like to be fuzzy on the numbers.
Looking forward to seeing if someone has an answer for you.
Edited by: MARILYNROBERT at: 3/26/2013 (00:38)
***Marilyn*** in far west Texas (MST)
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Fitness Minutes: (29,525) Posts: 32 3/25/13 10:20 P
I have serious difficulty with this whole measuring system that pops up in the spark meal plans, the tracker, and even in the responses on this thread. I live in Florida where the produce can get huge. I have seen a home grown organic sweet potato the size of my head. The 18 grapes that pops up in my meal plan recommendations really only equates to 7 Florida grapes when matching calorie to calorie. Conversely, I have a bag of organic baby carrots where the majority are smaller than my pinky. When dealing with this much variation, it's hard to equate serving sizes - how do I know that the half sweet potato or carrot stalk discussed in an article actually represents the one that I have in my hands?
As such, I have had to convert a lot of the foods that appear in the tracker as 1 grape, berry, stalk, floret, etc... into grams using other sites like Calorie King and Self; then I play with the gram totals on those sites until I get a weight to calorie ratio that matches the calories in the spark tracker and meal plans. However, now that I am purely working with weights and not measures, I'm in desperate need of a chart that can tell me what actual serving sizes are by weight. If anyone knows of one that would be fabulous! I've searched with no luck thus far.
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Fitness Minutes: (1,212) Posts: 62 3/25/13 6:24 P
One reason that measuring, tracking and then studying the results is an 'education' is seeing the comparisons. If you're into that sort of detail comparison, it can be interesting as you try to get the most 'value' for your calories, too. To see why the rule has some exceptions, go to the tracker and compare the caloric value of cooked corn kernals per half cup to the number of calories in 1 cup of fresh raw baby spinach. Seems tedious to do, but doing this helps make choices a little easier when trying to stay in the calorie range.
In terms of value, they don't pack in some of the vitamins found in lower-calorie veggies like broccoli, carrots, etc. Pesonally, I think of potatoes as interchangeable with grains. This is where really studying results of the reports generated by the tracker can help us understand the value of the foods we eat.
I now rarely eat potatoes because they just don't have a lot of values I personally need. That was my personal choice based on my needs, my nutrition plan. When I want a potato? It slides into the plan, but I consider it more grain than veggie. This is where you look at your reports and see whether your carb count is too high; if we eat potatoes instead of other veggies and then other carb-rich foods, our balance of carbs/proteins/fats will be off-kilter. But do remember that potatoes -minus the extras- are healthy! They are loaded with potassium, which is an important nutrient.
I see that that article lists potatoes. In general, can potatoes count as a vegetable, or just sweet potatoes. That's one thing I am looking for - vegetables I may already be eating and not thinking about!
Fitness Minutes: (7,311) Posts: 1,012 3/23/13 11:52 A
I have difficulty with this as well. I put veggies in my morning omelette but it is a little of each so it is difficult to track sometimes. I can sneak veggies into sauces, etc. but again just have to estimate how much I'm getting in a single serving. I've realized how difficult it is to track and just look at it and say did I eat more veggies today than yesterday? Then it was a good day!
Vegetables •Five broccoli florets •Ten baby carrots •One Roma tomato •Three-fourths cup tomato juice •Three-fourths cup vegetable juice •Half a baked sweet potato •One ear of corn •Half-cup whipped rutabaga •Four slices of an onion
Loose spinach or lettuce is one cup is one serving.
I hope this helps
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Fitness Minutes: (7,311) Posts: 1,012 3/22/13 10:15 A
I have a lot of trouble getting enough veggies into my diet, so I'm wondering if I'm possibly underestimating how much I eat or what my options are. I know a half cup of cooked vegetables is a serving, but what else counts? What is a serving of carrots (I eat them whole, not chopped)? Or a serving of tomato sauce? How does servings in a salad work? How much lettuce is a serving, or cucumbers? I know I don't put a whole serving of one vegetable on the salad, but maybe I reach 2 or 3. Most importantly, what are some foods that I might not realize count as a serving of vegetables? I eat in a college cafeteria, so my options are fairly limited.
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