Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (555)
Posts: 281
2/10/13 6:12 P

awesome, you got it :) It is an absolute must for me to preplan my entire day in the morning, at least when I am starting out and have portion distortion... I plan my breakfast lunch and dinner in the food tracker, to see where my calories will be at, and then add snacks to fill whatever calories I have left... I think a lot of people do that :)

2/10/13 6:00 P

Okay with all these responses it is clear that I was over-thinking a bit. You guys are right the most important thing is to hit the calorie range for the day (since I can't even seem to do that naturally off any diet). I think what will help me is preplanning the meals so I know exactly how I got to the calorie range I'm suppose to hit. Knowing what I need/should have more or less of to balance it out. I'm feeling more confident that I will hit all 5 target ranges (Spark People's key 4 nutrients plus my own goal of lower sodium) when I eat healthier/make healthier choices in general. Thanks guys :-)

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/10/13 11:52 A

Good answers below!

"Serving size" can be misleading. Sometimes food manufacturers make it unreasonably small, so that the nutrition information they must post has the appearance of less than it really is. For example, when you purchase what is clearly a bottle of pop meant for ONE person to drink, or a packet of "noodles in a bowl" that is obviously intended to be eaten by ONE person for lunch. A quick glance at the label will say "Calories: (whatever)" and the consumer's immediate reaction will be "oh, that's not too bad!".... until they read the small print. "Serving size: (whatever). Servings per package: 2 (or 2.5 or 3).

Also consider you will hear advice like "have seven servings of fruit and veg every day" - that does mean have seven servings, not seven (Serving x 0.75)'s.

Use it as a tool of measurement only. When it comes to those Cheerios, depending on the morning you might be happy with a half serving, a full serving, or even a serving-and-a-half. Doesn't really matter so long as at the end of the day you are within your calorie ranges, what you want to eat within those ranges is very flexible.

35BYMAY SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (555)
Posts: 281
2/10/13 8:55 A

yes, you are over thinking! Just eat a total of 1220-1550 calories per day, of the foods you enjoy (and are hopefully healthy for the most part!). That simple! Use the food tracker to track your calories eaten and stop when you hit 1220-1550 :) That is it at the most basic level, and a good starting point until you become comfortable with the site, portion controlling, healthy cooking etc.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
2/10/13 8:30 A

I think Niererin answered you very well on this matter. Basically, the nutrient percentages were calculated off of a 2,000 calories diet, but the serving size is more of a tool for comparison.

You also mentioned a concerned over not having a variety of foods, and not having enough calories left for snacks. This can be done by choosing lower calorie foods that will give you what you need to keep going with your day.

This is what my day looked like on Friday:
- Small Apple -70 cals
- Yogurt - 90 cals
- Almonds - 205 cals
Total: 365 cals

- Banana - 90 cals
- Low Fat Milk - 200 cals
Total: 290

- Mini Lasagna (with ground turkey and part skim cheese) - 182 cals
- Streamed Carrots - 55 cals
- Fun Sized Candy Bar - 75 cals
Total: 312 cals

- Part Skim Cheese Stick - 70 cals

- 3 Hard Boiled Eggs (whites only) - 50 cals
- Slice of Whole Wheat Toast - 120 cals
- Broccoli - 60 cals
- Fun Sized Candy Bar - 75 cals
Total: 305 cals

Daily Total: 1342 cals

Those calories are based off of the serving size I took. Not all of those items listed are a single serving. I am far from perfect. However, I personally think that is pretty varied, and there are even two treats in there. Those "Fun Sized" candy bars keep me from a major binge. I also don't think everyone needs to count calories so I wouldn't be too hard on your boyfriend if he ends up not wanting to. I do not count them on a regular basis. I only did here for an example and used what I ate on Friday. I know that I generally eat around 1300-1500 cals a day because I will track every so often to make sure I am still doing well, but I think the main thing for some people is just to focus on healthier choices. Let him do what works for him.

Edited by: SARAHANN01 at: 2/10/2013 (08:32)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
2/10/13 7:44 A

"I need to eat less than a serving size of cheerios to lose weight."
No. Basically some vitamins and minerals are calculated on a 2000 cal a diet. The program will do all the math to balance it out for you. you can basically ignore that.

You just need to eat foods that add up to your ranges.

Serving sizes are actually mandated by the government so that you can see how two similar items compare without having to use a calculator. In other words a serving of cereal is an ounce ( weight ounce not fluid ounce, they are two different things). For Cheerios it is a cup of food. For granola that ounce is a quarter cup. But you can compare the nutrition info because the serving size is the same.

Your logic will be helpful once you have tracked for few weeks to see where you are. Eating just a little less is a good way to get into your ranges. But first you ave to see where you are before you start tweaking to where you need to be. You do not have to eat a whole serving if you do not want to, but you can eat a whole serving ( or two) if you can find a complement of food that gets you into your ranges.

2/10/13 7:16 A

My boyfriend and I are going on the "Spark Diet" together. I actually need/want to lose a lot of weight. He also has a weight loss goal but it's just much less than mine. According to Spark People in order to lose the recommended amount of weight in a certain amount of time, both of us have a daily calorie consumption of under 2,000 calories. The range of calories we are allowed to eat differs in calorie consumption by 300. I don't know if that's clear but I don't think it has to be to understand my question and argument I've been having with my boyfriend. The important point is that we both should eat less than 2,000 calories per day.

I'm under the assumption that a serving size listed on a label of processed food for example Cheerios is based on a 2,000 calorie diet because in the fine print of the label it says, "Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs".

Because of this, since in order to lose weight (according to I am suppose to eat 1,220 to 1,570 calories per day, then I should eat less than the serving size they tell me. For the case of Cheerios, I should eat less than 1 cup of Cheerios (which is a serving size) in order to lose weight. Right?

So how much less should I be eating? It's based upon my individual calorie needs and not the arbitrary amount of 2,000 calories, right?

So how much less should I eat? I think it's a little less than 3/4 cup of Cheerios is the correct portion size but I want to know if that's realistic. I'm basing it on the fact that I should have 1395 calories in a day because that's an average of the low and high range of the daily amount of calories that Spark People allotted me. The math behind this is that since 1395
calories divided by 2,000 calories is .6975 (which translates to a little less than 3/4ths a serving of Cheerios) By all of this logic, I should be eating a little less than 3/4ths a cup of cereal not a full 1 cup that's meant for someone who can eat up to 2,000 calories a day.

My boyfriend seems to differ on this point. He thinks that the serving sizes are based on what people generally eat (regardless of how many calories they should have in a day), convenience of measuring, and recommended daily values among other things.

So he thinks it doesn't matter of how much of any food you have in particular as long as you stay within the suggest range of calories (and every other nutrient) for the day.

So even if you should have 1395 calories in a day, you can have 1 cup of Cheerios you just need to choose what other foods you are going to have that day in order to make the nutrients fall within range for the day.

He thinks it's simpler and makes more sense to plan what you're going to eat based on the listed serving sizes and adjust which foods you eat and how much of them as you want (as long as you keep everything in range)

My counter argument is logically this works out as Spark People even tells you that you could technically eat your favorite meals as you always have been but just eat less of them to fit in the nutrient guidelines you set.

So logically it works, but that's not all that matters because you wouldn't be able to have enough variety of foods in a day (because from my point of view you slyly ate 2 portions of cereal instead of 1) So you have to unjustly compromise somewhere else.

My boyfriend thinks that doesn't matter and it's not always true because if you "don't mind" having less variety of foods you can do it that way. He also thinks it's a lot of effort to measure the supposedly proper portion of each food each time rather than taking a serving. And he thinks it would be awkward for some cases like bread, where are you really going to take 3/4 of a slice of bread? Or 3/4 of an apple, or something? He just thinks it seems easier to use 1 serving in some cases and just adjust what you think you have too much of to fit in more variety of foods if you think you're having too much of the same foods.

Again, I think there's also an assumption that lack of variety will cause more cravings and binge eating so it's important to knowingly only have one portion of cereal (and other foods) according to your calorie needs so that you can choose to have more variety for snacks etc.

I think this "don't minding" is called self control and clearly a lot of overweight people don't already have that concept including me so going on portion control based on the calories you are suppose to have is more reasonable.

So he thinks different things work for different people and that you don't necessarily need to change the portions of all foods. I think if you are overweight then you've already lost a sense of portion control and it will be very hard to gain back if not impossible unless you eat the correct portion based on the amount of calories Spark People recommends for you.

Which way is correct?

Page: 1 of (1)  

Other Diet and Nutrition Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Belvita Biscuit Farts 10/16/2016 12:24:20 PM
Calories change with exercise or no? 10/28/2016 5:04:22 AM
Fast food 1/12/2017 6:40:09 AM
Vegetarian or Vegan and losing weight 2/24/2017 8:53:33 AM
Fast Metabolism Diet 10/7/2016 10:43:39 PM