Tip: Avoid Mistakes When Counting Calories

19 Responses

  1. One of the reasons you should aim lower is because most packaged or prepared foods have far more calories than they claim. The amount of calories on the label is for the amount the box says it contains, but because of the steep penalties for including too little, most packages include a small amount of extra. This ups your actual vs reported calories.

  2. Bubba says:

    Agreed. I looked at a package of cheese the other day and it said 30 calories per slice. I have to think there is no way that slice of cheese is only 30 calories when even the light stuff is typically 80-100.

  3. One thing that really helps me is to calculate the calories of a certain meal and then have that meal often! Once you have a repository of meals that you eat consistently you can mix and match to avoid boredom.

    This also makes it easier to space out your caloric intake through out a day – say over 5 small meals.

  4. MikeW says:

    This is why I love having my smartphone and the fatsecret app installed. Either before I eat, or immediately after, I enter everything in my phone and sync it up online. And, since I have serving size info for things that may not have it printed on them, like tortilla chips at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I can count them as I eat them to make sure I am getting pretty close. (And man, those things are LOADED with calories!) Sure, it is not exact, but it helps keep me close.

    I also get pretty obsessed at home–even to the degree of using a tablespoon to measure the creamer I use in my coffee each morning.

  5. Anon says:

    Good tips.

    I would also recommend using a scale instead of measuring cups for any non-liquid items.

    For something calorie dense like peanut butter that is about 200 calories per 2 tablespoons, it is very easy to make those heaping tablespoons and now you have 300 calories!

  6. Eric Walker says:

    oh yes that app is a must have for anyone counting calories. It’s called “Calorie Counter” in market for android phones. 😀

  7. Cory says:

    I use Fatsecret too :) Love it and it’s SO easy!

  8. Tyler says:

    That’s also a very good, valid point. Not only do the calories vary on packaged items, but also obviously at restaurants (even those that post calorie information) as each preparation is different.

  9. Tyler says:

    I do the same thing and have several of the same meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I like to repeat often.

  10. Tyler says:

    I still haven’t used this app, but I know I should.

  11. Tyler says:

    You’re right, you shouldn’t use measuring cups to measure food. I worded it a little awkwardly in the post, but I was implying to measure liquids in cups and to measure everything else as well.

    A scale, like you’re saying, is a good way to do just that.

  12. Jennifer says:

    One of the most depressing things I ever did was weigh out a serving of Doritos…

  13. Mshell says:

    I agree!

    Another tip, take pictures of your food, it’ll make counting calories a little easier in the start.

  14. Chantelle says:

    What’s the best way to weigh/measure out bulky fruits & veggies like strawberries, cauliflower, etc? “1 cup fresh cauliflower” never seems to work out for me using a regular measuring cup method.

  15. Tyler says:

    A scale. You should DEFINITELY weigh stuff like that with a small, miniature food scale.

  16. Jen says:

    Thanks for this Tyler! Starting today, I am going to count calories (tried once before). And, like you, I am eyeing a spring half marathon. I lost some weight earlier this year and managed to gain it all back. So, thanks for your inspiration and here’s to starting over!

  17. Jennifer says:

    I KNOW that you mean a small, miniature scale designed for food but they way it is written made me smile- as though the scale was only for mini-food
    thinking Hershey’s Miniatures,
    Chinese baby corn cobs
    Tapas
    and the like!

    (Weight Watchers sells a great one btw that even has included as way to see how many calories/points are in the item you are weighing- not that I ever use mine- bad Jennifer!)

  18. Lisa says:

    I over-estimate calories when I count and I also try to stay under 1900 a day to make up for miscalculations. It’s easy to not estimate correctly and those calories add up fast!

  19. Lisa says:

    This is very true. If you MEASURE the packaged food and go by that calculation you’ll be much closer to accurate. For example a “serving” of chips might be 17 chips but if you look closely it shows the grams and ounces of a serving. That’s never 17 chips. It’s usually way less!!!

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