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How We Can Misjudge When Counting Calories

Posted May 28 2009 10:03pm

2979577079_500f4dfda8[1] One of the most important aspects, when you’re trying to lose weight is the amount of calories you eat per day it’s probably a safe bet that we don’t actually spend a great deal of thought counting calories. A lot of the foods that we eat don’t have nutritional information on them, such as the foods we tend to buy in supermarkets like vegetables and fruit.

Do we know how much we are eating

Also when you go out for a meal, there is very rarely anywhere telling you how much food that you are eating as far as the calorie count is concerned. It’s very easy to get distracted on a night out or order a take-away such as a pizza or kebab etc. And not exactly realise how much we are eating. The other evening I caught the back end of a TV programme where somebody had about five items of food in front of them these were.

  • Two pork pies
  • A bowl containing some chocolate
  • Two bacon sandwiches
  • A bowl full of fruit salad
  • A pint glass with a smoothie in it, looked like tomato
  • A chicken dinner which had potatoes and broccoli with it

And that was it he was then asked to estimate how many calories were in each particular item, now surprisingly enough every single one of those particular items which are in the list all had the same amount of calories.

And the chicken dinner which looked quite big on the plate, and you compare that to the chocolate there hardly seem to be any chocolate at all. It was the same for the pork pies they were only small pork pies, say snack size but even though they were quite small they contained the same amount of calories as the chicken dinner. The only difference between eating these foods is the chicken dinner which contains protein, fibre etc within the broccoli and carbohydrate within the potatoes.

The benefits of the chicken dinner is the nutrition contained within it, whereas the pork pie is mostly empty calories so even though you are eating a lot of calories. It would be quite easy to eat three or four of these without even thinking about how many calories they actually contain.

It’s my metabolism

There was one woman who was on the programme, who had struggled with her weight for years and even though she ate healthily over the years, never managed to lose any weight whatsoever. And stayed at a constant weight, she seemed to think that she in actual fact had a slow metabolism. This was somewhat puzzling to her so she went for a series of tests, to find out exactly why she couldn’t lose weight.

The first thing that was measured was her metabolism; this was monitored with a machine over a 12 hour period. All the results came back positive there was nothing wrong with her metabolism whatsoever. The next thing she did was a video diary, and a written diary, and also they told her to drink some fluid. And when this test was over they would be able to measure accurately how many calories per day she was consuming.

When the results came back something quite interesting emerged, her written log was reporting that she in actual fact was eating the recommended calorie intake for a woman which is 2000 calories per day, they compared this to her video diary and this was more or less the same. However when they got the urine samples back from the lab this revealed something totally different they said that she was consuming 3000 calories per day an extra 1000 over what she should have been eating.

When they asked her what they thought the problem was she had been underreporting the amount of food she had been eating quite approximately 43 percent which is quite a high amount. One of the researchers told her that you can tend to forget about a lot of the foods that you tend to eat.

So even if you are keeping a log you may be eating things without even realising it, here are some situations where you maybe unconsciously eating without even realising it.

  • You may be at a party where there are large amounts of food when you drink alcohol at the same time this will make you hungry and you will consume more food
  • There may be a special deal on where you can eat as much you want for a certain amount of money, some pizza restaurants sometimes do this
  • There are lots of people at a function or some other place, and they all eating as well we tend to pick up on their eating habits without even realising sometimes
  • You maybe having a evening in by watching a DVD or watching television, this is a very easy way distraction wise to not pay attention how much you are actually eating
  • Having food in large containers, have you noticed sometimes how you can buy a big tub of ice cream, or when you bring your fish and chips home you don’t actually realise, how much you have actually got
  • What about tempting foods within your fridge is very easy to stockpile your fridge, and normally the walk to get some food isn’t very far. Sometimes people will have a jar full of chocolate biscuits or even a cupboard full of things like crisps etc, once you know they are there it’s very tempting to get a few bags and scoff them
  • Also how often do you dine out, it may be more than you actually realise, or the amount of take-aways you have a week do you actually count them

In the above list are some classic some examples of unconscious eating. So how can we prevent ourselves from doing this.

  • When you are eating make sure that is the only thing that you are doing, when you are not focusing on purely eating is very tempting to eat more than you need
  • Size matters, try not to eat out of ice cream tubs if you can bear to do it by as small as possible tub as you can that way at least you will eat less
  • Make sure the portions of your food are the size of a fist clenched, that is per proportion so each fist applies to each thing for example, one fist of potatoes, chicken, and vegetables
  • If you do happen to go out make your portion sizes smaller yourself, leave what you don’t want or share it with somebody else
  • When you are at a party be very aware of what you’re eating, and don’t take notice of other people’s eating habits decide what you are going to eat and that is it
  • While you are at the party, have a soft drink instead of alcohol this will stop you from eating more food
  • Get rid of snack draws and bins etc if they aren’t there you can’t eat them
  • Eating knowledge is power become well-informed about eating and how it affects you become your own diet and weight loss guru

Post from: Weight Loss Blog (Lose That Tyre)

How We Can Misjudge When Counting Calories

Tags: calories, metabolism
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