One of my resolutions when I began this journey was to log my caloric intake. To do that, I’ve been using myfitnesspal, which has the advantage of integrating with my Fitbit and also, it’s free. It has issues, though.
To start with, their food database is not great. It can be difficult to find the correct entries. A lot of them, even their own vetted ones are off. I also have a particular loathing for their recipe calculator. But again, it’s a free tool and it does the math for me.
MFP also has community forums, which like their food database can be problematic. There are some great people with very helpful advice and then, well, you get my drift. But one thing that I keep running across again and again on the boards is the recommendation to weigh as much of your food as possible.
The argument is that guesstimates and cups and measuring spoons are often incorrect. So I did a little experiment. The entries on the left indicates where I made educated guesses or used cups. The entries on the right show where I weighed items.
While I wasn’t wildly off, you can see that I was off enough. Right now, when I still have so much to lose, I’m guessing it’s less of an issue; as long as I burn more calories than I consume, I will lose weight. But as I get closer to my goal, the margin for error shrinks. Also, if I’m off this much here, who knows how off I’ve been elsewhere.
I do think you can take this too far. The world I live in is one where occasionally I eat out either food from restaurants, most of them non-chain, or where I go to people’s homes. There, I think you just do the best you can.
For now, I’m going to try and weigh my food. Not sure it will always work, but we’ll see if this makes an appreciable difference.