View Full Version : Keeping track of calories

12-21-2001, 09:02 AM
How many people here keep an exact count of your calories everyday? I am trying to do it to make sure I get enough everyday and it is getting kind of hard. For some things its easy, but for other food I find I have to guess a lot. Is it really important to know exact amounts, or is it enough to know a general amount and be within a certain range?
I am trying to gain weight, and I would like to take my time and do it with as little fat gain as possible, so how many extra calories should I be eating a day? From what I have read it seems like around 500 or so for a total of about 2500 to 3000. Does this sound about right? I currently weigh 170 lbs. I would like to eventually get up to 200, but I don't want to rush and get fat.

Paul Stagg
12-21-2001, 09:40 AM
I go back and forth on this.

I tend to be a proponant of recordkeeping. So in that sence, I thin you'd benefit from tracking your caloric intake.

BUT - it is tough to get accurate information... for example, you know how much protein is in a can of tuna, right... but what about the little bit you didn't get out of the can?

Sure, it's just a little, but that stuff can add up.

So, I'd say keep a record and try to keep it as accurate as possible, but don't go nuts trying to do it... and when you look at how things are working, look at them in terms of weeks, not days.

For example, weigh and measure yourself weekly, and look at your caloric intake for the week to see if you need to add or delete cals. The variation should stay consistant (pretty much), so the longer the period of time, the more useful the information.

Unless you are a precontest bodybuilder (and even then I might question it), there is really no need for 100% accurate measures.

12-21-2001, 09:45 AM
Thanks Paul!!

12-22-2001, 04:32 AM
You can never be 100% accurate.

If you buy food. When selling the food. the overall product weight has a tolerance of 10% weight normally so eg a 100 gram portion could wiegh between 90-110 grams. If the food does not have a nutritional claim on the nutritional value could vary a lot. If it has a nutritional claim on it. It can be taken to court if it breaks this claim. **though if gets caught**. nutritional anaylsis is not cheap. to do a store thats sells 10,000 products it would cost a over a 3 million dollars to do.
The reason why nutritional claims are not that accurate is - you take two different people(different genetics) and feed them the same, exercise them the same, but they will still have different fat levels and protien level etc. farmer have the same trouble with animals. Plants will vary depending on soil, rain etc. All these factors will alter the final product.
Then in a factory, people will be making batches of ingredients up of sometimnes over a ton. when in this kind of volume if some one does not add 10 kg more of ingredient X it will not effect the overall recipe much. but still effect the nutritional claim.

Micronutritient content is far more variable than macronutritient content mainly. - water soluble vitamins can be badly effected during processing while protien, fat, carbs levels do not change as much.

these are things that can not be helped as less you are willing to pay through the roof for food.

A less weighing your food, then only above matter apply.
there is a bit of research out there that says. - fat people often underestimate how much they eat. I iamgine this happens with thin people as well, however reasearch does not need to be down with them as not a problem group.
When you cook your food, what is the yeild loss? did you eat all your food. Is some food in the pan. how much oil did your food soak up. There are so many variable to consider.

I do not write down what I eat. But I roughly tot up the totals of prot, carb, fat level i eat a day. i am quite sad(no back up please) and can guess most mccance and widdowson macronutritients levels, as i used this book a lot for my studying days. Though most poeple can not.