Calorie Counts Can Be Much Higher Than What's Written

If you're using calorie counts in your diet plan, you might want to leave a little more buffer space. Researchers have found some notable calories discrepancies between what's given out on health fact sheets and what independent lab tests discover.

In a study by researchers at the American Diabetic Association, a Lean Cuisine package of shrimp and angel-hair pasta listed 220 calories but burned up at 319, while a grilled chicken wrap promised 260 but loaded in at 344 calories. Some restaurant menu items actually came in under their advertised calorie counts, but that wasn't the norm. Researchers pointed out that restaurant portions obviously vary from customer to customer, and frozen-meal makers face stiff penalties for selling underweight packages, so they tend to err on the side of heavier portions.

It's a margin of error to keep in mind if your New Year's diet, or any health plan, requires you to keep better track of how much you're really eating during your day.

Calorie Counts of Fast Food and Frozen Meals Aren't Always Accurate [NYTimes.com]


Comments

    calorie count diets are crazy anyway, would have to be the most painful way to lose weight and feel hungry all the time.

    if you want to lose weight concentrate on eating well with basic raw and unprocessed foods with an aim of lots of protein.

    Cut out things like pasta, rice and bread (bread is probably the worst), have a few quality slow release protein shakes during the day with more smaller meals and you will lose weight with out wanting to eat your own arm every 20 minutes from hunger pains.

      Firstly, calorie counting diets don't leave you hungry when done right. Secondly, losing weight is all about using more energy than you consume. This is where calorie counting comes in as you can track this. Of course the food you do eat needs to be healthy and what you said about unprocessed foods is certainly true, but simply dismissing this form of diet as crazy is childish - do what works for you.

      There are few things more annoying than having to count calories. How is one supposed to do that in an effective and efficient manner?

      My rule? Have five small meals a day, don't eat if you're not hungry and cut down on the booze.

    Makes me wonder if some of those 900+ calorie burgers at Hungry Jacks and the likes actually have even MORE than that :O

    In regards to counting calories, after a few days it gets fairly easy as a lot of the meals are the same between days and you start to get a basic idea what’s in each food.

    I can understand what Stephen is saying, but most people seem to have a warped perception of how much they need to eat/drink in a day, or underestimate snacks and things. Not really their fault, its just the way we are brought up.

    Oh and one good tip--count it BEFORE you eat it. It sucks when you eat something before checking and it totally backfires.

    Sorry Stephen,

    I think the no-carb, no bread thing is quite unhealthy and it's not what most nutritionists recommend.

    If you must ban a particular food, start with sugar. Bread has filling fibre and nutrients. Sugar has nothing but empty energy that most of us don't need.

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