Food Measuring Isn’t Working?

Food weighing.
Photo by Klaus Nielsen @

Food weighing is not working for you?

You’ve lost no weight despite your best efforts?

You have been doing everything that we teach, have downloaded your caloric needs from our Calorie Counter Pro  feature designed to give you your best caloric needs – but the muffin top and the number on the scales have not budged one bit.

Now, once again your frustration and stress over weight loss has peaked and you are about to go through the roof!

Maybe those folks at David’s Way to Health and Fitness don’t know what they are talking about!

The topic of measuring the foods we consume each day is one we have addressed many times in the past, and now it appears we need to address this issue again.

Let’s say for you who have been following our weight loss methodology, but are still not losing weight. Having been obese in life, I know the frustration that you are probably feeling if this is you. The bottom line though is that even if you have cut out sugar and most processed foods, and you are weighing and measuring your foods; you are still eating too many calories for your level of activity. None of us can change the basic law of thermodynamics where weight loss is a matter of consuming fewer calories than you burn each day. You are not unique with your weight loss problems unless you have a diagnosed health problem that legitimately causes you to gain weight. For the vast majority of you reading these words, despite your careful food weighing and measuring, you are eating too many calories and here is how:

  1. You could measure everything that you cook, but are  you tracking each bite, lick, and taste (BLT)? These little nibbles throughout the day add up. It only takes 250 calories over the amount you need in order to gain one half pound of extra fat per week. These BLT’s add up quicker than we often realize. Almost everything that you put into your mouth counts towards your caloric needs.
  2. When food measuring and weighing, do you use even measurements. For example, one heaping tablespoon of peanut butter could easily amount to two tablespoons. Therefore if you have two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter, that would equal to approximately 190 extra calories.  Let’s say you were cooking a meal that calls for 1 teaspoon of butter, and you eyeballed it and actually used two teaspoons. These things add up
  3. When you weigh foods and you go a little bit over, do you remove the excess. Or do you just go with it because it really isn’t that much anyway. Two ounces of quick oats is 150 calories. Two and three tenths cup equals 161.25 calories.
  4. Cheap measuring cups and spoons are not always accurate. If your measuring utensils are measuring too much, this can add more calories than you know.

Now I am going to inform you of something that most people do not know. The US FDA allows for calories listed on food labels to be as far off as twenty percent! My friends, a twenty percent deviation from accuracy in caloric content is huge. This is enough to ensure that your journey of weight loss is going to be quite difficult even when you are doing everything right.

The following is directly from the US FDA Guidance for Industry/Guide for Developing and Using Data Bases for Nutrition Labeling:

The Third Group nutrients include calories, sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. However, for products (e.g., fruit drinks, juices, and confectioneries) with a sugars content of 90 percent or more of total carbohydrate, to prevent labeling anomalies due in part to rounding, FDA treats total carbohydrate as a Third Group nutrient instead of a Class II nutrient. For foods with label declarations of Third Group nutrients, the ratio between the amount obtained by laboratory analysis and the amount declared on the product label in the Nutrition Facts panel must be 120% or less, i.e., the label is considered to be out of compliance if the nutrient content of a composite of the product is greater than 20% above the value declared on the label. For example, if a laboratory analysis found 8 g of total fat/serving in a product that stated that it contained 6 g of total fat/serving, the ratio between the laboratory value and the label value would be (8 / 6) x 100 = 133%, and the product label would be considered to be out of compliance. (1)

Nutrition labels can be inaccurate by up to twenty percent when it comes to listing calories, according to the FDA. This can be frustrating for those who are giving weight loss an honest try. However, “experts” say it probably won’t ruin an otherwise healthy diet. These “experts” are correct in that the twenty percent deviation should not be a problem for someone who has healthy nutrition habits, who avoid sugar and processed foods.

Sticking to whole, unprocessed foods is a helpful strategy to avoid surprise calories in processed foods. Consider the last time you might have baked a store bought lasagna for your family and it was supposed to be 350 calories per serving. Now think about how far off your calories could be if your serving size was a bit over the actual weight of a recommended serving, and the calories came in twenty percent over what is stated on the package. Twenty percent over can put that serving at 420 calories instead of 350, and then add on the amount that your serving might have weighed over the recommended serving size. You get the picture…

So, I hope this clarifies why you might not be losing weight despite food weighing and measuring. Provided that the amount of calories you actually need for weight loss is accurate, and that is what you are consuming – you are still eating too much and need to cut back on your calories. People often underestimate how many calories they eat, and they overestimate how many they burn in a day. If you put your information into the Calorie Counter Pro feature that we provide you, you have to be realistic in your activity level. House cleaning is not really being active, unless you are actually getting your heart rate up while doing so.  Therefore, if you consider yourself active because you do some house cleaning everyday, you need to still consider yourself to be sedentary at best. You will note that the lightly active setting is for those who actually exercise or participate in sports one to three times per week. While chasing the dog around the living room with your vacuum cleaner might be fun, this is still nothing more than a sedentary life, especially if it is something you have always done.

(1)US FDA Guidance for Industry


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