You cannot “eyeball” your calories, you don’t know how!

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I often receive the guarantee from new clients that they will “eyeball” their food or monitor their portions opposed to accurately tracking their food (against my recommendations). 

The problem here right off the bat is the average person has no idea how many calories are in a particular food by looking at it. The portion of food you eat or the amount of fullness you feel is not necessarily indicative of the calories you’ve consumed!

If we make an analogy to the stock market…
“I have 5 shares of the following: Apple, Macintosh, Wells Fargo, Sprint…I’m evenly allocated”. This is not a true statement as all four companies hold a different per share value. Just like those four companies, if we have 5 servings of Ribeye, Lettuce, Apples, and Bread the total value of the four items will end up being drastically different. 

The per serving calorie value…
Ribeye = 300 calories per 4oz serving
Lettuce = 5 calories per 1 cup serving
Apple = 80 calories per apple
Bread = 110 calories per slice

If you come into dieting with no experience measuring your food, what would make you think you have the skillset to eyeball calorie totals based on the scale weight of a particular item? It’s okay to be a novice or not know things but you’re setting yourself up for failure if you think you know more than you do and are unwilling to take the time to learn. 

If you measure yourself 5 ounces of chicken, and you then put a bit of olive oil on that chicken, and dip it into a bit of BBQ sauce, how does this factor into your daily allotment of calories? Weekly allotment?

If you’re new to dieting and calorie counting, weigh your food, throw it into myfitnesspal, use your time efficiently and don’t waste it. A new student isn’t going to start their first day of school with no pen and paper, the basic tools required for the job.  

Weight lifting is for muscle building, strength improvements, and improved athletic performance. Dieting is for weight loss and gain. They’re two separate things. To get the best of both worlds the weight lifting volume and dieting direction should align. Often times people use weight lifting to accomplish weight loss or gain, that’s not the right path to take. Understand and accept that weight loss and gain is determined by your ability to accurately track and adhere to a certain calorie goal.



About the Author:

Taylor Carpenter is a nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Taylor was featured as a fitness expert in the first publication of NASM's "The Fitness Edge".
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