I’m not losing any weight. I’m not losing any fat. I’m not seeing any progress.
I’ve said all of these at various times in my life.
I follow flexible dieting meaning I don’t like the idea of blocking out foods/food groups from my diet as they are deemed “bad”. Given that I don’t have any health issues that require me to cut out specific foods, I’m going to enjoy everything I like. I was using MyFitnessPal and now use MacroStax to track food intake.
I even felt proud that I measured everything I consumed. Now, every time I have set weight/body fat percentage goals, I have often found myself in a position where the progress is not where I’d like it to be. This time, I decided to check if I was doing something fundamentally wrong.
I always go by the label information. Everything I have consumed has information about weight in g/lb for solids and powders and volume in oz for liquids. And both always have standard kitchen measurements of cup, tbsp, etc. Of course, like many, I just used the standard kitchen measurements each time.
So I measured in both g and the standard tbsp for cocoa powder.
Uh oh. So, if tightly packed, 1 tbsp is actually 7g or 75% more than intended. If loosely packed, it’s 50% more than intended. And 4g is roughly 70-80% of what the tbsp might hold.
This is the cocoa powder I use for my morning breakfast protein shakes. While this error is trivial, many others are not. A medium banana(7-7 7/8 inches long) is supposed to be 118g with about 105 Cals. That statement is true. But the bananas I bought last week were the same length and packed in 185g resulting in 50% more calories. The worst of all is peanut butter. 1 tbsp is not the right way to measure it. Weigh it!
Considering that most of my diet is some form of solids, weighing ingredients goes a really long way in figuring out if I am overeating. Fun fact: when I use volume measurements instead of weight, I am overeating. There’s no two ways about it. Now, if you add these seemingly small inaccuracies throughout the day, I can bet you the total in a day is far more than 300 calories.
When you are trying to get to a goal with correctly calibrated numbers for macros, don’t lose precious time by assuming weights, or worse using volume measurements instead of weight. Buy a small weighing scale. You’ll be surprised how it can change your progress.