Calorie Counter

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Is requiring posting calories of menu items going to help reduce obesity?

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  • FloatingpencilFloatingpencil Posts: 25Member, Premium Member Posts: 25Member, Premium Member
    I'm not sure how much it would help if people aren't already counting calories. But I'd like to see it! When I go out to eat, sometimes I've eaten very little earlier in the day to 'save' the calories and have a decent amount to 'spend', but don't like playing the guessing game. And if I've decided to have a 'treat' day, I'd still like the information - whether I'm keeping to my normal goal or not, I like to know what I'm eating.

    A pub chain, Wetherspoons, in the UK puts calories on their menus, and while they're not exactly known for their gourmet food it's good to know that I can make an informed choice. They also do small plates and some decent lower calorie options.
  • showjack70showjack70 Posts: 58Member Member Posts: 58Member Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    The obesity epidemic is not a calorie math problem, so labels will do next to nothing in regards to solving the crisis.

    What type of problem is the obesity epidemic, if not down to the fact that people take in more energy (calories) than they expend?

    I agree with the above that posting the information is not a complete solution, but awareness of calories is one of the single biggest factors for my success in losing weight and keeping it off for a few years now.

    Part of the problem is consuming too many calories. I was not saying otherwise. Apologies for the ambiguity in my prior reply.

    What I meant to convey is that overeating (and thus obesity) is not going to be solved by calorie awareness or calculating calories (i.e. calorie math) or even tracking calories somewhere like MFP. People that are obese know they eat too many calories. The vast majority of people know the basics of decent nutrition. Yet here we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic.

    We get countless people on these boards who have no idea that calories in calories out is the basic energy equation and think that somehow insulin or eating a particular type of food (carbs, sugar, etc) is what makes them overweight, not that they eat too many calories in general.

    I agree that calorie awareness is not a magic bullet for the obesity epidemic - however, tracking calories absolutely can be a solution for individuals, just look at the success stories in these forums at how many people finally were able to overcome a lifetime of yo yo dieting and weight struggles by understanding and accepting that a calorie deficit is what's required for weight loss and after the weight is gone, a focus on eating to your maintenance calories is what's required for long term success.

    Losing weight is simple. It isn't easy. But in order to make it easier, we should offer every possible tool that could help people be successful.

    I stumbled upon MFP exactly this way. I went out for an over the top dinner with my husband. Afterwards we were trying to guess at how many calories we had just eaten. I started googling, found my way to the MFP database totally by accident, after verifying that the meal probably had upwards of 2000 calories each, I decided to set up an account and start logging my food. That was around 2,100 days of consecutive logging ago, I lost the weight I set out to lose and have kept it off for multiple years.

    So I absolutely believe that calorie awareness, even if a person isn't a diligent calorie counter right now, can be the spark that helps someone wake up to the realization that whether you "count" them or not, your body counts them.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your story. Congratulations on your weight loss success! That is tremendous. The stats for keeping the weight off long term (5+ years) are quite depressing. Something like 5% of people are able to do it. And you have done it!

    Logging for life makes me cringe... Especially since we dine out a lot. I am curious why you still log. Surely you know the calories/macros of a meal at a glance by now? I would assume you have decent to strong eating habits and nutritional knowledge at this point? What if you are hungrier than usual in a given day? Do you still hold yourself to allotted calories?

    Thank you, that's kind. Full disclosure - I don't use a food scale for logging, and didn't while I was losing either, but I advocate for it on the regular as I think it's the best way to ensure accuracy.

    For me, I think daily logging (although I do now take logging breaks, on vacation, work trips, etc) is actually comforting and reassuring. It's because I've been doing this so long, and am comfortable with natural fluctuations - in my hunger, in my activity, in my weight - that I can confidently look at the big picture and not sweat it if I'm over calories for a day or two, but I know because of the daily logging where I'll end up for the week or the month.
    If I stopped altogether, and this does happen to me when I'm not logging, I feel less confident that it's ok to have an appetizer AND a dessert when I dine out. Logging daily, and I'd say I'm a really good estimator of both portion sizes and calories, let's me know roughly where I am for the week so I know what I've got to play with on the weekends. If I abandoned it altogether, even with my confidence in my estimation, I know that it would be so much easier to just let a few extra things slide, creep up toward or outside of my maintenance range, etc. Yes I can roughly estimate what I need to eat each day but I have no interest in, or mental capacity for, trying to keep myself on track over a week without the safety net of logging. It doesn't feel burdensome at all to me.

    I also know that for the National Weight Loss Registry one of the strongest indicators of long term success, and what I've learned from other successful veterans of these forums is that continuing to stay engaged in your weight management -whether it be from continued calorie counting or setting ongoing fitness goals,things like that - are one of the most common success factors for those who have kept the weight off.

    That makes sense. I am all for sticking with what works for you. I think you nailed it with staying engaged in your health and nutrition. I have been around MFP since 2012. Yea, there are people that you see for years and have success here because they are engaged. What you don't see or think about are the many more people who fall away from MFP and don't succeed.

    FYI. Even though I have been on and off MFP for years, I have not actively tracked food that much. It gets old and we die out a lot. I lost most of my weight without logging. I have kept it off nearly 6 years without logging. Tracking my food was useful for a short time period to get a better idea of calories and macros and to dial things in to lose weight when I was already pretty lean.
  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Posts: 2,618Member Member Posts: 2,618Member Member
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    The obesity epidemic is not a calorie math problem, so labels will do next to nothing in regards to solving the crisis.

    What type of problem is the obesity epidemic, if not down to the fact that people take in more energy (calories) than they expend?

    I agree with the above that posting the information is not a complete solution, but awareness of calories is one of the single biggest factors for my success in losing weight and keeping it off for a few years now.

    Part of the problem is consuming too many calories. I was not saying otherwise. Apologies for the ambiguity in my prior reply.

    What I meant to convey is that overeating (and thus obesity) is not going to be solved by calorie awareness or calculating calories (i.e. calorie math) or even tracking calories somewhere like MFP. People that are obese know they eat too many calories. The vast majority of people know the basics of decent nutrition. Yet here we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic.

    We get countless people on these boards who have no idea that calories in calories out is the basic energy equation and think that somehow insulin or eating a particular type of food (carbs, sugar, etc) is what makes them overweight, not that they eat too many calories in general.

    I agree that calorie awareness is not a magic bullet for the obesity epidemic - however, tracking calories absolutely can be a solution for individuals, just look at the success stories in these forums at how many people finally were able to overcome a lifetime of yo yo dieting and weight struggles by understanding and accepting that a calorie deficit is what's required for weight loss and after the weight is gone, a focus on eating to your maintenance calories is what's required for long term success.

    Losing weight is simple. It isn't easy. But in order to make it easier, we should offer every possible tool that could help people be successful.

    I stumbled upon MFP exactly this way. I went out for an over the top dinner with my husband. Afterwards we were trying to guess at how many calories we had just eaten. I started googling, found my way to the MFP database totally by accident, after verifying that the meal probably had upwards of 2000 calories each, I decided to set up an account and start logging my food. That was around 2,100 days of consecutive logging ago, I lost the weight I set out to lose and have kept it off for multiple years.

    So I absolutely believe that calorie awareness, even if a person isn't a diligent calorie counter right now, can be the spark that helps someone wake up to the realization that whether you "count" them or not, your body counts them.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your story. Congratulations on your weight loss success! That is tremendous. The stats for keeping the weight off long term (5+ years) are quite depressing. Something like 5% of people are able to do it. And you have done it!

    Logging for life makes me cringe... Especially since we dine out a lot. I am curious why you still log. Surely you know the calories/macros of a meal at a glance by now? I would assume you have decent to strong eating habits and nutritional knowledge at this point? What if you are hungrier than usual in a given day? Do you still hold yourself to allotted calories?

    Thank you, that's kind. Full disclosure - I don't use a food scale for logging, and didn't while I was losing either, but I advocate for it on the regular as I think it's the best way to ensure accuracy.

    For me, I think daily logging (although I do now take logging breaks, on vacation, work trips, etc) is actually comforting and reassuring. It's because I've been doing this so long, and am comfortable with natural fluctuations - in my hunger, in my activity, in my weight - that I can confidently look at the big picture and not sweat it if I'm over calories for a day or two, but I know because of the daily logging where I'll end up for the week or the month.
    If I stopped altogether, and this does happen to me when I'm not logging, I feel less confident that it's ok to have an appetizer AND a dessert when I dine out. Logging daily, and I'd say I'm a really good estimator of both portion sizes and calories, let's me know roughly where I am for the week so I know what I've got to play with on the weekends. If I abandoned it altogether, even with my confidence in my estimation, I know that it would be so much easier to just let a few extra things slide, creep up toward or outside of my maintenance range, etc. Yes I can roughly estimate what I need to eat each day but I have no interest in, or mental capacity for, trying to keep myself on track over a week without the safety net of logging. It doesn't feel burdensome at all to me.

    I also know that for the National Weight Loss Registry one of the strongest indicators of long term success, and what I've learned from other successful veterans of these forums is that continuing to stay engaged in your weight management -whether it be from continued calorie counting or setting ongoing fitness goals,things like that - are one of the most common success factors for those who have kept the weight off.

    That makes sense. I am all for sticking with what works for you. I think you nailed it with staying engaged in your health and nutrition. I have been around MFP since 2012. Yea, there are people that you see for years and have success here because they are engaged. What you don't see or think about are the many more people who fall away from MFP and don't succeed.

    FYI. Even though I have been on and off MFP for years, I have not actively tracked food that much. It gets old and we die out a lot. I lost most of my weight without logging. I have kept it off nearly 6 years without logging. Tracking my food was useful for a short time period to get a better idea of calories and macros and to dial things in to lose weight when I was already pretty lean.

    But you do get back to life very nicely... :D
  • showjack70showjack70 Posts: 58Member Member Posts: 58Member Member
    Gisel2015 wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    showjack70 wrote: »
    The obesity epidemic is not a calorie math problem, so labels will do next to nothing in regards to solving the crisis.

    What type of problem is the obesity epidemic, if not down to the fact that people take in more energy (calories) than they expend?

    I agree with the above that posting the information is not a complete solution, but awareness of calories is one of the single biggest factors for my success in losing weight and keeping it off for a few years now.

    Part of the problem is consuming too many calories. I was not saying otherwise. Apologies for the ambiguity in my prior reply.

    What I meant to convey is that overeating (and thus obesity) is not going to be solved by calorie awareness or calculating calories (i.e. calorie math) or even tracking calories somewhere like MFP. People that are obese know they eat too many calories. The vast majority of people know the basics of decent nutrition. Yet here we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic.

    We get countless people on these boards who have no idea that calories in calories out is the basic energy equation and think that somehow insulin or eating a particular type of food (carbs, sugar, etc) is what makes them overweight, not that they eat too many calories in general.

    I agree that calorie awareness is not a magic bullet for the obesity epidemic - however, tracking calories absolutely can be a solution for individuals, just look at the success stories in these forums at how many people finally were able to overcome a lifetime of yo yo dieting and weight struggles by understanding and accepting that a calorie deficit is what's required for weight loss and after the weight is gone, a focus on eating to your maintenance calories is what's required for long term success.

    Losing weight is simple. It isn't easy. But in order to make it easier, we should offer every possible tool that could help people be successful.

    I stumbled upon MFP exactly this way. I went out for an over the top dinner with my husband. Afterwards we were trying to guess at how many calories we had just eaten. I started googling, found my way to the MFP database totally by accident, after verifying that the meal probably had upwards of 2000 calories each, I decided to set up an account and start logging my food. That was around 2,100 days of consecutive logging ago, I lost the weight I set out to lose and have kept it off for multiple years.

    So I absolutely believe that calorie awareness, even if a person isn't a diligent calorie counter right now, can be the spark that helps someone wake up to the realization that whether you "count" them or not, your body counts them.

    I appreciate your thoughts and your story. Congratulations on your weight loss success! That is tremendous. The stats for keeping the weight off long term (5+ years) are quite depressing. Something like 5% of people are able to do it. And you have done it!

    Logging for life makes me cringe... Especially since we dine out a lot. I am curious why you still log. Surely you know the calories/macros of a meal at a glance by now? I would assume you have decent to strong eating habits and nutritional knowledge at this point? What if you are hungrier than usual in a given day? Do you still hold yourself to allotted calories?

    Thank you, that's kind. Full disclosure - I don't use a food scale for logging, and didn't while I was losing either, but I advocate for it on the regular as I think it's the best way to ensure accuracy.

    For me, I think daily logging (although I do now take logging breaks, on vacation, work trips, etc) is actually comforting and reassuring. It's because I've been doing this so long, and am comfortable with natural fluctuations - in my hunger, in my activity, in my weight - that I can confidently look at the big picture and not sweat it if I'm over calories for a day or two, but I know because of the daily logging where I'll end up for the week or the month.
    If I stopped altogether, and this does happen to me when I'm not logging, I feel less confident that it's ok to have an appetizer AND a dessert when I dine out. Logging daily, and I'd say I'm a really good estimator of both portion sizes and calories, let's me know roughly where I am for the week so I know what I've got to play with on the weekends. If I abandoned it altogether, even with my confidence in my estimation, I know that it would be so much easier to just let a few extra things slide, creep up toward or outside of my maintenance range, etc. Yes I can roughly estimate what I need to eat each day but I have no interest in, or mental capacity for, trying to keep myself on track over a week without the safety net of logging. It doesn't feel burdensome at all to me.

    I also know that for the National Weight Loss Registry one of the strongest indicators of long term success, and what I've learned from other successful veterans of these forums is that continuing to stay engaged in your weight management -whether it be from continued calorie counting or setting ongoing fitness goals,things like that - are one of the most common success factors for those who have kept the weight off.

    That makes sense. I am all for sticking with what works for you. I think you nailed it with staying engaged in your health and nutrition. I have been around MFP since 2012. Yea, there are people that you see for years and have success here because they are engaged. What you don't see or think about are the many more people who fall away from MFP and don't succeed.

    FYI. Even though I have been on and off MFP for years, I have not actively tracked food that much. It gets old and we die out a lot. I lost most of my weight without logging. I have kept it off nearly 6 years without logging. Tracking my food was useful for a short time period to get a better idea of calories and macros and to dial things in to lose weight when I was already pretty lean.

    But you do get back to life very nicely... :D

    :D Good grief.. My typing... Or maybe I am a vampire.. LOL
  • urloved33urloved33 Posts: 3,361Member Member Posts: 3,361Member Member
    its raising awareness. so yes that is a good thing and in the long run makes a big difference. enlightening the general public to make a difference - TOUGH JOB that takes a long time. o:)
  • maureenkhildemaureenkhilde Posts: 488Member Member Posts: 488Member Member
    I prefer to see it than not see it. And I have asked about it at places that did not have on the menu. More times than not, if we go out to eat, I will check the menu first to have an idea of calories and carbs and protein.

    I think it is a good idea to have out there. But totally believe that the average American is in denial meaning that most will not acknowledge they look at it, or should be taking it into account. It is another way for people to have less ability to say they had no idea it was so high in calories, fat and so on.

    I wrote to our local newspaper regarding the fact that they keep putting out a food section with recipes every Wednesday but are not including any nutrition information on the recipes. And asked why is that? Their answer was they did not think enough people wanted to know that??? Yet they run articles all the time about the weight/obesity issues in America.
  • ghudson92ghudson92 Posts: 672Member Member Posts: 672Member Member
    I don't think it well help all that much, but I wholeheartedly support it as it would mean I don't have to look stuff up online anymore when I eat out :smile:
  • queenoscotsqueenoscots Posts: 44Member, Premium Member Posts: 44Member, Premium Member
    It helps me a lot. Whenever possible, I choose to eat at restaurants which post the calories of their meals, and I love restaurants which post their menus online so I can plan before I go. Truthfully, I avoid eating out as I have little control over the calories. But eating out occasionally is a treat.
  • yukfooyukfoo Posts: 539Member Member Posts: 539Member Member
    It only matters to those who care. I know people that go through the local fast food drive thru for every single meal every single day. Morbidly obese but they simply just don't care. Two of my grandsons (11 and 15) both morbidly obese. It breaks my heart. I've talked to their parents but it's not for me to tell them how to raise their family.
    edited November 2018
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,875Member Member Posts: 2,875Member Member
    Agreed that it only matters to those who care, and that people who don't want to know can ignore it, but I still think it's great. First, because it's useful to those who do care (and may make paying attention seem easier for those who somehow decide to care after a long period of not caring), and, second, because I think it usually encourages more restaurants to add lower cal choices.

    When I go out to a nice dinner, I pretty much always go to a local place with a menu that changes frequently (or a hole in the wall ethnic place), and I wouldn't really want the calorie information there, nor would I expect it. But I do buy lunch on occasion (or am in a meeting where lunch is brought in), and it's really helpful that most places around my office have calorie and nutrition information. Pret a Manger, for example, has a number of reasonable options, which I know because of the calorie information, and I know precisely the calorie information for my order at a local sandwich chain called Potbelly's.
  • SpadhnikSpadhnik Posts: 137Member Member Posts: 137Member Member
    Such information is helpful but there is a need of educating people to make smart choices for food.
    Today at Itsu takeaway, I was able to see calories listed on their menu so was able to make a choice of food to ensure I am not over eating my daily allowance.
  • shunggieshunggie Posts: 782Member Member Posts: 782Member Member
    I had the experience this weekend! Without the calories I would have picked the grilled salmon, but with the calories on the menu I had tacos for fewer calories. You wouldn't have guess it, but with the side dishes etc. the salmon was almost 300 more calories.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 2,881Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,881Member, Premium Member
    I know that, as an individual consumer, it would make a huge positive effect on my health if nutritional information was available at restaurants.
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