Do you trust fast food nutrition on their websites?

Occasionally I will enjoy fast food and always log what I eat. I get my information off the restaurants website. Do you trust that information? It bothers me to think I could be thinking the calories are "this" but really is "that". Like, the small fry I ordered may have been more closer to a medium..

Do you know a better way to get a more accurate count of calories? Scale? Just wanted to see what you guys think.
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Replies

  • amitkatz0
    amitkatz0 Posts: 61 Member
    Well owing to the fact that the employees are not using a scale in the kitchen to measure out how many fries they put in a carton, or how much ketchup they're squeezing onto your burger, you'll have to accept that the nutritional guide is just an average.
    You can bring your own scale and measure (and get weird stares from every patron in the establishment), or you can play it safe and add 15-20% to their published values (better to overestimate than to underestimate in weight loss.)
  • _tierachanel
    _tierachanel Posts: 124 Member
    Okay thanks. I think I will just play it safe and over estimate.
  • amitkatz0
    amitkatz0 Posts: 61 Member
    That's what I do. And just remember that it's not the end of the world if you want to go out to eat and have to go over your calorie budget for the day. Just so long as you balance it out over the week.
  • maxit
    maxit Posts: 880 Member
    I use the website information. I let my data (calories eaten and calories burned log, activity log, weight, measurements) be my guide. There is no way to be exact on any of this so I don't try to over think things.
  • melimomTARDIS
    melimomTARDIS Posts: 1,953 Member
    i trust the website's info.
  • lizzocat
    lizzocat Posts: 356 Member
    edited March 2015
    i always add like 20 - 25 % over, I don't trust published values of any prepared foods.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,534 Member
    I trust fast food nutritional information more than I trust restaurant nutritional information. The reason is that fast food margins are very very thin, they *have* to get close and consistent to their defined servings, and the food products themselves are far more standardized.
  • Zedeff
    Zedeff Posts: 651 Member
    Mr_Knight wrote: »
    I trust fast food nutritional information more than I trust restaurant nutritional information. The reason is that fast food margins are very very thin, they *have* to get close and consistent to their defined servings, and the food products themselves are far more standardized.

    100% agreed.

    For the poster that said that fast food workers aren't weighing everything and you could end up with more food than advertised, I guess this is true, but you'd be at least equally likely to end up with less food for the same reason. You get a few extra fries, a touch less mayonnaise on the burger, the drink isn't topped up all the way... is that more or less calories than advertised?

    It's a mean. Log it that way. This week's fast food might be over, next week's might be under but they'd vary by fairly little and in the end it's a wash/
  • ktekc
    ktekc Posts: 879 Member
    I know back when i worked at Mcdonalds we had dispensers for all the ketchup and sauces and such in the kitchen. One trigger pull put the same measured amount out each time. I am assuming most "fast food " places have the same type of thing.
  • Amanda4change
    Amanda4change Posts: 620 Member
    edited March 2015
    To be fair it's been 20+ years since I worked in fast food as a teenager. However when I worked at Taco Bell during training in making the food they did make us weigh the portions out, and would randomly break out the scale (because the profit margins were tight they were obsessive about not having heavy servings). I think they are pretty close, definently closer than some sit down restaurants (that aren't a chain where it all comes pre measured). I eat it so rarely that I don't worry about it.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    No one is going to be able to tell you exactly how many calories are in their food, but fast food chains produce food that is about as uniform as you can get.
  • Rogstar
    Rogstar Posts: 216 Member
    I trust them to an extent, but I try not to eat everything I'm given. Like I'll always leave many of the fries or some of the bun and not have any of the sauce (unless it's delicious!). But I'll log the whole amount.

    Everything they publish is probably an average, and based on ideals. So sometimes I'll get less, sometimes I'll get more, but it's probably close enough.
  • tmauck4472
    tmauck4472 Posts: 1,783 Member
    I trust the website then trust my exercise will cover the difference, which is why I don't eat back my exercise calories.
  • Lasmartchika
    Lasmartchika Posts: 3,440 Member
    Yeah I trust them, I always put down their numbers into my diary (without changing anything like others have suggested) and I'm still losing weight.
  • liekewheeless
    liekewheeless Posts: 416 Member
    Provided the rest of my day is pretty accurate and I don't eat fast food more than ones a week, one under logged meal won't hurt my progress. Even if it's 200 calories off,.. what's 200 calories extra in a week?
  • vschwgrt1
    vschwgrt1 Posts: 88 Member
    I just use the web sites from fast food as general idea, nothing written in stone. For instance I like to go to Taco Bell now and then if I am in a hurry, I order 3 soft chicken tacos, split the filling of one between the other 2, throw away the one shell (they are showing as 100 calories pert tortilla!) and count the calories as 380 per their web site.
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 701 Member
    I worked at arby's. We weighed the roast beef every time and any other meats came in pre-weighed portions. (Otherwise you run the risk of putting on too much meat which equals less profit.) However, the fries were more willy nilly. Just whatever fits into the certain sized container. So I'd trust the sandwich info as accurate and the fries as pretty inaccurate (which is one of the reasons I tend to stay away from them).
  • kimreagan87
    kimreagan87 Posts: 25 Member
    I was a manager at a fast food restaurant for many years. I would not trust the nutritional facts that they give you.
  • TimothyFish
    TimothyFish Posts: 4,925 Member
    tmauck4472 wrote: »
    I trust the website then trust my exercise will cover the difference, which is why I don't eat back my exercise calories.

    That's an interesting thought, but even the most accurately weighed food can vary in calories by as much as 20%. Given that fast food meals have about 1000 calories, that could easily be 200 calories over. That's a lot of calories to make up for by not eating exercise calories.
  • vschwgrt1
    vschwgrt1 Posts: 88 Member
    Personally I think all food is a judgment call, always guess on the high side to be safe, it's way easy to not count a few calories here and there, and that adds up quick!