Do I really need to weigh food?

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New-ish to MFP (one month). Had a big loss the first two weeks I was counting and nothing the second two weeks (a few splurge days, maybe?) I never counted calories so this is a big change all around...I keep reading that people weigh their food? Is it that important? Like if the package says two pieces of bread is 140 calories, do I not believe it? My diary is open, so feedback welcome (please, be kind stranger)!
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Replies

  • Catawampous
    Catawampous Posts: 447 Member
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    For myself, I do. And yes, often times packaging is not accurate. Sometimes a piece of bread weighs a lot more than what is stated on package. So if I didn't I'd be eating a lot more calories if I did that on everything. But there are people who don't. Just know if you start having trouble losing, it could be because of being inaccurate.
  • aliem
    aliem Posts: 326 Member
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    I think that measuring out (I've done a ton of cooking and baking, so if it is a low calorie item like veggies, I tend to just eyeball it because I am familiar with both the volume based measurements and weight measurements) is close enough. Granted, I have a low enough calorie goal that an extra couple of calories are not going to make a huge difference. I also usually don't eat back a ton of my exercise calories. I used to weigh religiously, but I really only pull my scale out for certain high calorie items like nuts. If you are happy with your progress without weighing, than just keep doing that. If you stall or aren't at least measuring some way (i.e. with a measuring cup or following the package when it says 4 crackers is a serving), than I would vote for weighing. Especially when new and might be overestimating portion size.Good luck!
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
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    Being new and depending on how much you have to lose, you WILL benefit from using a food scale. Packaged foods that you can scan are not so important as things like weighing meat, vegetables, fruits and cereals to help you start to gauge portion sizes.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
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    You don't HAVE to. If you want as close to accuracy in your calorie consumption, this is the way to do it. If you have a good amount of weight to lose, it won't matter in the beginning, but later it can..

    However, my husband lost 65 pounds and has never logged one single calorie! He encouraged me to do it because I had trouble losing. For me I needed extra help and tools.

    So it can be done, my own husband is a testament. I will add that he ate what dinners I fixed, but he was on his own from morning till dinner time. What he ate in those hours was on his own. So I take no credit.
  • LINIA
    LINIA Posts: 1,148 Member
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    If you are not going to weigh your food, there is a rule of thumb that isn't perfect but that can help---just assume that you are eating 20% above what you think you are eating.
    Of course, if you are stalled and you have quite a bit of weight to lose (60+) then the more accurate you are the better off you'll be.
    Good luck finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.
  • indiacaitlin
    indiacaitlin Posts: 691 Member
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    It is a bit of a chore to begin with but weighing your food is probably the best way to accurately calculate the calories you're consuming. It's SO easy to over/under estimate if you measure things by eye.
  • aliem
    aliem Posts: 326 Member
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    LINIA wrote: »
    If you are not going to weigh your food, there is a rule of thumb that isn't perfect but that can help---just assume that you are eating 20% above what you think you are eating.
    Of course, if you are stalled and you have quite a bit of weight to lose (60+) then the more accurate you are the better off you'll be.
    Good luck finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

    20% seems like a lot. Especially if you your target is 1,200 per day. If you are using packaging sizes, I bet you would be closer to 1-5% off. In the example of 1,200 per day, you could wind up eating ~950 a day, which would start getting close to eating disorder territory.
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
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    I don't. I do measure and over estimate my intake. It's working fine for me.
  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,049 Member
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    If you're losing weight as expected then no, you don't have to weigh your food. Weighing everything you eat becomes important when weight loss stalls, plateaus or you gain, but if everything is going along swimmingly, then save the scales for when/if they are needed.

    As for weighing bread.. The info on my loaf of bread says 2 slices equals 83g, but in reality they are 101g, quest bars say 60g, but they usually weigh 65-66g. If i trusted the package info for everything i eat, i would be eating way more calories than i thought..
  • rankinsect
    rankinsect Posts: 2,238 Member
    edited September 2016
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    You don't have to. For that matter, you don't even have to count calories, but it's a good technique for sustainable weight loss and weighing food enables you to be more accurate in tracking consumption.

    What I like about accurate calorie counts are the fact I can trend my calories and my weight and come up with a good estimate of my actual TDEE. It also helps me decide by how much I should adjust my calorie targets.
  • 85Cardinals
    85Cardinals Posts: 733 Member
    edited September 2016
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    It's a very useful tool in knowing how many calories you're eating, which is very useful information in the process of losing weight. Think of it as a very odd game you play.
  • Kelbelb75
    Kelbelb75 Posts: 90 Member
    edited October 2016
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    I weigh all of my food whilst I am trying to lose weight. (I didn't weigh for the first 2 months but still lost weight). Before scales, my eyeballing/guesstimates were waaaay off! Do it only if it suits you and your needs.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
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    When I began counting calories, I didn't weigh my food. Fortunately, I was pretty good at eyeballing my food and I was losing weight pretty well... until it got to a point that I stopped losing. That's when I decided to buy a food scale and that has helped me to continue losing pounds. Being as precise as possible is what helps. Although there are certain things that I still don't weigh, like my slices of bread or tortillas, but at the moment that hasn't stopped my progress. If my progress stalls, then I'll get even more precise and weigh what I haven't weighed so far. :)

    This^

    "Plateaus" related to inaccurate counting are so annoying. When you get closer to goal, your deficit becomes smaller. More accuracy can help.
  • purplebirdey8080
    purplebirdey8080 Posts: 5 Member
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    Thanks all! Gonna maybe give it a bit, overestimate what I am eating and go for there - I guess I should have said my starting weight is 160, end goal 135.
  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
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    Thanks all! Gonna maybe give it a bit, overestimate what I am eating and go for there - I guess I should have said my starting weight is 160, end goal 135.

    If you get stuck, you know what to do.