How many people "estimate" their food intake?

By this I mean I can pick a tuna melt that has 200 calories or one that has 150 calories. Which one is going to be more accurate? Homemade french bread pizza--roll sauce cheese--how many calories? I tend to pick the lowest ones if I have a choice but am I cheating myself?
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Replies

  • crzycatlady1
    crzycatlady1 Posts: 1,930 Member
    edited December 2016
    I eyeball portion sizes/estimate my calorie intake more now that I'm in maintenance. I have a 5lb maintenance window (which gets up to 10lbs during the winter months lol), so I have more wiggle room now than when I was in my active weight loss phase a few years ago. When I do go into short weight loss phases now (usually spring time), then I really have to get strict with portion sizes/tracking again
  • newbie3122
    newbie3122 Posts: 480 Member
    I always estimate my food and use the premade entries. I only count calorie, protein, and water intake.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,847 Member
    Sometimes I find it helpful to take a look at what's in the sandwich--or other food. As Winogelato said--2 slices of bread, small can of drained tuna, 30g of cheese, 10g butter etc.. and then I add up the calories. This will get you closer to a real number of calories. It takes a little more time. You may wind up weighing stuff at home to verify. Sometimes I do it with pizza. Its always an estimate, but you can get a good idea.
  • liftorgohome
    liftorgohome Posts: 25,455 Member
    So what about restuarant foods that aren't in the food chart? Say "little anthony" pizza. Would you pick little seasors pizza or pizza hut then? As for a tuna melt, whole wheat bread 2 slices, tuna, mayo, cheese and heat it up in an oven....yummy but high in sodium.
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,847 Member
    Take apart your "little anthony" pizza. About how big around was it? Look up pizza bases. What toppings were on it? A cup of sauce? About how much cheese? Do each one separately.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    tjkita wrote: »
    So what about restuarant foods that aren't in the food chart? Say "little anthony" pizza. Would you pick little seasors pizza or pizza hut then? As for a tuna melt, whole wheat bread 2 slices, tuna, mayo, cheese and heat it up in an oven....yummy but high in sodium.

    Yes if a restaurant food isn't in the database I use a reasonable equivalent from a chain place. I don't know little Anthony pizza, but is it like a little Caesars or Pizza Hut? Is it thick crust or thin? Find an entry that has similar toppings or go to the Dominos website and build the pizza you would order or did order from Little Anthony's and see how many calories. That should work for most traditional hand tossed pizzas but certain "styles" like Chicago style (extra deep dish), New York style (thin but large slices) or St Louis style (extremely thin crispy crust but cut into squares) are going to have different calorie counts.
  • ShammersPink
    ShammersPink Posts: 215 Member
    Everybody estimates. Even those who weigh every packaged item to be sure the weight is as stated.

    The values you see are based on a typical item. A given chicken breast might be a bit fattier or a bit more pumped up with water than the average.

    What you need to do is to use the most honest estimate you can. I don't know your pizzas, but if you've had the other types you mention, do you have a feel for which one your Wee Tony is similar to? You might even be able to think that well, the ingredients are just like X, but it is slightly smaller, therefore I will log 0.9X. Or the opposite!
  • crzycatlady1
    crzycatlady1 Posts: 1,930 Member
    edited December 2016
    tjkita wrote: »
    So what about restuarant foods that aren't in the food chart? Say "little anthony" pizza. Would you pick little seasors pizza or pizza hut then? As for a tuna melt, whole wheat bread 2 slices, tuna, mayo, cheese and heat it up in an oven....yummy but high in sodium.

    We have a couple local pizza places that we go to and yeah, I just pick a similar chain place to estimate. One of the places you actually order a whole pizza for each person, and my sister and I dissected it one time and figured it was around 1,500 calories. I've eaten these 2-3 times a year throughout my weight loss/maintenance, and on those days I just eat really low low calories the rest of the day. In the scheme of things it hasn't affected anything.

    And watch the mayo on your sandwich-condiments are where you can get in big trouble with calories. I'm still surprised at how high calorie some are, for the small amount you get :'(
  • samhennings
    samhennings Posts: 443 Member
    tjkita wrote: »
    By this I mean I can pick a tuna melt that has 200 calories or one that has 150 calories. Which one is going to be more accurate? Homemade french bread pizza--roll sauce cheese--how many calories? I tend to pick the lowest ones if I have a choice but am I cheating myself?

    If something has a barcode I use that, otherwise I eye-ball everything.

    I tend to select the mid to higher calorie option, never the lowest, as a means to try and compensate.

    I lost weight exactly on schedule, so I must have been doing something right!

  • Dannigreen31
    Dannigreen31 Posts: 557 Member
    I always estimate. I can guess around calorie content of pretty much everything now ha I lost 20 pounds so I couldn't have been far off!
  • red99ryder
    red99ryder Posts: 399 Member
    i think the main thing is the tracking of what you eat , you will see the results of it in the long run and know if its working for you . for example i eat at OEC once a week ,, lots of Broc and carrorts and shrimp .. best entry i could find was 550 cals or so .. im so full when i leave there its got to be more and i know if i ate there more than once a week it wouldnt be working for me ..

    good luck
  • kermax39
    kermax39 Posts: 149 Member
    edited December 2016
    A rule of thumb for me when guessing resturaunt meals is count it as u would make it at home then add 200 cals for hidden oil or butter that they most likely add to give it that extra moistness.
    I could make a homemade tuna melt baguette for 400 cals cos I would use low fat processed cheese slice that I dont need to measure and skip the mayo. At a restaurant with the mayo and full fat cheese id guess 600, maybe 700 if was a generous sized one. Only the big chain resturaunts have nutritional info on the menus here.
  • ryry_
    ryry_ Posts: 4,966 Member
    tjkita wrote: »
    So what about restuarant foods that aren't in the food chart? Say "little anthony" pizza. Would you pick little seasors pizza or pizza hut then? As for a tuna melt, whole wheat bread 2 slices, tuna, mayo, cheese and heat it up in an oven....yummy but high in sodium.

    That is what I do for pizza. If it's local I'll try to compare it to a chain and pick the entries from there. I tend to overestimate if I'm trying to lose so I don't short change myself. Also if the slice is a generous cut or something I might log 1.3333 servings or something along those lines.
  • sy_19440
    sy_19440 Posts: 55 Member
    I tend to guess and go with the higher calorie count.
  • sllm1
    sllm1 Posts: 2,129 Member
    If I have to estimate (restaurant, for example), I look at all of the applicable food entries, throw out (in my mind) the ones that appear to be very high or very low. Then I choose one toward the higher end of what's left.

    Overestimating will get you where you want to go. Underestimating will undo your hard work.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    If I'm estimating I automatically bump this number up by 20% to account for the margin of error and ensure I'm maintaining my deficit, but I'm currently in deficit.

    For example last night we had a pizza party to celebrate our scouts blowing away their goals. I ate 3 pieces and found the closest estimate, then added another piece to ensure I'm not underestimating. I'm also not hungry and I'm hitting my performance goals - if this were different I would be keeping a closer eye on my intake, but this is working for me.