Inaccurate Caloric Count? How does myfitnesspal calculate calories? Am I doing my math wrong?

cajayonabigail
cajayonabigail Posts: 1 Member
edited April 2021 in Health and Weight Loss
Facts

1g of Protein = 4 Calories

1g of Carb = 4 Calories

1g of Fat = 9 Calories

If these facts are true why is the calorie count wrong on myfitnesspal?

According to my input, my caloric total should be (75 x 4) + (49 x 9) + (139 x 4) = 1,297 Calories. NOT 1,073 Calories. My remaining calories should be 3 Calories.

Can someone please explain or is this a bug?

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Replies

  • Fflpnari
    Fflpnari Posts: 974 Member
    MFP is wrong a lot. If you focus on hitting your macro goals instead of just calories you'll be good. Somehow here you can be over macros and under calories which is right
  • bethann551
    bethann551 Posts: 5 Member
    I think the issue here is the fat grams listed for one half an avocado. It should be more like 12 grams of fat. That would put it in line with the 120 calorie count and account for 180 of the additional calories you see when you multiply out your macros.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    In addition to what's already been said, US nutrition labels very recently (2019, I think?) changed how carbs are reported and figured into calories - as @lemurcat2 mentioned, carbs from fiber are subtracted out of the calorie count because your body can't actually access most of that energy. This is a recent change; the largely user-contributed database contains about 15 years worth of data, so the vast majority of the entries are going to report carbs the old way, without accounting for indigestible fiber. There are no database moderators going through and updating this information, and macros were not always required to be reported when adding a food to the database. If you're going to use MFP to track macros, you really need to triple-check and make sure the entries you're using contain correct and accurate macro information.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,827 Member
    bethann551 wrote: »
    I think the issue here is the fat grams listed for one half an avocado. It should be more like 12 grams of fat. That would put it in line with the 120 calorie count and account for 180 of the additional calories you see when you multiply out your macros.

    I think you're on to something...

    It is also a user-created entry.

    What is a large avocado anyway? This is a question I have not had to ponder since I got a food scale. While there are no entries for "Haas" avocado, I'm guessing the admin-created California entry would be best to use.

    While there are big differences for the values of HALF California and non-specified entries, if one uses weights instead there are no differences in the macros and only 7 calories difference, which would be attributable to rounding.

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    Unfortunately, the green check marks in the MFP database are used for both USER-created entries and ADMIN-created entries that MFP pulled from the USDA database. A green check mark for USER-created entries just means enough people have upvoted the entry - it is not necessarily correct.

    To find ADMIN entries for whole foods, I get the syntax from the USDA database and paste that into MFP.

    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov

    The USDA changed the platform for their database in 2019 and it is unfortunately a little more difficult to use. I uncheck everything but “SR Legacy” - that seems to be what MFP used to pull in entries.

    Note: any MFP entry that includes "USDA" was USER entered.

    For packaged foods, I verify the label against what I find in MFP. (Alas, you cannot just scan with your phone and assume what you get is correct.)

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  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,016 Member
    edited April 2021
    Your avocado is wacko
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,868 Member
    edited April 2021
  • mgalsf12
    mgalsf12 Posts: 331 Member
    Just curious, why is your protein intake so high?
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,827 Member
    mgalsf12 wrote: »
    Just curious, why is your protein intake so high?

    Good point. 130 g of protein x 4 / 1300 calories = 40%, which is indeed a very high protein goal.
  • PepeLPew
    PepeLPew Posts: 90 Member
    edited April 2021
    The stats you've shown for those food values are suspicious. Best to use another verified database to doublecheck.
    I've come across user-inputted values for food that were way off.
  • chrisduncanlive
    chrisduncanlive Posts: 1 Member
    My daily calorie count doesn’t even add up

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  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,079 Member
    My daily calorie count doesn’t even add up

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    It looks like they add up to me. 213+179=392 Breakfast. 499+213=712 lunch.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,756 Member
    If you're talking about totals, 392+712 should be your total eaten, i.e., 1104 calories. That, plus the 259 calories remaining, should add up to your goal (including any exercise calories you logged or your tracker synched). So, your goal for the day would be 1363.

    I'm assuming the problem isn't with that (because you didn't show the total, or mention your goal). I'm assuming the problem isn't with the cross-foot of macros to calories, because earlier posts in the thread explain why that may not add up.

    That leaves me wondering if you're misunderstanding what the 259 calories are, though of course I don't know that for sure. If you have 259 calories remaining, you should eat something close to that, to keep your target weight loss rate, as a generality. It's OK to eat a lot under goal on the odd non-hungry day, but it's not a good practice to leave nearly 20% of your calories uneaten routinely.
  • gpanda103
    gpanda103 Posts: 187 Member
    Macros will never add up, they are always rounded to the nearest whole number. If the calories are fine, you are fine
  • ragtopgirl47
    ragtopgirl47 Posts: 1 Member
    I pay for MFP and expect it contain an accurate database of food counts. I am so disappointed that I can't rely on it to be accurate. It is supposed to make tracking your food intake easy, it doesn't. Instead I have to look up all the data elsewhere and then enter my own. I could do that in a spreadsheet for free. Is there a way to get the company to fix this??? How do I contact them?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,481 Member
    edited May 13
    The database is crowdsourced and gigantic, highly unlikely they will fix anything.
    It's some work at the start, but once you have your regular foods in your Recent list, it becomes easier