Posts Tagged ‘Calorie’

Cereal flake size influences calorie intake | Penn State University

People eat more breakfast cereal, by weight, when flake size is reduced, according to Penn State researchers, who showed that when flakes are reduced by crushing, people pour a smaller volume of cereal into their bowls, but still take a greater amount by weight and calories.

“People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions,” said Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition. “On top of that you have these huge variations in volume that are due to the physical characteristics of foods, such as the size of individual pieces, aeration and how things pile up in a bowl. That adds another dimension to the difficulty of knowing how much to take and eat.”

via Cereal flake size influences calorie intake | Penn State University.

Pretty good idea.  Cereal is hard to measure by volume.  You can weigh it instead and compare to the serving size on the package.

You’ll notice that for similar reasons, European recipes are frequently given by weight instead of by cup volume.  It’s more controlled, and if you have a food scale, it’s actually easier to measure that way.

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Fitness trackers are no good at counting calories, and other lessons from wearing four at once

For 10 days last month, I strapped on four fitness trackers for every waking hour—all in the name of science. I wore them to brunch. I wore them on my birthday. I wore them when I got sick and spent a full day in bed. For a week and a half, I was quantified—in quadruplicate.

The premise I was testing is fundamental to the idea of fitness trackers, the liveliest sector of the wearable computer market. Fitness trackers are touted as a wellness tool: something that you’ll want to wear all the time, and that will make your life better and healthier. I wanted to see if they were producing data that could actually help me, and just what I could do with that data.

I expected to hate all of them, but I was wrong. I also expected them to all be sorts of useless—and on that count I was right.

via Fitness trackers are no good at counting calories, and other lessons from wearing four at once – Quartz.

Nice, brief side-by-side comparison of all four of these current-generation trackers.  Not always the intuitively best one to review from each company — for example, it’s a known thing the FitBit Flex is skin-irritating to the point of actually being recalled for a cash refund, and if the reviewer was looking for a display instead of bleep-bleep communicating devices, there are other FitBit models that are more like that.  Looks like they went for whatever model was a wrist strap version.

But still, an important comparison.  Step counting results were accurate, apparently; nearly the same on all the devices, and it should be; you can get accurate enough step counts from a $20 pedo or even one of the little doctors’ office giveaway versions.  Or from a smartphone app.

But their estimates of calories burned, while following the same day to day trend, were up and down by 1,000 calories or so — too unreliable to accurately predict weight loss.

Let’s digress from this.  The benefit of a fitness tracker is that it may help you have a desire to spin its little hamster wheel by doing more exercise.  And it comes with software to do intake calorie tracking; if you’re wanting to lose weight, tracking and limiting your intake is job #1.  Having a workable daily plan is #2, and perhaps these devices might help you with that.  Maximizing your output is somewhere down the list.  Beneficial to your can-do attitude, helpful in creating more caloric deficit, though not going to produce any results until you’re actually limiting your intake in a systematic, measured way.

So you might give such a device a try — or wait for the next versions — or use a pedometer — or just mentally count your exercise minutes toward a weekly target.   It depends on your budget and whether you think the presence of the device is motivationally informative.  Not essential.  Not even at all helpful for some.  Somewhat helpful for others.

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This Calorie-Counting Bracelet Is a Triumph in Lazy Dieting | Betabeat

There are a ton of diets (and diet apps) in the world, and none of them actually work. The only thing that will truly make you lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn every day. And to do that, you have to do math. Nobody wants that.

Now there will soon be ….  the magical Healbe GoBe (?!?!) bracelet. It counts the calories you consume and burn by monitoring cellular glucose levels through your skin. All you have to do is show up.

via This Calorie-Counting Bracelet Is a Triumph in Lazy Dieting | Betabeat.

It’s not yet a thing, but it may yet be available by this summer.  Whether it works or not will no doubt be up to interpretation.

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Green tea for weight loss?

Japanese green tea in a modern senchawan bowl.

Yup.

Diurnal EE was higher during treatment with the green tea extract than during treatment with placebo or caffeine, by 4.5% and 3.2%, respectively, but significantly so only for the green tea extract. Total 24-h EE with the green tea extract, however, was significantly higher than that with both the placebo and caffeine, by 3.5% and 2.8%, respectively.

via Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.

EE is Energy Expenditure.  In other words, green tea helps raise your metabolic rate about 4% so you burn more calories — beyond the few calories the caffeine in the tea induces.

Makes it worth being a daily noncaloric beverage choice!

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How many calories are in a drink from STARBUCKS? – I Love Coffee

How many calories are in a drink from STARBUCKS? – I Love Coffee.

Brilliant!  Lots of people would drop 5 bucks on a coffee drink …. but would they for the same number of calories drink 5 cans of cola?

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First things first.  You don’t want to cut your nutritional needs short.  It’s miserable.  But to answer the question as stated — there is no magical number of calories per day below which point you quit losing weight.

It would be great if that happened, because nobody would starve from lack of food.

But we’re not like that.

In fact, there is no starvation mode unless you are actually starving.  And if you’re carrying around 6 months or a year’s supply of food as body fat, you’re not starving.

BUT.  Do meet your nutritional needs each day.

Why do I look thinner to everyone but myself?

Weight Loss Progress

Good question!  You’re losing weight, and people are really noticing, and complimenting you on your leaner appearance.  But when you look at yourself, especially with little on in the way of clothing, you still look like that old tired fat person you used to look at in the mirror.  How can this be?

You’ve got a self-image stored away of how you tend to look.  But  how you tended to look is not how you’re trending to be! You really are looking better.  It’s just that you still remember the old you, and it’s part of who you are.  Except that it does not have to be part of who you are, going forward.

Take time to actually look at how much you’ve shrunk down from your highest weight.  Get into some pants that are now way too big, look at that mumu of an exercise getup you used to have to wear, look at the belt and maybe even the shoes and rings you used to wear and you’ll see that you ARE changing, before your very eyes.

So be gracious to those who compliment you and also be generous to yourself, seeing the change that’s taking place.  Notice and appreciate the change as it happens, and pretty soon you’ll be able to convince yourself that, wow, you really ARE that much smaller.