calorie calculator, doesn't that figure out your total calories
for your "current weight" and not your "goal weight?"
Unless you put in your goal weight value, aren't you really calculating
the number of calories consumed to maintain your current weight?
You are correct. The Estimated
Calorie Requirements Calculator estimates calories to maintain
your weight. Once this is established, you can compare this number
to the actual number of calories you are consuming. From here,
you can determine if you need to initially increase or decrease
your calories to reach your objectives while monitoring your
progress with regular body
composition tests. Also see Diet
Development and Starvation
made a thread in the forums about this issue. The post is as
follows: Food Exchanges.
I'm being totally confused by this page! I don't live in the
US so I'm trying to follow the Metric column, but it does not
correspond to the US Unit column. For example, according to this
page 1 US Cup = 250mL, but it does not!
1 US fl. oz. = 29.574mL
1 US Cup = 8 US fl. oz. = 8 * 29.574 = 236.588mL
I think I understand why this error was made though: in
the US, the standard for one cup is 8 fl. oz., but in countries
that use the metric system it's 250mL. But still, 8fl. oz. don't
equal 250mL! So basically it ends up giving different portions
to people who use the different columns. The people following
the US Unit column will get smaller portions than the Metric
I actually grew up with food exchanges as
a kid. My stepmother had been diagnosed with brittle diabetes
when I was young. She controlled her blood sugar by multiple
insulin injects each day and a strict diet prescribed to her
by registered dietitians based on the ADA food exchange lists.
As I took an interest in exercise and nutrition, she allows me
on occasions, to arrange her exchanges into meals and snacks
throughout the day. I personally had used the food exchange method
throughout my own training, followed its changes during my college
years in my nutrition courses, and have used it ever since as
a trainer and coach as a way to prescribe diet and healthy eating
to my clients.
The point of the exchange system is to simplify macronutritional
calculations. Foods are categorized into exchanges that best
reflect their respective number of carbohydrates, fats, protein,
and calories. You may be interested to know, if you were to look
up the actual macronutrients in a reference such as Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly
Used, you will discover the exchange values are only approximations
(sometimes off by 15% on some of the lower fat meat exchanges).
Likewise, 1 cup or 250 mL is a close approximate serving size
that can more easily be remembered, measured, added, divided
etc. as oppose to a fraction of these amounts. Other food guidelines
such as Canada's Food Guide To Healthy Eating have also referred
to a serving of milk as both 1 cup and 250 mL. You are certainly
correct in your observation, but I think, it's important to understand
the purpose behind the use of these approximate measurements.
Using these approximate standardized measurements is certainly
not going to bring about any repercussions that will significantly
affect one's eating habits, body weight, dietary, or performance
goals. On the contrary, it simplifies a process for those who
would otherwise find the ideal of exacting measurements and calculations
a daunting ordeal. When eating out for example, you certainly
are not expected to get out and start placing your food in measuring
cups and on scales at the table. Approximations are in order.
Certainly in the beginning (or when you may be in the process
of reducing portion sizes), I believe it is important to measure
everything until you able to estimate
serving sizes more accurately (just don't go out to a restaurant
to eat for a while ;-). My point is that, it's not so important
to measure everything down to the nearest gram or mL, but just
to have a quantity of food that you can measure or portioned
easily, without the need for a slide ruler or calculator if your
dietary plan ever calls for more than one serving. Just consider
yourself lucky your not using the US unit of measurement; now
you'll be able to enjoy that extra 13.412 mL per serving. :-)
If the idea of approximations are truly unsettling for you,
one viable alternative is to keep a food journal with exact measurements
and accurate descriptions of the food you consume. You can then
query for the closest match in a dietary analysis computer program
Entering each item into the computer program will allow for a
tally of a multitude of nutrients. Like the Food Exchange method,
you may then make adjustments along the way according to the
results of periodic body composition tests and other measurements.
Tim, our past forum moderators (RIP) alluded to a good point
you may want to ask yourself. Could it be possible that this
question was brought about as a way to create an obstacle in
beginning a structured dietary program by rationalizing its flaws,
and thereby creating yet another excuse for yourself? Or perhaps
a call for support? Obviously, I have never met you and cannot
make this judgment, but I do know myself and how intelligent
people can create these mind barriers for themselves. Just something
to reflect on....
Thank you so much for such a detailed reply :) I guess
that you do have a point though, I was being too picky about
the trivial issues without looking at the bigger picture. I'm
loving ExRx.net so much, it has pretty much everything I need
to improve my nutrition and exercise plan!