3

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FitDay.com observations

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 01, 2011 at 6:31 PM

So I have been geeking out on FitDay and entering every single thing I eat into it. Some observations/questions:

  1. I am surprised to find that I eat on average 1600 calories per day, and some days around 1000-1100. I'm 41 y.o. male 6' 208# and work out 3-4x per week and get some kind of exercise (walking, etc) every day. FitDay says I burn an average of 2700 calories per day before considering exercise (BMR I assume), I would really struggle with having to eat that much, and I'm sure I'd gain a lot of weight if I did. Can this be right? This would mean I'm running at least a 1100 calorie deficit per day (probably almost twice that considering exercise...) seems incredible if true.

  2. Drinking any alcohol really screws up any carb or calorie goals. One beer is about 150 calories, a glass of wine about 250. Eating 1600 calories a day, having 2 drinks a day increases my calories 19-31%! And this is almost all carbs. Sadly, alcohol can't really be part of long-term weight loss...

  3. I eat about 55/25/20 fat/protein/carb with about 50g carbs per day, but feel better when the carbs are closer to 25g. It is helpful to see this quantified. I've been eating 117g of protein per day, which is far short of the "1g per pound of lean muscle". What do people do to increase protein %, the only possibility seems to be to eat more lean proteins like chicken breasts and sirloin?

  4. Eating liver once a week pretty much takes care of your vitamin A and B for the week.

  5. My diet is chronically low in vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese. I'm going to intentionally add almonds to the diet, but it seems like I have to go out of my way to get these nutrients.

  6. I was feeling all proud of myself for losing 20 pounds, but at 6' 208#, FitDay says I'm still "overweight" and suggests a target weight range of 136.4-184.3 pounds. The last time I weighed 184, I was 18 (23 years ago) and was stone broke and eating one meal a day and working two jobs. The last time I weighed 136 was probably before puberty. This did give me some incentive to try to lose 10-15 more pounds, but where does this target weight range come from?

Overall, I definitely don't want to type everything that I eat into FitDay.com for the rest of my life, but doing this for a couple of weeks was really interesting, I recommend that everyone give it a try.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:27 PM

Factoid, Guinness has about the same number of calories and amount of alcohol as a lite beer! I swear the stuff is a magic potion.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on August 01, 2011
at 10:48 PM

And I would not use the generic wine from Fitday or any unless you're really drinking something with real sugar. Dry wines you can get their true contents from the Sutter wine site. You may be overestimating if you're drinking dry wines and lite beers.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on August 01, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Also watch out for oz to g conversions. They're always tricky and the meats are usually denominated in ounces, when you buy them from supermarkets.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 09:06 PM

It is possible I'm not choosing exactly the right things, for example FitDay doesn't have any ribeye steak that isn't trimmed to 0" fat (why would you eat a ribeye steak and cut off all of the fat?), so maybe I'm eating more fat in some portions than reported in FitDay... still, even if I'm 25-50% off on the calories for certain meat portions, that's only going to add 100-200 calories per day most days.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Oops, there aren't 177g in a fluid ounce... sorry. "A pint is a pound the world around", 16 fluid ounces per pint, 454 grams per pound, leads to 28 grams per fluid ounce of water (slightly different for wine, but close enough).

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on August 01, 2011
at 08:24 PM

re. #2, vodka only has 64 calories per ounce. add sparkling water and some lime and it's pretty good! I agree that alcohol isn't good for weight loss, but it's a good option I've found for occasional craziness.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on August 01, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Are you choosing the right meats from the fitday search feature? I've found there's a huge caloric difference between 4oz raw and 4oz cooked meat, for instance, as well as between "beef, sirloin, choice, trimmed to 1/4 fat" and "trimmed to no fat."

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:55 PM

I think I had tucked away the carb %'s as the total grams in my memory. I stand thankfully corrected.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I have made wine, and indeed the yeast consume 90%+ of the sugar, but the wine has to have some residual sugar in it or it will taste like vinegar. Dry wines (i.e. French Bordeaux) are about 2.5% sugar, fruitier wines (i.e. Merlot) might be 3.5%, white wines can be higher still. So a 5oz glass of wine could have 20-40g of sugar (approx. 177g per fluid ounce, etc).

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:28 PM

At the risk of rationalizing my alcohol intake, I find it hard to believe that a glass of wine has a many calories as 4 eggs, and I think there are health benefits to the wine that don't show up on FitDay. Also, I might have say four 12oz glasses of beer at the bar during a football game, and it really doesn't feel like I'm eating the same calories as 12oz of flank steak. So I'm a little skeptical too. I wonder if there is a puritanical bias here too... remember that the whole "calorie" thing is just an estimation anyway.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:20 PM

Thanks for the answer. About the only place where I can be mis-measuring is the number of ounces of meat per serving, though I have been weighing that about half the time, I have a food scale. Otherwise I'm eating things that are easy to measure such as, 3 eggs, 1 tbsp of cream in my coffee, etc. I'm eyeballing some of these but I don't think I could be off by 50% or something.

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2 Answers

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6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I just started doing this a few days ago, and was shocked to see myself coming in at only 1600-1800 calories a day. I kind of started on it just to poo poo the whole "calories in, calories out" concept, but if I'm eating low cal accidentally, this won't make for a very good argument.

Since upping the fat and protein at breakfast I don't get hungry again until dinner, so maybe it is just the 2 meals a day bringing down calories from where I expected them to be. I feel like I've been stuffing my face at breakfast and dinner.

I was also shocked to see the percentage of calories from alcohol when I plugged in 2 glasses of wine. Considering only 3-5% of other calories were from carbs I'm not going to stress about it though, still pretty low carb (maybe not the healthiest carbs though). I can't remember who posted it here, but they said a glass of wine didn't knock them out of ketosis. I was under the impression that most of the carbohydrate in the grape juice is digested by the yeast to make the alcohol, so you're only left with 5ish grams/glass. I've heard of alcohol itself called a "super-carb", but I'm a little skeptical of that claim.

Those weight charts were based on a largely sedentary and skinny population of Belgian merchants in the 1800's, so if you have any muscle you are going to be considered overweight if you use BMI.

http://www.dbskeptic.com/2009/02/08/the-skinny-on-the-body-mass-index-bmi/

Here's a quote from the link: "Let???s start with the BMI???s origin. A Belgian mathematician and sociologist named Adolphe Quetelet created the Body Mass Index between 1830 and 1850. He did this as a way to compare a person???s height with their weight. This technique was originally meant to aid in social science education, and wasn???t intended to determine obesity levels. BMI was not meant for medical diagnosis."

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Oops, there aren't 177g in a fluid ounce... sorry. "A pint is a pound the world around", 16 fluid ounces per pint, 454 grams per pound, leads to 28 grams per fluid ounce of water (slightly different for wine, but close enough).

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:55 PM

I think I had tucked away the carb %'s as the total grams in my memory. I stand thankfully corrected.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:28 PM

At the risk of rationalizing my alcohol intake, I find it hard to believe that a glass of wine has a many calories as 4 eggs, and I think there are health benefits to the wine that don't show up on FitDay. Also, I might have say four 12oz glasses of beer at the bar during a football game, and it really doesn't feel like I'm eating the same calories as 12oz of flank steak. So I'm a little skeptical too. I wonder if there is a puritanical bias here too... remember that the whole "calorie" thing is just an estimation anyway.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I have made wine, and indeed the yeast consume 90%+ of the sugar, but the wine has to have some residual sugar in it or it will taste like vinegar. Dry wines (i.e. French Bordeaux) are about 2.5% sugar, fruitier wines (i.e. Merlot) might be 3.5%, white wines can be higher still. So a 5oz glass of wine could have 20-40g of sugar (approx. 177g per fluid ounce, etc).

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on August 01, 2011
at 06:45 PM

When I was tracking my weight loss, I also found that I was "only" eating 1800-2000 calories. This for about 3 months resulted in my weight going from 210 to 157. I was 157 back in junior hi. I have since maintained it at that level at eat about 2300-2600 calories.

I don't think you're consuming 10-1100. That's too far off and is at strvation level. You're either not counting something or have the serving sizes mixed up. 2700 calories burnt per day sounds right for someone your size. Your 1600 calories also may be off. It is true that you may not feel hungry if you eat VLC, as you do at 50g, but you will feel it when you carry that much weight. Something is off and I think it's your calculation.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on August 01, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Also watch out for oz to g conversions. They're always tricky and the meats are usually denominated in ounces, when you buy them from supermarkets.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on August 01, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Are you choosing the right meats from the fitday search feature? I've found there's a huge caloric difference between 4oz raw and 4oz cooked meat, for instance, as well as between "beef, sirloin, choice, trimmed to 1/4 fat" and "trimmed to no fat."

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on August 01, 2011
at 10:48 PM

And I would not use the generic wine from Fitday or any unless you're really drinking something with real sugar. Dry wines you can get their true contents from the Sutter wine site. You may be overestimating if you're drinking dry wines and lite beers.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 07:20 PM

Thanks for the answer. About the only place where I can be mis-measuring is the number of ounces of meat per serving, though I have been weighing that about half the time, I have a food scale. Otherwise I'm eating things that are easy to measure such as, 3 eggs, 1 tbsp of cream in my coffee, etc. I'm eyeballing some of these but I don't think I could be off by 50% or something.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:27 PM

Factoid, Guinness has about the same number of calories and amount of alcohol as a lite beer! I swear the stuff is a magic potion.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on August 01, 2011
at 09:06 PM

It is possible I'm not choosing exactly the right things, for example FitDay doesn't have any ribeye steak that isn't trimmed to 0" fat (why would you eat a ribeye steak and cut off all of the fat?), so maybe I'm eating more fat in some portions than reported in FitDay... still, even if I'm 25-50% off on the calories for certain meat portions, that's only going to add 100-200 calories per day most days.

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