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Subject: Weird "serving sizes" rss

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Scott Lewis
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So one of my resolutions for the new year has been to lose some weight. Started at 217 lbs, and am down to 198 (my goal is 185). I'm not doing anything special, mostly getting some exercise (via basketball officiating right now), and just "counting calories". I realize that diet method isn't always the most effective, but for me it's been great, because if nothing else, it makes me really think about everything I eat. Do I want that donut that won't fill me up, but eat up a quarter of my "allotment" for the day? Or something more healthy that may not taste quite as yummy, but will fill me up and make me feel less hungry later?

Anyway, in doing this, I often look at the serving sizes for calories, etc. And while most of the time it's pretty intuitive, sometimes I wonder what the heck they were thinking for some of them. Not just in a "who would eat it that small" way, but a "how are you going to accurately get that serving size" way.

For instance, my wife got some frozen chicken fried rice things that just need to be popped into the microwave. Easy peasy. The box came with 6 pouches. However, on the side of the box, with the nutrition info, it gives a serving size, then it says "Servings per box: 7". Not "per pouch", but per BOX. I'm scratching my head on who came up with that. Based on that, who is going to actually eat just "one serving"?

I've seen this in a few other things, where the box has a discrete number of pouches, and the number of servings in the box is an odd number unrelated to the pouches (and not just something that boils down to 2 servings per pouch).

My only guess why they do this is because the calories for one pouch would be slightly higher than what they show "per serving", so they do it to try and fool people into thinking it's slightly less caloric than a pouch really is. (In this case, it's a matter of about 50 calories, if I recall).

Anyway, no point to this rant, just scratching my head over the strangeness of it all.
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Andre
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I am feeling your pain, going through the same thing as you at the moment, and oatmeal is a typical villain. Most boxes of instant oatmeal have 12 pouches in them, and some boxes get the data right, one "pouch" = 130 calories. Some brands actually tell you the number of servings in the box, but do not do a good job of defining what the serving size is. Or they tell you a pouch is two servings, and you are left to wonder if you are eating 130 calories, or 260, if you have one pouch.

Laughs, define the serving size, then tell us the nutritional content of one size, but relate that serving size to what you are providing.

Do not drop your daily calorie intake too low, you may reduce your basal metabolic rate, your body may adjust, and then you might pack on the pounds later, if there is a big difference between your current "counting", and what you may want to intake (calorie-wise) in the future. Good luck.
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Bruce Gazdecki
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I'm at about 33 pounds in about 6 months so I'm happy.
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Some time ago (early 90's?) I remember there was an issue where companies really went crazy like this. Like a bag of cookies would claim "Only 25 calories per serving," then a serving would be 1/4 of a cookie. Who eats a quarter of a cookie then throws out the other 3/4? So the FDA stepped in and started taking action on companies that played tricks like this, demanding that serving be what a person will typically eat at a time.

It looks like the tricks are back but maybe a bit less egregious. Still, I agree, when you have meal-sized packets, the serving size should be exactly one packet.
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Scott Lewis
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abadolato01 wrote:
Do not drop your daily calorie intake too low, you may reduce your basal metabolic rate, your body may adjust, and then you might pack on the pounds later, if there is a big difference between your current "counting", and what you may want to intake (calorie-wise) in the future. Good luck.
I'm using an app (LoseIt) that basically gives me a daily "budget", that I've found gradually is decreasing as my weight goes down. Probably for the reasons you mention - so that it doesn't screw up my overall metabolism by starving myself. So far, it seems to have worked well.
 
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sigmazero13 wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
Do not drop your daily calorie intake too low, you may reduce your basal metabolic rate, your body may adjust, and then you might pack on the pounds later, if there is a big difference between your current "counting", and what you may want to intake (calorie-wise) in the future. Good luck.
I'm using an app (LoseIt) that basically gives me a daily "budget", that I've found gradually is decreasing as my weight goes down. Probably for the reasons you mention - so that it doesn't screw up my overall metabolism by starving myself. So far, it seems to have worked well.
I used LoseIt as well. All I did was use it for my calories, and a small dose of walking for exercise.

9 months later I went from 274 to 204.

I agree, that serving sizes often leave something to be desired. I never came across a wacky one like you did. There were times I did resort to a scale, or measuring cup though.

Edit: Spelling
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Dave, or "Phineas" or "Tolstoy" or,
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This reminds me of a comedy clip that I hope I haven’t posted yet.

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Also reminds me of this great segment:
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Aarontu wrote:
Also reminds me of this great segment:
That was great!
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wmshub wrote:
Some time ago (early 90's?) I remember there was an issue where companies really went crazy like this. Like a bag of cookies would claim "Only 25 calories per serving," then a serving would be 1/4 of a cookie. Who eats a quarter of a cookie then throws out the other 3/4? So the FDA stepped in and started taking action on companies that played tricks like this, demanding that serving be what a person will typically eat at a time.
So, like, half the bag, then?
 
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I use Lose It also. I lost about 65lbs using it 6 years ago, then I stopped and rebounded. Now I'm back to using it again--but this time in kilograms!
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Mystery McMysteryface
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I applaud your efforts as I have struggled all my life with weight gain. I lose and gain, over and over again. I gained 14 pounds in 1 year because I quite the gym to save money.

Sigh.......

We also are trying to eat whole foods, cooking at home, organic, low/no sugar, moderate complex/whole grain carbs, and limited fats. It is difficult, because all the tasty food is convenient to make and eat. Also, when it's cold I really do NOT want a salad.
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KSensei wrote:
I use Lose It also. I lost about 65lbs using it 6 years ago, then I stopped and rebounded. Now I'm back to using it again--but this time in kilograms!
I'm in a similar boat; didn't lose quite as much the first time I used it (also about 6 years ago, I think), but I stopped using it and gradually started putting the weight back on.

If nothing else, it's making me aware of what I eat. I plan on continuing to use the app after I hit my goal just to keep myself in check
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I was using myFitnessPal for a while, but I've gotten better at portion control and what I can/can't eat so I've slacked lately.

I still weigh myself once a week and bought a better scale that also measures fat, muscle weight, bone mass, and a couple other things.
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A couple of years ago, I decided to start losing weight when I noticed that I weighed 205. I went down to 175. But, recently, my weight is starting to creep up again. It is currently at 181.

I only eat two meals a day. And some of the dinners are low calorie like a bowl of oatmeal, or rice and beans, or a bow of a bag of frozen veggies.

I don't think I can exercise more. I currently swim 2 miles a week, run outdoors 4 miles, on an elliptical 10 miles, and a spin class. I don't want to overdo it since I can become dehydrated and/or not get enough electrolytes and that can cause health problems.

I guess the biggest unknown in calculating weight loss is how much water weight am I currently carrying? My scale gives a hydration percentage, but I doubt that it is meaningful or accurate.

My main weakness is beer. But I still feel like I don't eat a crazy amount. However, clearly I am still taking in too many Calories.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
KSensei wrote:
I use Lose It also. I lost about 65lbs using it 6 years ago, then I stopped and rebounded. Now I'm back to using it again--but this time in kilograms!
I'm in a similar boat; didn't lose quite as much the first time I used it (also about 6 years ago, I think), but I stopped using it and gradually started putting the weight back on.

If nothing else, it's making me aware of what I eat. I plan on continuing to use the app after I hit my goal just to keep myself in check
That's what I need to do.
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hamzy wrote:
A couple of years ago, I decided to start losing weight when I noticed that I weighed 205. I went down to 175. But, recently, my weight is starting to creep up again. It is currently at 181.

I only eat two meals a day. And some of the dinners are low calorie like a bowl of oatmeal, or rice and beans, or a bow of a bag of frozen veggies.

I don't think I can exercise more. I currently swim 2 miles a week, run outdoors 4 miles, on an elliptical 10 miles, and a spin class. I don't want to overdo it since I can become dehydrated and/or not get enough electrolytes and that can cause health problems.

I guess the biggest unknown in calculating weight loss is how much water weight am I currently carrying? My scale gives a hydration percentage, but I doubt that it is meaningful or accurate.

My main weakness is beer. But I still feel like I don't eat a crazy amount. However, clearly I am still taking in too many Calories.
Wow, it sounds like you're doing everything you should. The only observation I have is that the low calorie dinners you are eating are all fairly carb heavy and low on protein. I'm not saying to go full on atkins, but maybe for those light dinners try something similarly small but with more protein and/or fat?

Also I do better on 3 small meals a day. I do 400kcal for breakfast, 400 for lunch, then try for 800-1000 for dinner. Then I'm better able to avoid snacking. I've been able to keep my weight down below 145lbs (from a high of 163 a couple years ago) that way, currently at 140lb and hoping to get to 135 in the next few months then stay there.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I’ve benn trying to get back to my original weight but 8 lbs, 6 oz doesn’t seem doable.
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Hoya wrote:
This reminds me of a comedy clip that I hope I haven’t posted yet.

First thing I thought of when I read the OP. My family loves Brian Regan -- one of the few comics who is both funny and clean.
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