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Why You Should Weigh/Measure Your Food

MyFitnessPal is great.  It lets you reference all sorts of foods, but it’s only as accurate as the information you give it.  (and some listings aren’t accurate at all)  In order to get the most accurate macro counts, you need to weigh your food when possible.  This does NOT mean that you need to freak out at restaurants or worry about this all the time.  But when you’re home cooking/eating/snacking/whatever, you should be keeping the most accurate records that you can.  Here’s the story of a simple banana and how wild your MFP results can be without weighing it appropriately.

weighmeasure
MFP has a million listing for bananas.  I try to choose those that have the green checkmark (means they’re verified from an outside source) and/or those listed from the USDA in the case of fresh fruits, veggies, or meats.  So, let’s choose that one.

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Now we have to pick the size.  How long is it?  Is this large or small or medium-large?  What does “one serving” mean?

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Depending on what we choose, these are the possible macro results based upon options I might have chosen before I started weighing food:

size large medium 1 NLEA serving 1 serving 4.2oz 1 cup
 f  .4  .4  .4  .4  .3  .5
 c  31.1  27  28.8  28.8  23  34.3
 p  1.5  1.3  1.4  1.4  1.1  1.6

Now, let’s weigh that bad boy and find out exactly what we are dealing with. Use grams to get the most precise number possible. Don’t forget to remove the skin.

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So, here are the REAL macros for this banana.

 size 113g
 f  .4
 c  25.8
 p  1.2

If you ate a banana every day for a week (which may make you hungry b/c you used up all your carbs in one sitting, but let’s pretend), the difference from your guesses could amount to quite a bit.  The biggest difference is obviously in carbs since this is a fruit.  We had the potential of being 2.8g under for each banana, which would add up to 20c/week.  Or another option would have been 8.5 over per banana or 60c/week.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to overeat without realizing and I ESPECIALLY don’t want to be charged for carbs I’m not having the luxury of actually eating.  60 carbs could be a half a dozen cookies, ya’ll.

So, moral of the story is this: weigh your food so you don’t accidentally overeat or miss out on carbs that could be cookies.  Get a food scale.  You can find them anywhere.  I prefer digital because it seems easier, but all that matters is that you get one.  If you’d like a recommendation, here’s mine:


It’s easy, accurate, and affordable.

Weigh your food -> more cookies fit your macros.  You are welcome.  😉

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