7 Calorie Counting Mistakes That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
A lot of people make calorie counting mistakes when trying to lose weight.
Are you #countingcalories to try to lose weight but progress is coming at a snail's pace despite, in your estimation, “doing everything right”?
You probably are not doing everything right. 💁♂️
And that’s ok :) You are not alone...trust me. Tracking calories and macros for fat loss is hard, nuanced, and the devil is in the details.
I’m here to help you identify the calorie counting mistakes you are probably making.
Time for a nutrition audit.
Let’s dive into the 7 most common calorie counting mistakes I see people making.
1. Tracking Your Food In Raw Amounts But Weighing/Measuring Cooked
This is a huge and common mistake I see people making. You look at a serving size of, say, chicken breast and it’s 112g or whatever. You log the macros for that serving size in an app thinking it’s a certain number of calories and macros.
You then cook an entire pack of chicken breasts and measure out 112g (or whatever amount you’ve decided to eat and have tracked for).
...you just took in a lot more calories than you thought you did.
The cooking process will shrink up meat, fish and poultry by 20-25%. So if you portion out and weigh/measure cooked foods, but are tracking it raw…the calories are higher.
This works in reverse too. Think rice. Maybe it’s a 56g serving. You cook a big batch of rice and then measure out 56g cooked. You are leaving a lot of calories you had coming to you on the table (ridiculously small portions).
My advice is to keep it consistent. Track raw and measure out/weigh raw (all labels and nutrition info unless stated are raw measures).
2. Not Tracking Liquids, Oils, Dressings, Butter & Condiments
This is another one of the huge calorie counting mistakes people make.
Account for all these (and some have massive amounts of calories for a very low volume).
If you are putting any of these on your meals, squirt/dump it while your plate or bowl is on a food scale and measure it out in grams in accordance with the serving size(s).
3. Not Tracking Vegetables (beyond a certain point)
Are you eating a cup or two of fibrous veggies a day? Probably not worth tracking.
Eating 5? Eating a family sized bagged salad kit everyday? Track it.
While veggies are low in calories, they eventually start to add up big time if eaten in large amounts (like anything else).
4. Measuring In Volume and Sizes
Scoop out 2 Tbsp of peanut butter. Go ahead I’ll wait :)
Now look at the serving size of 2 Tbsp in grams on the label.
Now weigh out your 2 Tbsp. I bet it’s twice the amount.
And your “medium” apple or banana is probably 3x the size and 3x the amount of calories. Weigh out your fruit in grams.
5. Reliance On Qualitative Measures (palms & thumbs)
I know a lot of reputable coaches and coaching businesses like the whole “2 palms of protein” thing, but, sorry, I’ve just never seen anyone do that very well.
It’s not precise. And it’s a bigger PITA than weighing food.
Guys, it’s just SO easy to track your nutrition intake nowadays with technology. Weigh it out real quick, track it real quick, and don’t sit there trying to figure out how much “2 thumbs of cheese” is.
6. Embracing The “Net Carbs” Thing
Just start ignoring “net carbs”. If a label says something has 25 grams of carbs, then you track it as though it has 100 calories coming from carbs. Period. Yes, fiber and sugar alcohols have less calories/gram than “normal” carbs, but they don’t have zero. So the net carb foods are higher in calories than what the label says they are.
7. Thinking “Clean” & Weekend Calories Don’t Count
All those almonds you are grabbing, all the protein shakes you are slamming, all the Halo Top ice cream you are eating at night as a “healthy treat", the bag of sweet peppers you are eating daily, the 35 pieces of 5 calorie gum you are chewing everyday?
Yeah, despite being marketed as “clean and healthy”…they have calories. Account for them within your daily limit.
And calories are calories from Friday night from Sunday night too. Stop wiping out all your hard work from breakfast on Monday to lunch on Friday by blowing it out of the water on the weekends.
How many of the above calorie counting mistakes are you making?
Well, it doesn’t matter...because now you know. And you can improve and get your weight loss rolling again.
*Want to level up your nutrition, training and fat loss? Want a GPS on your fitness journey? Want someone to take all the guesswork out of the equation and provide daily accountability? Check out my budget-friendly coaching program HERE*