Today's Diet Tip: Seven Diet Myths Debunked Note #3 that all diets perform poorly over time. If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, remember it is all about calories in verses calories burned. It really is that simple!
We rely on various indicators (eg. scales, nutritional values, fitness equipment calories burned, pedometers, fitness apps) to help in our weight loss goal. Herein lies part of the problem. I wear my pedometer and have my fitness app on when walking about the house. Despite calibrating both to my current weight and average step length, they will show different number of steps taken and calories burned. This would be a problem if I were relying solely on those devices to tell me the number of calories I burned in order to eat a bit more. The second problem especially with scales is the calibration can become faulty due to age or impact. In other words, you may not weigh exactly what your scales say you weigh. Another problem is a lot of fitness equipment gives you a display that includes calories burned but unless it has been calibrated with your weight, chances are very good the display will not be what you actually burned. That means, you may not be burning as many calories as you think you are which can be problematic for desired weight loss. For example, if using My Fitness Pal with a calculated 1,200 calorie intake combined with 300 calories burned, your intake should be 1,500. If in reality you only burned 250 calories instead of the 300 you though you burned and ate the 1,500 you would be over by 50 calories. If this were done on a consistent basis, it would sabotage your weight loss.
Next problem, the nutritional values. We rely heavily on them and not just for weight loss so the key question is, are they accurate? Many restaurants are now including a caloric value on all or a portion of their menu items. Here's an interesting video addressing discrepancies between restaurant posted caloric value and actual caloric value:
Therein lies one of the problems with trying to lose weight. Even if you exercise and/or increase your physical activity AND you count the calories you consume, the numbers can still be off causing you to not lose as much weight as you thought you would.
My work-around is to focus on eating and being physically active for my own optimal health. I use the nutritional values and calories burned values as guidelines knowing they may be off a little especially those nutritional values for meals eaten away from home. I also increase my physical activity on days I know I will be eating out.