Behavior vs Results

- POSTED ON: May 05, 2011



Even though the general scientific rule is "3500 calories = 1 fat lb",
that doesn't mean this loss (or gain) immediately shows on the scale.

Although, with effort, we can control what food goes into our body,
we cannot control what our body does with that food...
and the timing of how fat is lost is a very large part that we cannot control.

Our bodies are always shifting water about,
and the majority of our lean body weight is actually water.

Also, our bodies don't always react the same ways,
and just because we achieved the same result a few times,
doesn't mean the same behavior will always result in the same outcome.

I've found my predictions can be accurate IN GENERAL,
 but frequently are not SPECIFICALLY accurate.

Furthermore, even with careful weighing and measuring of food,
carefully reading all labels, along with the careful daily recording of our food,
all calorie counting is STILL only an ESTIMATE.

 We do the best we can.
But labels can have a 20% (or more) error,
the sugar count of fruits etc. can vary from season to season,
and there are often individual differences in the way we measure,
and the way the food company measures.

For example, I measure 1/4 cup of oatmeal as a level 1/4 cup,
but when that is compared to the gram weight on the label,
I see that the listed gram weight is the same to an amount that is below the rim of 1/4 cup.

Therefore, we do the best we can to measure and record the calories in what we eat,
but we must be aware that this is NOT an exact science, 
and most of our errors tend to be underestimates.

Regarding graphing data.
I have a great deal of personal data about my own calorie intake,
and my body weights etc.

I enjoy making graphs of that various data,
and am always looking for new ways to look at the data,
hoping that this will help me to spot something new.

 But the key words here are "I enjoy".
I find it an enjoyable pastime, but it isn't necessary,
and it really isn't all that helpful except to keep me focused on the issue.

Although I am responsible for my Behavior with food,
I am not responsible...and have no control...over the Results that my body gives me,
including the timing of the weights I see on the Scale.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On May 05, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I watched Taubes lecture at OSU Health Science Center recently talking about WWGF, a book well summarized in your book talk section. I was struck by his noting the difficult task of balancing the food we eat to weight maintance. If I understood his point correctly, this is a 20 cal/day amount. An amount that as you rightly point out is not measurable, a 0.8% accuracy is needed. So I ponder this conclusion, while noting if I keep my cal/carbs at certain levels, I do lose or maintain. Lower carbs, do seem to result in higher calories, depending on my cycle timing. I need to data mine my numbers to get a larger picture. My next NSV as this data is helpful in keeping me focused. I sometimes think, that recording what I eat most important job is to keep me honest about what I am putting in my mouth.

On May 05, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Karen. For me, the primary value of food recording is the issue of ACCOUNTABILITY which of course requires being continually honest with myself. No matter how careful I weigh and measure food, my actual calorie numbers are still estimates. I've learned that ... no matter what my calorie numbers say ... if I'm steadily gaining weight I need to reduce the calories of my food intake.

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