Admit it. You cheat. Often by a little. Sometimes by a lot. Look at your nutrition tracker. Look at it over the last week, or month. (Assume for this little exercise that you used it). Now, be honest. Does it reflect EVERYTHING you ate? Every scrap, every morsel, every little snitch of this-and-that while cooking, cleaning, driving, talking on the phone, watching TV? All of it? Faithfully?
If you are like most of the population, the answer is "not even close." I'd venture to say that even for most Sparkies, the honest answer might average someplace around "well, approximately, I guess." I think the human condition is to stretch the truth in such circumstances. So, apparently, does a recent news story and corresponding poll:
This study basically concluded that people, when tracking nutritional intake, under-report. Do we Sparkies consider ourselves above the fray? Even, good Sparkies (i.e., generally people new here, particularly evangelical about weight loss or poor folks scared-poopless about some recent medical news about themselves) may shade the truth.
Well, a close read of this article provides solutions. Easy to implement, good solution:
1. Use the All-Important-Nutrition-Tracke
r (AINT) - The study in the article states "...We can't trust human memory as the source of our nutrition data, because people can unde-rreport what they eat to an absurd degree. Their self-reports documented amounts of food that could not possibly support their survival...." If you are honest with yourself, you already knew this. It's a starting place, and the Sparkies who lose and keep it off, without using it regularly if not consistently, are few in number. Yes, I know it sucks with tedium and that it is often disappointing who quickly you burn through your caloric allotment as the day ticks by, but just do it. OK?
2. Apply a Cheating Correction Factor - The article says that "...men and women have been found to underreport calories by between 12 percent and 20 percent, and are more likely to selectively underreport eating the bad stuff, such as fat and sugar." So, try this. Purposefully undershoot on the AINT by 20%. Over the long haul, you'll perhaps land where you should be.
One final thought: application of a Cheating Correction Factor is NOT a license to cheat more.