When you first set up your profile, there is a checkbox to indicate if you are pregnant. It defaults to NOT pregnant. However, when I run my nutrition reports and click on the iron component, it says I need extra iron because I am pregnant!
Fitness Minutes: (45,379)
32,167 4/15/20 1:33 A
I am a new member and have enjoyed seeing the detail of what I am eating; better than Weight Watchers. However, the recommendations seemed off and finally I saw from the Iron suggestions that my profile thought I was pregnant! I just reset all my goals and made sure that I did not accidentally unclick the pregnant button. It still thinks, mistakenly, that I am pregnant. :( What can I do, other than to eliminate the nutrition requirement for Iron entirely? I am wondering what other guidelines could be off based on the false pregnancy.
With the exception of the protein minimum, the bottom of your macro ranges in grams is equal to the bottom of the recommended macro breakdown for your minimum calories and the top end of the ranges is equal to the top end of the macro breakdown of the top of your calorie range. Macro breakdowns at sparkpeople are 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat and 45-65% carbs. So if you multiply your minimum carb grams by 4 and divide that number by your minimum total calories, it will be about .45. If you multiply your maximum carb grams by 4 and divide by the upper end of your calorie range you will get .65. Same for fat. Minimum grams of fat times 9 then divided my your minimum calorie range will get you .20 and maximum grams of fat times 9 divided by upper calorie range will get you .35. Protein is the one that is a little weird because the uppers match, but because of a study that said that higher protein helps with weight loss, so women's minimum are set at 60 grams, even if that isn't 10% of the minimum.
You do have to remember that the numbers that you are using are averages, both for you and the food. An apple grown in a patch of sunshine might have a higher sugar content and more calories than the apple on the shady side of the tree. Over thousands of apples this averages out, but if the nutrition info says 100 calories the apple that you are eating might be 80 calories or it might be 120 calories. Because nutrition labels are allowed to be off by up to 20% because of normal variations like this. People are the same. On average women of x height and y weight and z age burn q calories. Most people will be withing about 250 cals either way of that middle number, but the lowest outlier can be a thousand calories under the highest outlier. When all you have to work with is averages, precision is a lot of extra work for no payoff. That doesn't mean you don't have to track condiments or cooking oils because those little bits will consistently add up over time. But it does meant that you be as accurate as possible without sending portions of all of your meals to a calorie lab to be tested. Being as accurate as possibly usually highlights a few things that can be tweaked for little effort and large results. Things like proper portion control on nuts (they're healthy, but very high calorie), the aforementioned not tracking condiments or cooking oils or even just realizing that one staple meal has four times the calories of all your other staple meals (in which case eat the high calorie meal much less frequently or adjust the recipe to bring it in line with the other meals).
Many thanks to both Nirerin and Slimmerkiwi. And if anyone else wants to weigh in going forward. Here’s my takeaways: 1. No need to be wonky. Doesn’t need to be overly precise to be healthy. Treat as guidelines, not a scientific experiment. 2. Stay in the middle of the ranges, and can achieve long-term health and weight goals. Keeping track of the numbers helps, but the success is determined by the actual behavior, as opposed to reports. 3. Consistency matters. Even if the numbers are wrong, caloric input over time affects weight. So long as one uses the same basis, the trend is what matters. 4. I’m not sure I understand why on the Sparks People guidelines chart X grams of carbs, Y grams of fat, and Z grams of protein does not equal their total caloric number ? That’s not rounding, that’s a simple mathematical computation. And it shouldn’t matter whether you’re in the middle of that range or at the extremes. But I don’t need to know beyond your helpful explanations and comments. 5. I know what I need to do to remain and improve health. I will keep doing it. Thanks Again. Meanwhile, stay safe with coronavirus. Being self-quarantined has enabled me to explore this topic. tastik1
Fitness Minutes: (45,379)
32,167 3/27/20 3:41 A
As NIRERIN, part of it is likely rounding errors. Most of it will be that the nutrition info from either SP or your own entries (even tho' you have correctly entered the various figures as per on the Nutrition Label) isn't 100% accurate.
I wouldn't be inclined to worry too much about it. My reason for saying this is because if you use those foods regularly, consistency is what is going to make the difference over-all.
As I mentioned earlier, I noticed the same as you a very long time ago. BUT because I consistently used THOSE figures, I was able to find the calorie/nutrient level to help me achieve my goal. I reached my goal weight a few years ago, and still weigh all of my food and enter it into the nutrition tracker. I have not regained any of the weight that I lost. Consistency is the key ... and continuing to record your nutrition.
The range gives people a bit more room to work with their preferences. I tend to eat higher carb and lower protein and I can make my macros work with my range within those guidelines. The same guidelines can accommodate someone who prefers higher fat and lower carb or a third person who prefers higher protein and lower fat.
As far as those other 50 calories you can't find go, part of it is likely rounding errors. If you go into the full nutrition information for every item, you'll see more exact numbers. So if it says 100 cals per serving, you click all the way in and it will have somewhere between 99.5 and 100.4 calories in it. If you eat five 99.5 calorie items the system shows 100 cals each on the main screen, but adds together 99.5 five times, which is 497.5 and would show as 498 calories, not 500. If you ate 5 100.4 calorie items your total calories would show 502 calories instead of 500. The other part my guess would be fiber, particularly if you had about 14 grams yesterday.
Kris- Thanks for answering. You did provide valuable and relevant insight. My exact question is as follows: Yesterday my calorie intake was 215 g carbs (860 calories), 61 g fat (549 calories), 63 g protein (252 calories) which would be 1661 calories.
Yet my Spark People total says I took in 1605 calories yesterday. 215 g equals 215 g, which should equal 860 calories. Not sure why the totals aren’t equal, i.e. why isn’t the total either 1661 or 1605 in both places ?? Shouldn’t matter the source of the input, whether it was manual, nutritional label, or USDA chart. You sound knowledgeable. Maybe you can explain ?? Thanks again. Waiting to hear from you tastik1
Nirerin - Thanks for answering. You may have answered the question, but I will give you some specific numbers to work with so we can dialogue further. You sound knowledgeable. On the Sparks people guideline chart: My minimums are 200 g carbs (800 calories), 50 g fat (450 calories), 75 g protein (300 calories) which would be 1550 minimum calories. My maximums are 250 g carbs (1000 calories), 75 g fat (675 calories), 125 g protein (500 calories) which would be 2175 minimum calories. Yet the Sparks people guideline says my calorie range is 1750-2000. Why the discrepancy?? I understand your point: Be somewhere towards the middle of the guidelines and I will meet my health and nutrition needs. Don’t need to be wonky to achieve the goal. Thanks again. Waiting to hear from you, tastik1
Fitness Minutes: (45,379)
32,167 3/24/20 8:06 A
Is it that you are adding protein and carbs grams together and multiplying them by 4 (calories) and then multiplying your fats grams by 9, then adding both sums together, but it doesn't match the calories?
IF so, it isn't unusual. I have often found that by checking the sums provided on nutritional labels, results don't equate the calories as shown on their label. SP Data Base ones are provided by USDA and theirs is only based on what the manufactures give them. All we can do is to use it as a guide.
If you try to eat the very lowest number of grams or the very highest number of grams of macros per day then you will be under or over your ranges. Since most people fall somewhere in the middle or lower/higher in one thing, you should be able to make the ranges fairly easily. The only other thing is that if your fitness tracker is connected your macro grams will stay the same, even if you add a massive amount of exercise and the calories will go up to meet it. For example, my minimums add up to 1248 per day, but the bottom of my calorie range is 1520. If I add together just the carbs and protein on the upper end, my total is 1872, 2 more calories that the upper number of my range, without adding in the 73 g of fat, which would be another 657 calories. Not eating at either extremity gives me plenty of room to meet my macros and calorie needs for the day.
The only other thing that I have seen is where some people have managed to manually change the ranges to be a little wonky, in which case updating weight or goals should make the program recalculate.
If that does not address your issue, please give us some numbers to work with.
Trying to use and understand the Spark People Nutrition Tracker. The minimums and maximums simply don’t add up to the total, either for individual days or generic Spark People guidelines. I am following the standard calculations of 1g protein or carb = 4 calories, 1g fat = 9 calories. Anybody at Spark People have an explanation of how I am misinterpreting or doing something wrong here ?