Volumetric vs Weight measures…. 🧭
This tip doesn’t just apply to tracking your calories, it’s also important for baking too! You will often find that certain items on tracking apps / recipes are measured in cups. This method of measuring though is very inconsistent. For a start – which cup? What size is the cup? Well usually this means measuring cups, but UK and US cups are actually different sizes so even that is inconsistent! The other issue is that measuring cups and spoons vary slightly in capacity from manufacturer to manufacturer. In addition people differ in their perceptions of how to fill them e.g. do you have it loosely packed, compressed, levelling off the top, heaped etc. So whilst these measures give you a ball park figure they aren’t that precise. For some things this won’t matter – a cup of lettuce for example is so low in calories that it won’t make much difference. However with certain things it can make quite a difference.
In this example, oats are often measured in cups, especially on tracking apps. A serving is half a cup which is assumed to be 40g. So you may think it’s ok to just go with a half cup when scooping out your oats. In reality though a loosely filled half cup is actually closer to 55g. This is an extra 56 cals per portion. 56 cals may not seem like much but if you were also measuring other things in your oats with cups/measuring spoons (like a tbsp peanut butter, tsp jam etc etc) and all those are out too then you’re consuming quite a bit more than you realise. If you’re doing that daily that’s over 390 cals a week, which is enough to affect your progress.
So where possible go for metric measures i.e. grams or ml on a kitchen scale if you want to track your calories more accurately, especially for calorie dense foods.