Most commonly under-reported food and drink items when tracking… 🍷
If you’re trying to lose fat and are working on reducing calories then you’re probably going to be recording your cals somehow. But are you really recording everything accurately? It’s very easy to overlook some things because they seem so insignificant or to under estimate certain things.
In studies the most commonly under-reported foods and drinks include things like spreads, sauces, dips, gravy, salad dressings etc. All those little extras in meals seem pretty insignificant and so people often either don’t record them at all or they’ll estimate them and usually those estimates are too low. For example a scraping of mayonnaise on your lunchtime sandwich may not seem much but if you have it 3 times a week that’s still at least 300 cals, and the gravy on your Sunday roast is probably another 200 cals, whilst a drizzle of salad dressing 3 times a week is another 540 cals. That’s already an extra 1000 cals that you may not have bothered to record or have under-reported. Oil for cooking is another key area that people underestimate – a slug of oil when you cook is at least 120 cals – but most people use more than that and estimate far less.
Liquid calories are something people often ignore or underestimate e.g. the dashes of milk in teas and coffees, soft drinks, juices and alcohol. These are easily overlooked or under estimated and can really add up across a week. The little nibbles – bites, licks, tastes, extra spoonfuls or foods or snacks are rarely tracked and of course can really add up (an extra spoonful of granola (40-50 cals), a lick of peanut butter (30 cals), a bite of the kid’s muffin (60 cals) etc etc).
A sensible calorie deficit for fat loss is around 200 – 300 cals per day. With this little lot you’ve wiped out your weekly deficit without even noticing. All these little extras sneak in without really affecting how full we feel and without us noticing but they can really add up. So whilst I wouldn’t want people to become overly obsessed with tracking the minutiae, at the same time if you’re not seeing progress then perhaps it’s worth just going back to basics and paying attention to some of these areas to see if you’re underestimating or overlooking them.