after 8:00 pm eating

i work as an accountant and i can work up to 14 hours a day. my biggest challenge is eating healthy at night. dense protein like a steak is too much to stomach at that time of night. sadly, my go to has been a bowl of pasta at 8 or 9:00PM. thus my weight can swing 50 pounds a year - up 25 pounds during tax season and then down 25 pounds after. looking to avoid that and just keep it off.

Comments

  • I would recommend just stop eating at that time if a meal with protein that you won't overeat is too much for you to digest at night. Bring prepared meals with you on the job so that you can eat a balanced diet with protein throughout the day, and if you are still hungry near night time, eat some fruit or vegetables instead of the pasta so that you get full easier and don't overeat.

  • @dougm

    The way we eat at night can often be linked to how we eat earlier in the day. Our bodies like to eat a certain volume of food, as well as calorie range. If we're in a deficit by the time night rolls around, our brains starting send signals to eat.

    If someone is stressed and tired, food choices tend to be what's readily available and most-convenient.

    I'd suggest meal prepping some options that you can store in your freezer for when you get home for work. Soups, stews, and chilis work great. Also, be sure to have enough food earlier in the day so your hunger isn't overwhelming at night.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • @Susan_RD_101
    thank you. its rather frustrating burning it all off and then putting it all back on for 30 years.

  • edited July 11

    Like you, I don’t like to eat at night - my last meal is usually at 3:00 or 4:00. I’ve found that a scoop of casein powder mixed in water at 6:00 or 7:00 followed by a cup of herbal tea works well for me. Casein is (relatively) slow to digest and keeps me satiated until morning.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • @dougm

    I empathize with you... Keep in mind that long-term weight loss requires a way of eating and exercising that is enjoyable. Also, the food and restaurant industry don't really care if people lose weight and use a lot of science to keep us eating beyond the point of fullness.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • You could try stir-fried zucchini noodles a lower carb option and pesto sauce with some asiago cheese. You can buy the noodles or make your own. You'll get that pasta-like experience. Or you could have a small portion of pasta with vegetables and sauce. I would then try fasting from the time of the last meal at 8 or 9 until 12 noon the following day drinking only water or coffee or tea in the morning with a bit of cream, milk or oat milk, if you need it. No sugar. In this way you control blood sugar levels, insulin, and use intermittent fasting to simply restrict the eating window to 8 hours. Night shift is a challenge for sure, Try not to stay up too late as you'll be tempted to snack. Go for a walk and try a late night yoga routine to wind down. Sleep is important and keeping stress levels down. Darkened room with earplugs if necessary. Water with Natural Calm (magnesium) before bedtime. With a restricted eating window on most days you can also have some feasts on social occasions. Cauliflower rice in a stir fry is also a low carb option.

  • p0wer_lifter i'm impressed by the slow digestive properties of caesin. gonna look some up.

  • I suggest figuring out how to allow yourself to have that pasta, rather than trying to figure out how to avoid it. Personally I don't see any problem with a bowl of pasta at 8 or 9 pm (or any time of day for that matter), as long as it fits within everything else you eat during the day.

    I personally really do not like going to bed hungry. And I'm like you -- at the end of the day I like to relax into food. I have come to learn, over the years, that I am going to eat late. Techniques to stop myself from doing so ultimately result in falling off the wagon ("this is too hard" / "this sucks" / "I feel bad about myself that I caved").

    What I have also learned about myself is that I am able to endure being hungry in the morning. So when I am cutting weight I will (usually) skip breakfast, and then leave room during the day for the end-of-day "feast". Sometimes I will log what I expect to eat in the evening in the morning -- then plan my day around that.

    Good luck. Keep sharing how it goes for you.

  • Guess it depends on your schedule. Generally I have worked nights most of my life and I don't want to get up to eat and go back to sleep. Personally, I think if you work 9 to 5, you shouldn't eat past 7:30. If you want to eat some non-carbs, a yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese is nice.

  • One thing I would add is that for anyone athletic, having food prior to bed is pretty important (since a lot of recovery will be occurring though the night). I personally usually eat some fruit wither either a protein bar, some nuts, or a lentil-based baked good.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • I’ve been finding I can roast a big pan of veggies, with some garlic and just a little olive oil, and use that as a filling substitute when I’m craving pasta. I usually use a few fingerling potatoes, lots of cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, and asparagus. It seems to reheat well and keeps me from craving pasta of breads as much.

  • I can roast a big pan of veggies ... and use that as a filling substitute when I’m craving pasta

    Just be mindful to consider the quantity as well as the kind of food. Swapping 450 kcals of pasta carbs for 450 kcals of oil and vegetable & potato carbs is a wash.

  • Oh, I am, for me, a similar volume of the veggies is less than 1/3 the calories of pasta, and I’m using one tablespoon of oil with over two pounds of veggies when I roast them then reheating over many meals for the week. I also see a lot better nutritional value from a variety of veggies than from pasta.

  • No it's not, because a calorie isn't a calorie. Even if the total calories are the same (I see above they are not), there are many more micronutrients in the veggies, and much less carbs (potato not withstanding) in the veggies. You will have a completely different hormonal response to the veggies and oil as to the refined grains in pasta.

  • because a calorie isn't a calorie.

    IME, people abuse the phrase "a calorie isn't a calorie" and use it to justify large differences in quantities of energy. Also IME, people do a poor job in comparing food energy v. food volumes.

    I understand that there are differences in the way our bodies extract the usable energy from a source -- we are more efficient at converting the energy stored in a refined pasta than we are at converting the energy stored in a piece of broccoli, for example. However, these differences are relatively small, and hard for an individual to measure. It is easier and just as effective to not fuss about them, and instead behave as if a calorie is a calorie, focusing instead on long-term adherence to a nutrition plan with a kcal deficit.

    Even if the total calories are the same (I see above they are not), there are many more micronutrients in the veggies, and much less carbs (potato not withstanding)

    Well that's my point -- equate the total calories. And micronutrients are certainly important, but in the context of weight change, kcal balance is the driving force. If a person's goal is cutting weight, focusing on micronutrients at the expense of kcal balance is a mistake.

    You will have a completely different hormonal response to the veggies and oil as to the refined grains in pasta.

    Different how? And how would I as an individual detect & measure differences in my hormornal response to 250g of cooked pasta v. 500g of roasted broccoli (I'm estimating these are matched in energy, worth ~400 kcals).

  • One other difference, for me, in the pasta vs. the veggies is the level of fiber. The higher (relative) fiber in the vegetables means I feel full longer.

    Another combo that helps me with this is a small serving of high fiber cereal mixed with walnuts and berries. The combination leaves me feeling full much longer and still rewards my sweet tooth through the berries without being excessive.

  • Another combo that helps me with this is a small serving of high fiber cereal mixed with walnuts and berries.

    I would endorse this as well, with the caveat (again) of being mindful of energy. (Wal)nuts are energy dense, and one can easily swap them in for pasta and accidentally increase calorie intake. (I know, @NikkiD79 specifically wrote 'small serving' -- I want to stress the importance of being objective, e.g. "100 kcals worth' rather than subjective).

  • kcal balance is the driving force

    I disagree. Why do pregnant women gain weight? There is a positive kcal balance, but that's not the reason. The reason is hormones that drive appetite and control energy burning. Ditto teenagers. They eat everything they see, but that's reason they grow - they grow to feed the growth spurt their hormones are driving.

    It's the same with obesity. You may be eating more than you are burning, but your appetite and you calorie burn is controlled by hormones.

    Carbs trigger the release of insulin. Insulin (amongst other things) is a fat storage hormone that thus also prevents fat burning. High insulin levels silence leptin, the satiety hormone. The blood sugar rises, and with it, insulin. Insulin puts the excess glucose into fat cells, which respond by releasing leptin to tell us to stop eating. But we can't hear it, so we don't stop. Or if we do, the high insulin levels cause the blood sugar to plummet, making us ravenous for more carbs - if we eat them, the blood sugar rises and then crashes again. We are on an blood glucose roller-coaster.

    You can in the short term lose weight by forcing yourself to eat less than you want while still piling you plate with pasta, but you are fighting nature. Eventually, nature will triumph.

    Different how? And how would I as an individual detect & measure differences in my hormornal response to 250g of cooked pasta v. 500g of roasted broccoli (I'm estimating these are matched in energy,

    Looks like 250g of pasta is about the same kcal as 500g of broccoli tossed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or mayonnaise 😋). The pasta has 72g of net carbs (🤯), the broccoli about 20g along with 16 of fibre. The pasta will raise your blood sugar similarly to eating much more than 6 tsp of sugar

    while the tiny amount of carbs in the enormous pile of broccoli will release slowly into the blood stream, buffered by the fibre and the fat, and only require a small amount of insulin to process it. You will hear you leptin, and probably not finish it all.

    If you want to measure the difference, you can see how your appetite changes as you stop eating the pure carbs, you can watch your waist shrink, you can see your hba1c drop.

    Or you could get a CGM and see the immediate effect of what you eat on your blood glucose.

    I haven't eaten carbs for nearly 2 years, and I haven't counted calories or worried about portion size for more than 18 months. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I have had enough. I have been effortlessly maintaining a weight lighter than I have ever been in my adult life for a more than a year now.

    Interestingly, I am just recovering from a nasty cold, and treated myself with lemsip, which seems to be about 1 tsp of sugar per dose. It's the only sucrose I have eaten in since March. I normally skip breakfast and often lunch, but this morning I woke up ravenous - I assume due to a blood sugar crash. I had an egg with mayonnaise.

  • I disagree. Why do pregnant women gain weight? There is a positive kcal balance, but that's not the reason.

    Oh jebus.

    It's the same with obesity. You may be eating more than you are burning

    ... that's a kcal surplus

    You can in the short term lose weight by forcing yourself to eat less than you want

    ... that's a kcal deficit (well, "want" here is subjective -- if you mean "eat less than required for maintaining your current weight" then you're describing kcal deficit).

    If you want to measure the difference, you can see how your appetite changes as you stop eating the pure carbs

    Well, I asked how does an individual measure the specific effect of a difference in 250 kcals of energy from one source v. another. Not the removal of all carbs ("pure" or otherwise). But it sounds like your answer is "measure your appetite change". Ok, we'll go with that -- your contention is that an individual is to measure his/her hormone change based on appetite change.

    Or you could get a CGM and see the immediate effect of what you eat on your blood glucose.

    Hm, take a snapshot of blood glucose to determine hormone changes? I ... guess?

    I haven't eaten carbs for nearly 2 years, and I haven't counted calories or worried about portion size for more than 18 months. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I have had enough. I have been effortlessly maintaining a weight lighter than I have ever been in my adult life for a more than a year now.

    Congratulations. That's a WONDERFUL success story. You have in fact figured out how to naturally regulate your kcal intake to match your kcal expenditure. You can describe it in terms of hormones, but you're literally describing kcal balance.

  • edited September 1

    I think the issue is that it may be easier to regulate intake and maintain a calorie balance with a diet higher in fat and lower in carbs. From what I understand, cravings are reduced, so people can more easily eat less.

    Unfortunately, I believe that the extreme restriction of sugars and carbs are ultimately too difficult to maintain and people revert to old ways.

    So, yes to calories are king, and yes to a keto diet helping people lose weight - in the short run only for most people, I imagine.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • "Oh, jebus"???


    I spent some time drafting thoughtful your questions. I think I deserve better than you dismissive, patronising response.

  • edited September 2

    I spent some time drafting thoughtful your questions. I think I deserve better than you dismissive, patronising response.

    Well ... You claimed that pregnant women in calorie excess gain weight not because of the energy balance but because of hormones, and then used that as justification that hormones drive changes in weight for all populations.

    There are so many things wrong with this line of thinking. I mean, at the very least the cohort of pregnant women doesn't come close to approximating the cohort of non-pregnant women (and men), so equating the hormones of the two groups is non-sensical. But then too you didn't actually present a scenario that refutes my position of "kcal balance drives weight change"! You literally said "there is a positive kcal balance".

    But apart from that, you've shown you're quite dogmatic & evangelistic in your views. You've claimed elsewhere that you're not interested in scientific studies. And you have very strong positive reinforcement of carb-avoidance that works specifically for you ... so it's pretty clear to me that you're not able or willing to understand/accept anything else. What arguments can be presented to you that will actually be effective?

    All that occurred to me before, but "oh jebus" seemed the best way to go.

  • I don't believe the simplistic CICO nonsense because I did believe it for 40 years, including the last 10 when my weight slowly grew (losing some and then gaining it back with more). I thought i was a failure because despite my diligence, I couldn't fight the increasing weight. Then I changed my hormone situation, and the weight fell off.


    Of course I am convinced.


    And I have never said I don't believe in scientific papers. I only said (I searched my history) that I wasn't interested in papers proffered by John McDougall, because he uses sophistry and lies to promote his beliefs. I do read papers every week.


    What arguments would be effective? Ones that don't force me to disavow my lived experience.


    Look around you. 2/3 of the US and UK are overweight. 1/2 the US adult population have pre-diabetes or diabetes. We need a better explanation than we are all lazy and greedy.

  • I don't believe the simplistic CICO nonsense ...

    Hmm, that's too bad. CICO is a principal of the universe, the law of conservation of energy.

    I did believe it for 40 years, including the last 10 when my weight slowly grew (losing some and then gaining it back with more). I thought i was a failure because despite my diligence, I couldn't fight the increasing weight.

    Sorry to hear that :(. Our personal experiences are very, very powerful. I'm glad you found a way to get to kcal balance that works for you. Despite what you believe or don't believe, your current weight maintenance represents, fundamentally, that you are in CICO balance.

    What arguments would be effective? Ones that don't force me to disavow my lived experience.

    Would you accept a different framing of your lived experience? I mean, we're all individuals -- your personal experience is completely and totally legitimate, and it doesn't undercut the fundamental principal of energy balance at all. It shouldn't be that much of a leap -- I mean, some people are intolerant to gluten, and some people have Crohn's disease, but these things are not universal, any more than it's universal that "a body is either male or female" (fun fact, the average number of nipples per person is >2 lol). So will you accept that insisting that the only way for every person to achieve kcal balance is by eschewing all carbs, or a particular carb is arbitrarily placing people in categories to which they don't necessarily fit? I mean, clearly insisting that you must eat carbs pushed you into a category to which you didn't belong.

    We need a better explanation than we are all lazy and greedy.

    a) Do we though?
    b) you said 2/3 are overweight & 1/2 are pre-diabetes or diabetes -- that's not "all".
    c) It only takes a small daily surplus to gain 2-3lbs/year. A person can be simultaneously hard working and giving and completely unaware of it, and gain 40-60 lbs between age 20 and 40. It can be that simple.

  • edited September 7

    When I do start to test out a true keto diet, I’d like to measure my response. I assume that the accurate way to measure is to test blood? Is urine testing accurate enough? Any experience with home keto test kits?

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • I never bothered to monitor anything. I kept my carbs low enough that ketosis was inevitable. I think the urine strips have a use when you first start, giving you visual reassurance that everything is on track. They stop being reliable after a while, as you start utilising the ketones rather than pissing them away. So no longer turning pink could mean you are out of ketosis or that you are now thoroughly fat adapted.

    The blood measure is more reliable, but the strips are very expensive, more than $1 each. I never saw any need except curiosity to know my ketone levels at any time. Actually, I nearly forgot, back when I started I had a needle phobia, so the idea of repeatedly jabbing myself was extremely unappealing.

    I am thinking of experiment with a CGM to see what I can learn from that. I know that isn't an option in the US without a prescription, but you can buy it OTC in the UK.

    https://perfectketo.com/continuous-glucose-monitoring-keto/

  • edited September 16


    " It only takes a small daily surplus to gain 2-3lbs/year."


    Agreed, so 3 Pringle's a day, for example. How could you possible know your calorie intake that precisely?


    For starters, food nutrition labels only have to be +/-20% of the actual value,

    https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2012/08/21/when-nutrition-labels-lie

    and they may be even further out than that,


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4311087.stm


    Then expenditure is mostly BMR (basal metabolic rate) and exercise & other voluntary movement.

    BMR is calculated from a formula, and the most accurate of those is only 35.7% reliable.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572798

    And for energy expended while moving, the best way most of us have is wearable and they can be more than 40% unreliable.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/24/16926350/apple-watch-series-2-fitness-tracker-healthy-notification-behavior

    On top of that, remember the second law says energy is wasted everytime it's transferred. And then you will definitely be excreting macro nutrients via your colon and possibly breath and urine. Then there is the microbiome - how much food energy is feeding them and not you?

    Any estimate of energy balance will be out, very possibly by 50% or more, yet intaking only 1% more food than you need will result in a steady weight gain year after year. It is not possible to prevent this via monitoring of food and activities.

    ----

    But this puts it much better than I can

    https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqab270/6369073

  • Agreed, so 3 Pringle's a day, for example. How could you possible know your calorie intake that precisely?

    Lol, I know you're joking / teasing me, but 2-3lbs/year is roughly 10,000 kcals, or 50 40g-cans of pringles (the small cans; 210kcals/can). I can imagine a person otherwise eating at maintenance saying "ah, what's a small can of Pringles? It's been a long week, I earned this." No?

    ... I actually tried to look up the number of kcals in a single Pringle to see what the theoretical effect of 3 Pringles/day over maintenance would actually be, but I couldn't find it. It's probably on the order of 1/4 lb though, if I had to guess, and practically speaking, that's not noticeable (especially since your weight can vary by 2-3 just between days based on your hydration level).

    For starters, food nutrition labels only have to be +/-20% of the actual value,

    Yep, this is true. Over time though, this inaccuracy come out in the wash. Probabilistically speaking, if you think you eat 1,000 kcals one day and you actually eat 1,200, there's another day where you've eaten 800 but you thought you'd eaten 1,000. Eventually these peaks and valleys even out.

    Also, the inaccuracy really isn't that much to worry about, practically speaking. Let's take the Pringles as an example; 210kcals +/- 20% is a range of 170-250kcals; 1 can per week for a year is then ~8500-12600 ... that's still "2-3lbs," (more or less).

    BMR is calculated from a formula, and the most accurate of those is only 35.7% reliable.

    People like to put their height/weight/age/activity level into a BMR calculator, take the result, and say "this is exactly what I burn every day." This is the wrong way to use the calculator. What a person should do is take the number, set a kcal target based on it, adhere to that kcal number for several weeks with a consistent training plan, and see what happens to their weight. Then, based on what happens, the person can assess the accuracy of "their BMR," and adjust their target kcals up or down to align with their goals for the next 4-6 weeks. Repeat, analyzing weight with respect to kcal-in every 4-6 weeks, and adjusting intake as the long-term averages suggest.

    And for energy expended while moving, the best way most of us have is wearable and they can be more than 40% unreliable.

    Or worse! Besides, "activity level" is one of the inputs to the BMR formula; if a person uses their BMR from a calculator, and then eats extra because of the numbers on their exercise tracker, he/she is double-dipping, counting energy outlay twice.

    I do not advocate for adjusting kcal-in day-to-day based on estimated/guessed-at exercise from a Fitbit/activity tracker.

    On top of that, remember the second law says energy is wasted everytime it's transferred. ...

    The minutea are too complicated to get into, though I think in the context within our bodies this "energy wasted" is realized as heat, which isn't so bad (I mean, we are warm blooded; that warmth comes from heat "waste" released via chemical reactions). Nonetheless, I still say it is sufficient to look at kcal-in & weight change over time and not get too in the weeds about where specifically the energy taken in goes within the system.

    For example: if a person wants to cut at 1lb/week, and after 4 weeks is only realizing .5lbs/week, that person should adjust kcals down by 250kcals/day. The person should focus not on what the BMR calculator said, but what the real-world results of their kcal intake & biometrics show. These data, by the way, are only useful when the person is consistent, so long-term consistency is very important.

    To tie this back to food labels being inaccurate: food-label inaccuracies also get accounted for here. The labels are "good enough" for this technique.

    Any estimate of energy balance will be out, very possibly by 50% or more

    I absolutely agree, for the person putting grabbing his/her BMR from a calculator for the first time and just going to work. Over time however, if that person is consistent and diligent with his/her kcals-in & weight tracking, and adjusts their kcals-in no more frequently than once a month as I've described above, it is actually very possible to reduce the inacuracy.

    It is not possible to prevent this via monitoring of food and activities.

    I disagree :).

  • Lol, I know you're joking / teasing me, but 2-3lbs/year is roughly 10,000 kcals, or 50 40g-cans of pringles (the small cans; 210kcals/can). I can imagine a person otherwise eating at maintenance saying "ah, what's a small can of Pringles? It's been a long week, I earned this." No?

    What makes you think I am joking? It's simple maths: 10000/365 = 28.61 kcal/day

    ... I actually tried to look up the number of kcals in a single Pringle to see what the theoretical effect of 3 Pringles/day over maintenance would actually be, but I couldn't find it. It's probably on the order of 1/4 lb though, if I had to guess, and practically speaking, that's not noticeable For starters, food nutrition labels only have to be +/-20% of the actual value,

    Where oh where could you find the nutritional value of a single Pringle? 🤔

    I've taken the liberty to show a few examples of what would count as 30 (excess) calories: less than a teaspoon of oil or mayonnaise (eg the amount left on the pan or plate), a bite of beef or chicken, two bites of a banana etc etc.

    Yep, this is true. Over time though, this inaccuracy come out in the wash. Probabilistically speaking, if you think you eat 1,000 kcals one day and you actually eat 1,200, there's another day where you've eaten 800 but you thought you'd eaten 1,000. Eventually these peaks and valleys even out.

    That's not how errors work. The results get more an more inaccurate as you sum things.

    So a 20% error on day one becomes a 28% error on day two and 140% by the end of a week. And that's assuming the errors are random; if you are consuming similar foods from a similar source, they are likely to have similar errors.

    Also, the inaccuracy really isn't that much to worry about, practically speaking. Let's take the Pringles as an example; 210kcals +/- 20% is a range of 170-250kcals; 1 can per week for a year is then ~8500-12600 ... that's still "2-3lbs," (more or less).

    That's what I said. A small can would have roughly 20 in it, so one can a week is 3 per day.


    But I think you are missing my point. If you grab a handful of 9 each day, and that puts you exactly at your calorie for the day, you are fine. But if you grab 12, you are going to put on weight. And it's not just pringles, but if a 4oz steak was exactly what you need, but you accidentally eat a 4.4oz steak, then again, you are putting on weight.

    According to CICO and you, at least.

    BMR is calculated from a formula, and the most accurate of those is only 35.7% reliable.

    People like to put their height/weight/age/activity level into a BMR calculator, take the result, and say "this is exactly what I burn every day." This is the wrong way to use the calculator.

    It's how every medical authority and app - including cronometer - tells you to do it.

    What a person should do is take the number, set a kcal target based on it, adhere to that kcal number for several weeks with a consistent training plan, and see what happens to their weight. Then, based on what happens, the person can assess the accuracy of "their BMR," and adjust their target kcals up or down to align with their goals for the next 4-6 weeks. Repeat, analyzing weight with respect to kcal-in every 4-6 weeks, and adjusting intake as the long-term averages suggest.

    😂 🤣 😂 🤣 😂 🤣 😂 🤣

    Now you're the one teasing! That's an enormous undertaking you are suggesting. You think this herculean effort is all that is required lose weight. Some people have full time jobs and families

    If this is really what you think is required to lose weight, no wonder nearly everyone fails. You can't seriously be putting this forward as an argument in favour of CICO? This seems like a reductio ad absurdum I might use to show how use to show how ridiculous the whole thing is.

  • Where oh where could you find the nutritional value of a single Pringle? 🤔

    Lol, I don't even know why I didn't think to look in Cronometer. D'oh.

    So a 20% error on day one becomes a 28% error on day two and 140% by the end of a week.

    This would be true if you're just relying on a single food. But you don't -- you eat a variety. Greg Nuckols did a much more thorough write-up than I could ever do, showing how error washes out over time: https://www.strongerbyscience.com/nutrition-labels/

    We are in agreement with regards to small things adding up over time though. That's nice.

    It's how every medical authority and app - including cronometer - tells you to do it.

    Actually I think if you went to an actual RD -- your "medical authority" -- an RD would not just have you fill out a BMR calculator and say "ok, stay under this number." I think an RD would do very much what I describe -- get you started, work with you on behaviors and tactics and then analyze your results over time and make adjustments.

    But the app space? Yes, you're absolutely right. Apps are not customized solutions. They are designed for wide audiences, and for most people, most of the time, not to mention most beginners who have never done food logging or kcal tracking, a simplistic BMR calculator is close enough. The equations come from population studies, so probabilistically speaking a given individual is likely to be close enough for the number to work out of the box. On top of that, using a calculator fits the wants of most people -- it's incredibly easy to just fill a form and get a number.

    Bear in mind that the forumlae have an arbitrary adjustment mechanism built in, this "activity level" coefficient which has a huge impact.

    One of the reasons I love Cronometer is that you are able to input your own daily kcal target. You can override the BMR calculations quite easily.

    Now you're the one teasing! That's an enormous undertaking you are suggesting.

    Well, I mean, it does take effort. But we're on the forms of a food logger, people are here because they're tracking their food. It is not a huge leap to from "tracking food every day" to "looking at weight loss trends over the past month and adjusting daily kcal targets up or down based on the results.

    If this is really what you think is required to lose weight

    What I think is required to lose weight is being in an overall kcal deficit in the long term. Period. How an individual chooses to achieve that deficit is their decision.

    The method I describe of logging food and watching your trend over time is me responding to your argument that "BMR calculators are flawed, ergo CICO is also flawed." BMR calculators are flawed. That does not actually refute CICO. You have to understand the limitations of the tools you are using.

    no wonder nearly everyone fails.

    Eh ... I don't have the data to say "everyone." But I'd posit that widespread failure at cutting weight is due to it being a challenge. No matter what path a person takes, cutting weight involves using stored fat, which is physically uncomfortable. Meanwhile, food is abundant and cheap. Deliberately putting onesself in discomfort for months on end, when it's so easy to be comfortable is just not something that most people choose to do.

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