Jul 5, 2012

I'm Tired of Misleading Calorie Counts!

This post isn't going to be techy or geeky. It's just going to be a little rant on misleading calorie counts. Why do I care? Because I am trying to lose some weight. Like many people in my family, I struggle with my weight. Some in my family have for their whole lives, my weight didn't settle in until my mid 20's. My biggest problem is portion control. I find that I can lose weight relatively easily if I keep track of my calorie intake. It's like what Jillian Michaels used to say on The Biggest Loser all the time. Losing weight is about burning more calories than you take in. Simple right? The hardest part is willpower. At least for me.

Anyway, one thing I don't like to do is drink my calories. When you are keeping track of your calories, you find that they add up very quickly. If you are drinking soda, it can take away almost 200 calories from your eating allotment for the day. I would much rather cheat on some buttered popcorn, and feel full, then to drink a soda. (A bag of movie butter popcorn from Albertsons is only 111 calories FYI...)

Still though, I don't like drinking water all day long either. I mean water is great, and your body needs it, but I like to change things up a little. Well I decided to buy a box of Crystal Light sticks to put in my water. After all their label says it is only 5 calories per serving. 5 Calories isn't a lot at all!

Well, I didn't look close enough at the package like I should have until last night. It's only 5 calories per serving all right, but each stick has TWO servings! The serving size for each package is labled as 1/2 packet. What also makes me mad is that their instructions say to make it you must use the whole packet. Shouldn't that make the serving size 1 packet? Why not just label it as 10 calories? I don't mind drinking 10 calories, why be misleading about it?

Maybe it isn't their fault. You are supposed to mix this with a 16oz bottle of water. If you look on that label, the serving size for that says 1/2 a bottle. Who the hell only drinks half of one of those bottles? They are tiny! That serving size should be 1 bottle as well.

Lot's of things have "shady" calorie counts if you look at them. If you are trying to keep track of what you take in, you have to be mindful of that. These two are just a few examples. One thing that helped me to re-read the label of the Crystal Light packets was the app I am using to track my calories, the My Fitness Pal app for Android. It allows me to look up calories in foods right on the app, and it said the serving size was a half packet. It forced me to double check. Great app!

Are you keeping track of your calories? What other foods have you noticed with misleading calorie labels? Let us know the ones that really piss you off in the comments!

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