Why & How You Should Track Your Calorie Intake
“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.”
Deciding to get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle can be overwhelming – where do you begin? The golden rule of dietology says that if someone wants to be healthy and maintain normal weight, then they need to burn as many calories as consumed, but if they’d like to lose weight, they’ll need to consume less calories than they burn.
When trying to lose weight, people tend to weigh themselves on a regular basis, around 1-2 times per day. Your weight during the day can vary greatly, anywhere from 1 to 5 lbs.; that’s a considerable difference! This fluctuation happens because water retention results in weight gain. For example if you eat something salty in the evening, you will most likely gain some weight overnight since 1 gram of salt can lead to an extra 2 lbs. of water in your body!
It’s important to track what you’re eating and the impact this can have on your weight. You’ll want to calculate your consumed calories in comparison to calories burned, which is your energy value. The problem here is that relying on traditional methods for calorie counting can be inaccurate.
Here are some of the traditional calorie tracking methods and the reasons why they aren’t effective:
I. Calorie charts
Energy value is calculated by measuring the approximate amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fat in your food. The next step is to determine how much energy was released during the digestion of these nutrients.
These charts are easily found online; however keep in mind that this method is not very accurate. Specifically, fruits, vegetables, and meat products from different manufacturers can vary greatly in their contents, which will result in different energy value.
II. Recording Food Diaries
In order to calculate the energy value of your meal, you need to weigh every ingredient, find its calorie concentration, and sum up the results. The problem with this method is that the process is rather laborious, and many tend to give up and stop keeping tack after a couple of days.
Another consideration is that energy value can change dramatically with different cooking methods. For example, the energy content of a soft-boiled egg is 6-7% higher than energy content of a hard-boiled egg, and 100 grams of fried beef is two times fattier than baked beef!
III. Energy Content on Labels
Energy value on food labels is not very accurate. Products identify calorie content based on the product alone – they don’t take into consideration the impact cooking techniques will have on calorie level.
IV. Calorie Counting Applications
Mobile applications for calorie counting limit you to a small list of meals and foods to chose from. This is definitely easier than manually keeping track of your calorie count, however it still doesn’t solve the main problem - accuracy of energy value. Most applications are formed using calorie charts from content labels, which as stated earlier, are typically inaccurate. This also doesn’t eliminate the process of weighing your meal, and noting the cooking methods -- it still requires patience and time.
An obvious disadvantage for all of these methods is the fact that they don’t consider the individual characteristics of the particular person. Digestion varies from person to person, and in most cases we do not fully consume the energy stored in the food we eat. The amount of calories consumed depends on a variety of factors: differences in metabolism, the time of day we eat, and emotional background along with many other influences.
What is the advantage of Healbe GoBe?
One of Healbe GoBe’s features is the ability to automatically track and measure your calorie intake through your skin. Healbe’s patented FLOW™ Technology uses information from three sensors, (an accelerometer, impedance sensor and piezo pressure sensor,) to deliver comprehensive insights on your whole body’s health. Only FLOW™ Technology can measure calorie intake through your skin by reading the glucose levels in your cells.
Simply put, GoBe automatically shows the real, actual amount of energy that you have consumed.
GoBe provides accurate data on the amount of consumed calories and personalized information based on your specific digestion
Members of our Healbe GoBe network have noted how much easier GoBe has made understanding their body’s functions!
"GoBe is gathering tons of useful info on me and it would make sense to have it all in one place."
Lorrie Stewart (Healbe GoBe User)
How does Healbe GoBe track what you have eaten?
There are a few options to accurately keep track of your food intake with GoBe:
1) You can notify your GoBe at the beginning of a meal by pressing the button on the bracelet for 2-3 seconds until you see FOOD on the display.
2) If you forget to press the button, or press it a few too many times, you can confirm meal times within the mobile application. When you sync GoBe with your app, you will have access to a full timeline of identified meals, and the ability to confirm or deny each interval.
As soon as you confirm the timeline of your meals, Healbe GoBе will make a graph to reflect the amount of calories consumed.
Why does GoBe suggest meal times when you haven’t eaten?
The mobile app will sometimes prompt users to confirm specific meal times during periods that they weren’t eating. Why does this happen? GoBe bases its calculations on the level of glucose in your body and its fluctuations. There are non-food related reasons as to why your glucose levels could rise.
Here are a few circumstances when your glucose levels may rise, without food:
- Emotional stress
- Sudden changes in physical activity
- Whenever your body starts to use its stored glycogen –this could happen during long intervals between meals, during sleep, or during exercise.
If the app prompts you to select meal times in which you weren’t eating, simply deny the notification and understand that other glucose raising factors could be the culprit!
How does GoBe track your food’s nutrients?
Healbe GoBе shows information about your food’s nutrients – the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates you have consumed during a day (in grams). GoBe estimates the amount (left column in the table of Energy screen in the App) of nutrients you’ve consumed with your meal, considering the height and shape of the glucose graph. Our development team is continually working to improve these calculations to make it as accurate as possible.
While you can check your calorie intake and nutrients balance at the end of each day, we recommend you regularly sync with the application every 3-4 hours. If you’re actively monitoring your weight or exercising, you’ll want to check in more frequently. This will also help you to adjust your diet during the day, and serve as an added reminder to confirm your meals.
Healbe GoBe & the Individual Characteristics of Your Diet
It’s generally known that it’s important to consume enough protein and less simple carbohydrates both for those who want to lose weight or tone their physique. Quite often proteins make up the bulk of daily meals. In order to keep accurate track of calorie intake, there’s a feature in Healbe GoBе that considers individual characteristics of meals – either Mixed (mixed diet) or Carb-free (carbohydrate-free diet).
If you eat food rich in proteins, like chicken breast, egg whites or fish you need to choose the Carb-free option when you sync. If your meal is rich in proteins, fats and carbohydrates, you should choose the Mixed food option. It’s very important to know that if you choose the Carb-free option, your meal cannot contain any carbohydrates. For example, if you selected Carb-free for a meal of chicken and rice, there will be an error in calculation, but if you chose the Mixed food option, you’ll see accurate results.
Important Considerations for Healbe GoBe’s Energy Value Measurement
Healbe GoBe can accurately count the amount of calories you consume throughout the day; however in certain situations, there can be discrepancies in accuracy. Low calorie meals that are eaten close in time are difficult to gauge. For example, if you split your meals to eat every two hours, and the calorie intake equals 150-300 Kcal, then data sometimes can lack accuracy due to the overlay of food cycles.
Below you’ll see a graph that maps out the ranges that GoBe can measure: very well (green), slightly inaccurate (yellow) and rougher estimation (red).
Another thing to keep in mind is that GoBe doesn’t count the energy value of alcohol, and has precision issues with pre-workout meals (supplements like a protein shake, BCAA, etc.).
We hope this blog helped you to better understand the importance of keeping track of your consumed calories and how Healbe GoBe can make healthy living much easier!
Please note that while the Healbe GoBe bracelet is designed to provide you with information about the conditions and trends in the physical state of your body, Healbe GoBe is not meant to be used as a medical device and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; also note that it should not be used as a substitution for expert medical advice. Healbe GoBe measures the basic characteristics of your body using unique technology and algorithms to provide you with accurate data (including consumed and burned calories, step count and distance walked, energy balance, sleep quality, stress level, and heart-rate), but the accuracy of the GoBe's readings depends on the accuracy of the personal data you put in your profile and whether or not you are using the GoBe correctly.
Healbe recommends that you always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health expert with any questions you may have regarding a health condition, diet, or physical fitness program.
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