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March 10, 2016

Why & How You Should Track Your Calorie Intake

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.

An exhausting workout is not always wise, because increased energy expenditure will cause hunger and can lead to overeating. The most important factor in losing weight and staying fit is to control your calories.

Follow your diet, but be ready to make adjustments - if you overeat today, reduce your overall calorie content tomorrow.

It can be difficult to understand or act on diet and exercise inconsistencies. Using a weight scale is not reliable, because for an adult the daily fluctuation in weight can be up to 5 kg for water only. Accurate weight monitoring can be recorded only during long periods of time, while considering several factors.

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.

Energy Intake Self-report: Calorie charts, Food Diaries and Calorie Counting Applications

+ PLUS - MINUS

Large database of products and services freely available

Manual logging

All ingredients of a meal need to be weighed

Only incoming calories are considered

Content of similar products from different manufacturers can vary widely

Food labels may understate calories by up to 20%

Energy value can change dramatically using different cooking methods

Digestion rates vary by individual, depending on metabolism

Multiple factors regulating metabolism and absorption rates

Calorie intake is only one factor in weight dynamics Individual metabolism and overall health vary widely

 

Automatic tracking GoBe2

+ PLUS - MINUS

GoBe2 tracks calories after they have been absorbed by the body

The process is simple

No need to manually log data

86.9% accuracy

You’ll know how many calories your body has digested and metabolized

 

 

Here are some of the traditional calorie tracking methods and the reasons why they aren’t effective:

I. Calorie charts and Food Diaries

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.

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!

II. 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.

III. 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.

The ability of the Healbe GoBe2 to so accurately track calorie digestion significantly differentiates it from other wearable health monitoring smartbands. The level of accuracy exceeds the effectiveness of comparable devices, as other wearables rely on a human recording of diet and calorie ingestion, and the potential for human error in that process typically puts accuracy at well below 50%.

The Foods for Health Institute at the University of California Davis recently completed a validation study of an innovative health monitoring smartband, the Healbe GoBe2. Over the two week period, the GoBe2 showed an accuracy of 89.6% in measuring calorie intake.

More information on the study can be found at http://bit.ly/ucdavis_validation.


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