OK. I can see how they are allowed the 20% error with calories, then. If they analyze all the raw carrots they buy, for example, there will be a lot of lee-way in the calories, depending on how and where they were grown, how much water they end up containing, all resulting from agricultural conditions. They just get a big load of raw carrots and then have to peel them, for example, which adds the dimension of actually taking away calories while you do that! The 20% error just reflects that, although it could just as easily mean that the carrots have 20% fewer calories as more!
All that aside, the practice of simply measuring and counting caloric intake is pretty reliable. Food given to dieters in metabolic clinics isn't run through tests to make sure the calories are exact, and the 'average' which is reported at the end of a study is indicative, pretty much, of what you could reproduce - if a study's results can't be reproduced, it's not worth much. When people are put on strict diets in a metabolic ward with no snacks and measured average food, their calories are counted and they lose weight, barring any serious underlying metabolic disorders. So, can you go by average food, average servings, and average advice 'eat less, move more' and lose weight?
Yes, maybe not at the rate you'd like and as steadily as you'd like, but you do lose weight.
Right now, I'm wearing a pedometer that isn't EXACT but close enough in measuring how much I move my body. It's not even the pedometer that Weight Watchers sells (which is an awesome one, by the way, because it's waterproof). I'm pretty sure I didn't do a great job calibrating this pedometer to match my stride, but that isn't as important as the fact that it is always on me and it's constantly working at measuring, as imprecise as that may be.
I'm sedentary, all of a sudden, a lot - taking a class with a LOT of study involved - and that pedometer sure shows it. Bingo, my weight loss reflects that, big-time, and I just have to work through this 'slow-down' until I can finish the darn class.
Last edited by Kathy13118; 11-05-2012 at 04:44 PM.