The Guestimation Game

So, let me go ahead and confess right now.  I honestly have no idea what two tablespoons of peanut butter look like.  I KNOW that is the serving size and I KNOW how many calories and Weight Watchers points it equals.  But, seriously, I love peanut butter.  And all of these years I have given myself permission to just “guestimate” how much is a serving size.  And not just peanut butter.  Serving sizes make me, well, unhappy.  And so to keep myself happy, I have just sort of made up my own idea about what a serving size looks like.

And then turn around and have the nerve to throw a good, old fashioned temper tantrum when I step on the scale.

Yeah, I know.  It doesn’t add up.  But, A LOT of us have acquired this “guestimation” habit, not just with peanut butter but with a lot of foods AND with our exercise.  We are eating less AND burning more.  If I stay on the elliptical for a good 45 minute at the resistance and speed I am going, it always reads into the 500’s.   I burn 500 plus calories in 45 minutes plus teach my classes then I’m good.  Well, I bought a Polar heart rate monitor and the numbers were so different that I actually considered sending it back and complaining that my monitor was broken.  I didn’t want to work that hard for a calorie burn in the 200’s and I know, for a fact, that I was really working.  What gives?

Here’s the issue.  The more conditioned you become, the harder you have to work to get your heart rate up and burn the way you used to when you were first starting out and weighing 30 pounds more.  (My resting heart rate is so low that every time I go to a doctor that isn’t my personal doctor, nurses (literally) go running for backup because they think something is wrong with my heart, that is, until I tell them what I do for a living. ) In order for me to go into overdrive with this body, I have got to push harder and not overestimate that I am still going to burn like I did before because sometimes, in our mind, we justify our poor food choices (like 6 tablespoons of peanut butter) with our “calorie burn.”  If it is inaccurate, then our processes are out order, our weight loss efforts are out of order, the number on the scale is out of order and then we go running for the chips and dip.

If you are stuck in a rut and you are a person who has “guestimation” down to a science, rethink your position.  Really become familiar with CORRECT serving sizes. Consider purchasing a heart rate monitor to track your true calorie burn and find a real baseline about what you need to get over your “hump.”  It may be as simple as……

…..being exact. 

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