Calorific


Does Calorific really work? How?

Surprisingly, yes! Research shows that the people who are most successful at tracking calories (and those who lose the most weight) already follow the principles behind Calorific. Essentially, it turns out that it's much harder to over-eat if you eat good food (this is true for several complex reasons, including glycemic load, fiber content, insulin production, etc). The important thing is that it's not the exact calorie count that matters — it's the overall food picture that will shape your eating habits. Just try it out for a few days, log everything you eat, and you will notice yourself avoiding Red foods wanting to eat more Green foods. This is exactly what happened with all of our research participants.

But I want my calorie tracking to be precise. How can I get this?

Unless you weigh every ingredient of every food you eat, it's impossible to get precise calorie tracking. Portion size is notoriously difficult to estimate — you might eat 10 oz. of steak instead of 6 oz., or add just a little more chicken to that Caesar salad. This will change the calorie count drastically, making precise calorie tracking an illusion. Besides, different people metabolize foods very differently, getting a different number of calories from the same food. 

This is why Calorific takes a very different approach. It acknowledges the imprecision of calorie tracking, and focuses instead on fixing your eating habits by providing consistent and easy tracking (and soon many other features!). 

How do I determine the portion size (small, medium, large)?

This is a tricky question with any calorie tracking method, but research shows that you don't need to be precise. A good guideline is to record a "medium" item if you eat the recommended serving size, "small" if you eat half of the recommended serving size, and "large" if you eat more than the recommend serving size (about 2 servings). If you know the calorie value, that can also help to judge the portion size: medium green item is about 60 calories, a medium yellow is 120 calories, and a medium red is 300.

This table summarizes the calorie content for all the combinations of sizes and categories. Calories are now reported under the portion icons in Calorific.
 CategorySize Calories  Notes
 GreenTiny25 cals Low calorie density per gram
 Small  50 cals  
 Med100 cals  
 Large150 cals  
 YellowTiny50 calsModerate calorie density per gram, > 30% of calories from sugar
 Small100 cals  
 Med200 cals 
 Large300 cals 
 RedTiny50 cals High calorie density per gram, > 30% of calories from fat or > 60% from sugar.
 Small150 cals 
 Med300 cals 
 Large600 cals  

How do I undo something if I make a mistake?

Select the "Undo" or "Clear Meal" buttons on the logging screen. Keep in mind that you can't "Redo" or undo a "Clear Meal".

How does the Calorific Facebook posting work?

You can have Calorific automatically post updates to your Facebook wall about how well you're eating. Go the Calorific settings page (click the gear icon in the upper left-hand corner), and when you select the box to "Post to Facebook," you can choose either daily or weekly posts. The daily post will appear 18 hours after your wake up time, and the weekly posts will appear 18 hours after your Sunday wakeup time.

Why is wine in the Yellow category? Isn't a glass of wine good for you?

It's true that a glass of red wine a day has several proven health benefits. However, since foods in the Green category are meant to be enjoyed in abundance without having to limit yourself, we can't place things like Wine in this category. If you would like, please feel free to log one glass of Wine (but just one!) in the Green category, and log the rest in the yellow.

Why are beef and pork in the Red category?

The main reason is that almost all cuts of beef and pork contain too much fat to be classified in the Yellow category. The second reason is that most studies point to a connection between red meat and heart disease (though we understand some recent studies call these conclusions into question). If you are having an exceptionally lean piece of beef or pork, feel free to place it in the Yellow category (but only for the first serving!).

Why are eggs also in the Red category?

We've heard from a lot of users about eggs. It's a big component in many people's diets, so we understand there's some heated controversy regarding its healthfulness. Standard guidelines still recommend eating a small number of eggs per week (about 6). This, coupled with their cholesterol content and the fact that more than 30% of its calories come from fat, lead us to believe that they should be in the red category. As with the beef issue, feel free to log eggs in the yellow category if you're not convinced (and hopefully have talked with a doctor and dietician about it). 

Couldn't I match the correct ratios of food you prescribe and still overeat?

It's true, you could still overeat (at least in theory). On the other hand, a good bit of research shows that if you eat the right stuff, you are less likely to eat too much, and that's the foundation of Calorific. In future versions, we will probably explore more ideas on portion control, so please keep that feedback coming.

How do I record water, tea or coffee?

The jury is still out on whether or not drinking zero-calorie beverages can help you eat less or lose weight. Some studies show that in lab tests with mice, filling their stomachs with large amounts of water had no influence on their food intake. Other studies show that it does help humans eat less, and yet others believe the effect works, but is purely psychological. The science behind this is called Volumetrics, and while we don't want to get too far into the debate yet, feel free to log these as small green items if you would like to track your beverage consumption. This is not required, and beware that the 8 glasses a day rule is an urban legend.

I can't find a food in the "More Details" section. What size and/or category do I put it in?

Again, Calorific is less about specificity and more about speed and efficiency, and this is why the reference guide isn't completely exhaustive. The best way to log a new, confounding food item is to check the calories and nutrition information on the packaging or online. Then, keeping in mind the relative healthiness of the item, select the category and size that enables you to roughly approximate the number of calories in the item. 

An example using "Flax Seed Crackers":

Googling "flax seed crackers" revealed a website that listed them as having 133 calories per serving with 8.8 grams of fat, 5.3 grams of protein and 10.1 grams of carbohydrates (mostly from dietary fiber). For this serving size, logging your intake as a small yellow and tiny red would be acceptable. This adds to 150 calories, which is approximately the 133 listed, and reflects both the fat content (red) and relatively healthy nuts (yellow). 

It can take a little research, inference, and guesswork, but the end goal is to gain an intuition of food items and log them accordingly without even consulting the guide. Again, realize that Calorific is supposed to be approximate; don't pull your hair out over it :)!

Why isn't Calorific integrated into CardioTrainer and Weight Loss?

Stay tuned, as this feature is coming soon! The calories you burn with CardioTrainer will be subtracted from the calories you consume (logged in Calorific) to help track your calorie budget over time.  

How do I turn off logging reminders?

Notifications can get a bit aggravating sometimes, but you can turn them off simply by going into Calorific, selecting Settings (the gear icon), and de-selecting "Enable Logging Reminders." 

How do I log a meal I missed?

To log a meal you missed today, open Calorific and navigate to Today's Log. If you enter from the Widget, you might have to back out using the navigation bar. 

        


Then select any meal to log. The meal does not have to be outlined for you to access it.

If you'd like to log a meal you missed yesterday, navigate to the home screen (again, this will open directly from CardioTrainer or use the navigation bar to get to it). Then select your day and meal. Please note that we do not allow logging meals for dates prior to the installation of Calorific nor do we allow logging for future dates.

        

What do I do if a question I have is not on this FAQ? Or have more feedback? 

Just email calorific@worksmartlabs.com with your question and we will get back to you.

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