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TOPIC: Flexible Portion Sizes

 
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September 20, 2012 10:14 AM
Firstly, congratulations on the extent of the food database. However the options when you've selected the food and ready to add the portion size is not desirable. For instance, my profile is set to use SI units, grams and litres etc, but I get forced to select a portion size of 12 fl oz. There are also a lot of foods that only have the default 100g portion. Whilst these are useful to compare nutritional values, it'll be very unlikely that it'll be 100g that you put in your mouth.

What I would like to see is a drop down with the normal portion sizes - dont care what units they are in - and an option to put in a my own portion size and units. Let the computers figure out the conversions instead of me working out that i've had 3.5 portions of 1/2 oz each.
September 20, 2012 10:47 AM
Most of the entries are made by other users, so good luck with that.
September 20, 2012 11:34 AM
Ruthe8,

You missed the point of the post entirely. A computer can clearly perform multiplications, which is why you can select 3.5 x 1/2 oz portions. All andyb749 is suggesting, is that this feature be further extended to perform unit conversions (because that's all they are, multiplications).

Whenever a user enters data for a food, i.e. say it has 300 calories per 100g portion, it should know it has 3 calories per gram, and that there are 28 grams in an ounce, and therefore 84 calories per oz. This is simple to code and should be automatic, and would consolidate the database.

I signed up just to write this very suggestion, and wasn't surprised to find it near the top of the threads. I won't be using this service until something like this has been implemented.
September 20, 2012 11:56 AM
You dont have to put the amount it shows, if its 100g portion size, and you only eat 2 oz, then you can put .56 of a 100g serving. I actually prefer it when the database has 100g listed in the portion size over anything else (like 1/4 cup).
  24021360
September 20, 2012 12:57 PM
QUOTE:

Whenever a user enters data for a food, i.e. say it has 300 calories per 100g portion, it should know it has 3 calories per gram, and that there are 28 grams in an ounce, and therefore 84 calories per oz. This is simple to code and should be automatic, and would consolidate the database.

That would be super if it worked that way, but it doesn't. There's more than one type of ounce, and the computer doesn't know if the user means fluid ounces or not. Also, the user can input anything they want as a portion size: ounces, cups, flugelhorns, truckloads... the computer can't translate those very easily, I would think. Moreover, this would in no way consolidate the database. I'm not even sure how you think that would work, but I assure you it would not. Identical entries don't get eliminated just because they are in the same units.

OP suggested a drop-down with normal portion sizes listed. This is where the user-entered data makes it impossible. The user would be responsible for entering one of the "normal" portion sizes, and they don't always do that. Frankly if OP can't figure out to enter 1.75 servings of 1 ounce each instead of 3.5 servings of 1/2 an ounce, I don't know that he can be helped.

QUOTE:

I signed up just to write this very suggestion, and wasn't surprised to find it near the top of the threads. I won't be using this service until something like this has been implemented.

Awww you'll be missed. You've been such a delight.
September 21, 2012 7:02 AM
There's absolutely no way I want to try and guess that there are 0.56 of a 100g portion in the pile of food that's in front of me. That involves knowledge of multiple units and conversions and probably a calculator as well as being to visualise the size of a portion. I can look at something and guess that its about 300ml or 250mg, but if I have to try and enter that as a multiple of fluid ounces (US or UK fl oz?) then the easiest path is to avoid entering it. We want to be healthy and record accurately what we eat so make it easy for us and don't put up barriers and make it difficult to do so. Compare the Fitbit method of entering water against MFP. Fitbit allows ml, cups, or fluid oz. I select 568 ml which I know is the size of the (UK) pint tumbler on my desk. I do not know or want to know how many fluid oz or cups that is.
September 22, 2012 4:21 AM
I agree with yo u that unit handling is in need of improvement.
There is a 1 gram serving feature that avoids the need for arithmetic.

Let's say you had 79 grams of "Asda - Pasta 28 g"
The serving size says '28 g'.
Click on the down-arrow to the right of the serving size.
Select the option for '1 g' serving.
Enter 79 servings.

No multiplication or division needed by you.
September 22, 2012 4:34 AM
QUOTE:

I agree with yo u that unit handling is in need of improvement.
There is a 1 gram serving feature that avoids the need for arithmetic.

Let's say you had 79 grams of "Asda - Pasta 28 g"
The serving size says '28 g'.
Click on the down-arrow to the right of the serving size.
Select the option for '1 g' serving.
Enter 79 servings.

No multiplication or division needed by you.


Yes this. If you're selection has portion sizes in 'glass' or 'bowl' then choose another entry, that hasn't been entered by a moron.
Some of the items DON'T have * next to them. These often have the choice of several different units.

In addition, the majority of foods have their nutritional values on the label as per 100g. Often users have used this (badly) to try and do the maths themselves for a smaller portion and then saved that as the entry. This has dire consequences, not just from rounding of figures, human error, or the user has absolutely no idea what they are doing.

Using the above, and weighing your food, you can accurately have MFP calculate food from to 0 to ? in 0.1g increments without issue.

Edit to add: Often when dealing with a new entry that is in a portion other than 100g, I will adjust it to equal 100g, and then compare it to the label of the item. This is how I have found the errors mentioned above, and have then subsequently edited the info.
Edited by IronSmasher On September 22, 2012 4:37 AM
  9711248
September 22, 2012 5:07 AM
I do enjoy the database and I agree that I have some trouble looking for the food and the amounts that I have eaten, but could you not create your own list of foods and amounts, it will take some time...but losing the weight will also take some and tracking accurately is the most important thing.
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