Here's how many calories you're really eating for lunch

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chipotle burritoFlickr / mark.watmoughHow many calories are really in your lunch?

Calorie counts are everywhere we go these days.

Chain restaurants in New York (and soon across the country) are required to display them, and although calorie counts are not the best measure for people trying to lose weight, they're one of the easiest ways to track how much you eat.

But how reliable are all those numbers?

Tech Insider's Kevin Reilly brought popular meals to Columbia University's Department of Medicine to find out, filming their bomb calorimeter as it calculated the exact number of calories in Big Macs, Chipotle burritos, and more. (Spoiler alert: There's a blender involved.)

Then he compared the results with what the restaurants had posted, and found that many of the official counts were way off.

Keep reading to see how your favorite chain stacked up (we saved those with the biggest discrepancies for last) and what the companies' responses to these findings were.

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Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino: 7% fewer calories than posted

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino: 7% fewer calories than posted

Olive Garden chicken Alfredo: 3% fewer calories than posted

Olive Garden chicken Alfredo: 3% fewer calories than posted

KFC famous bowl: 1% fewer calories than posted

KFC famous bowl: 1% fewer calories than posted

McDonald's large fries: 14% more calories than posted

McDonald's large fries: 14% more calories than posted

Chipotle chicken burrito: 21% more calories than posted

Chipotle chicken burrito: 21% more calories than posted

McDonald's Big Mac: 23% more calories than posted

McDonald's Big Mac: 23% more calories than posted

Pizza Hut pepperoni personal pizza: 26% more calories than posted

Pizza Hut pepperoni personal pizza: 26% more calories than posted

Some variation from the official count should be expected, depending on how your food is prepared. Here's what companies said about these discrepancies:

Some variation from the official count should be expected, depending on how your food is prepared. Here's what companies said about these discrepancies:

McDonald's did not respond to a request for comment.

Chipotle: "Our food is prepared in our restaurants and assembled to order by the people who work there (not by machine as you would have in a packaged food production facility), so there is always the possibility of some variation in calories, tough we work hard to be sure portions are consistent and correct."

KFC (Yum! Brands): "We send a composite sample of our products to an outside third part for nutritional analysis, which includes caloric content."

Starbucks: "We calculate the nutritional information based on standard recipes, and use best-in-class resources such as USDA guidelines for commodities like milk and our suppliers' nutritional information for ingredients such as sauces and syrups."

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