This probably seems like a pretty ridiculous question, but fellow calorie counters will know the importance of weighing foods precisely... especially for me, since bread forms a major part of my diet.
Well, the question is - when I weigh bread, it always comes up as 20% or so heavier as bread. However, once I take it out of the toaster - it weighs less. What causes this? And I've been counting the weight when it's bread, not toast, is this right?
03-17-2007, 10:55 PM
Toasting takes the moisture out.... I'd count it "raw" myself. :)
03-18-2007, 12:41 AM
yes count the weight while it is still bread.
03-18-2007, 12:52 AM
Precision in calorie counting may seem a great idea, but keep in mind that ALL calorie counts are estimates, and don't get hung up on tiny distinctions. If you burnt your toast black, you would technically burn off (and therefore reduce) quite a few of the calories, but I wouldn't reccommend doing so (unless you love the taste of carbon).
I make homemade jerky, and the finished weight can be up to 2/3 less than the starting weight, but very few if any of the original calories have "gone" anywhere (only the calorie free water has been removed, and unless you burn your food, or a lot of fat drips out, that's going to be true of most cooked foods).
03-18-2007, 01:25 AM
This probably seems like a pretty ridiculous question, but fellow calorie counters will know the importance of weighing foods precisely
I'm a calorie counter that happily estimates. Trying to figure out the exact calorie of everything I eat would make me crazy! I accept that even my most careful efforts are at best an estimate for the day.
03-18-2007, 04:15 AM
Hey Glory, sorry, I forgot of course there are people who estimate. However I'm still relatively new to counting and so I do need to be precise... also it keeps me accountable. Otherwise I could quite easily kid myself that I'm taking a standard portion... which all adds up, over the course of a day.
That's a good point Colleen. I eat mostly raw foods though (vegies, fruit, sandwiches, cereal) so luckily the difference before and after cooking isn't something I need to spend much thought on. Also I know that what I'm doing is at best estimating, but at least when I weigh things, it would be consistently inaccurate... you know what I mean? So if I decide to maintain or drop my calorie intake, that will be by percentage, so there should be a change even if my actual caloric intake is higher or lower than I think it is now.
03-18-2007, 08:04 AM
That definitely was my point, that you don't have to spend much thought on cooking's effects on calories, but what I also meant was that there are so many variables in addition to cooking and heating a food that affect the precise calorie counts that sometimes it is easy to make yourself crazy over whether the apple you ate was small, medium, or large and whether it had 40 , 45, 50, 55, or 60 calories based on which information source you were using to determine the calories. The fact is that two apples that grew on the same tree, and appear identical down to the same weight and number of seeds, can have (by whatever definition you are using) different calorie counts, and of course different apple varieties are going to have different "average," calorie counts, and a billion other things are going to affect the exact calorie count including things that you will never even know like the local soil and weather conditions during the growing season and how soon the fruit was picked...
Everyone has to determine for themselves the line between "accountable" and "obsessed," but we have to remember that the line can get awfully fuzzy.
I'm not trying to second-guess or criticise your choice, I just know from personal experience that when counting "down to the last calorie," sometimes it becomes very easy to forget that you always are estimating whether you realize it or not. It is so easy to get very upset with yourself and even discouraged for exceeding your calorie goal for the day, when you may or may not have done so in reality. I vividly remember the days when I felt like a failure if I went 50 or even 100 calories "over" whatever I had allowed myself for the day. I remember choosing one brand over another, based on labels listing a 15 calorie or less difference per serving (when because of the inherent variability, not to mention the way companies are allowed to estimate, there may have been no difference at all.
When I first joined Weight Watchers after they begain using points, it sure seemed like cheating to me, because there could be up to 65 calories difference within a "point." 35 calories of butter, and a WW yougurt at 90 or 100 calories were both 1 point. Hey, that doesn't seem right! If I had a day of "all yogurt," vs a day of "all butter," that could be a difference of over 2200 calories. (Realistically, who is going to eat either, but that was beside the point).
Counting "points," or using rounded figures (whether we round to the nearest 5, 10, or 50) does have the advantage of keeping the math easier, and to some degree lessening the tendency towards obsession, which can help some people stay motivated. Ultimately we all choose what works best for us, so keep doing whatever works for you. I just wanted to point out that if you find yourself stressing or obsessing, you might want to consider a less precise approach.
03-21-2007, 07:18 PM
kaplods: Your post was really helpful to me, as I'm struggling to decide whether I can keep calorie counting without becoming obsessed.
Thanks for your help!
03-22-2007, 03:13 PM
I think it is pretty normal however to START off being more obsessive and then relax as you get the hang of it. A good bit of the weighing/measuring at the beginning is self-education. What DOES an ounce of "X" look like. How big is a teaspoon really? What does an ounce of dry pasta look like when it is cooked.
Then you can relax. Or you may find there are one or two foods that you cant relax on because they keep stretching....( my 2 ounces of icecream grow..)
kaplods...I had to laugh at your WW comment because my big complaint was one day I took the formula and calculated my points for the day - I already had listed my foods in fitday for calorie counting purposes. Well, it turned out that the more detailed I got, the fewer points i had eaten! If I did my "breakfast" as one food it was 9 points (for example I dont remember anymore). If I did my omelet and my oatmeal and my beverage separately it was 8. If I listed each ingredient in my omelet, each ingredient in my oatmeal, each ingredient in my coffee it was 7. Over the course of the day HOW I added up my points made a 9-10 point difference. I'm sure there were rules that I didnt know about.