# 100 lb. Club - I need help with at home calorie counting!

MugCanDoIt
03-03-2009, 12:39 PM
I just cant seem to get this. Its so hard. Because when you make a pot of something, how are you supposed to know how many calories you are eating if everyone eats out of the pot? Do you just count the ingredient calories, then divide them up into cups or what?

And if I cut up some cauliflour or some green beans, do I actually have to put them in measuring cups too know the calories? What if you cut up big pieces of cauliflour and they cant fit into a cup? Things like that drive me insane.

Everyday I seem to get a little more frustrated cause Im not losing anymore weight. :mad:. Both mornings this week Ive woken up to a rotten number on the scale and it just puts me in an "I HATE EVERYONE INCLUDING MY LIFE" day. :devil:

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anastasia
03-03-2009, 12:40 PM
it's not always easy working out what you've eaten and it is a case of measuring things tto know what you've done / eaten. that's how i do it anyway.

if iknow how much of smoething went in and i know i ate half of it then i know how many calories i've had

sorry my spelling sucks today

Daimere
03-03-2009, 12:41 PM
Stop weighing every day will help. It's causing you too much turmoil.

You add all the calories of the ingredients together and split it into serving sizes(typically I see 2, 4, and 8 servings for most recipes).

bargoo
03-03-2009, 12:53 PM
You are making it too difficult. Add the total calories of the ingredietnts and divide by amount of servings. You can cut cauliflower in smaller pieces to make it easier to measure.
You have lost 33 pounds you must be doing something right.

willow650
03-03-2009, 01:39 PM
some things are easier to count than others, I think having a digital gram scale would be easier. There is one soup I make that is pretty much open can of this and can of that and pour so I add up the ingredients of everything and divide by 10 since there is 5 in my family and there is enough for us to eat 2 times for dinner. It may not be exact, but its pretty close. Now another I make, that involves a lot of fresh veggies, is WAY harder to count. this is where a scale would come in handy.

Kae
03-03-2009, 01:45 PM
I just add up all the ingredients and divide it into serving sizes... as someone else suggested, maybe getting a food scale would help you.

Seriously though, you have lost over 30 pounds... you have me beat... it must be working, even if it is slower than you would hope.

mandalinn82
03-03-2009, 01:46 PM
I eyeball my non-starchy veggies. I would measure it once or twice, then estimate. The difference between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup of cauliflower, for example, doesn't make hardly any difference in calories, and you'll make yourself crazy going into that much detail.

Here's what I do - first, I decide how many servings I need to make (usually, this is 4 - one for me, one for my partner, and two for our lunches the following day). Then, I buy a package of meat with a reasonable number of ounces per serving (a standard serving of meat is 4 ounces, raw. I purchase between 3-4 ounces raw per serving I'm going to make...3/4-1lb packages of meat).

I then add together the other ingredients I'm putting in, and divide the calories and other nutrients by 4 (the number of servings).

So let's take my meal tonight, a beef stew. I am making it for 4 people, but stew meat is a little higher fat than other meats, so I went with 3 ounces per serving...total of .75 lbs.

Then, I added: 2 cups of potato, 2 cups carrot, 2 cups celery, and two large onions (all sliced/diced), as well as 2 cloves of garlic, and 8 cups of low sodium/reduced fat beef broth. That means that each of my 4 servings has:

3 ounces raw stew meat
1/2 cup white potato
1/2 cup carrot
1/2 cup celery
1/2 large onion
1/2 clove garlic
2 cups beef broth

I put those values into FitDay and boom - i know how many calories I'm getting if I eat 1/4 of the pot of stew.

gin
03-04-2009, 02:24 AM
I have a digital scale and it really helps me, especially with stuff that isn't easy to fit into measuring cups. So I make soup and weigh everything out veggie wise and measure out the liquid stuff. Then I divide it by the number of servings I get out of the pot. I put all the stuff into the recipe calculator at calorie count . about . com and it does all the math for me. I think the digital scales are much easier than the dial ones.

Jen

kaplods
03-04-2009, 01:33 PM
I think it's important to think of calorie counting like money. In your daily life, the math can be estimated, you don't have to have an accountant's precision to keep track of your purchases on a shopping trip for example. You don't usually do the math to the nearest penny, you round off and estimate, or rather most people do.

You can choose to obsess, but you don't have to. I don't think weighing yourself daily or weekly, nor measuring food every time or not really is the issue. You can choose to obsess, either way - you have to learn not to obsess by whichever techniques help you not obsess.

For me, weighing myself daily has helped me not obsess. I see what daily fluctiations look like, and they don't freak me out. Not counting calories directly, also helped me avoid obsessing. I chose an exchange plan, which does the calorie counting for me. I "get" 4 to 8 vegetable exchanges. Most veggie exchanges are 1/2 cup of cooked, or 1 cup of raw - and the calories range from 10 to 40, which is a very small difference. The protein exchanges are 55 - 80 calories....

I'm not saying that my choices should be yourse, you have to find what allows you to pay enough attention without driving yourself mad. It doesn't have to be rocket science, so don't make it more difficult than it has to be. Being "too" relaxed can backfire, but so can being too anal. If you make it too stressful, you're going to feel that it's not worth the effort, but how you go about making it as easy as it can be, is a very individual thing, trial and error and learning to relax are your best tools.

Redflame
03-04-2009, 07:48 PM
Mug........I'm just going to tell it like it is, thats just the way I am, so if you are not in the mind set to hear some tough love do not read further right now........

<standing over you, with hands on hips, with my pissed off face on>

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Right now you are being your own worse enemy! Your beating yourself up, and you need to stop it right now young lady!

<taking pissed off look off of my face>

Calorie counting cannot rule you, nor can that scale.........you can't let that happen.

Put the scale away for a week or better yet 10 days.....it's your challenge! And figure out a small reward for sticking to it (pedicure, new spring flip flops, new mascara....what ever)

As far as calorie counting, it is very safe to guestimate foods like veggies etc......I have to be EXACT when I measure things like peanute butter, or cereal or cheese, but cauliflower? eyeball it! Allow yourself to guestimate!

When making a soup, stir fry, cassarole and the like I keep track of all my ingredients and figure out how many servings the end product made.....for example, soup; if it fill my big pot half full when I am done, and I serve 4 equal size bowls and I have 1/4 a pot left then I know the whole pot will make about 8 servings. Something that may be more calorie laden that are in a pot I would transfer to one of those mega measuring bowls (stir fry with pasta in it, mashed sweet taters, etc) something in a 9x13 pan, easy..........cut it up and divide total calories by number of servings

I use sparkpeople.com to track my calories and there is a place to track groupings where you can put full ingredients of the entire dish, and get a total, then you can say you ate .25 (4 portions in the dish) or .125 (8 portions)

when I bag up left overs I use zip locks and a sharpie and write the calories and fat grams on the baggie, throw in fridge or freezer, no guess work next time. I also make notes in some recipe books on the rare things I use a recipe for.

But most importantly <NO pissed off face here.....just caring face> Be kind to yourself.

I know you are freaking out right now, I just got done with a 3 week stall myself, and it is near impossible to not go down that freak out path.......some day we will figure out how to put a permanent barrier to that path!~ other than the obvios of getting to our goal.

You can beat this, you have what it takes, you just have to convince yourself of that. And when you doubt it come back here, and I will put my pissed off face on, and slap my hands on my hips and give you the 'what for' once again!

Thighs Be Gone
03-04-2009, 08:02 PM
I am looking to purchase a food scale..I found some as low as 4 dollars and some as high as 30--can anyone tell me the difference and which one I need to buy?? Thank you.

Sandi
03-04-2009, 08:19 PM
Measuring use to be such a pain. But watch this video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVjWPclrWVY It really shows you why you should use a scale with grams.

I measure everything with my scale in grams. I bought this scale.. http://www.amazon.com/Escali-Primo-Digital-Multifunctional-Chrome/dp/B0007GAWRS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1236212290&sr=8-1 and it's really great!!

Take peanut butter for instance - measure spoon - what a pain. Instead, put your bread on the scale - tare it out and then put the peanut butter on the bread until it's the right amount of grams!

Trazey34
03-04-2009, 09:36 PM
Is it wrong that i see veggies as free??? i don't put anything on them usually, just some pepper & vinegar (weird i know but i love it) I don't really count it towards my day, just a vague "100 cals" for the lot, big salads and veg thru the day...hmmm....

if it's any help, i found switching to a salad plate as my dinner plate was SUPER!! instantly cut portions **whammmo** right in about half :)

kaplods
03-04-2009, 10:10 PM
Is it wrong that i see veggies as free??? i don't put anything on them usually, just some pepper & vinegar (weird i know but i love it) I don't really count it towards my day, just a vague "100 cals" for the lot, big salads and veg thru the day...hmmm....

if it's any help, i found switching to a salad plate as my dinner plate was SUPER!! instantly cut portions **whammmo** right in about half :)

If it's working for, there is no WRONG to any of your choices. Don't let anyone tell you that there is. Now, if it stops working for you, then examine. I also view veggies as free, in the sense that if I use up all of my calories (food exchanges) and am still hungry, I eat more veggies. Now, when I get down to 5 or 10 lbs from goal, maybe I will have to count them, but for now I've never had a no loss that I can contribuute solely to vegetables - there always have been much more likely suspects (like eating off plan entirely, or not exercising or other poor choices).

MugCanDoIt
03-05-2009, 10:58 AM
Mug........I'm just going to tell it like it is, thats just the way I am, so if you are not in the mind set to hear some tough love do not read further right now........

<standing over you, with hands on hips, with my pissed off face on>

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Right now you are being your own worse enemy! Your beating yourself up, and you need to stop it right now young lady!

<taking pissed off look off of my face>

Calorie counting cannot rule you, nor can that scale.........you can't let that happen.

Put the scale away for a week or better yet 10 days.....it's your challenge! And figure out a small reward for sticking to it (pedicure, new spring flip flops, new mascara....what ever)

As far as calorie counting, it is very safe to guestimate foods like veggies etc......I have to be EXACT when I measure things like peanute butter, or cereal or cheese, but cauliflower? eyeball it! Allow yourself to guestimate!

When making a soup, stir fry, cassarole and the like I keep track of all my ingredients and figure out how many servings the end product made.....for example, soup; if it fill my big pot half full when I am done, and I serve 4 equal size bowls and I have 1/4 a pot left then I know the whole pot will make about 8 servings. Something that may be more calorie laden that are in a pot I would transfer to one of those mega measuring bowls (stir fry with pasta in it, mashed sweet taters, etc) something in a 9x13 pan, easy..........cut it up and divide total calories by number of servings

I use sparkpeople.com to track my calories and there is a place to track groupings where you can put full ingredients of the entire dish, and get a total, then you can say you ate .25 (4 portions in the dish) or .125 (8 portions)

when I bag up left overs I use zip locks and a sharpie and write the calories and fat grams on the baggie, throw in fridge or freezer, no guess work next time. I also make notes in some recipe books on the rare things I use a recipe for.

But most importantly <NO pissed off face here.....just caring face> Be kind to yourself.

I know you are freaking out right now, I just got done with a 3 week stall myself, and it is near impossible to not go down that freak out path.......some day we will figure out how to put a permanent barrier to that path!~ other than the obvios of getting to our goal.

You can beat this, you have what it takes, you just have to convince yourself of that. And when you doubt it come back here, and I will put my pissed off face on, and slap my hands on my hips and give you the 'what for' once again!

I guess i needed to hear that! Thanks, and Im gonna try to stop freaking out. And I have put the scale at the top of my hall closet for two weeks. Not touching it till then! Thanks for all the hands on hips advice!! :hug:

rockinrobin
03-05-2009, 05:50 PM
Is it wrong that i see veggies as free??? i don't put anything on them usually, just some pepper & vinegar (weird i know but i love it) I don't really count it towards my day, just a vague "100 cals" for the lot, big salads and veg thru the day...hmmm....

if it's any help, i found switching to a salad plate as my dinner plate was SUPER!! instantly cut portions **whammmo** right in about half :)

Okay, this could be part of my *problem*, or the reason I HAVE to count my veggies. I switched my salad plate (that I use for salad) to a large serving bowl , - just for myself.

I like/need/want volume. The only way I'm going to get to eat a lot of volume, which I like/need/want (may have mentioned that), is if I eat veggies. Gotta count em'. That's just how many I'm eating of them. Upwards of 500 calories a day.

We've all got to find what works for ourselves though.

kaplods
03-05-2009, 06:16 PM
I know from personal experience, that it's possible to overdo anything, which is why I count (but don't limit) my vegetables. All of my other exchanges, I see as hard limits (2 dairy means 2 dairy, and If I want a third dairy, I have to use one of my optional exchanges, and if I don't have any available to spend "too bad." However, my veggies I see my 4 veggie exchanges as a minimum. Regardless, if I'm on plan, I'm documenting everything.

I can't stress enough how much value I find in documenting. Because if I'm using my food journal, I can SEE trouble spots. If I'm not losing, generally it's because I decided that I could go a few days without "writing down everything," or because I chose to eat off plan, or possibly it's water weight from a high sodium on-plan mean (which I generally then know is probably just water weight and will disappear in a few days). When I'm writing down everything, if my weight loss isn't what I want it to be, I can look back at my food journal and identify the likely suspects. Sure it could be vegetables, but for me it never has been (I also have IBS, so fruits and veggies can be hazzardous, so "overdoing" veggies generally has painful consequences long before a large calorie impact).

I think it's important though to experiment, and not to decide any effort is "wrong." It took me nearly 4 decades to attempt lower carb dieting, because of believing it was a "wrong" way to eat. Turns out, it's the only way I can control my hunger and lose weight without feeling like a starving, crazed animal.

rockinrobin
03-05-2009, 07:15 PM
I think it's important though to experiment, and not to decide any effort is "wrong."

I hope you don't think that I was saying that NOT counting veggies was wrong. I would feel absolutely terrible if you did. I assure you that I didn't mean to say that in any shape, manner or form.

kaplods
03-05-2009, 08:39 PM
I hope you don't think that I was saying that NOT counting veggies was wrong. I would feel absolutely terrible if you did. I assure you that I didn't mean to say that in any shape, manner or form.

Not at all (sorry that it might have seemed that way), I was really just reiterating the need for personal experimentation, and being willing to try something that might be a little "out of the box," if it works, and specifically to remember that something that is right for one person, could be completely wrong for another person. Or even something that is perfectly right for you at this point in time could change at some point in your journey.

I think not counting veggies is the perfect example. There are plenty of reasons it can be an excellent idea and just as many that could make it a mistake. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or if you're not a veggie fan and making them free, encourages you to eat more of them, it could be a fantastic idea. However, if non-starchy vegetables comprise the majority of your diet, or if you have very little weight to lose, not counting your veggies could definitely impact on your weight loss. It's also something you may be able to do for the first part of your weight loss, but have to modify as you get closer to goal.

I think sometimes when we talk about finding a plan you can live with forever, makes it sounds like you are "locked in" to the plan for life, and if you're on the "wrong" plan, you're doomed to fail. I think it's less common to talk about "learning as you go," and constantly experimenting and tweaking. You don't have to find the "right forever plan," you just need to find "right for now plan" and be willing to make the changes as you go, if needed so that at any point, you're doing what works currently.

rockinrobin
03-05-2009, 09:20 PM
Not at all (sorry that it might have seemed that way),

Okay, good. I'm relieved. I'm not sure if it actually seemed that way or if I was being a little paranoid. Just wanted to check though.

I just want to tell you, as long as I've got you here and speaking of veggies, we are going through turnips in my house at an unbelievable rate, which is why, and trust me on this one *I* need to count them. My friends and co-workers are all eating them too. Yup, I've passed along the find. Thanks again. :smug:

Numina
03-05-2009, 09:26 PM
I think sometimes when we talk about finding a plan you can live with forever, makes it sounds like you are "locked in" to the plan for life, and if you're on the "wrong" plan, you're doomed to fail. I think it's less common to talk about "learning as you go," and constantly experimenting and tweaking. You don't have to find the "right forever plan," you just need to find "right for now plan" and be willing to make the changes as you go, if needed so that at any point, you're doing what works currently.

Oh thank goodness! I am so definitely "learning as I go" and it often feels like I am doing everything wrong! I guess I had some unconscious idea that there really was one optimal plan that would last forever and ever and that there was something wrong with me that I couldn't seem to figure out what that plan was. This whole thread has been very helpful, but this particular post spoke right to me. THANKS!

rockinrobin
03-05-2009, 09:33 PM
Oh thank goodness! I am so definitely "learning as I go" and it often feels like I am doing everything wrong! I guess I had some unconscious idea that there really was one optimal plan that would last forever and ever and that there was something wrong with me that I couldn't seem to figure out what that plan was. This whole thread has been very helpful, but this particular post spoke right to me. THANKS!

I also learned as I went along. For sure. My eating evolved. My choices. My strategies. Things are still evolving and changing, as I'm still learning. I hope to never stop. :)

kaplods
03-05-2009, 09:35 PM
Okay, good. I'm relieved. I'm not sure if it actually seemed that way or if I was being a little paranoid. Just wanted to check though.

I just want to tell you, as long as I've got you here and speaking of veggies, we are going through turnips in my house at an unbelievable rate, which is why, and trust me on this one *I* need to count them. My friends and co-workers are all eating them too. Yup, I've passed along the find. Thanks again. :smug:

I've been having to "count" myself, but in a reverse way (limit not for weight loss, but for intestinal fortitude). Because of the IBS, too many veggies make me terribly sick (but they taste soooo Gooood). Hubby chided me a few weeks ago, because I roasted a huge pan of veggies and ate most of them in a single day. I actually had to used one of my optional exchanges for veggies (which is actually equivalent to 3 servings of veggies). That meant I had 11 veggie servings - the equivalent of about 5.5 cups cooked or 11 cups raw). Owwweee, did I have a killer tummy ache (I lost several pounds "overnight," but in the reverse of water retention, and the weight was back on after I rehydrated).

Thighs Be Gone
03-05-2009, 10:10 PM
Measuring use to be such a pain. But watch this video...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVjWPclrWVY It really shows you why you should use a scale with grams.

I measure everything with my scale in grams. I bought this scale.. http://www.amazon.com/Escali-Primo-Digital-Multifunctional-Chrome/dp/B0007GAWRS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1236212290&sr=8-1 and it's really great!!

Take peanut butter for instance - measure spoon - what a pain. Instead, put your bread on the scale - tare it out and then put the peanut butter on the bread until it's the right amount of grams!

Sandy, thank you so much for the links! I know which to pick now thanks to you! :) Hugs.