Calorie Counters - Counting cooking oils etc. ??

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06-01-2014, 06:37 PM
Hey, all,

I've been calorie counting for about a week and having really good results (after a lonnnngggg break. I used to post in the Weight Watchers forums and now I'm giving this one a try, so my ticker is way off).

It's all pretty straight forward. The one thing I just don't understand is how to count cooking oil or butter etc. For example, I have a chicken breast for dinner tonight, and whether I make it in a pan or in an oven, it'll have to have some kind of lubricant, probably olive oil, so it doesn't burn. But olive oil has a TON of calories in it, and so much of the oil gets left in the pan, plus it's spread out over several different pieces of chicken. How do I count it? If I cook one breast in one table spoon of olive oil, do I really have to count all 120 calories of oil?! That would be disappointing and would discourage me from cooking chicken breasts, which are otherwise a great option.

What ya'll do? Any advice would be much appreciated!

06-01-2014, 06:46 PM
I use an olive oil spray (Bertolli) and I do not count it.

06-01-2014, 06:50 PM
i cut all excess fat from the chicken breasts, add oil and call it even.

06-01-2014, 06:57 PM
I don't add any oil. I use boneless, skinless breasts and also trim the fat. I've been using a stainless steel broiling pan, and broil in either my regular oven but mostly in a countertop small oven (Cuisinart) which is faster--11-13 minutes on each side, and turning them with a fork. But I also sometimes bake them in a ceramic pan (Corningware)

I've never,ever had a problem with burning as long as I don't overcook. But even then, they might be a bit dry, but not burned. The oil tastes so much better added after cooking, or not at all. That's a lotta calories to use for lubrication imho!

06-01-2014, 08:21 PM
You can easily cook a boneless chicken breast in a skillet/grill pan without any oil. Just put it in and let it brown on one side without disturbing it all - once it's fully cooked it should loosen from the pan easily. Flip it over and cook it on the other side and then deglaze the pan with a teensy bit of water to get up all the browned bits and to moisten the chicken a tad from the steam. Easy peasy.

06-01-2014, 09:03 PM
If you are finding lots of oil all over the pan, then you are using more than necessary. I would brush it on with a brush and i'd probably only need about 1tsp for one chicken breast. And then i would indeed count the calories in it.

I wouldn't use spray because its a more processed food, the oil is lesser quality and i think its got other things in it apart from oil. I do use spray sometimes but rarely. My father uses it so its on the bench. Actually i use it mostly to oil my secateurs but i notice its not as oily as normal oil would be.

06-01-2014, 09:13 PM
You can use a mister to spray your own oil and then there aren't other things like propellants in it. Misto is a good, inexpensive brand often found at Costco, Amazon, etc. It works well for salad oil, too. Weightwatchers taught a way to quantify what you use in a mister, depending on how many seconds you were actually misting.

06-01-2014, 10:13 PM
wow, thanks, guys! Lot's of good suggestions!

I still feel like the chicken burns or is very dry with just spray/a tiny bit of oil. Plus the oil burns away. Maybe I'm just cooking it on too high of a heat? Anyway, I really appreciate all the ideas!

06-01-2014, 10:56 PM
Have you tried baking it in the oven in alfoil?

Don't be too afraid to use real oil. A little bit of fat is good for you. If you are cooking chicken, i'd probably still keep the skin on. I don't like skinless chicken. you don't have to eat the skin after you've cooked it but it would keep it more moist.

To be honest you can still lose weight while eating saturated fats too. You wouldn't be eating so many saturated fats as you might have done in the past so it really shouldn't be a worry unless you've got cholesterol issues already.

Actually when i do a roast chicken (which is rare), i leave on the skin and and relish it.

06-04-2014, 11:17 AM
First off, if you're searing the chicken, you shouldn't be using olive oil. The smoke point is just too low and it will end up burning. What I do is just not put oil in the pan. I rub a tsp or so of oil on the breast, along with some herbs and spices. Sear the breast on each side and finish it in the oven. There's really no need to put the oil in the pan since the breast doesn't take up the whole pan. I also make sure to count the calories in the tsp of oil and add it to my daily count.

Just curious. What are you using to count your calories? Manually or with an app?

06-04-2014, 11:29 AM
I think you're cooking it at too high a heat and with the incorrect type of oil.

With a high quality, well-cared for nonstick pan, you shouldn't need much oil. Sometimes I add a little bit of chicken broth to keep it from scorching if I'm making chicken on the stovetop - but I usually dice my chicken into smaller pieces if I'm cooking it in a skillet. I use the broth for veggies, too. You may want to put a lid on it as well to help cook it faster without burning, and you also might want to use a meat tenderizer to thin the breast out.

Do you have a grill pan? That would be the ideal way to cook a whole chicken breast on the stovetop, and this way it's not sitting in a bed of oil.

Another thing I like to do is when I bake chicken in the oven, I slice a lemon, lay that down on the pan, and put the chicken on top of the sliced lemon. The chicken doesn't burn or stick, and it gets the lemon flavor on it and stays juicy.

I'm not a calorie counter, but I've only learned a lot of this recently and have changed the way I cooked meat. I was sauteing my meat in a lot of oil and man those calories added up when I did the math!

06-04-2014, 11:33 AM
There is NOTHING wrong with adding oil to the pan. GOOD oils should be part of the diet. So, I don't think the point is to "take out the oil". And if you have a little bit left over, you have a little bit left over, but it won't be all "olive oil" but juices from the chicken as well.

I count what I put in. I figure most of it gets absorbed into the chicken anyway.

Oils are satiating, so adding oils is also adding to filling you up more than if you didn't.

06-04-2014, 12:25 PM
Ellym I'm using MFP.

Everyone else: I know healthy fats are good for you. I'm not afraid of fat or of oil! I just can't afford to add the number of calories when the oil doesn't affect my level of satisfaction or fullness in any way. I wouldn't be able to stay within my calorie goals (1200) and remain full if I had 120 calories of oil, you know? I mean, that might be an exaggeration, but oil is just not a place where I want to spend a tenth of my daily allotment. I think everyone's right that I use too much oil. I've been having much better luck baking in the oven instead of doing it in the pan. Thanks, all, for the suggestions!