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Finding out how many calories are in a dish

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Old 02-09-2014, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Finding out how many calories are in a dish

Hello 3FC'ers
I'm not new to this forum, i've been hear many years. Obviously my weight shifts but never stays down. As I'm about to turn 30, i've decided that I will not be fat for another year (as I've always been big...always)

Anyways, I did the best when I would calorie count. Back then I ate a lot of processed and frozen foods.

Today however, I've gone for the whole food lifestyle and have been doing so for about 2 years now.

How does one calorie count like this??
Say, for example, I make myself a juice at least once a day. Handfuls of kale, spinach, a few carrots and celery, a wedge of cabbage, half a beet, an apple, a few wedges of pineapple and honey dew, maybe a kiwi ect,..so on and you get the idea. I juice a lot and end up with about a half gallon of juice that I drink normally for breakfast or dinner. (normally for breakfast as i never feel hungry in the morning)
Now how do I figure this? do I weight everything every time I juice? Would it be skewed because I removed the fiber and all that?

I'm tempted to go back to my processed food and frozen meals because all the info is on the label.

Everything I make is homemade and I have no idea whatsoever as to the calories in it or what a serving size would be.

Would I have to weigh and measure ever ingredient and then figure out how many calories is in each plate?
What about things like soup? I make a lot of soup and I just throw things in there and I have no clue how many servings it is, it could be 10 bowls or 15 bowls. Would I have to dish out the soup to see how many servings I made in order to do the math?

This wouldn't be so bad if I had the time, but I don't. I've done this before and it stretches out meal making to 2 or more hours. I figure pre- planing would help but that would still take a large chunk of the day wouldn't it?
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:27 AM   #2
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While I don't juice I do make my own smoothies and there are often 5+ ingredients. What I do is put my blender on the scale and weigh each item as I put it in the blender. I feel like it saves a bit of time compared to weighing each item them putting them in together.

As for soup is it possible for you to divide it into single serving containers and then freeze them so you know exactly how many you have?

What we do in my house (my husband does all the work but it was my idea) is he chops and weighs all of our vegetables we'll use for the week on Sunday when he has time. He then puts them in individual bags and each day he'll take one out and cook with it. It saves cutting and weighing time during the week when he has less time and we still know exactly how much we're eating.

Counting calories is time consuming, but so worth it in my opinion. Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:26 AM   #3
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I add it all into My Fitness Pal.
I've been going by measurements, not weight though.

Also, things like soup, if you know the capacity of your soup pot then it should be relatively easy to gauge. I will make a batch, put however much I want to be a regular serving into a bowl, pour it into a measuring jug and divide the contents of the pot by that.

But with things as low cal as soup, I figure not every single morsel counts. Like an extra carrot? Whatever. So long as it's the good things you're adding in and not measuring I say leave it alone but could be bad advice for all I know.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:51 AM   #4
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I agree with Paisleymama. I do measure out ingredients, divide results into portions, and compute calories for dishes I make at home. However, I am more exacting on such things with calorie-dense ingredients than with very low-calorie ingredients.

For example I made khichdi over the weekend (dal and rice and vegetables all cooked together). I weighed the dal and the rice and the potatoes, and carefully measured the fat that went in to the pan. The cauliflower I pretty much eyeballed, though. Then I looked at the result and figured out how many meals I would get out of it and divided the total calories in it by that number.

Is it absolutely flawless? Probably not. But coupled with generally rounding up and erring on the side of caution when you don't know the calories in something, it works well enough.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:22 PM   #5
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I made a batch of soup last night.
Carrots were pre-weighed.
I didn't weigh the single potato, or the single onion. I added those in MFP by their size.
The broth was measured.

Once I whizzed it up in the food processor, I poured it into a liter jug. I have 5 servings of 200ml. So my recipe serves 5. Easy peasy.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:40 AM   #6
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I make big batches of things and enter the ingredients in the recipe tool of MFP. Then I say it is six servings (for example), and immediately divide it into six containers as equally as I can.

I do know that some people are more precise. They would make a batch of, say chili, entering all the ingredients, then weigh it and determine that it weighs, say, 64 ounces. So they would enter the recipe in their app as 64 servings of one ounce each, then weigh the chili as they serve it to themselves, so six ounces of chili would be six servings. Does that make sense.

Either way you do it, when you are cooking and counting calories, the food scale is your friend.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
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Well, use the Lose It app and whenever I can't figure out my calories or don't have time, I'll either use the preset calories or estimate how many I think there are based on experience.
Sometimes I'll fix the calories at the end of the day to represent any changes.
It is a little tough but that's how I cope with it. Also, I agree with the others- I flex on things like veggies which are quite low cal. If I'm having three leafs of spinach in a shake, I may not even add it at all if I'm that pressed for time XD
The trick is not to let yourself cheat out of the big calories. Besides that, I've never been too exact.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:00 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone ^.^
I've started my calorie counting, going half and half on whole food and pre-packaged food until I can clean out the chest freezer to make room for frozen portions.

My man bought me this amazing new food scale that once you enter in what you are weighing, will tell you how much it weighs and then how many calories that is. Also you can enter your own food or even your own recipes. So I can weigh everything for one of my soups and then weigh my serving and it will tell me how many calories that is. I'll only have to do it once and then save it to the scale and then when I make it again (the very same weights of ingredients) I just have to weigh my serving.

I think my biggest tool in helping me is plan plan plan. If I plan ahead then I will not randomly grab something when I get hungry.
Do you plan ahead a day? or a week?
I tend to get bored with food super fast so I only make enough to last me a few servings. If I tried to have to same thing for lunch or dinner every day I would completely derail myself. Having gone whole food for so long has made me crave variety in my meals. So planing, making room in my freezer and using that new scale are my goals for the week.
Thanks for all the support!
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Hardest part of working out, is that first step out the door.

Long term goal- revised after baby

240 goal - 02/17/10
Had a baby- 06-01-12 gained 46 pounds.
234 lost baby weight 3-21-13
220 goal = half way!
218 goal = Lowest ever weight!
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:35 AM   #9
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Oh wow. That scale sounds neat! That should be very helpful.
I don't really make a set plan per se but I do have ideas in my head about what I want to eat. I modify that through the day though but don't let that deter you. Planning what you've eat, I've heard, can work very well and be easier on your wallet too.
One of my biggest rules is not to eat after 7. It may sound difficult but it stops me from blowing my calorie limit at the end of the day.
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