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Old 01-22-2013, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default How do you determine cals for recipes

If you make a casserole or soup, how do you determine what a serving size is and how many calories are in one serving? Do you try to decide how many calories are in the whole thing? Or guesstimate?
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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I live alone so I usually cook for one or two. When I'm at my parents' though, I find the calories for the whole thing and then divide it into portions before I let anyone eat. My dad gets hates knowing how much he eats and he gets all OCD about it, but I don't care much.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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If you use MyFitnessPal, you can plug in all the ingredients to make the whole dish, then you decide how many servings it will be and it does the math for you. I'm sure there are other online sites that will do the same.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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I do as Moondance does--I use MyFitnessPal's recipe section. It also remembers your recipes for reuse and you can add a serving from a recipe the same way you do for other items in the database.

Recipes can be added via the MyFitnessPal app, but I find the on-line website to be much more convenient.

I've also used http://calorielookup.com/ to do a quick listing of ingredients and get a number, but I haven't joined it, and I don't know if it lets you save recipes or not.

For example, my homemade meatloaf serves 3, at 328 calories a serving.
My raspberry shortbread bars (totally decadent) has 96 servings--at 72 calories each.

I wouldn't eat more meatloaf than that, no matter how many calories it was. However, knowing that each of those little little squares is 72 calories keeps me away from them.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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I also use MFP for this. I input the whole of everything, but then I actually WEIGHT the entire meal (if it's in a casserole dish I weigh the dish beforehand and subtract it, or pot or whatever container). Knowing the weight of the entire full meal allows me to be more accurate in portions, especially if there are leftovers and it can be harder to know what a serving is.

Let's say the entire dish weighs 3000 grams or whatever, and i know it's 10 servings, then I know each serving is 300 grams. I just put in MFP that it's 10 (or however many) servings.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice! Very helpful!
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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The loseit app/website lets you enter recipes as well. I really like to play around with it, it has the added benefit of showing me exactly how much adjusting some of the ingredients can help cut per serving calories. Using this method I can make sure I make the recipe in such a way that I know for sure I can fit it into my daily caloric intake.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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Thanks, LockItUp. I'll try and remember to do the weighing when I make the meatloaf.

I pre-make my meatloafs--make up several at a time of the meat, eggs, Panko crumbs, etc, put them in zip-lock bags and then freeze them uncooked. Weighing at that point isn't very useful, since it's uncooked.

But, I could weigh it after cooking and get a real weight--that'll really help for leftovers. Thanks so much for your suggestion!
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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Elementary math and a free calorie counting program?

Seriously - log the quantities of each ingredient in the recipe into something like Loseit or The Daily Plate. Then divide by the number of servings. Note the serving size and measure out your portion accordingly. It's really easy once you get used to it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #10
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I weigh all my ingredients and calculate the total calories of the dish using the pre-cooked weights. After cooking I weigh the entire dish (subtracting the weight of the pan).

I then divide total calories by total weight, and voila! You get the calories per gram of your dish. I don't like to do serving sizes because I don't always like to have a full "serving" and portions vary.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy Krissy View Post
I weigh all my ingredients and calculate the total calories of the dish using the pre-cooked weights. After cooking I weigh the entire dish (subtracting the weight of the pan).

I then divide total calories by total weight, and voila! You get the calories per gram of your dish. I don't like to do serving sizes because I don't always like to have a full "serving" and portions vary.
This! I'm way too anal when it comes to calorie counting to just go by "calories by portion", I need to know how many calories there are per 100g!

This is the reason why I don't cook a lot - it's too much of a hassle counting calories of 10 individual ingredients.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:05 AM   #12
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I use CalorieKing.com to look up the ingredients one by one then I add them all and divide by servings. The trick is to preportion before serving if you are making more than 2 servings. If you have a 1 cup soup ladel that works well for liquid meals...plus remember that most of your leftover containers should have the measurements printed on the bottom. I always overestimate a little bit just for margin of error.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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Hmm. To be honest I guesstimate calories. I know the calories in the major ingredients and weigh or measure them for the whole recipe. I overestimate oil and use not so much. I don't worry about the vegetable calories unless they are starchy veg like potato or parsnips. OOOR something like a can of tomatoes.

Once I know how many calories total are in the entire dish, I decide how many calories I want for each serving (approx) and divide the dish into that many servings, or keep a mental tally (depending on the dish. Some things are easier to divide) of how many servings I 'need' to get out of the dish.

And then sometimes I try to squeeze out another serving. The 'extra' serving usually accounts for the calories from the veg involved.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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I use MyNetDiary to track all the calories. You can enter the ingredients like a recipe and it will tell you how many calories in a serving. It takes a little bit to figure out how to do it right, but its pretty awesome. I recommend it!
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