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Old 01-19-2009, 11:29 PM   #1  
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Default Weigh your food BEFORE or AFTER you cook it ????

Are you supposed to weigh your food before or after you cook it?

I know that pasta, typically, you weight BEFORE you cook it because the box will say how many calories are in xx servings of uncooked pasta.

But what about meat? Like lean ground beef or chicken breast? I just got a scale (before I was trying to eyeball things). For example, I just made hamburgers on my George Foreman grill with 4% fat ground beef. The package said it was 1.39 pounds. So I divided up the meat by making 5 equal-sized burgers that would be around 4.4 ounces of meat per burger -- PREcooked.

Of course, they shrink when you cook them. I weighed one after I cooked it and it weighed in just under 3.5 ounces.

So when I am counting calories ... what do I go by? The weight it was PREcooked or the weight it is POSTcooked?

And YES, I am *THAT* anal about counting my calories!!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:43 PM   #2  
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with meat you especially need to be careful, as the fat content or moisture content (like frozen chicken breast with added liquids) will change a lot when you cook it. I always look up the calories on raw meat and weigh it raw, except for deli turkey breast, which is listed as deli turkey breast, so the weight reflects it cooked.

Last edited by recidivist; 01-19-2009 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:19 AM   #3  
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I always weigh and or measure my food after cooking. Cooking changes the weight or size of a serving. You have to count the calories of the amount of food you are actually eating. Most calorie counting sites/books state whether the food is cooked or uncooked too.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:23 AM   #4  
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I had the same question and found this information helpful from the registered dietician on the Biggest Loser:

"Another key point I teach the contestants is the importance of measuring raw vs. cooked foods

When vegetables or proteins (such as chicken) are cooked, they lose water and the calories become more concentrated. This means you need to look up the calories for that food in its raw form if you are measuring it raw (or cooked form if measuring it cooked).

Here is an example:

6 ounces of raw boneless skinless chicken breast - 182 calories

6 ounces of cooked boneless skinless chicken breast - 280 calories

there are 54% more calories in the cooked chicken because 6 ounces cooked started out weighing considerably more than 6 ounces.

Same thing with vegetables

1 cup raw broccoli has 44 calories

1 cup cooked broccoli has 52 calories

After measuring all of your foods for a few days, it will become easier to make estimates by eye (such as when dining out) without having to measure everything. You'll always need to weigh and measure new foods the first time you try them though, so keep the measuring tools handy.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #5  
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I weigh almost everything after cooking, but I have a calorie guide that lists both cooked and uncooked calories-it's just very important to know which you're looking at in your guide. As far as pastas and noodles, since I have to cook large pots for the whole family, it's just impractical to measure out one dry serving for me and cook it separately, but my guide states that any type of noodles, spaghetti, etc, has 37 to 38 calories per ounce cooked to medium texture or 32 cal/oz if cooked very tender (more water in the noodles). So, I just weigh mine out when I'm filling my plate.

The only time I use calories for raw meat or uncooked noodles is when I'm figuring cals for a recipe and then I have to divide it up by serving or cup of the finished (cooked) food.

The CalorieKing guide lists both cooked and uncooked info for most foods we use at our home.
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