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Old 11-02-2010, 11:56 PM   #1  
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Default Calories in salad?

Ok, so do y'all count the calories in lettuce, carrots and broccoli? As long as theres no cheese or meat, i don't really see a point in counting those calories. Am i correct in my thinking or totally off base?
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:54 AM   #2  
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Well I make huge salads, consisting of lettuce, onion, apple, and balsamic vinegar. Its huge, but added up is almost 200 calories.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #3  
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I count everything. Like...EVERYTHING haha. Carrots can easily have 30-40 calories depending on quantity, and yes, while lettuce and broccoli are lower in calories, I still like to know how many calories I'm eating, as close to the number as possible. Dressing of course adds the calories in, and I'd feel weird just putting dressing into my calorie counter. Especially when I eat salad as a lunch sometimes, and then an apple afterwards - if I didn't count those, it would almost be to me as if I hadn't eaten lunch and would mess with my brain. Everyone is different though, I've seen a lot of people on here don't count raw, fresh veggies.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:30 AM   #4  
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I usually buy packaged salad with nutritional information. I count all possible calories since I track nutrients.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:51 AM   #5  
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I tend to count everything I eat.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:40 AM   #6  
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I count everything. Maybe not salt and pepper but, when I'm calculating a recipe, I also count tsp's of dried spices even.

Partly because something low calorie might still add up to a lot if I eat a lot (as punkrprincessa says), partly because some veggies can be quite high cal, and certainly high carb (as rainbowstripe says); mostly because it would feel like cheating to me if I didn't, and if I cheat on lettuce, it's only a couple of steps to cheating on sugar or cheese or meat.

Mnot saying it Is cheating, just saying how it would affect me.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:58 AM   #7  
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I use sparkpeople to track, so I put everything in. I like to track my fiber to make sure I'm getting enough, so tracking veggies helps.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:38 AM   #8  
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Do you have a kitchen scale? If you have a scale, tracking veggies--even lettuce--is no big deal. If you don't, it's enough of a pain in the butt that I wouldn't bother for the very, very low calorie things like lettuce in small quantities. However, if you regularly eat veggies in large quantities, you might want to get a kitchen scale--because they do add up. I ate 200 calories of roasted cabbage and onions last night.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:48 AM   #9  
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I count it all.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #10  
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Meh, I don't. One of these days they're going to take my calorie counter badge away because I'm not very rigid about it.

I eat two kinds of salads:
1) Meal salads that are huge (as in two full large mixing bowls) loaded with a variety of veggies, healthy fats (nuts, cheese, salmon, avocado, olive oil in a dressing mix, or whatever I'm using), lean meats, etc. I count every bit of those salads, including the lettuce, just because the bulk that I eat adds up.
2) Snack salads which are always in a cereal bowl. Couple leaves of lettuce, few slices of tomato, cucumber, and maybe some onion or a stick of celery if I have it. I don't use dressing or cheese or anything for these. I don't count these salads. They may add up to 20 calories, but whatever. Yes, I know, I know, every calorie should count, but I....just don't care that I don't count these little salads, haha.

I accepted long ago that calorie counting can never be perfectly exact. No matter how much we measure and weigh and record activity down to the second, it's still just a very good estimate of how many calories we're exchanging. I use it as more of a rough guideline (breaking the first commandment of calorie counting, I know, hehe).
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:13 PM   #11  
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i sort of estimate.

So I just ate a salad for lunch...I probably had a cup of herb mix. The package says 2 cups are 10 calories, I just count it has 10.

I put 6 grape tomatoes on, I count them at 7 each, and I put a small handful of shredded carrots I counted at 20.

I measured the dressing as that can add up quickly.

I don't personally think you need to be that concerned with counting the lettuce / greens exactly. An entire bag is like 50 calories. Just like I think my whole bag of shredded carrots is something like 160 calories. But well, I do think when all of these low calorie things are put together you should count them as something. Maybe you count it all as 50 or 100, based on size. When I put a bit on a sandwich I usually just call it 25.

I'm not exact and I don't care for something like this...I could weigh the carrots, but I've seen 5 different calorie counts online for carrots so that's not exact in my mind either. Not to mention I didn't even finish eating this salad I made, so again, not going to be exact for my portions...But I do think if you eat a bowl of something, you should count it as something...it might add up over the day.

I personally look at calorie counts as a guide. I think they can vary a bit and they are rounded anyway. I think they vary because often what we eat has different things together (like a nut mix or this herb mix i was eating) so maybe my bowl got more dill than spinach in it and that's going to throw my calorie count off. for my salad it probably doesn't matter as the calories are so low...but for something like icecream, maybe your bowl has more chocolate chunks distributed in it - that's going to be slightly higher in calories than another bowl that might get more icecream. Even if you weigh it this can happen.

It's not perfectly exact in my mind to begin with, so I don't try to make it out to be.

Last edited by Wildflower; 11-03-2010 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:32 PM   #12  
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Thanks girls. I guess even the smallest amount of calories add up over the week. I just was kind of hoping there would be some food that I wouldn't have to worry about.... that no matter how much I ate it wouldn't matter. Oh well. It'll all be wroth it in the end.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #13  
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Please don't think that I'm trying to dissuade you from calorie counting in a way that you're comfortable with, but...

That's kind of the whole reason that I DON'T count my little snack salads (little bowl of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, no dressing). Or a few sticks of celery. Somehow that mental relief of "ahh, I'm eating something safe...don't even have to bother counting it" is comforting to me. Possibly dangerous for others because that line of what needs to be counted and what doesn't need to be counted can easily be blurred. For many, not counting EVERYthing would be the beginning of the end...a gateway to becoming more and more lenient. For me, it's just a mental trick that I play on myself that keeps me on track. I feel sneaky, like I've found some loophole in the system, that I can eat a stick of celery and not count it. When in reality...come on, it's a stick of celery, lol. But the "naughty-ness" of it keeps me from being naughty in other ways.

So not counting little salads or other very insignificant things (celery, a bite of non-starchy veggies, stick of gum, etc) actually has a bonus beyond me just being too lazy to enter it into my calorie counter.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:08 PM   #14  
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Nope - Veggies and fruits that's all free food in my book. I use to count them but not after my little nephew walked up to me and said that 'fruit and veggies is nature's sugar.'





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Old 11-04-2010, 02:57 AM   #15  
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Salads? hmmm no. Cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber - no.

Fruit, corn, potatoes, etc - I count.

I agree with Mkendrick - it is sort of a freeing, safe feeling.... a loophole in the system.
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