Saturday, February 18, 2006

Counting Calories

I've been asked how I count calories, or more precisely, how I find the caloric content in foods. Here are some tips:

Make sure to measure everything, except for oil, which I measure in teaspoons or tablespoons. I use this Salter kitchen scale that I bought at SurLaTable for $40 and weigh in grams. That way you can go by package guides for portions, and you can measure out more or less than what it says on the package, and figure out how many calories are in the food by using your handy math skills. This is also good for things that don't come with their own nutrition information, like fruits, veggies, and some meats, which you can look up online. If you're going looking for a kitchen scale, make sure to find one that has a tare feature (meaning you can put a bowl or plate on the scale, hit the tare button, and it will read 0, so you're only measuring the food, not the weight of the bowl) and weighs down to the gram and to one tenth of an ounce, as you want to be as accurate as possible. I keep a notepad right by the scale and write everything down as I go, making sure to note the weight and calories from package information, and to write down the grams of things that I don't have ready caloric content for.

I look up the caloric content online in a few places. calorie-count.com is a good site, but don't use the toolbar, it's loaded with some nasty spyware. There's also AnneCollins.com, which I use on occasion, I'm sure there are others out there.

If you're trying to lose weight or if you just want to know how many calories you're consuming, this is a simple way to figure it out. I hope this wasn't too confusing. If you have a better/easier way of doing this, I'd love to hear it.

edit: This link: http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/calories-goal.php should take you to a page on that calorie-count site that helps you figure your weight goal, when you want to reach that goal, and how many calories you need to stay at each day to reach your goal.

4 comments:

Lexi said...

Hey Erin,
thank YOU for the sweet comment. I just wish we could get better pictures to post so you could see exactly how tasty our food really is ;)
I saw the counting calories website, looks complicated, and annoying just like the weightwatchers are. I despise having to count everything but when you gain 60+ pounds in one year you got to start tinking that it's time to change (i was overweight, lost 40 pounds and then 2 years after gained 60! typical story)
so how do you figure out how much calories you're supposed to eat??
i think all this counting is driving me insane... :)

Erin Eats said...

I know how you feel about going insane over counting, it's a huge pain and takes me way longer than it should, but I'm realizing that it's the only way for me to have total control over what I eat and what I weigh.

This link: http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/calories-goal.php should take you to a page on that calorie-count site that helps you figure your weight goal, when you want to reach that goal, and how many calories you need to stay at each day to reach your goal.

MM said...

Hi Erin, thanks so much for visiting my site and your kind comment. I've actually lurked at your site before and noticed that you feature tasty yet health conscious food. Good on ya!

Helen said...

Hi Erin,

Wow -- I've never met anyone who counted calories before besides me. I think it's really quite simple, and lets me eat anything I want to (as long as I moderate the amount). I just keep a little notebook in the kitchen and in the end of the day I write down everything that I ate. Thanks for the leads to the sites that have the calorie counts. Here is another one you might like:

http://www.nutritiondata.com/

By the way, the protiferoles with chicken salad look awesome! I use yogurt in chicken salad too :)

Cheers,
-Helen