How do you count calories

We’ve all been talking about scratch cooking and I wonder if you’re watching your weight or trying to lose weight, how do you know how many calories are in something you cooked or baked ? I know how to read the nutritional guides on food and understand basic nutrition.
I’ve never really had to lose weight before - I have always been able to modify my exercise routine. Right now though I need to shed a few pounds pretty quickly and was thinking today that I have no idea how many calories are in the bread, pizza or anything else I make. Overall the hubby and I eat pretty healthy, don’t drink sodas or a lot of juice. I am trying to find things I can pull out of my diet without leaving myself starving…

Lots of calories in pizza and quite a bit in bread. Rather than counting calories, eliminate certain foods for a couple weeks. Like pizza, potatoes in any form, noodles/pasta and sweet things. Add a salad a day and for a snack try yogurt or a piece of fruit and try to eat some protein with that, like cheese or nuts.

I read the labels and I am supposed to have four meals 300 calories each. Just try eating more vegetables. They have great steamables in the frozen section of grocery stores. I go online to and they usually can tell about how many calories things are and I have a couple of books that tells calories. If all this fails, google it or if going to a popular restaurant, go online first and decide what is the right calories for you and then you will know what to order when you get there.

There is a website called where you can register for free and you can enter in ingredients to your home made meals and get pretty accurate calorie counts and it saves all of your entries in your “pantry” it’s called I found it extremely helpful when I needed to lose weight and most importantly keep it off! I suffered some major portion distortion and just needed some perspective,I also used you can set up a diet plan on there and much much more I lost 30 pounds and I could have never have done that without them.

…I also learned that taking things you love out of your diet only leads to disaster if it is something you make from scratch you can always make it a little heathier and if it is pre packaged or take out you can have a small amount and account for it in your daily caloric intake.Take the word “DIET” out of your vocabulary and the pounds come off much faster the word diet to me is like the word homework to my 10 yo son!:ick:

I used Fitday for a while. You could input all the ingredients you used and say how many servings it was supposed to be and it would do all the math for you. It worked well. But if you are using odd ingredients (i.e., not standard brands), you have to enter a lot of information off of labels. Fitday has either a web-based version, or you can download one to your computer.

Well, if not take out completely - I agree that can be very difficult - cut way on certain foods.

I have the program FitDay PC. I can enter recipe ingredients and their amounts together to create a custom food entry and get all the nutritional data for that recipe.

I use the recipe calculator on Sparkpeople.

Thank you - looks like it may be what I need. I already eat yogurt, raisins, salads, etc. We make our own pizza once a week and don’t eat much pasta at all. I’m not looking to DIET or radically change what I eat, just shave a few calories while I get back into my gym routine. I did a lot of baking this weekend and started thinking maybe there are more calories in the foods I bake/cook than I think there are.

If you want to go to the effort, the packages your ingredients come in should have calorie counts. You could add up the calories of all the ingredients and divide by how many portions you get out of it.

I tend to buy baking supplies in bulk from farmers markets or organic shops that do not put nutritional info on every package. Even if they did, I come home and dump them into air tight containers. Otherwise reading the labels would be a great idea.

I know what you mean: I throw a lot of excess calories in the stuff I cook fresh – butter and eggs in the rice pudding (plus raisins and nuts), for instance. (It’s great with brown rice and pecans.)
For me the easiest way to shave calories is to watch portions.
We used to eat huge bowls of pasta simply because our bowls were so big. Light dawned: you don’t have to fill the bowl! One cup is a decent portion, and the sauce is mostly veggies.

I hate a lot of the low-cal substitutes: applesauce is not the same in muffins as butter; Splenda scares me a little. I use my mother’s muffin tin – the holes are half the size of the humongoes at the stores today – and that cuts our muffin calories in half. Maybe appetites get smaller as we get older, but I’ve been baking one potato for the two of us, and there are leftovers from one chicken breast. We each break off a square or two from a bar of good, dark chocolate for a treat. Two smallish chocolate chip cookies for a snack, not a boxful. Nothing is off-limits; no deprivation. And none of that uncomfortably stuffed feeling after a meal.

Yup - that’s how I cook too…I think hmm this would be good and toss in dried fruit or nuts figureing they’re healthy and good for us not thinking about the calories. I also drink a lot of skim milk - good for you, but still calories. The hubby and I had a conversation about this this morning b/c he asked if I wanted oatmeal for breakfast since it is cold…NO…why? it’s only 140 cal…b/c by the time I add raisins, dried cranberrys, walnuts and top it off with a dash brown sugar and milk it’s about 300 cal.
OYE I want my college metabolism back when I could eat pancakes, PBJ and real mac & cheese and never gain an ounce :cry:

300 calories for breakfast is good. That’s what I am supposed to hold down my meals to 300. Who’s got time to be active. I sit at a desk all day. My energy is spent by the time I get home. That’s my problem. When you are young, you are a lot more active.

Nothing wrong with 300 calories for breakfast, and oatmeal is good in that it holds you till lunch so you don’t feel starved. 300 calories for 3 meals, plus 2 100-200 cal snacks is about 1200-1400 cals per day; any fewer and your metabolism slows down making it even harder to lose weight.