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What to do when you don't know the calories?

tashreardontashreardon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
Hi all! This is my first time posting (right at the start of my weight loss journey) I went to a socially distanced bbq at my partners family home today and I've no idea how many calories my meal came to...

I've attached a picture, the plate includes a 3 piece spicy chicken skewer, chicken thigh, about a tablespoon of packaged coleslaw, couscous and homemade pesto pasta, four roasted mini new potatoes and some lettuce, celery and radish.

The issue is I have no idea what this all amounted to calorie/fat wise and wondered whether anyone could hazard a guess or just let me know what you've done when you haven't known your calorie intake?

Thanks so much for any help you can give!
edited June 21

Replies

  • XiaolongbaoXiaolongbao Member Posts: 724 Member Member Posts: 724 Member
    I just guess a random number and move on. In the scheme of things one day really doesn’t matter. The image doesn’t show on my phone but for what you describe I’d probably enter 1000 calories and hope I was over estimating.
  • gallicinvasiongallicinvasion Member, Premium Posts: 873 Member Member, Premium Posts: 873 Member
    You won’t get a 100% accurate calorie count. HOWEVER this is a perfect time to practice honest estimation! Great thinking in taking the picture of your plate.

    Go dish-by-dish. You can research similar packaged foods online (like maybe search Dole Classic Coleslaw With Dressing nutrition facts, or Sodexo pesto pasta salad nutrition facts) and try to estimate the size of your serving. (Something that makes this easier over time? Always weigh your food that you eat at home. Helps you get better at eyeballing portions when you’re eating out of the home).

    For the roasted potatoes, you could get the amount for new potatoes on the USDA database, estimate the serving size you had, and add some cooking oil to your log because that’s normally what you do what you roast stuff. Similar for the chicken; find the type of chicken and the cooking preparation on the USDA database, and add whatever condiments you noticed.

    It might seem tedious at first, and you won’t get accurate til you practice a lot. But it will get faster and easier, the more you do it!
  • tashreardontashreardon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    I just guess a random number and move on. In the scheme of things one day really doesn’t matter. The image doesn’t show on my phone but for what you describe I’d probably enter 1000 calories and hope I was over estimating.

    Very true! Thanks for the help :smile:
  • tashreardontashreardon Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    You won’t get a 100% accurate calorie count. HOWEVER this is a perfect time to practice honest estimation! Great thinking in taking the picture of your plate.

    Go dish-by-dish. You can research similar packaged foods online (like maybe search Dole Classic Coleslaw With Dressing nutrition facts, or Sodexo pesto pasta salad nutrition facts) and try to estimate the size of your serving. (Something that makes this easier over time? Always weigh your food that you eat at home. Helps you get better at eyeballing portions when you’re eating out of the home).

    For the roasted potatoes, you could get the amount for new potatoes on the USDA database, estimate the serving size you had, and add some cooking oil to your log because that’s normally what you do what you roast stuff. Similar for the chicken; find the type of chicken and the cooking preparation on the USDA database, and add whatever condiments you noticed.

    It might seem tedious at first, and you won’t get accurate til you practice a lot. But it will get faster and easier, the more you do it!

    Thanks so much, this is super helpful, I've had a look and tried to guess each ingredient. I've ordered scales and cups to be able to measure everything properly at home as I always cook way too much when it comes to rice and pasta!
  • gallicinvasiongallicinvasion Member, Premium Posts: 873 Member Member, Premium Posts: 873 Member
    Great job!! Sounds like you are setting yourself up for improvement in the skill of food measurement
  • HagensiekerHagensieker Member, Premium Posts: 18 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18 Member
    First of all that didn't look like a horrible situation at all. My first thought after looking at the picture was what gallcinvasion said. Call it 1000 and move on. That is probably an overestimate. But not a huge overestimate. Gonna guess that before you became more self aware that that plate might have been a lot bigger than it was.

    I've been PERFECT for about 4 or 5 weeks now. Last weekend I went to a pool party and Italian was ordered. They brought me this unGodly huge Stromboli. I ate half of it, called it 1300 even though it probably wasn't and just lived my life. At the end of the day I was still right at my caloric intake.

    Good job taking the pic for posterity!
  • GeneralSTpowerGeneralSTpower Member Posts: 18 Member Member Posts: 18 Member
    Theres loads of information on the calories in different dishes on the internet. Consider the main dishes on the plate,and make a decent guess on the serving size (you will get better at this the more you use a scale at home, as previously mentioned), and add it up. Youre not gonna get the exact calories, but the best way is to focus more on the main dishes, and just add calories for the dressing based on a guess(these few calories will not make up for much in the overall process)
    edited June 30
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