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Calorie counting meals with sauce or marinade that is mostly not consumed

sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 147 Member Member, Premium Posts: 147 Member
I really love mussels, or "moules marinière". But although the sauce has a bunch of wine and cream in it, the way you eat it you generally don't consume most of the sauce - its just a flavouring for the mussels.

Does anyone have a good way of calorie counting meals like this, with a large unconsumed element?

Other examples would be foods with marinades, where a lot of the marinade gets thrown away.

If I was trying to lose weight, I'd just say count it as if you're consuming it all, and you might lose a little more than usual that day. But in maintenance, I'm not looking to lose weight, so this strategy isn't optimal.

Replies

  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,972 Member Member Posts: 1,972 Member
    As a Belgian, I take offense at any recipe that includes cream in moules marinières 😛

    For me it's simple, I don't actually log the liquid (in my case just wine, mussel juice, and a bit of oil) unless I actually decide to drink some of it.
    In case I drink some of it (which is most times, because the mussel juice is delicious!) I weigh the portion of liquid, choose a generic fish stock entry and add some oil and wine, proportionate to the total amount of liquid (having measured the oil and wine while cooking).

    It's a bit of guesswork really 🤷
    edited March 27
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member
    For marinades, I don't count it, because I don't think enough gets absorbed into what's marinating to make much nutritional difference. For pickles, which I usually make myself, I use a standard brand to count nutrition, and same for soup stocks or other things where everything that I put in isn't going to be what's actually consumed.

    For recipes with a lot of leftover sauce...I just count it all. That's the opposite of the method @Lietchi recommends, but since it's all technically up for consumption that's how I do it. I think the key is to be consistent with how you log it. I would rather overestimate the calories consumed than under. And I might try and alter the recipe in future so I have less leftover liquid.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 816 Member Member Posts: 816 Member
    When practical, I make separate recipe entries for foods and the sauces they're served with or cooked in and weigh out how much I actually use. For something like this, where the sauce stays on the plate while you eat the food, you could weigh the plate before and after eating, if you wanted to get that granular with it. Or, yeah, just log as if you ate all of the sauce and treat yo' self to something small after dinner or the next day to balance it out, since you're in maintenance.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,972 Member Member Posts: 1,972 Member

    For recipes with a lot of leftover sauce...I just count it all. That's the opposite of the method @Lietchi recommends, but since it's all technically up for consumption that's how I do it. I think the key is to be consistent with how you log it. I would rather overestimate the calories consumed than under. And I might try and alter the recipe in future so I have less leftover liquid.

    While I can understand this method for actual sauces, the liquid in moules marinières isn't a sauce to me, it doesn't really 'stick' to the mussels (maybe it's different with cream). I might log a small amount of fish stock, wine and oil to have a 'safety margin', but logging it all when not consuming it, would be quite the overestimate to me.
    But hey, logging the mussels themselves accurately is tricky too, who knows how much I'm over/underestimating there 🤷

    I don't think there is a truly exact way to log these kinds of foods, we just do the best we can, and adapt if we're not getting the results we want.

    I've always lost weight at the expected rate, but if I had issues losing too slowly, I might choose some wider margins when logging.
    edited March 27
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,518 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,518 Member
    sofrances wrote: »
    I really love mussels, or "moules marinière". But although the sauce has a bunch of wine and cream in it, the way you eat it you generally don't consume most of the sauce - its just a flavouring for the mussels.

    Does anyone have a good way of calorie counting meals like this, with a large unconsumed element?

    Other examples would be foods with marinades, where a lot of the marinade gets thrown away.

    If I was trying to lose weight, I'd just say count it as if you're consuming it all, and you might lose a little more than usual that day. But in maintenance, I'm not looking to lose weight, so this strategy isn't optimal.

    How often do you eat things that pose that question? Unless it's very frequent, I'd suggest you adopt either of the "log it all" or "log none of it" strategies above, or decide to log a percentage of it, and be consistent about that.

    Then, watch the bodyweight scale *trend* over multi-week time periods, and adjust to stay in a consistent range of a few pounds most of the time, with perhaps an upper red-line weight that is your trigger to cut back a bit for a couple of weeks.

    Unless you eat foods like this every day, and on the heavy-calorie end of the scale you describe (full cream, oil, butter kind of stuff), this is worrying about numbers that are arithmetically down in the range of inevitable logging error. What logging error? One apple is sweeter than the next, at the same weight; a portion of (whatever) has more nuts in it because of how the servings are split; one walk/bike has more hills or headwind so burns a handfull more calories than last outing; and that sort of thing. It's useful to make intelligent estimates, but it's all estimates, in the end.

    Just adopt a reasonable, consistent way of logging these things, and watch the scale; adjust if necessary based on results. That would be my advice, from year 5+ of maintenance at a healthy weight. It's not worth a lot of stress or anxiety, IMO.

    Best wishes!
  • mylittlerainbowmylittlerainbow Member Posts: 694 Member Member Posts: 694 Member
    I count all the calories on my plate and then feel victorious by not actually eating it all and having a built-in cushion! But then I've been like that all along - if something sticks to the pan or falls on the floor or I decide to toss the rest of a meal, I don't diminish the calories I have logged and feel like I've gotten ahead somehow. I also under-measure on occasion: 1/2 cup won't be level but will be somewhat concave, for instance. So I build in calorie savings here and there for the chance that I might have underlogged something.
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 592 Member Member Posts: 592 Member
    How can you not eat all that wonderful sauce???! With loads of bread dipped into it so you can soak up every drop. *misses point of thread entirely*
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