The Ecko weight scale is $19.99 @ Walmart...and easy to use. A portion of portion of pasta raw is about the size of a quarter and cooked the size of a light bulb if that helps.
Also I buy Jennie O 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey it comes in a 16 ounce package and for 4 ounces it is 120 calories...other ground turkey meats have skin ground into them. I buy mine at Walmart also. I even add turkey meatballs, green beans or broccoli to pasta...you will think your getting more pasta and it blunt the sugar surge....these are sugar blockers!
I always have a vinegarette salad with pasta. ....or make a cucumber, chopped onion and shredded carrot salad in vinegar. It is also sugar blocking.
I personally prefer to use the recipe calculator on spark recipes because I love to cook. That way I can put in my normal 'recipe', figure out how many servings, and see what I need to change (too much oil? not enough protein? not filling enough- add more veg, etc). I find it's the EASIEST way to do it. I don't weigh out the portions either, I just use a measuring cup and portion it out onto serving plates & into containers for future lunch/dinner.
I do have a food scale which I love, but I don't often use it for full meals, moreso for snacks (eg 1 oz of chips) and for shredded cheese (by weight, that 1/4 cup serving is a lot more than what fits in my measuring cup!).
Fitness Minutes: (66)
16 8/21/13 9:13 A
everything like turkey and pasta that you buy is measured out by weight. if you buy the turkey from a local place that doesn't prepackage and preprint the info on it, then ask as they are measuring it out for you. they know if they are selling you 2.75 lbs of it because that is what they are using to multiply by the price per pound to get your total cost. all you need to do is ask for the whole weight and you can divide by however many portions or meals you make it into. with pasta, it's right on the label. if you get a 16oz box of pasta, divide it out evenly into 16 bags. the dry serving size might be two ounces, but about an ounce is a serving once cooked. if you buy the kind that has 13 servings in a box, divide it out into thirteen ziplocs. then decide how much you want to make. if you want to make two portions for your daughter and one for you, toss the contents of three bags into the pot and measure out 1/3 the cooked pasta for you. if you start out with 2 Tablespoons of oil and 2lbs of chicken, then do the math. even if you don't weigh it, divide it out into eight as equal as you can get them portions. 2 Tablespoon divided by 8 portions is .25 Tablespoon of oil per portion of chicken. with things like oil they do tend to get distributed pretty evenly unless you're intentionally burning something or not stirring it.
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
2,337 8/21/13 6:32 A
I'd calculate the whole recipe then measure out a given calculated portion.
Good suggestions from the pp's. I'd have to second the suggestion not to get really obsessive about trying to get an *accurate* calorie count. Sure, you want to get a really good guesstimate-- but it's okay to use the "palm of your hand" guideline when you don't have a scale. When I first started, I didn't have access to a scale so I just used measuring cups when I could, plus the palm of your hand / deck of cards etc stuff.
Food scales aren't terribly expensive. You could even use getting a scale as a reward for making the commitment to track your food.
Fitness Minutes: (37,847)
2,263 8/20/13 3:58 P
The others already gave you great suggestions for tracking based on the percentage of the total dish you made. I would strongly suggest you get a food scale. it is only about 20 bucks and one of the best investments you can make when trying to lose weight. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (50,429)
1,751 8/20/13 2:03 P
When I make a batch of spaghetti, I measure the pasta onto my plate (1 cup cooked). I measure the olive oil I add to the meat mixture. So if I add 2 Tbsp of oil and I have 25% of the meat mixture, I enter .5 Tbsp in my nutrition tracker. I measure the sauce going into the meat mixture (2 cups for 4 servings) and add 1/2 cup to my nutrition tracker. Look at the package of turkey - some are 16 oz, but some are 20 oz. Just be mindful.
Tracking food made in batches is math. Total all calories and nutrients on the nutrition tracker, then divide by the number of servings. Enter the calculations for the single serving under "Favorites" with a title you can remember. For me, it's "Charlotte's Spaghetti Sauce" or "Charlotte's Vegetable Soup". If it's a food you make often, it saves trouble the next time you prepare it.
A scale was a huge help for me. I found one I love on Amazon. The brand is Taylor, and it measures in grams and ounces. You can also zero out the weight of the dish the food is in so that you only get the weight of the food. I have to change the battery about once a year.
I think it's wise to do what you're doing - checking portions sizes and servings and entering them on SP. We tend to fool ourselves when we guess at food quantities.
So for the sauce, you probably make it in a sauce pan. What I usually do is take a spoon and separate out 1/4 and that is my serving. (This is if your sauce is thick enough to hold). Then I use 1/4 of what you used in the tracker. As long as its mixed properly you will be fine. With the turkey in the sauce, if you put a pound of turkey in, 1/4 is the 4 oz. you are looking for.
You are never going to get exact calorie counts. I think its a little unhealthy to become that obsessive anyway. If you are worried, shoot for the middle of your range that day.
Same thing with the oil, divide the oil to match the % of chicken you ate. Or you could cook the chicken in chicken broth and not have to worry about oil.
Fitness Minutes: (66)
16 8/20/13 11:15 A
So ive come across this issue a few times and will again tonight. for example: I am making whole wheat pasta with turkey meat and spaghetti sauce. Normally my daughter and I eat lunch together but not something that i have to make together then divide but for dinner when its not so simple what do you do? Sure I can measure out my pasta and my sauce but if my calorie allotment allows for .5 cups of sauce and 4 ounces of meat how do i seperate whats already been cooked without being crazy and cooking my meals seperate. also for other things, like cooking alot of chicken with oil, sure i can measure the oil but how do i know how much oil I have on my plate with my chicken? lol is an educated guess good enough because i feel im cheating if i dont do it properly. plus i dont have a scale so i really have no idea how much 4 ounces of ground turkey is i just go with the whole "fits in your palm is 1 serving" that the nutritionist told me.
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