Counting calories of ingredients without a nutritional label (our favourite fresh, whole foods) can often seem like a tricky feat. The most full-proof, accurate way to find the correct calories of these types of foods like fruit, vegetables, and meat is by weighing them and logging them into your favourite calorie counting app. But the question is, ‘Do I weigh & count calories of my food before or after cooking?’
When creating meals such as curries, pasta or stir-fries, to find the most accurate numbers, weighing out each ingredient that is not packeted is necessary. Often, portions and serving sizes are widely underestimated in terms of how calorie-dense they really are! Even additions to most meals such as oils, butter, dressing, and sauces must be measured and recorded if you really want to know exactly how much you are consuming when aiming to meet your calorie goals.
So, should I weigh these ingredients before or after cooking?
The most accurate and consistent measurements of these fresh, whole foods calories are when it is done BEFORE they are cooked. This is due to keeping consistent with other whole foods that are packaged, as these are often measured and recorded when they are uncooked.
Another significant reason that these foods should be weighed before cooking is that the inconsistencies found in calories often come during the cooking process, with the addition of temperature, seasonings, oils, dressing, and so on.
Meats and vegetables lose and gain weight for a multitude of reasons! Meat and seafood may lose 20-25% of their weight and volume after being cooked, and vegetables can lose up to 50% of their weight and volume.
Overall, the most important thing is being consistent when it comes to weighing your food. This means in simple terms, don’t weigh some of your foods before, and some after! The more you weigh and log, the easier it will get and the more used to it you will get! You can find very affordable and accurate kitchen scales from several department stores such as Big W.
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