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Ask The Sage

How do you find the calorie count for a meal you make yourself.

May 29, 2014

A few things come to mind when you start talking about calorie counting:
- Why do you want to count your calories? What is the end result or goal?
- How will it make you feel once you know the amount of calories in something?

Most of the time, we want to know how many calories are in something in order to lose weight. Other times, we feel vindicated in eating things that are “less healthy” so long as they fit a required amount of calories we want in a day. Saying that, it is much more important to each healthier foods that already have fewer calories such as lean meats, beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy over red meat, processed or fried foods, refined carbohydrates, etc. The person who eats a “lean” hot dog with potato chips can do so for under 400 calories. A Twinkie only has 135 calories, less than a yogurt with fruit. But what is “healthier,” here?

With that said, when it comes to preparing you own foods, choose ones with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and dairy, and avoid a lot of processed foods. Use healthy oils such as olive, canola, or coconut to cook with. However, as part of a healthy lifestyle plan and with a goal of weight loss, there are very few resources I would recommend to count calories.

MyFitnessPal is an app that has a LOT of various foods you can enter into your day to assess nutrient and caloric intake. The bank of ingredients is HUGE (which is super helpful).

The MyPlate SuperTracker is another source to do the same thing, but the bank of ingredients is not as large. I have heard positive and negative reviews for this, but give it a whirl if an app is not your thing.

If sure there are other resources out there, so I hope others comment with their suggestions that have also helped in the past. Going through 2014, I think an app would be your best (and most convenient) bet in making sure you are consistently counting all of the calories in the foods you prepare.

I hope this information helps. Happy Eating!

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