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# Tell Me, Did I Calculate This Right?

Okay, so I make my own pizza dough from scratch and then into pies at home for DH and myself.  We have been counting calories as of late to stay within a reasonable limit.  I had a couple of dough balls stashed away in the deep freeze and tonight we’ve decided to have a treat.

These are my figures:

Dough-

1 ¼ C. bread flour – 375 calories

Yeast – zero calories

Salt – zero calories

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil – 120 calories

Toppings-

2/3 C. Mozz – 160 calories

1 C. sliced Crimini mushrooms – 23 calories

¼ C. (jarred) Pizza Sauce – 30 calories

Total calories per pie = 708 ÷ 8 slices = 88.5 calories per slice of pizza

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Looks right. Is this a trick question?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

I guess I should rephrase the question as, is this the formula that I should have used, or am I incorrect?

For me anyway, logically, to figure out how calories in each slice of pizza is to break down the recipe, ingredient by ingredient and go from there.

I pulled out my flour sack,oil jug, etc. and wrote down next to each one of them, the calories for that amount of flour, etc and then added them together and lastly divided the total by 8 slices...

The generic internet search "how many calories in pizza dough?" just didn't sound right to me, the range was so vast...since each recipe is different.

well i would say logically you are correct.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Plus all the calories you gained by cooking the ingredients, especially the starches, but minus all the calories you burned to make the dough and prepare the pizza.

I've tried doing this before and it's so hard.  You've done it as best you could, although my tendency is to round up so instead of counting each slice as 88cal I would round it up to 100 just to be safe.

I don't count calories by measurements I found that it wasn't exact enough.  I have a kitchen scale and I actually count each ounce or gram depending on the food.  It's easy to miscalculate how many calories are in a cup of flour, it's best to count that by grams like the Brits do.  Same goes for cheese because gram by gram it can cost you a lot of calories if you fill it up more than 2/3 of a cup.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

You done good!

My problem would be not eating too many slices, or the whole thing for that matter; which unfortunately reminds me of a joke. A guy walks into a pizza parlor and orders a pizza. The clerk asks him if it wants it cut into 12 pieces or 8. The guy says that he better cut it into 8 because he can't eat 12.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne

You done good!

My problem would be not eating too many slices, or the whole thing for that matter; which unfortunately reminds me of a joke. A guy walks into a pizza parlor and orders a pizza. The clerk asks him if it wants it cut into 12 pieces or 8. The guy says that he better cut it into 8 because he can't eat 12.

In our collective (DH and I) past, we could have easily downed two 12 inch pies, and then a third pie for breakfast, yum cold pizza... we didn't measure by slices but the entire thing! "Oh, I only had half of that pizza..."

It's a brave new world out there and we're conquering it together, in a new and tastier way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia

...I don't count calories by measurements I found that it wasn't exact enough.  I have a kitchen scale and I actually count each ounce or gram depending on the food.  It's easy to miscalculate how many calories are in a cup of flour...

Yup!  I do the same thing Miss KK, I have a digital scale, EVERYTHING is weighed. (I probably should have put it that way in my recipe break down, sorry for any miscommunications there) That is the most acurate measurement.

P.S. Just finished dinner and the dishes, it was DELICIOUS!  What a treat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries

Plus all the calories you gained by cooking the ingredients, especially the starches ...

How do you mean FF?  In the process of baking the dough, does this add to the calorie count?

I don't have a problem breaking down each ingredient to a recipe and figuring the calories that way, but this adds a new twist!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz

How do you mean FF?  In the process of baking the dough, does this add to the calorie count?

I don't have a problem breaking down each ingredient to a recipe and figuring the calories that way, but this adds a new twist!

Starch transforms into sugar upon cooking. Depending on how you cook the starches, how long, how hot, etc... they will give you more calories vs raw. For example Al Dente pasta has less calories (and is more digest) than overcooked pasta. Same with potatoes (except you don't want those al dente, you just want them ... cooked. But not overcooked).

Right now your calculations count the raw calories... but then you cook them, which makes the calorie count increase (sorry!!).

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2011/12/08/why-calorie-counts-are-wrong-cooked-food-provides-a-lot-more-energy/#.UgsAOGReuGo (Hey, in the process you'll learn how chimpanzees, like us humans, enjoy recreational sex!)

Having said that, and I don't mean to completely kill your buzz, but personally I don't believe in calorie counting or in most modern western diets. I think they make you frustrated, and only lead you to catch up on what you've been missing the instant you declare yourself done with your diet. I don't even believe that consuming less calories makes you slimmer. I am French, I go to France once or twice a year, and every single time I spend 3 weeks in France eating as much cheese, meat with fat, pates, terrines, saucissons, charcuteries, duck confit, cassoulets, veggies drowned in olive oil etc... as I want, I lose about 10 lbs. The instant I come back to the U.S. and pay a bit more attention to what I'm eating, I gain the 10 lbs back within a mere few weeks.

I haven't figure it out yet, but I think there's more to being slim or being fat than calorie counting.

I don't mean to be negative so I'll share a bit of my own philosophy, maybe it can help you (maybe not?) - but personally I believe in eating good things. What I mean by that is not pay attention to calories, fat, sugar etc... but more on the quality of the products you're eating. For example, I'm utterly convinced that you'll gain less weight eating some raw natural honey every day than the same calorie-count amount of white bleached processed sugar - or worse: the same calorie-count of high-fructose-corn-syrup in industrial processed foods.

Keep in mind, I have zero scientific evidence for this belief. I'm just basing it on my own personal experience. It may or may not work for you, we're all different.

I wish you the best K-girl, I know how hard it can be to have to limit or control your food intake. I made the choice to control the quality, not the quantity. Seems to work okay for me (not saying it's perfect either).

Edited by French Fries - 8/14/13 at 12:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries

I don't believe in calorie counting or in most modern western diets. I think they make you frustrated, and only lead you to catch up on what you've been missing the instant you declare yourself done with your diet. I don't even believe that consuming less calories makes you slimmer.

Keep in mind, I have zero scientific evidence for this belief. I'm just basing it on my own personal experience. It may or may not work for you, we're all different.

Calorie counting may not be a useful tool for you for many reasons.  Likewise, calorie counting is an extremely useful tool for some people.  If you lose weight easily by just cutting back a little here and there then of course you don't need to calorie count.  But others (like me) had a difficult time discerning portion size.  I calorie counted for years and I learned several things during that time.  Firstly, I found out that my portion sizes when it came to potatoes, bread, and other starches was extremely high.  I was following the food pyramid after all.  It helped me understand that in general my portion sizes were too big.  There was actual proof of it, in the form of numbers.

Like it or not, calories-in calories-out is a very basic and simple solution to weight loss/gain.  It's only a part of the equation but it's important none the less.  The reasons that you lose weight in France and gain in America may be in your mind only.  Perhaps you eat less there, perhaps you're only eating clean whole foods there and doing a lot more physical activity.  Perhaps the foods you eat in France are so delicious and satisfying that there is no need to eat more of them.  Perhaps being around family and beautiful surroundings makes up part of that satisfaction, takes your mind off the food and causes you to eat less.  Unless you really measure what you ate, we'll never know.

It is very difficult to count calories, it really is.  It takes a lot of dedication, but it can be done and it does get easier the more you do it.  I have little need to do it anymore, I did for a while and I've learned that I shouldn't eat a whole potato and that a scoop of rice is more than enough.  It's not at all frustrating, it's just educational.  Because if you're anything like me you'll find any excuse to overeat, take second helpings, overload on starches, and underestimate the caloric value of anything.

I'd also like to say that a few years ago I read a book called "French Women Don't Get Fat" and I took a lot of knowledge from it that I value still.  Some of the things that I learned and live by even now is that French women walk to their local market every day to pick out fresh produce.  I do this too.  I shop every day, I don't do the american thing where we wait until Saturday with a pocket full of coupons (that noticeably apply only to prepackaged convenience foods), and fill up 2 grocery carts full of foods.  Another thing I learned was to enjoy every meal, now of course I know this from my greek culture but believe me, it is hard to apply to an american lifestyle - we turn off the tv, sit together as a family and chat during dinner.  A glass of wine usually helps too.  Another thing I learned is that while you might see french women chomping on baguettes does not mean that they're ALWAYS chomping on baguettes.  They make time for not eating as well.  I call this the Thanksgiving Syndrome.  For some of us, we eat like it's Thanksgiving every day.  I used to see others with belly aches at the end of the turkey dinner saying "i'm stuffed, I can't believe I ate that much! I'm not eating again till Monday!!" and I thought they were crazy.  Because I ate like that every day.  Well guess what, others don't eat like that.  Naturally thin people wake up the day after Thanksgiving and go for a walk, they eat a light salad for lunch and maybe some left over turkey for dinner, but what they don't do, is eat a whole Thanksgiving dinner again.  Not true for overweight people - everyday is Thanksgiving.  So while you see French women enjoying their croissants, they're also restricting themselves part of the time.

Anyway, I think it's unwise to say that calorie counting doesn't make you slim, it can help you lose weight, learn about portion control, and even teach you what kinds of foods you can eat a lot of and a little of.  In essence it can help you form a very good diet and if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight... there is too much scientific knowledge on that to ignore.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia

there is too much scientific knowledge on that to ignore.

Obviously, less calorie intake = loss of weight. The issue is that it leaves most people unsatisfied, frustrated and hungry, which means the instant they stop (or give up) calorie counting they gain all the weight back. I've seen many people suffer through those types of diet only to drive themselves crazy with food and end up worse than they were before they started.

I think it's great that you were able to use calorie counting as an educational tool to help learn about reasonable portion size, but I believe it's unwise to advise calorie counting as an effective diet for most people.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/09/weight-watchers-finally-recognizes-calorie-counting-doesnt-work.aspx

http://www.primallyinspired.com/the-problem-with-counting-calories/

http://www.cbn.com/health/nutrition/drlen_countcalories.aspx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2201280/Calories-Dont-count-calories-itll-just-make-FATTER-Which-foods-really-make-fat.html

http://www.dietdoctor.com/why-calorie-counting-is-an-eating-disorder

http://nataliejillfitness.com/why-counting-calories-does-not-work/

etc...

True, but portion control DOES work! Since January 2013, I've lost 18 pounds doing nothing except watching my portions, no additional exercise, no elimination of specific foods or food groups, no change in eating habits (aside from watching the portion sizes), still snack (just not as much), and taste (not eat, just taste!).

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer

Very good points all, I really didn’t mean for this thread to go the way of dieting philosophies.  Each person is different, mentally as well as physically, what works for one does not necessarily work for another.

DH and I (mostly husband-unit) needed to realize what a HUMAN SIZED portion of say pasta for example looked like.  What it was like to live within restraints.  For too long I threw all caution to the wind and cooked and baked and ate things that I know darn well were wrong for US, not anyone else.

My kitchen has been dedicated to the pleasure and enjoyment of the two of us for many, many, years.

We just needed to make a few adjustments here and there, and Bob’s your uncle!

Another thing that really, really helped me with portion sizes, especially with reducing meat portion sizes (I used to eat a LOT of red meat, every day), is to get into Asian cooking: Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian.... they consume much, much less meat than we do, and yet in a way that leaves me completely satisfied at the end of the meal.

For example I often make Vietnamese noodles with veggies and meat and shrimps... lots of fresh scallions, mint, cilantro, barely cooked carrots, raw tomato wedges, then a bit of ground pork and a couple of grilled shrimps per person... your protein serving ends up being under 4oz, you eat tons of fresh veggies and herbs, not so many noodles but just enough that it really feels like a noodle dish, and you leave the table very satisfied.

Or even a simple chicken fried rice, for example, which really satisfies me even though there's not a 1/4th the amount of chicken I would eat if we had a roast chicken dinner.

Just sharing what works for me, see if it works for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken

True, but portion control DOES work! Since January 2013, I've lost 18 pounds doing nothing except watching my portions, no additional exercise, no elimination of specific foods or food groups, no change in eating habits (aside from watching the portion sizes), still snack (just not as much), and taste (not eat, just taste!).

Congratulation Pete McC!  That is a real accomplishment!

Portioning was a huge part of DH’s success as well.  But then some of the types of foods that he/we ate where just TOO MUCH!  I may have mentioned in other threads about how surprisingly delicious whole grain pastas are.  My pantry no longer has any ‘white pasta’, I just wish that all of the different shapes, ie rigatoni, my husband’s fav is the de cecco brand, were in whole grain!!!

HELLO food manufactures!!!

We were at several different restaurants up in the ‘city’ (Phoenix) that offered both, amazing!  WE GOTTA MOVE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries

... your protein serving ends up being under 4oz, you eat tons of fresh veggies and herbs...

Just sharing what works for me, see if it works for you.

Exactly FF!!

We keep our proteins, no matter if it’s chicken, turkey or white pork, to 4 ounces, no more than that. (only wish we could get fish here )

You may have noticed that I cook a lot of Asian inspired dishes, I mean being from Hawaii, that’s what I learned to cook first, Italian came with DH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz

You may have noticed that I cook a lot of Asian inspired dishes

I did actually! You probably cooked Asian food WAAAAY Before I learned to cook Thai and Vietnamese food.

I'm a bit like FF, I have changed my diet to mainly SE Asian (more specific Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese) food and it has done wonders for me.

I like it better as well, so thats another bonus :)

Life is too short to drink bad wine
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Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

I've moved away from calorie counting but no matter what I do I'm still aware of calories, I can't help it. I don't limit protein, but I do limit carbs and avoid wheat almost entirely. Ill have pasta once a month and enjoy it much more now than when I did when we were having it once or twice a week. I pretty much only eat protein and vegetables now with little tastes of potatoes. I mostly eat paleo. I feel much better and look much better now than I have in years. I also do intermittent fasting which I used to think was super weird but since I started it a few weeks ago I have no cravings, no hunger, and most importantly no 4 pm hunger slump. It's kind of a miracle.

Kgirl, if you're interested I have a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza which is low carb and really delicious!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Many Mahalos (thanks) Miss KK, but neither DH nor I are fans of cauliflower.

I know that you and Siduri make some pretty awesome stuff with it.

Okay, So FF, I read that article and I’m seeing where it shows me the difference in calorie counting raw product versus cooked.  So I guess my question now would need to be rephrased again to how FAR off the mark am I in my formula of my home made pizza?  How does the food industry do it?

I don't think the food industry bothers calculating actual calories, I'm guessing they probably do it the way you did it, it's just not accurate. From memory I believe the article mentioned a 25 to 50% increase depending on cooking method/time?

... as well as the ingredients... HMMMM ... dang my curious mind!  where's chefhow?  I haven't seen him in while, doesn't he do this sort of thing for a living?

Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries

I don't think the food industry bothers calculating actual calories, I'm guessing they probably do it the way you did it, it's just not accurate. From memory I believe the article mentioned a 25 to 50% increase depending on cooking method/time?

If I'm not grossly mistaken, restaurants do not calculate calories, they submit their dishes to a laboratory for a nutritional analysis by weight.

And yes, calculated calories is HIGHLY dependent on taking into account cooking method, portion sizes, and what actually gets onto the plate and into the consumer's stomach!

Simple example for illustrative purposes: Egg fried in butter.

First, a large egg has a variability of nearly ±10% by weight. Second, how much of the butter used for frying actually makes it to the plate, 100%, 50%, 10%?

Using strictly the raw ingredients:

• 1 large egg = 58g±5g which is 74.5Kcal±6.4Kcal
• 1 Tbsp butter = 102Kcal

Thus, the maximum is 183Kcal (a really large egg and all the butter) to a minimum of 78Kcal (a really small large egg and just the butter, say 10%, that clings to the egg) and even that assumes that every drop is slurped off  the plate and none gets back to the kitchen. Probably closer to say one average fried egg is 130Kcal and call it close enough.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken

...to a minimum of 78Kcal (a really small large egg and just the butter, say 10%, that clings to the egg) and even that assumes that every drop is slurped off  the plate and none gets back to the kitchen....

Pete McC, how did you KNOW that I do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken

If I'm not grossly mistaken, restaurants do not calculate calories, they submit their dishes to a laboratory for a nutritional analysis by weight.

Anyway your math does not take into account the cooking of the ingredients per se, it simply takes into account the added fat used for cooking - that's not what I'm talking about, you missed my point: it was that a raw potato vs the same potato cooked in water or steamed (without any additional calories) will end up having more calories cooked vs raw. Same with flour.

A simple calorie count by weight is wrong. Read the link I posted earlier.

Um, FF, which link, you listed a number of them?

And, if one cooks something without adding any additional calories, you will end up with the same calories, less any losses due to evaporation. It is called the law of conservation of energy

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken

Um, FF, which link, you listed a number of them?

And, if one cooks something without adding any additional calories, you will end up with the same calories, less any losses due to evaporation. It is called the law of conservation of energy

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2011/12/08/why-calorie-counts-are-wrong-cooked-food-provides-a-lot-more-energy/#.UgsAOGReuGo

The end part... in case you don't want to read the whole thing... :

Quote:

The USA uses the Atwater Convention for assessing calories in food, a century-old system that treats food as being composed of a certain number of components, each of which has a fixed calorie value–such as 4 kcals for a gram of protein, 4 kcals for a gram of sugars, 9 kcals for fats [ed: kcals are popularly called "calories"]. Modifications to the original convention allow advances in nutritional knowledge to be incorporated, such as better estimates for some specific types of carbohydrate. The system gives a good approximation for foods that are highly digestible and demand very little work by the digestive system, such as candy bars. It is convenient because it produces standardized numbers that everyone can agree on.

But the Atwater Convention has two big flaws. First, it pays no attention to the extent to which food has been processed. For example, it treats grain as the same calorie value whether it is eaten whole or as highly milled flour. But smaller particles are less work to digest, and therefore provide more net energy. Second, it treats foods as equally digestible (meaning, having the same proportion digested) regardless of processing. But cooked foods, as we’ve seen, are more digestible than raw foods.

These flaws matter. According to the Atwater Convention raw foods have equal calorie content to cooked foods. So people can be deluded into thinking that feeding their children on 100% raw foods is a healthy practice, whereas I believe it would be dangerous for them.

The more highly processed our foods, the more calories we get out of them. If you want to gain weight, make sure you eat highly processed and well-cooked meals. If you want to lose weight, do the opposite. You can eat the same number of measured calories, but if the foods vary in how finely they have been ground or whether they have been cooked, the calorie counts will not tell you what you want to know.

The next wave of research will decide how profound the effects of cooking are. My best guess, based on studies of the increased digestibility of starch or eggs eaten cooked compared to raw, is that the increase in net calorie gain from cooking will prove to be in the region of 25­­–50%. That is only a guess, but I am confident it will be much higher than 10%. It is going to be exciting to find out.

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