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Old 08-22-2010, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How many calories in Chinese food?

Today we ordered take-out from a Chinese restaurant (not fast food). I had:

.5 cup fried rice
.5 cup Mongolian beef
.5 cup almond chicken

Fried rice and almond chicken are both listed on Fit Day. I assume they both refer to pretty much what I just had, because the calories seemed reasonably close to what I would have guessed. That's 167 for the fried rice and 140 for the almond chicken.

But I'm not sure what to put for Mongolian beef, because I'm not sure what's in the sauce. It's just spicy beef with a lot of green onions and ginger. Do you think 250 calories seems like a reasonable estimate for a half-cup serving?


(My family must think I'm weird, bringing my measuring cups to the table, but I'm gonna be so gorgeous and sexy by Christmas. Ha ha!)
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just eat it and stop stressing. If you're willing to put chinese food into your body you obviously do not care about calories. There is no way I would put chinese fried rice @167 calories, the chicken could maybe pass for 140... I would probably go a little higher, and the beef I would put around 300-350.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are lots of calories and lots of sodium in chinese food. The sauce most likely has a chicken stock base which adds a whole lot of both of those things. So, basically chinese food is not recommended unless you cook it yourself.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SeiferWar View Post
Just eat it and stop stressing. If you're willing to put chinese food into your body you obviously do not care about calories. There is no way I would put chinese fried rice @167 calories, the chicken could maybe pass for 140... I would probably go a little higher, and the beef I would put around 300-350.

Geez, I'm not stressing. I just wanted to be reasonably accurate so I could budget the rest of my evening. Excuse me for wanting to enjoy a restaurant meal with my family for once.

I don't think 167 calories is too much for a half cup of fried rice. It's made of rice, which we know is 110 calories. Then about a half tablespoon of oil would be another 50 or 60 calories. If there was much more oil in it than that, it would be swimming in oil, which it's not. Then maybe a few peas and three or four tiny little pieces of meat. The total amount of beef in a half cup of Mongolian beef looks about the same as one of those frozen minute-steaks, which is about 100 calories. Add another 100 for a tablespoon of whatever oil might have been used). Green onions don't have much. I don't see how my guess could be that far off.

Whatever. Sorry I asked.
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Starting weight: 157 lbs.-- June 23, 2010
Current weight: 149 lbs.
Mini-goal: 136 lbs.-- November 1, 2010
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like you had a nice "treat" meal with your family while being conscientious of portion size and trying to keep an honest count of calories. While itís obviously difficult to guess at the nutrient content of restaurant food, I believe your estimate of 250 calories is falls within a reasonable range. I'd guess that the amount of slice flank steak (commonly used in oriental recipes) in a 1/2 cup serving would be 2-3 oz. For simplicity's sake, let's call it 2.5 oz. Although there are various calculations for calories in flank steak (presumably to cover different fat percentages) I'll go a little high and call it 65 calories/oz. One tablespoon on a Mongolian ginger garlic sauce from a local Vietnamese restaurant in my neighborhood (they sell bottles in a few local grocery stores) is 50 caloreis and should be more than enough for a 1/2 cup serving. A tablespoon each of garlic, ginger and green onions should be about 15 calories. Of course they probably stir fry it in some kind of oil, so we'll have to account for that too. A half tablespoon is probably a little bit of an overestimate for that portion size, but I'd rather be over than under....

2.5 oz. flank steak = 163
1 Tbsp. Mongolian sauce (example) = 50
Ginger, garlic, and onions = 15
Oil = 60
Grand total = 288

This may be a bit off, but the important thing is that you kept the portions under control and were conscious of your choices. I truly believe that weight loss is achievable while eating normal (non diet) foods once in a while, especially if youíre in it for the long term. Nobody lives in a bubble and eating Chinese food on occasion does not mean you don't care about what goes into your body as a whole nor does it condemn you to failure!

P.S. I'm not sure about the almond chicken one way or another, but your info for fried rice seems accurate. I checked various different sources out of curiousity and that seems very reasonable for veggie fried rice with egg, possibly a little high. Obviously fried rice isn't always the greatest choice, but, again, 1/2 cup should not significantly hinder your goals especially if you make good choices most of the time.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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just to add my own two cents. i don't have any good tips if you counted the calories correctly sorry

however we are all on our own journey each of us following different plans. i've seen on this site cave man diets, atkins diet, raw food, ww, tops, food pyramid, low fat, low carb etc etc etc, just to name a few. i personally follow 6 week body makeover, but really it doesn't matter. who is anyone here to say what you should or shouldn't have you wanted to account for it which is awesome. your food plan will be different that mine, mine will be different than the next person's. in the end we are all here to support each other. not be the food police....lol obviously the way you have your food program set up allows you to enjoy chinese food with your family on occasion. great job on watching your portions that's a big key in getting to our goals. right?

don't forget to up your water after chinese it can be high in sodium so the extra water will help flush the sodium out of your system.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with Stacey, those on the forums who tell you you can't eat this or that are out of line. There are those here that believe in no fat, or no dairy, or no meat, or low carb, or high carb and many of them have valid reasoning behind there beliefs. But you have to find what works for you. For me this is not a short term diet where I deny myself certain foods to attain a goal. This is a lifestyle change that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I still eat chinese take out with my family, I still eat, gasp, white bread on occasion, lol, I still eat pasta with the family. Perhaps if you are single and have no social life, or have a seperate food plan from the rest of your family you can have the 'perfect' diet. But I live in reality, and my diet is not 'perfect'. (Theirs probably isn't either or they wouldn't be here.)

To address your original question make the best estimate of calories you can and move on. (I find chinese food to be very hard to find calorie estimates for also.) You already seem to have a good grasp of getting close. Don't fret the details too much. Congratulations on your sucess so far.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpmcduff View Post
I agree with Stacey, those on the forums who tell you you can't eat this or that are out of line. There are those here that believe in no fat, or no dairy, or no meat, or low carb, or high carb and many of them have valid reasoning behind there beliefs. But you have to find what works for you. For me this is not a short term diet where I deny myself certain foods to attain a goal. This is a lifestyle change that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I still eat chinese take out with my family, I still eat, gasp, white bread on occasion, lol, I still eat pasta with the family. Perhaps if you are single and have no social life, or have a seperate food plan from the rest of your family you can have the 'perfect' diet. But I live in reality, and my diet is not 'perfect'. (Theirs probably isn't either or they wouldn't be here.)

To address your original question make the best estimate of calories you can and move on. (I find chinese food to be very hard to find calorie estimates for also.) You already seem to have a good grasp of getting close. Don't fret the details too much. Congratulations on your sucess so far.
very well said
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~ Highest weight 2008 223 lbs
~ Feb 10/11 weight 167.2 lbs sigh
~ Feb 16/11 weight 158.8 lbs sigh
~ Feb 25/11 weight 157 lbs
~ Mar 9/11 weight 155.6 lbs
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