How to Count Calories in a Marinade (The Accurate Way)

how to count calories in a marinade

Do you love to marinate your meats but are wondering how to accurately calculate the calories in the marinade you made?

In order to easily and accurately calculate the calories in a marinade, you must start by first zeroing a food scale with an empty dish on it, then fill it with food and marinade, noting the amount of marinade used in weight.

Serve your food with the excess marinade still in it, then use a scale to check the final weight. 

At the end of the marinating process, remove any remaining weight from the marinade. 

Let’s dive in and discuss this a little bit further.

Is There an Accurate Way to Calculate Calories in a Marinade? 

Yes! To accurately count calories for marinade, you should use a food scale.

If you’re using a commercial marinade, the nutrition facts will give you an idea of how many calories it contains. 

If you are making a homemade marinade for steak, chicken, or seafood, you can count the calories in the entire marinade you made by adding the calories from each specific ingredient to get the total calorie amount.

Once you weigh your marinated meat and figure out the weight of marinade used, you will be able to apply this to the caloric content of the individual ingredients you added to make it.

Consider using a food scale: 

  • When you prepare the marinade, weigh it. 
  • After marinating, weigh out the remaining marinade. 
  • The difference should be subtracted. 

In theory, however, I’d probably just go by how much marinade is still in the dish. Estimates of calorie intake are a fact of life in the real world.

If there’s only half of the marinade left, you can safely assume you’re only consuming half of the calories. 

When you are in doubt about the calories in any given food or dish you are eating, always round up.

You want to stay on the safe side.

The biggest reason why many individuals in a calorie deficit are not seeing results, is because they are inaccurate with how many calories they are actually consuming (they’re not in a calorie deficit).

If you make yourself some steak or seafood and you plan on marinating it and want to be 100% sure you are tracking these calories correctly, just allocate for the total amount of calories in the entire marinade, not just the amount you think your meat absorbed.

What is the Most Accurate Way to Count Calories? 

A food scale and the weight of your food is the most accurate tool for calorie counting. In addition to using the nutrition label to determine the serving size, do this as well.

Example: If the label states that a 6-oz serving of salmon is equivalent to 325 calories, and you’ve got a 14-oz piece of salmon to weigh, you’d slice and weight until you got your serving size/calorie count. 

You won’t always have to measure out your food because some foods are already pre-portioned.

Even though this method isn’t the simplest or most sustainable, it’s worth trying at least once to gain a better understanding of portion sizes. 

I personally use a food scale every single day, and it makes me feel confident knowing I am counting calories accurately.

When Does Calorie Counting Become Unhealthy? 

As a rule, teens should not attempt to lose weight unless closely monitored by a doctor.

Teenagers are growing rapidly. Children are also rapidly growing so I would not recommend these groups try to count calories within first talking with their family doctor or healthcare practitioner.

Calorie counting can start to become unhealthy when you become obsessive.

There are some foods that we just cannot accurately measure the calories in, and this is okay.

This is then a perfect time to start practicing portion control and stop eating when you are full.

Also, when we eat out at a restaurant, it is very difficult to accurately count calories unless you’re standing over the chef’s shoulder (that would be strange).

In this case, just be smart and use portion control. Taking half of your food home to eat later is also a trick you can use.

Calorie counting is important, but don’t drive yourself to the brink of insanity doing it.

No one ever destroyed all of their progress in one sitting. It is what you do in the long term that counts.

Losing weight in a calorie deficit takes time and patience.

How do Calorie Count Apps Work?

1. My Fitness Pal 

I love this calorie counting option. I use it every single day!

Here is my entire caloric intake from yesterday.

calorie counting myfitnesspal
  • The most popular calorie monitor is MyFitnessPal.
  • Your daily calorie intake is calculated based on your weight and height. Well-designed food and exercise logs are also included. It’s easy to see how many calories you consumed throughout the day on the app’s homepage. In addition, it displays how many calories you’ll burn if you follow the rest of your diet and exercise plan.
  • You can use MyFitnessPal’s exercise log to sync data from a fitness tracking device.
  • A chat room allows you to interact with other users and monitor your progress toward your goals. 
  • MyFitnessPal’s food database contains more than 5 million items, making it one of the largest in the industry. You can also create your own recipes or use those you find online.
  • Your favorite meals are saved in the app so that you can log them at any time.
  • Using the barcode scanner in MyFitnessPal, you can automatically enter nutritional data from certain packaged foods.


  • MyFitnessPal has the largest database, which includes a wide variety of restaurant foods.
  • Using Internet recipes, it can figure out how many calories are in each dish.


  • Calorie counts may be inaccurate since most food products are uploaded by the other users. A single product can have multiple listings.
  • This can cause problems if your serving is smaller or larger than the one listed in the database.

Like I said, I love MyFitnessPal. Just make sure that when you use it you double check the calories in the items.

Some food items are verified and some are not accurate as they are updated by users.

If you are unsure, you can verify these amounts online just to be safe.

2. Lose it! 

  • Lose it! A food diary and an exercise log are included in this health tracker.
  • Your weight, height, age, and goals all play a role in how much you should lose. A personalized calorie intake recommendation is provided. Your caloric intake is displayed on the homepage.
  • An extensive food database and a logo for each food entry are included in this app. This app is simple and easy to use. It’s not difficult to add new food to your diet.
  • In addition to that, Simple foods can be saved for quick access and scanned with the app’s barcode scanner.
  • Using the “Challenges” tab, you can participate in food challenges or create your own.
  • This year’s $ 39.99 premium membership allows you to set more goals, log more information, and take advantage of additional features.


  • A dataset that has been approved by their experts includes popular restaurants, grocery stores, and brand-name foods.
  • Set up reminders for yourself to log your meals and snacks with the app’s reminders.


  • Keeping track of and determining the nutritional value of home-cooked meals is a challenge.
  • It’s a little difficult to get around in the app.
  • Micronutrients are not tracked by this app.

3. FatSecret 

  • FatSecret’s Free Calorie Tracker. The Food Diary, Nutrition Database, Healthy Recipes, Exercise Log, Weight Chart, and Journal are all included in this package.
  • The barcode scanner is useful for keeping track of food that is sold in containers.
  • The total daily caloric intake and monthly averages are displayed in a monthly summary by FatSecret. To keep track of your progress, this feature may be useful to you.
  • Using this calorie monitor is a breeze. Additionally, there is a chat room where users can share their experiences and learn from one another.
  • Challenges are a feature provided by FatSecret that allows users to create or join food challenges in a private group of people.


Foods from supermarkets and restaurants are included in the database.

4.The Cron-O-Meter 

  • Diet, exercise, and body weight can all be tracked with the Cron-O-Meter.
  • In addition to accurate service sizes, it has a comprehensive exercise database. It is possible to design a calorie-heavy profile for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • You can also tell the Cron-O-Meter if you’re a low-fat vegetarian, low-carb vegetarian, or a paleo vegetarian. Recommendations for macronutrient intake have been altered.
  • Food Diary is extremely user-friendly and simple to use. Here, you will find a bar chart that shows how many calories you ate each day as well as the breakdown of carbs, fat, and protein.
  • Under $3 per month, you can get rid of the ads, access more advanced analysis and enjoy a few other perks with the Gold Upgrade.


  • It is simple to use.
  • Bluetooth-enabled health devices can import weight, sleep data, and activity logs into the app.
  • All micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals as well as trace elements, are tracked by this application.


When you log your food intake with a chronometer, it doesn’t break it down into meals.

  • Only on the website can you post a recipe for a home-cooked meal. Lunch, on the other hand, can be accessed later in the app.
  • It has no consumer community.
  • The app is $2.99, but the website is free.

5. Spark People 

  • In addition to tracking nutrition, physical activity, goals, and progress, Spark People is a calorie counter that also includes a variety of other features.
  • Keeping a food journal is a simple process. This entry can be copied and pasted repeatedly if you have a habit of eating the same thing every day.
  • There is a calorie, carbohydrate, fat, and protein count at the bottom of each daily admission. A pie chart can be used to visualize the data.
  • Recipes can be easily added, and the app has a barcode scanner for capturing packaged food data.
  • Spark People is used by many people. Health and wellness experts’ articles, recipes, and exercise demonstrations are just some of the many resources available on the site.
  • Only a paid subscription will give you full access to the site’s extensive database of nutrition and diet information.


There is a wealth of information on a wide range of subjects on the website.


  • New users may feel daunted by the site’s wealth of data.
  • A variety of forums are used to distribute content across multiple applications. For example, there is a pregnant women’s app and a recipe-related app.
  • Logging into the app can be a challenge for some users.

Should I Count Calories for Spices?

In general, I’d advise against it. It would be difficult to make the calorie content of spices anything but negligible.

Because of its high caloric content, curry powder (325325 Cal/100100g) is one of the more calorie-dense spices. 

So are nutmeg and onion powder (525525 and 342342 Cal/100100g, respectively). In fact, many of them have a caloric content of 250–350 Cal/100g. 

Although the caloric content of ginger root (8080 Cal/100100g) is quite low.

However, a typical meal for one person should not exceed 100100g. For example, for a four-person chicken curry, curry powder (22 tbsp = 4242 Cal) and ground ginger (1 tsp = 66 Cal) might be all you need. Because of this, we have 4848 Cal, or 1212 Cal. divided by 44.

Furthermore, you will burn more calories simply by eating and digesting the meal!

This is known as dietary-induced thermogenesis

There are far more serious issues to worry about, such as toxicity, if you do manage to consume enough calories from spices to be considered significant. If you were concerned about calories, you’d probably bring up everything else you ate anyway.

should i count calories in spices

I personally do not count the calories in spices, not once. It has not negated my success, and I use them all of the time.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. When counting calories, should you count the calories in drinks? 

Any liquid calories consumed, unless it is water, should be counted. Beverages, such as milk, juice, and soft drinks, contain a variety of calories.

You do not have to count calories in diet colas or other diet drinks, because there none to count.

2. Can a person lose weight without counting their calories? If yes, then how? 

Yes, a person can lose weight without counting calories.

Counting calories is very important when losing weight in a calorie deficit, but people have found success by just utilizing smart portion control and by listening to hunger cues. Most people actually stop counting calories when they start to maintain their weight by listening to their body

Also, if you are unsure on how many hours until calories reset, you will be surprised to know that they actually do not reset.

3. Why do so many people count calories? 

  • It provides them with a means of control and accuracy.
  • It allows them to compare options.
  • It has been shown to help people lose weight. 

4. Is counting calories bad for mental health? 

No, keeping track of one’s daily caloric intake does not have to be a time-consuming chore. However, if you become too obsessed with counting calories, it can keep you distracted from more productive pursuits. 

However, you should be aware of what you are putting into your body.

The best course of action is to begin counting calories and then, after a couple of months of getting used to a low-calorie diet, refrain from doing so and utilizing portion control and listening to hunger and fullness cues.


The most accurate way to calculate calories in a meat marinade is to use a food scale and measure the weight of the marinated meat and dish before and after you marinate, or you can simply use a prepackaged marinade to easy calculate the caloric content.

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to the calorie content of the packaged foods that we buy. 

When counting calories, you should keep in mind that there is an allowance for error, so you should use these estimates to guide your eating decisions, not as an exact science that will yield specific results.

Knowing what you’re eating makes it much easier to keep the weight off once you’ve achieved it. 

As a result, when someone else cooks for you, you don’t know exactly how the food was made. 

Additions like butter, for example, aren’t something you can see in the final cooked product, unless you measured it yourself prior to adding it. The only way to get a calorie count that is more than a wild guess is to weigh the food.

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