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? for Cooks of Large Families: Guessing # of Servings in Recipes, Amount consumed

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I want to try to be more accurate in recording how many calories I eat. I cook most of our meals, and they are often soups and one-dish meals with lots of veggies, beans, and a little bit of meat. I have been entering in all of the recipes exactly, but what I don't know is the percentage or fraction of the total amount of the recipe that I actually eat. For example, tonight I made pasta with meat sauce from a recipe that I adapted, and it served 8 people, plus leftovers. Does anyone have any tricks for accuracy when you enter in your own recipes and serving sizes are variable and random?

Replies

  • tess5036
    tess5036 Posts: 942 Member
    edited April 2018
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    A tip that was given to me and i have found a very useful is to weigh the entire meal after it has been cooked . then, whatever the wait is , and wasever the units you use , say that us the number of portions . For example , if you wait in gramsls , and this finnished dish comes to 1000 grams, enter 1000 for the number of portions . that's way you will have a number caloriess per gram. . Then aa you need to do each time you eat tbat meal is weigh out what you're going to have an enter number in MFP as the number of portions
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,865 Member
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    frawley23 wrote: »
    I weigh the complete dish and then put that in as serving sizes. The stew I made last night weighed 2540g so I put 2540 into the number of servings in the recipe builder and then I weighed my individual portion and logged that I had 350 servings.

    I do this with all family meals.

    (Edited for spelling).

    This is what I do too.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 9,120 Member
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    Another tip - if you have a large pan - or in my case the crockpot - that you make stews, soups etc in - then weigh pot empty and record somewhere - i did in permanant texta on bottom of pot.

    This then makes it easier to weigh cooked meal - weigh in pot and deduct weight of pot itself.

    If, like me, you only have piddly little kitchen scales ,then do this on your 'people scales' - ie that you weigh yourself on

    to make maths easy I record recipes in 100g servings - ie if the total weight was 2500g I would call it 25 servings of 100g each


    and you only have to do this once for each recipe and then save it in your recipes- next time you make xx dish, you know the ingredients were basically the same so you just weigh each portion as you serve it out.

  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 9,120 Member
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    I do that for some things - things I cook same amount each time and i know it serves my husband, myself and one leftover serve., all serves about same size. So i record recipe as 3 serves.

    But I think my other method is better for some things B)B):)o:) - because it allows for variations in serving sizes, not all the meal being dished up, left overs etc.
  • Pastaprincess1978
    Pastaprincess1978 Posts: 371 Member
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    Once you've entered all the ingredients in the recipe builder, weigh the entire meal on your food scale so you know the full weight of the meal. Then just weigh off what you've taken as a portion.

    Yep - do this! It is pretty accurate.

  • 08_GreenEyedMomma
    08_GreenEyedMomma Posts: 62 Member
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    I weigh all the ingredients, add up the total weight (pre-cooked) and use that number for the # of servings. I use grams, so it'll be like 1259 servings. When everything is cooked up & ready to dish out, I weigh what I put on my plate & count that as X number of servings.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
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    but if you weigh pre-cooked and the weights change - then your sizes could be off (i.e. chicken weighs less when cooked; pasta weights more)

    recommendation is using uncooked weights for recipe builder and cooked weight for serving size
  • CarvedTones
    CarvedTones Posts: 2,340 Member
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    I cook for the family a lot and it is often hectic and I don't always get everything weighed. Sometimes someone else cooks and nothing is weighed. In those cases, I look for something reasonably close and pick an entry that is more than average in calories. Is this accurate? Probably not, but I will do that before not recording something and I think it probably averages out to be something less than catastrophic to my goal. I don't do this every day and maybe not even every week. IMO, this is not the kind of thing that will derail me. My loss was pretty consistent; the first plateau I have hit is purposeful maintenance. So while that approach makes me wrong sometimes, it seems to average out okay. If you do that every day, it's an issue.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,293 Member
    edited April 2018
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    I weigh all the ingredients, add up the total weight (pre-cooked) and use that number for the # of servings. I use grams, so it'll be like 1259 servings. When everything is cooked up & ready to dish out, I weigh what I put on my plate & count that as X number of servings.

    The weight after cooked may be different than the precooked weight of all ingredients though. What you should do is enter all recipe, then weigh it after cooked so your 1259 may end up being 1150 when cooked so if you took 350 cooked, it is 350 of the 1150, but you are taking 350 of the 1259 meaning you are actually eating more than you think you are. 350/1150 = 30.4% of the total, whereas you are taking 350/1259 or 27.8% of the total.
  • littlebear0121
    littlebear0121 Posts: 1,073 Member
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    Thanks for your tips! I knew there was a better way to do this. After reading your advice, I've weighed and recorded all of my pots and pans, and am measuring the weights of the total food and my serving to figure my portion size. I am surprised to learn that I was actually overestimating the size of my portions.
  • solieco1
    solieco1 Posts: 1,559 Member
    edited April 2018
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    Once you've entered all the ingredients in the recipe builder, weigh the entire meal on your food scale so you know the full weight of the meal. Then just weigh off what you've taken as a portion.

    Holy moly I'm an idiot! How did I never think of this? I have always just guessed and have always known there was no way I was accurate. Usually it's in my instapot, going to the kitchen to weigh the empty pot and write that down now,Thank you!
  • CyberTone
    CyberTone Posts: 7,337 Member
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    solieco1 wrote: »
    Once you've entered all the ingredients in the recipe builder, weigh the entire meal on your food scale so you know the full weight of the meal. Then just weigh off what you've taken as a portion.

    Holy moly I'm an idiot! How did I never think of this? I have always just guessed and have always known there was no way I was accurate. Usually it's in my instapot, going to the kitchen to weigh the empty pot and write that down now,Thank you!

    Tip: If the pot is wide, set a sturdy small bowl on the scale, tare the scale, then place the pot on top. That will raise the pot so that you can see the display.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,055 Member
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    CyberTone wrote: »
    solieco1 wrote: »
    Once you've entered all the ingredients in the recipe builder, weigh the entire meal on your food scale so you know the full weight of the meal. Then just weigh off what you've taken as a portion.

    Holy moly I'm an idiot! How did I never think of this? I have always just guessed and have always known there was no way I was accurate. Usually it's in my instapot, going to the kitchen to weigh the empty pot and write that down now,Thank you!

    Tip: If the pot is wide, set a sturdy small bowl on the scale, tare the scale, then place the pot on top. That will raise the pot so that you can see the display.

    Good idea! I've had this problem...
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,966 Member
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    I also use the weight of the meal as the number of servings. It works great, unless I forgot to weigh the stupid dish the meal is in before hand.
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,283 Member
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    There is one thing I've noticed, and I'm pretty sure the issue is moisture evaporation. I generally make something that's 4-6 servings and eat a portion a day until it's gone. The problem is, if my entire recipe comes to 1000 grams for 4 servings and I take off 250 each meal, on day 4, I'm often left with 150-175 for the final serving. (If it only happened once, I'd think maybe I forgot to weigh the container or I accidentally recorded the wrong serving weight, but this is consistent.)

    The obvious fix for this is to immediately portion off the recipe into 4 separate containers, but sometimes I just don't have space in the fridge. Any less-obvious workarounds?