Anyone else shunning homemade food due to calorie confusion?



  • TheBrolympus
    TheBrolympus Posts: 586 Member
    All homemade here. Use the recipe builder.
  • tabbyblack13
    tabbyblack13 Posts: 299 Member
    I love cooking at home and trying recipes. My neighbors also like it because I cook a lot more then what I can eat and they get a portion too.
  • Tree72
    Tree72 Posts: 942 Member
    I cook at home as much as I always have; which is a lot by typical standards. A digital kitchen scale (about $20) and the recipe builder on here make it pretty easy. It does take a bit of time to enter the recipes, but it's definitely worth it to me. Cooking gives me a lot more options for foods I enjoy and I can still hit my macros as well as calories.
  • lisaabenjamin
    lisaabenjamin Posts: 665 Member
    Nuh uh. Ready meals may be convenient but they are loaded with salt and other preservatives, and they are really expensive too! Unless I am eating out at a restaurant, I pretty much always eat homemade food, as clean as possible. It can be a bit of a faff to log each ingredient individually, but as others have said, once they're in your diary, they are saved so you can add them more quickly next time. Sometimes the calorie counts can be off (especially for the things with a star by them that have been added by naughty MFP members that guess the cals!!! grrrr) but nothing is ever going to be 100% accurate.
  • sisterlilbunny
    sisterlilbunny Posts: 691 Member
    Homemade too when I can. The sodium in the processed/pre-packaged stuff makes me about cry.
  • Phrick
    Phrick Posts: 2,765 Member
    Remember the FDA allows frozen diet meals (any meal or thing really) to be 20% off in calorie count. So that 300 calorie meal..could really be 360. You do that a few times a could overshoot your calories for the day and never know. I often wonder if that is why so many on here have trouble losing.

    So.. I find restaurant food and prepared foods what really throw most of our counts off.

    Interesting, could you cite that anywhere? (I do realize YouTube is less than "scientific")

    edit to add another
  • dammitjanet0161
    dammitjanet0161 Posts: 319 Member
    No, it's easy to weigh things in your own kitchen! I'm nervous of restaurant food however, and will given the food from the work canteen a miss for the foreseeable - good incentive to bring my own lunches.
  • mazdauk
    mazdauk Posts: 1,380 Member
    Actually I am making homemade much more. I can add more vegetables and have much larger portion sizes with less salt. I use the recipe feature to keep my favorites or simply add each ingredient.

    ^^^^^ THIS!
    Also, if you don't want to use the recipe maker because of editing, save it as a "meal" then you can vary amounts - like swap out omelette ingredients. I only use a ready meal once a week before a class - because its a very early class with only just enough time to eat and digest beforehand, so I know how long it will take and that it won't be too big:smile:
  • magurski
    magurski Posts: 45 Member
    I know how you feel. Even though the recipe builder is available, it's extremely time-consuming to enter in a new recipe AND figure out how many servings it makes, the latter being even more difficult when it's some kind of one-pot dish or similar. It really constrains cooking and I find myself eating more prepackaged foods and making simpler recipes. But such is eating healthy.

    For one-pot meals, weigh out what you "think" a serving should be, and eat it. Then portion out the remainder into other containers. You suddenly have your number of servings counted out easily...
  • luv_lea
    luv_lea Posts: 1,094 Member
    Much rather eat homemade meals, and fruits/veggies.
  • PinUp2014
    PinUp2014 Posts: 79 Member
    ready meals will not just be packed with salt, but also more sugar.. huge contributory factor in visceral fat.

    I wouldn't touch a ready meal with a barge pole, personally.

    This. The sodium content is just through the roof.

    For two meals a day, I make shakes for the sake of ease and convenience but I prefer taking the five extra minutes to input ingredients and build my recipe and know what is in my food over the boxed yucky food.
  • LCFulmer
    LCFulmer Posts: 183 Member
    I eat homemade much more. It's far healthier than any ready-made meal - at least what I make.

    This.... I get also go to sites like and which includes nutritional values for their recipes.
  • I am going to go against the grain here and simply say, "I know what you mean"! I do make much more homemade than ready-made... but there is a certain comfort level in being able to scan a bar code!! As others have said, it's not an exact science, but I know what you mean.

    Don't fear the recipe builder. It will make you feel much more comfortable about what you're eating. It is a bit time-consuming, but it's worth it.

    Best of luck, it seems you are doing really great!!! Keep it up!!
  • sfbaumgarten
    sfbaumgarten Posts: 912 Member
    I think OP means when other people make the food... In that case I am a little hesitant to indulge because I don't usually have all the info. I just practice moderation and use my best judgement when logging it. As for my own homemade food, I use the recipe builder with no problems.
  • sassyjae21
    sassyjae21 Posts: 1,217 Member
    I'm on both sides of the fence. It's much better to eat homemade foods. But sometimes I get lazy and frustrated. I don't mind putting it into recipe but trying to figure out the serving sizes can sometimes be too much of huge pain in the hoohaa and I don't always feel like doing it. A lot of times when I do, unless I sit there and separate it all out equally, it's a crap shoot. I just get tired of all this s*** sometimes lol. But's it's working so I will keep it going lol
  • amfmmama
    amfmmama Posts: 1,419 Member
    Try Great recipes and all the work is done for you. My kids even like her stuff. I do suggest you invest ina food scale though. I did after year of never having one and I love it.
  • Tracey_B_72
    Tracey_B_72 Posts: 1,021 Member
    I still make homemade meals, having a chilli tonight, I just make sure I personalise the recipe to me, I work out all my baking too.
  • ThatSoundsHard
    ThatSoundsHard Posts: 475 Member
    Nope, it's far healthier and tastier. Ready made will inevitably have junk I don't want or need and it is so much more expensive than homemade.

    Just because you have it printed in front of you doesn't mean it's wholly accurate. There are tons of recipe/calorie counters

    All of this.

    Also, recipe builder and many recipes found on popular cooking websites can be found in the mfp database.
  • easjer
    easjer Posts: 219 Member
    I know how you feel. Even though the recipe builder is available, it's extremely time-consuming to enter in a new recipe AND figure out how many servings it makes, the latter being even more difficult when it's some kind of one-pot dish or similar. It really constrains cooking and I find myself eating more prepackaged foods and making simpler recipes. But such is eating healthy.

    My go-to for things like one-pot dishes or casseroles is to pre-portion and put into containers immediately. Or, if sharing with family, I will divide in a way that makes sense (there are 3 adults, 1 child eating dinner at my place). I'll take my portions first (set one aside for the following meal) and then let everyone else eat as they like.
  • Losing_Sarah
    Losing_Sarah Posts: 279 Member
    No, I also use the recipe builder. It's easy to enter the ingredients into it and know exactly what you are eating without relying on highly processed and expensive pre-made meals.

    Besides, I've read about studies that were done that often pre-made meals and restaurant foods nutritional information isn't as precise as people think. Not that using the recipe builder is going to be super precise, either, but there are variables with both options.

    I've heard some gripes about the time it takes to use the recipe builder, but here is my experience. Initially it might take me a few minutes or more, but once you have your recipe entered it is saved for future use and you can edit them in case of variations when making certain things from time to time.

    One more thing. If you are really concerned about the time thing I always make large batches of things. For example, a huge batch of chili, soup, slow cooked/shredded beef or pork, etc can be packaged in serving sizes or family sized portions (in my case) for my very own "pre-made" frozen meals. Sometime I'll make multiple things in a day when I'm just home doing things there already then freeze them all up for later.