@geostache I prefer to eat my calories so I have been resisting the smoothie/juicing route. That said - I have started to consider it...just to force myself to get more greens in me (never been a veggie fan). Going to try to more traditional "eat more veggies" route first but no longer going to resist the smoothie route. Many ways to skin a cat!
@elaine, I cook at home a lot and love trying new recipes, so I sometimes get caught up in that excitement and don't pay attention to nutrition as much.
I have a hard time being confident in my calorie counting. I use MFP and am diligent about recording, but with a lot of made-from-scratch food it's frustrating to record exact measurements of every ingredient, especially because it can add to the time it takes me to get dinner ready, not to mention the extra space a scale and measuring utensils take up on our square foot (yes, that's singular) of counter. Has anybody come up with good shortcuts or estimates for calorie counting home-cooked meals?
Honestly, my (new) scale is the size of an iPad mini. I got this slim profile scale
for $10 from Amazon:
When cooking, I find inputting ingredients on the app a little too slow so I keep a scratchpad next to me.
a. Remember to weigh cooking pot and record the weight!! (It has been a few weeks, and I STILL don't remember this.)
1. Put bowl on scale
2. Click tare (to return scale to zero)
3. Add first ingredient, scribble weight on scratchpad. Hit tare again.
4. Add second ingredient, scribble weight down. Hit tare again.
5. After cooking is completed, either weigh cooking pot full of cooked food (If I remember the first instruction above), or pour all food into a fresh serving dish that has been tared out on my scale. (Rather than serving from the cooking pot)
6. When I serve myself my food, I weigh it.
When i have finished cooking and served everything to my family, I usually sit and input my recipe into MFP's recipe builder. (I can do this after my dinner, but often I like to do it before I eat). It's not too hard to input the recipe - you just have to pay attention when the app matches ingredients as there are many incorrect entries.
Instead of telling the app that this recipe made 6 servings (and then I have to figure out what a sixth of a pot is!), I weigh the final cooked product and if it is 1567g, I input it as 1567 servings. Then I weigh what I serve myself and log that weight - e.g. 234 servings of the recipe.
It does take some extra steps but it really isn't as complicated as it sounds. For now, it is worth it to me to get some accuracy into my calorie logging. It's eye-opening that a small error in logging multiplied by several meals (apparently, even experts typically eyeball things wrong - and that's with using measuring cups) can wipe out a day's deficit.
Makes me feel SO much more sure about what I am eating - AND gives me the assurance to have my treats and eat more. Rather like how using a budget has been giving me the security to save more (I used to give myself a much wider safety margin of spare cash).