When you are losing weight and gaining muscle, apps like MyFitnessPal are invaluable nutritional tracking tools. Apps such as these can help you track your calories, plan your meals, and bring consistency back into your dieting life. Over time, this awareness not only helps you stay on track, but teaches you better estimation skills for the future.
Now, this is not the first time I have talked about MyFitnessPal on this blog. In fact, it’s one of my favorite apps I recommend to clients. However, there are special considerations for those who eat fresh and home cooked meals.
The reason is because we need to be sure that we are tracking everything that goes into a home cooked meal to have an accurate assessment of it’s nutritional composition. In addition to the main elements of your meal such as meat, starch, and veggies, you must also remember to add salt, seasonings, and cooking oil. Furthermore, you must also note how much of each ingredient is in your meal and how many servings you ingested.
While this might sound like a lot to keep track of, the recipe function within MyFitnessPal makes this quite easy to track, even when you’re cooking in bulk. By adding in custom recipes, you will have a database of your most loved meals, all calculated and ready to log for the next time you make your favorite dish.
With your staple recipes entered into MyFitnessPal, it makes tracking future meals quick and easy. The easier you make nutritional tracking, the more likely you are to stick with your plan!
Below is a quick step-by-step guide to help you add custom recipes like a pro.
From the home screen → Select More
Select My Meals →Recipes & Foods
Select Create A Recipe
From the pop-up → Enter Ingredients Manually
In the Recipe Information section, give your recipe a Title.
Set your Serving Size to 1 (We’re going to change this later)
Select the arrow in the top right corner to continue to the next step
Select Add Ingredients and add form the database. Be specific! Instead of typing in “chicken breast,” search for “Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless, USDA.” Then, select the correct quantity for your recipe.
Once you are happy with your ingredients list and have checked that all your entries are correct, select the arrow in the top right corner to continue to the next step.
You are now on the Save Recipe page.
A list of Nutritional Facts is listed, including the calories and macronutrients for the entire serving of your recipe.
Once you have finished cooking your entire recipe, weigh the total amount. To get an accurate weight, be sure to subtract the weight of the container your food is in. Alternatively, place your container on the scale first, zero it out, and then add your food.
In the Save Recipe page, change the serving size from 1 to be the exact number of ounces that your recipe ended up weighing. This will make it easier to track how much you’re eating later.
As soon as you have updated the ounces of your recipe, you will notice that the Nutritional Facts have changed to match the new serving size. In this format, the Nutritional Facts represent the calories and macronutrients for 1 single ounce of your recipe.
Scroll to the bottom of the Save Recipe page → select Save.
Now you are ready to serve up a portion of your recipe. To log a single serving of however many ounces you choose, open your MyFitnessPal Food Diary and select your meal.
In the Food Diary entry page, select Recipes in the top right corner.
There, you will see a listing of your recipes. Select the recipe you wish to log a single portion of. You will be directed to the Add Food page.
In the Add Food page, your recipe serving size will be displayed as 1 serving. Note that 1 serving = 1 ounce. Here, you will enter the exact ounces of the portion you would like to log. When I eat this soup, I often eat about 12 “servings” or ounces at a time.
Select the check in the top right corner to save and log the entry into your food diary.
Work Now to Rest Later
While this process might feel tedious each time you make a new meal, it’s work that only occurs once.
See, most people tend to eat the same core collection of meals as part of their diet. Once you get all these staples logged into MyFitnessPal, it makes tracking future meals easy and quick. The easier you make nutritional tracking, the more likely you are to stick with your plan.
Have a question? Check out my blog for more free resources or send me a message! As a nutrition coach, I love hearing from women looking to start their health journey off on the right foot!