Updated: Mar 14
My Fitness Pal - How Create Recipes with Recipe Builder
My Fitness Pal recipe builder is a brilliant, but slightly complicated tool to get the hang of, but once you have entered each recipe, you only need to do it once - unless you really want to be mega accurate.
Step 1 - Go to menu and select 'Recipes, Meals & Foods'
Step 2 - Create a Recipe and select 'Enter Ingredients Manually'
Step 3 - Give your recipe a title, i.e 'Lasagne' and for servings just enter 1 for now - you will edit this later.
Step 4 - Add all raw ingredients, i.e, raw carrot, raw 5% lean mince, raw onion etc. Scan barcodes of any jars etc used. Enter total weight of everything used for the entire meal - don't worry about portions at this point.
Step 5 - Weigh the bowl/serving dish you will be using.
Step 6 - Save recipe and then cook your food.
Step 7 - Once cooked weigh the total cooked amount (including the dish it is in) then subtract the weight of the dish
Step 8 - Edit the saved recipe and change the servings to the total weight of the cooked food minus the dish. For example, My lasagne and the dish it is in weighs 2800g, I subtract the weight of the dish which is 1200g. This leaves me with 1600g which I know is the total weight of the cooked food. Save the recipe
Step 9 - You have basically fooled My Fitness Pal into having 1 serving equalling 1g of food. So put your plate on the scales and zero them, so they are not weighing the plate. Put a portion of your lasagne (or whatever you're cooking) on your plate, 400g for example. Go to the meal you are eating on your tracker and select the recipe. It will ask you how many servings you had, enter the weight - 400g (example).
Now you can be really good and absolutely accurate and do this every time you have lasagne, or you can just have a pretty bloody good estimate and know that you've used roughly the same amount of onions, mushrooms and buy the same sauces (if you don't make your own) and the same brand and fat % of meat. I personally wouldn't bother updating it each and every time.
Please comment below with any queries. Happy to go through anything that isn't particularly clear - I have seen instructions for this method get really over complicated on facebook and it doesn't need to be.
**little tip, use tinned tomatoes instead of jarred sauces and make your own cheese sauce to save on calories. Always weigh pasta if you are creating a meal with it, as they are pretty calorie heavy. Ensure you are accurately selecting whether the pasta calories are for raw or cooked pasta (depending on whether you are weighing your portion raw or when cooked), the weight of pasta changes significantly once cooked and you may dramatically under or over track.