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Whether you’re counting calories, tracking macros, or keeping an eye on your sugar or sodium intake, I’m sure you have run into the issue of not knowing the nutritional breakdown of a recipe. It’s easy enough to read a nutrition label on a packaged good, but what about when you make something from scratch? It might seem like a mathematics induced headache waiting to happen, but I promise that it’s easier than you think! Here’s how to calculate the nutrition information from a recipe, step-by-step.
Step #1: Determine the Number of Servings
There are many apps and websites out there that will do the math portion of this for you. I personally use MyFitnessPal. And the best part is that you do not even need an account with them in order to use the tool.
Simply go to https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator
From here you will name your recipe and enter in the number of servings it makes. For example if you’re making cookies and it makes 2 dozen cookies, you’d write that it serves 24 people.
Step #2: Enter your Ingredients
Now it’s time to add your ingredients! Click on the “add ingredient” button and search each ingredient one by one and enter in the amount used in the entire recipe. So for the cookie example, if it used 1 cup of flour for all 2 dozen cookies, then you’d log 1 cup of flour.
To make your nutritional information as accurate as possible, always search for the specific brand of each product that you personally used. So if you used Nestle chocolate chips, then make sure you search “nestle chocolate chips” and not Hershey.
Step #3: Calculate per Serving
Once you have all of your ingredients added, you will now see the nutritional information per serving. Look how easy that was!
But what happens if you make something that’s not as easy as cookies? For example, what about a dish of lasagna or a pot off chili? The good news is that it’s not much different than our cookie example.
You will follow all of the steps that we did above with one simple tweak. Under “Number of Servings” you will need to enter in the weight of the finished product. So if you’re entire dish of lasagna weights 1000 grams, enter it as “1000 servings”. Then when you dish out your serving, weigh it, and log that weight. So if you ate 200 grams worth of lasagna, you’d log it as eating “200 servings”. Make sense?
If this sounds a bit extreme, you could also “guesstimate” and get pretty close. For the lasagna example, you could enter it as being 1 large serving. And then you could say that you ate 1/4 of it, or 1/6 of the entire batch. This won’t be 100% accurate, but it will still give you a rough idea.
Putting it All Together
Tracking macros or counting calories doesn’t have to be hard! Just like anything else that you’re new at, it will be tricky at first but it will get easier over time.
If you want help and guidance on your journey, check out my 1:1 macro coaching programs. I offer 4 and 8 week programs where I can coach you every step of the way! Or if you’re looking for something more “work at your own pace”, check out my 100% online Macro Magic e-course.