Adjusting the per-serving weight for complex recipes
Problem: the total weight for a given recipe is the weight of the ingredients BEFORE cooking/preparation, which makes the per-serving weight largely meaningless for determining portion size post-preparation.
Solution: allow the manual specification of the final weight of a prepared dish, to make calculation of fractional portions easier.
OK, what am I talking about here? I think a concrete example will make the problem clear. Yesterday, we made this awesome turkey/veggie lasagna, and I diligently entered every single ingredient's weight accurately. The result was a recipe that cronometer thinks has a total weight of 7070g. That is the initial weight of the uncooked ground turkey, veggies, etc, and is accurate.
However, when weighing the final dish when it comes out of the oven, the actual weight of the final product is only 3990g, because we lose a LOT of water as the turkey fat is rendered, and the water cooks off of the veggies (which we roast and prep before making the "lasagna", otherwise it comes out as lasagna soup).
Now, when I serve it, I have to whip out my calculator to figure out what fraction of an actual "serving" to enter. Cronometer thinks one serving is 884g, when in reality, 1/8th of that dish is 498g. What I typically do now is use the "notes" section of the recipe to record the final weight of the dish, and the REAL per-serving weight, but...
It would be a very convenient feature to be able to enter the numbers for the post-preparation weights (total, and per-serving), since for MOST prepared food that involves cooking with any heat, there will be a significant change in these numbers. Then, use these numbers to display the weight of a single serving in the cronometer menus, for example, when entering things into the diary.
I hope I've described the problem clearly, and that my propose solution is feasible to implement, but I expect the cronometer team to come up with a better idea :-)
This a exactly what I came on here to request. The same principle applies to things like rice and other items that get heavier when cooked.
Simple proportioning of precooked weight based on total post cooked weight would be awesome.
I use a custom food to do this. The food contains 0 listed nutrients and I titled it "~ adjust weight after cooking". After cooking I weigh the results and add (a usually negative) amount of this to make the total recipe match.
When a recipe uses only lab analyzed ingredients, I'll even enter any water added, then use a custom food that only contains 1g of water per gram (titled "Pure Water") instead of "~ adjust weight after cooking".
The Cronometer team had previously suggested to me to add an additional Water entry to the recipe and, after measuring the weight loss from cooking, update the recipe with that amount (as a negative number) for the weight. Then I set serving sizes as appropriate for the post-cooked amount.
So pretty much what @robartsd suggested.
I add a serving size of "1 gram" (I spell it out so I can distinguish it from the weight of the raw ingredients) and set the "servings per recipe" to the post-cooking weight:
Then I just weigh my serving and log the numbers of grams eaten (note the first item is a recipe, measured in "grams" spelled out; the second one is a single food so measured in "g" per the database):
This also makes it easy to tweak my macros by fine-tuning my serving size.
I must say this is a most clever workaround/hack for not having the feature I wanted. Imma have to steal this!
I added one additional tweak, as well. Since I meal prep for the week, and plan things out, I can add a planned portion as well as a per-gram serving. This way, when adding it to my projected meals, I can use the planned weight, but when I actually portion the food out and eat it, I still weight everything, and if I take less or more, I can simply use the per-gram serving entry to record what I actually ate, without having to whip the calculator out.
This is a pretty complete solution to the problem, without any changes to cronometer itself. This screen shot shows how I use to manually record things, as well as how I've adopted your approach. Small, yet big, improvement in how I use this favorite of my tools.
I’m so glad this was helpful! I like your idea of embedding a reminder of the weight of a standard serving size in the recipe as well.
In practice, I usually plan to eat "one serving" (170 grams, in the above example), but if it's a post-workout meal, and I'm especially hungry, sometimes I get over zealous when portioning the food out of the container, so your approach let's me accurately adapt and record what I actually ate very easily.
Thanks again for the great idea.