Recipe Tool for Dieters Improves Weight Loss

Slim down faster with a simple online tool for cooks

healthy cooks using diet tool
Use online tools to cook lower calorie meals. mediaphotos/Vetta/Getty Images

If you're trying to lose weight, you probably cook your own food to control ingredients and portion sizes. That's a smart plan. But what if your recipe doesn't provide nutritional information?  How do you know if you're eating the right number of calories, fat grams, protein and sugar

How to Find Recipe Calories and More

If the recipe that you are planning to make is online, the easiest way to get nutritional information is to use a cool new feature at MyFitnessPal.

  Their new Recipe Tool allows you to enter the web address for your favorite recipe to get detailed calorie data as well as the grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates for each ingredient.

If you are a MyFitnessPal user, you can then log the food into your food journal to see how it fits into your daily nutritional plan. You select the meal when you ate the food as well as the number of servings you consumed.  You don't have to log the meal to get nutritional information, but it's an easy step to complete once you've viewed the recipe's nutritional information.

How to Decrease Calories in Recipes

With the Recipe Tool, you'll see that each ingredient's nutritional information is listed separately. Smart dieters can use this information to tweak recipes and cut fat and calories. For example, I recently checked out the nutritional information for Cream of Pumpkin Soup.  Yum!  I saw that it has 130 calories per serving and 9 grams of fat.

  That's not too bad. But as I scanned the list, I could see that there were a few items I could change to reduce the fat and calorie count.

The original version of the soup recipe contains one cup of half and half.  This ingredient contains 315 calories and 28 grams of fat. I replaced the cream with one cup of white bean puree.

This swap decreased the amount of fat to just one gram.  Adding white beans also increased the protein from 7 grams to 19 grams for the whole recipe. Then I eliminated the butter and sauteed the vegetables in chicken stock instead.  This brought the total count for a single serving down to 95 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 5 grams of protein.

Change Calories in Recipes to Lose Weight Faster

When the folks at MyFitnessPal evaluated dieters who use their tools, they found that the ones who logged recipes lost nearly 40% more weight than those who didn't.  Of course, there are a number of factors that can contribute to that impressive number. For example, users who log recipes are also more likely to be users who cook at home rather than eating in restaurants.  But it does seem reasonable that dieters who have more tools in their toolbox are more likely to be successful.  

So check it out and let me know what you think. Connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  And tell me which recipes you like the most.  I love to share new, fun and healthy foods with my readers.

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