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"How Should I Weigh My Food, Cooked or Uncooked?"

From time to time, questions about how to accurately track food arise. "Should I weigh my food cooked or uncooked?" is a question I get asked a few times a year by clients. The short answer: Typically, weighing food raw is considered a bit more accurate. This is due to the changes in water weight during any cooking process. However, you can still be very accurate as long as you are track it consistent with the way you are measuring. That is, if you are weighing chicken or rice that is cooked, make sure you are searching for and using "cooked chicken" or "cooked rice" in your tracking app.

Chicken and other meats lose water when they are cooked and end up being much lighter after the cooking process. Rice is the opposite, it absorbs water in the cooking process. Either way, the foods we eat change their weight during the process, so we need our tracking to reflect that.

Observe these photos below:

Each photo is the same amount of rice. The measuring cup measured 227g of uncooked rice, which yielded the entire sauce pan of rice after cooking. 227g of cooked rice made up less than half of the rice that was in there. In this way, how you choose to measure your food is affected.

Check out the calories and macros below of "227g of Rice" and how drastic the differences are when changing the input of "Cooked" vs "Uncooked" :

In the end, choosing cooked or uncooked food isn't the issue, it's that you do it the same way consistently, and that you are measuring it cooked or uncooked.


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