Personally I do not trust the information posted by the members on this site. I have also found discrepancies with information posted by SP. Like the PP, I am concerned with the nutrients. In my case, I am more concerned with the nutrients than calories With my eating plan, I find it hard to get to the calories (mostly veggies and fruit with some nuts and seeds thrown in). However, I find if I hit my nutrition levels, I also hit my caloric levels. I look for sites that have more nutrition information. SP doesn't always give my greens the right amount of protein, so I look for alternate sites that specialize in that.
I'm as concerned with the nutrients as the calories, so I try to track as accurately as possible.
I took the time to enter all of my "Base" recipes in the recipe calculator (eg. Base spaghetti sauce; Base stir-fry; Base quinoa salad). Now, when I make them, I keep a notepad on the counter and jot down items and weights as I throw them in the pot. Later on, I just go in to that "Base" recipe and hit the Makeover button, edit the weights and items to match how I actually made it that day, and save it as "Month/Day whatever-it-is". It seriously never takes me more than a minute or two to make the edits, and that way I always know what I really ate. I also write down the "Month/Day whatever-it-is" on the bag when I freeze it, so it's super-easy to track it when I eventually do eat it.
The only time that I'll use an entry added by someone else is if it's something that I ate at a restaurant or someone else's home, where I'm basically guessing at what it is anyways. I just tend to pick an entry at the high end, so that I'm more likely to be covered.
Hope this helps!
Fitness Minutes: (120)
6/14/13 12:27 P
The recipe builder and I are BFFs. After you do it awhile it is very fast to do. I agree with the advice to take the time to maybe enter one recipe a day until you have a small arsenal built up. Plus, building them now saves you time later, because you're not having to search through the database to find something that matches yours the closest.
I track ingredients only. I don't think there's any other way to do it accurately, and I kind of don't see the point of weighing out exact portions if I'm not going to track them accurately. The differences can be huge. I don't bother with recipes. I just enter each and every ingredient each time I cook.
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
1,243 6/14/13 10:50 A
Take some time and maybe doing one recipe per day, you can enter them into the recipe builder under sparkrecipes. That way you can put in exactly how much of each ingredient you use, and how big your servings should be. Then when you eat that recipe, all you have to do is find it and add it from yours!
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
6/14/13 10:49 A
I do the same as you do and hope for the best. I have some homemade recipes of my own in favorites. I feel better when I make them up myself. Since I eat the same breakfast every morning I have made it a group, so that is easy. I eat about 3 or 4 varieties of lunch, each a week. I also put them in groups.and just edit them to make adjustments for any particular day.
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
423 6/14/13 9:50 A
Sparkpeople has some great tools for tracking foods, and when I don't have a ton of time to create a recipe I'll look up "homemade chicken and rice soup," choose the version that looks like it's probably kinda similar to mind based on the fact that mine is mostly veg and includes no fats, and this version is relatively low in calories (somewhere between the 100 calorie and the 350 calorie version!) Then I just select "1 serving."
But of course I have NO IDEA how close that version really is to my own. Are they using the same amount of chicken, celery, or rice? How big is their version of a serving?
I have this bad feeling I may be waaaaay off on my measurements, but the other option is to spend 20 minutes tracking a single food item!