If you’re tracking what you eat, most items are easy enough: You either search for what it is (for example, four ounces of chicken breast), scan a barcode, or select a product name from the app’s search. What if you’re eating something that isn’t in the database, though, but you do have a nutrition label right in front of you? Here’s a hack that can make this easy.
Some apps (like MyFitnessPal’s premium version) let you “quick add” the calories, carbs, protein, and fat without going through all the trouble of creating a custom food. But if your app doesn’t support that, try this instead.
Create three custom foods called “carbs,” “protein,” and “fats.” The exact directions will vary from app to app, but you want to do something like this:
- Create a new custom food.
- Name it “carbs.”
- Call the serving type a “gram.”
- Enter its information as 4 calories, 1 gram of carbs, and leave everything else as a zero.
- Repeat the process for protein (4 calories) and fats (9 calories).
If you want to get even more granular, you can create an entry for “fibre” as 2 calories per gram (if you do this, remember to add net carbs with your regular “carbs” entry and fibre with the “fibre” entry). Alcohol is 7 calories per gram if you’d like to add that, but alcoholic drinks usually don’t have calorie labels that would be compatible with this approach.
We found this tip on the MacroFactor subreddit, since MacroFactor is a newer app that doesn’t have a quick-add feature yet. But it works with any app; the screenshots above show what it looks like in Cronometer. (That said, Cronometer has “quick add carbs” as an already-existing food in its database, and it works exactly the same way — so you don’t even have to create the entries yourself.)
Some apps have a quick-add feature but hide it behind the premium subscription (MyFitnessPal lets you quick-add calories in the free version but requires premium to quick-add macros). So give it a try if you’re using any app that doesn’t otherwise have a quick-add feature.