Should you weigh your food raw or cooked?
Either. As long as you are consistent with the method you choose, either is totally fine!
It’s important to understand that nutrition labels are always based on raw weight. If the label for your rice says 2oz, that means it is based on 2oz raw.
The tricky part is that some foods lose weight once cooked, while others gain weight, so you need to understand what you are weighing.
Let’s look at meat as an example. Exact conversions will vary, but a good rule of thumb is that meat will lose approximately 25% of its weight once cooked. So, if you are grilling chicken, 8oz will typically end up around 6oz. If you are weighing once cooked, then 6oz of grilled chicken will nutritionally be the same as 8oz raw.
Food that is boiled (pasta and rice) will absorb water, thus becoming heavier once cooked. Again, the label is based on raw weight. White rice tends to absorb more water and expand more than brown rice, so plan for it tripling in weight instead of doubling.
Note that none of these are exact conversions. There are many variables to this- you could choose a different cut of meat, or a different type of pasta, or boil potatoes vs baking them, or add sauce, etc. These should help act as guides, though!
My recommendation, if you can help it, is to always weigh your food raw. It takes away any guesswork and confusion, and it’s consistent every time! But I totally understand that sometimes you are not able to weigh before the food is prepared, so use this guide to help you estimate and convert the weights!
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