If you are a client at Trainimal Woman you’ll know that most of the foods you eat can be recorded as cooked, uncooked or raw. As a result of this, the question comes up on a regular basis as to what form is to be preferred. Even if you are not yet a member, you may have asked yourself the question when you recorded your food with other services besides ours. We therefore decided to address that very issue in this article.

Food is usually weighed raw or uncooked. You may have noticed when you’ve cooked meat, fish or poultry that the raw product decreases in size when it’s cooked. What happens during heating is that both liquid and fat are squeezed out, and this results in weight loss. The amount of weight loss will depend on how much liquid and fat the raw product contained at the start and also on how it was cooked. If we take the example of a piece of meat, the loss is usually around 25–30% during cooking, but it may vary even more. If you cook something for a long time at a low temperature, the loss is usually less than at high temperatures. A piece of meat that is cooked through will therefore have a lower weight than one that is more red/pink inside. For this reason, it is better to weigh the meat raw, if possible, since you don’t know what the loss of liquid is going to be for a food that is given as fried, boiled, etc. If you are doing the frying, you can also better regulate the amount of fat you use yourself by recording the fat separately.

As regards to vegetables, however, I would recommend that you record the form (raw or cooked) that you actually eat. There the change in weight is not as great after cooking and as vegetables are already pretty low in calories, whatever form you record them in will not make a particularly big difference in terms of the number of calories.

Fresh vs. frozen

If you have a frozen raw product, you should thaw it before you weigh it since it is going to release water in the process of thawing.

Another thing that is worth knowing about frozen vs. fresh foods is that the frozen variety are often cheaper per kilo, but that is no guarantee that you are going to get more for your money. The reason for that? The loss of liquid! If you check the ingredients list in the cheaper brands of frozen chicken, for example, it’s not unusual to find that it says ‘chicken fillet 80%, water, salt’, which means that no less than 20% of the raw product is actually water and once you’ve thawed it, you’ll find that it’s already noticeably shrunk in size. If you cook it after that, there will be further loss of liquid, and soon what had been the ‘cheap’ chicken is not exactly cheap any longer …


In conclusion, the most important factor is that you should weigh food in the form you are going to choose to record it, and in the form you feel is the easiest to deal with. If you’re following a recipe, it is also important to check what weight form is uses. For example, if it says ‘150 g raw beef rump’ in the recipe, and we calculate a weight loss of 30%, that means a cooked weight of 105 g. If you place 150 g cooked beef rump on your plate, but still record ‘150 g raw beef rump’, that makes quite a difference in terms of the number of calories involved. And how full you’re going to feel!

By Sandra Nilsson
Sources Svensktkott.se, Jonsson, L., Jonsson, L., Marklinder, I., Nydahl, M. & Nylander, A. (2007). Livsmedelsvetenskap. (1. uppl.) Lund: Studentlitteratur