If I go back through my five years of MyFitnessPal data and zero in on periods of success with flexible dieting, Sunday’s dinner was usually a pretty good indicator of what I was having for lunch and dinner the first half of those weeks. That’s because when I’ve been successful my kitchen time has been a few steps ahead of my feeding time.
So, now that I’m back in town for the summer and on a regular schedule, I got out the charcoal grill last night and grilled some chicken for dinner with enough for about 5 meals extra. I also baked about 4 pounds of sweet potato. Right now I’m on 225g carbs, 160g protein, and 60g fat for this mini-cut. So, if we’re looking at Monday through Wednesday, I need 675 carbs, 480 protein, and 180 fat. The picture I have here consists of 346 carbs, 13 fat, and 314 protein (I ate 1/6th of it for dinner last night). So I’ve taken a lot of thinking off the table and I’ve just got to focus on breakfast, fueling my workouts and recovery, and snacks to bridge meals. And also, because I haven’t run through my fats with the main meals, I’m free to eat nuts, avocado, and cheese, my favorite fat sources. Meal prep is a great way to avoid gratuitous fats that make the day hard to manage from a fats perspective.
A few pointers I’ve learned over the years:
Buy an electronic meat thermometer that has a heat-proof cord. Once the chicken has been rotated and turned and is grill-marked and crisped all over, insert the probe. Take the chicken off when the temperature reaches 162 degrees. The “momentum” of the cooking process will take the internal temperature to the 165 degree safety finish line. This is critically important. If you cook much beyond 165 you’ll end up with dry, tough meat for the portions you’re going to store in the refrigerator for later. Also, wait about 15-20 minutes to cut any portions you’re going to meal prep with. This will preserve the juices that will make reheated chicken more bearable. Lastly, get yourself some Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Sauce. This comes in handy during the last few meals of the batch when you’re ready to eat something different.
75% Rule: if you don’t feel like weighing out raw chicken and dealing with extra food handling safety—or you just forgot—cooked chicken breast will lose approximately a quarter of its weight during the cooking process. For example, if you’re looking to have 6 ounces of chicken in your meal, weight out 4.5 ounces cooked and plug in 6 ounces raw into MyfitnessPal.
I hope you all have a blessed week!