Food Planning For Maximum Fat Loss In Minimum Time
Last chapter, we mentioned the "batch meal" process. This is my secret to eliminating anxiety around meals and having food ready at a moment's notice.
Here are the basics:
- On most Sunday nights, I'll cook up 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs with veggies and a bit of white rice.
- I'll then eat this same meal for lunch until Thursday.
- Thursday night, I'll cook again to get me through the next few days.
- The following Sunday I'll switch it up and, for example, cook 2 pounds of ground turkey with 4-5 different spices and herbs, and eat it with some sauteed kidney beans and veggies.
- I do the same with breakfast, by making 12-15 hard-boiled eggs on a Sunday and eating a few of them every morning with some hot sauce or salsa and sauteed veggies.
- Yogurt breakfasts are even easier. Simply buy a bunch of small plain Greek yogurt containers and fruit, and eat 1 of them every morning.
- I like Fage brand since they make plain full-fat and 2% greek yogurts. Chobani does not do this, from my knowledge.
- Note: Don't buy the large containers since it's such a pain to correctly measure portion sizes. Just buy the small containers.
- It's easy, it's simple, and it makes life so much easier.
- No longer do I have to worry about what to eat, or whether or not I'll have time to cook or any of that nonsense.
- I simply put some of my pre-made food into Tupperware and heat it up in the office microwave. Perfect.
Oh yeah, before I forget. Here's...
A stupid simple food prep "hack" that 90% of dieters drop the ball on, but will guarantee you perfect portion control and effortless weight loss
When you want to weigh your food into portions, how would you usually do it?
If you're like most people, you'll simply take the prepared food, put it on a bowl/plate and pop it on a scale. Subtract out (or "tare") the weight of the plate, and voila, you have the weight of your food.
Perfect, right? Wrong.
When you weigh foods (especially meat) after they're prepared, they're guaranteed to weigh less. This is due to the water weight of the food that's been lost during the cooking process.
Studies show up to 33% of weight in meats is lost after cooking.
And if you're counting your food intake based on the post-cooking, post-water-loss weight, yet comparing the serving size to the numbers on the nutrition panel, you may be understating your calorie intake.
Sure, this isn't a make-or-break thing if it's a one-off occurrence. And sure you can get by guesstimating when you buy food outside (which is rarely, I hope!)...
But anytime you cook at home, I highly suggest you weigh food before you cook.
Think of it this way...
When you're cooking up 8 oz. of boneless skinless chicken thighs (300 calories or so) with 1 tsp of coconut oil (50 calories or so) and some other spices and whatnot, you're at about 400 calories. Sounds like a decent-sized meal.
If you did this the wrong way, though, by weighing after you cooked...
Your 8 oz. of chicken would probably weigh 5 or 6 oz. at most. If you assume 6 oz. of chicken (225 calories) plus 1 tsp of oil (50 calories), you're now at 275 calories for the meal. Already off by 125 calories.
Add the fact that you're eating this same meal for 3 or 4 days, and you're already eating a cool 600 calories more than you thought for the week. Even worse, you may be making the same mistake with another meal in the day, meaning you could be off as much as 250-300 calories per day! In one week, that's 1750 calories more than you'd pictured, making weight loss much more difficult if you ask me!
This is just one of the many reasons people stick to their diets, but still, fail to see results.
It's the little things that add up and throw us off track. Don't let this happen to you.
Simply weigh your food before you cook, and you'll be much happier with how you look and progress toward your goals.
If you're making large batch meals, follow this process:
1. Weigh out the whole size of the meat beforehand (3 lbs. for example)
2. Know how big your serving size will be for each meal (8 oz. for example)
3. Diving the whole size of the meat by the serving size, to know how many portions you'll need
- 3 lbs = 48 oz
- 48 oz/8 oz per serving = 6 servings
4. After cooking your food, weigh the whole batch.
- Let's say the 48 oz. become 36 oz. after cooking
5. Divide the new sizes by the # of servings, and you have the new cooked-food serving size
- 36 oz/6 servings = 6 oz per serving
6. Now simply weigh and pack up the food into 6 oz. servings, and enjoy!
And, while we're on the topic of sizing up our food...
If you decide to grab some fast food for a change, keep decision making and unnecessary thinking to a minimum (and fat loss to a maximum), by eating one of these:
1. Chipotle salad bowls:
a) Chicken or steak (sometimes double), black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, hot sauce.
b) If it's a heavy workout day, I'll sometimes also have some rice and a touch of sour cream.
c) I stay away from the cheese, guac, and other condiments since they can easily throw you out of your calorie balance.
d) I've read the nutrition panel on the Chipotle site like 50 times so I know this usually runs me around 450-650 calories depending on what I add in.
a) The food quality here is very poor, I'll admit, but it lets me count/control my calories which is a 100% win for weight loss
b) I'm a smaller guy and generally need 1800 calories or so if I'm looking to lean up a bit.
c) So I make sure my Subway lunches are right around the 600 calorie mark, for an even split of 1800 calories into 3 meals
d) This leaves me with a simple, but favorite choice of mine:
i. Black Forest Ham & Turkey on Toasted Footlong Wheat bread, with copious amounts of spicy mustard, tons of veggies, and no cheese. Perfecto!
e) I'll add in double meat sometimes for a protein boost, but for the most part I'll keep to a single serving (try to avoid excess intake of processed, non-organic cold cuts)
3. Otherwise, you can stick to very simple sandwiches or salads
a) For sandwiches, have some simple cold cuts like ham, turkey or roast beef and some veggies on toasted bread or a wrap.
- Skip the mayo or any dressing/sauces, since they are quick calorie bombs and it's hard to know how much of said condiment is in your meal.
- Mustard and/or spicy mustard is my go-to condiment
- You can get a sandwich with chicken breast too, and just have Frank's Red Hot or Cholula hot sauce
- Skip the cheese, especially since I've seen delis put on 4-6 slices of cheese on sandwiches way too often. Gotta make sacrifices from time to time!
b) For salads, stick to veggies, chicken, eggs, or other protein sources, and dressing on the side.
- Eyeball the protein portion in the salad which usually comes out to 1-2 palm sizes (about 20-40 grams of protein, or 200-300 calories at most taking into account oils used during prep or fattier cuts of meat)
- Don't get breaded chicken or other breaded products. It's extra crappy calories and it usually has trans-fat (the worst kind).
- Never, NEVER have them put dressing on for you, or you can just about guarantee missing your calorie totals.
- And do not pour the whole dressing cup over your salad
- Get dressing on the side, dip your fork into the dressing cup, and then take some salad onto the fork.
- You'll get the same amount of taste, but your salad won't be doused in dressing and you won't be eating 600 calories of sauce.
Follow the plans above, and fat loss will be a cinch. Eat right when you can and cook batch meals as much as possible, and if all else fail, eat from one of the semi-healthy options above.
Interested in losing weight? Then click below to see the exact steps I took to lose weight and keep it off for good...
Moving forward, there are several other articles/topics I'll share so you can lose weight even faster, and feel great doing it.
Below is a list of these topics and you can use this Table of Contents to jump to the part that interests you the most.