Yes, we understand that measuring your food can be a pain at first. For some individuals, they don’t mind it at all. If we’re being honest, it doesn’t take more than 30 seconds, and it teaches you a lot about food so just do it :). When you become more skilled, you’ll be able to eyeball your food and be really close to the real amount. Then you won’t need to do it as much.
Since you will be eating a majority of your macronutrients from whole food sources, you’ll need to measure a lot of it at first. This can be simple for some foods like cereal, ice cream, spinach, veggies, fruit, etc.
Just pop it on the scale (we recommend a digital scale) and put it in MFP (MyFitnessPal). For some foods like meat, pasta, and rice, things can get a bit tricky, so we’ll walk you through it. Let’s talk about meats first.
Since you’ll be eating a wide variety of foods, it’s important to know how each type of meat changes weight when you cook it. It would be ideal if you measured your meat raw, because that’s when the weight on the nutrition label is accounted for. But, we know that most people cook in bulk, more than they’ll eat. That way they won’t have to cook over and over again. So we’ll look at measuring meats cooked. Obviously the meat is going to lose weight after it’s cooked, but some will lose more than others based on how it’s cooked. For example, chicken is going to be more cooked than a medium-rare steak, so it’s important to know how to factor that in when measuring your food. We’ll go one at a time.
Chicken: Multiply the cooked weight by 1.3-1.5 depending on how cooked the meat is and use the meat’s raw nutrition facts. If it’s well-done, use 1.5 as the multiplier. If it’s tender, use 1.3 as a multiplier. For example, if your cooked (well-done) chicken weighs 4 ounces, multiply that by 1.5 which will give you 6 ounces. Use that weight when you enter it in MFP. We do this because the meat loses water weight and such while being cooked, but it doesn’t lose protein during that process. We don’t want you to be cutting yourself short of the macros you ate.
Beef: Same goes for beef. Multiply the weight by 1.3 – 1.5 depending on how cooked it is.
Fish: Since fish isn’t usually cooked as much as beef or chicken, use a multiplier as low as 1.1.
That’s it! Weighing your cooked meat is easy. Just multiply the cooked weight by 1.1 – 1.5 depending on how cooked it is.
Now we’ll go into pasta and rice since these are things that also change in weight and size when prepared.
Pasta: For the most part, pasta doubles in size after it’s prepared and holding water. So measuring that is simple. Just divide your cooked serving by 2!
Most pasta noodles use a 2oz. serving size. So if you have 4 oz. of prepared spaghetti, plug it in as 2 oz.
Rice: Rice is very similar, but measurements aren’t usually in weight. Instead, cup measurements are used most of the time with rice. But the same math applies. Brown rice usually doubles, so 1 cup raw yields 2 cups cooked. White rice, however, usually triples in volume. 1 cup raw yields 3 cups cooked.
Other than that, weighing your food is straight forward. MFP has plenty of options when it comes to measuring your food and entering it in your log. It’s almost too easy.
Of course, there will be times in your fitness journey where a scale isn’t available and that’s ok! We’ll teach you about serving sizes in order to eyeball your food and enter it in as best as you can. Remember, you’re not a competitor getting on stage, so eyeballing your food works perfectly. You’ll still reach your goals. Also keep in mind that even if you measured everything perfectly, you still wouldn’t hit your macronutrient and calorie goals to perfection. At times, there can be a 10-20% discrepancy in nutrition facts.
NEXT: - Serving Sizes --->