Tips from a nutrition coach: This could be the thing holding you back from reaching your goals


For years there's been a debate about whether to measure food cooked or raw, and I've always been of the mind that as long as I measure it cooked MyFitnessPal has the cooked options and will be able to track it accurately.

I believe in coaching and I recently logged onto a coaching call that taught me something that solved the question on whether or not cooked or raw is the way to go.

The challenge is that cooked food is determined by what the raw food looks like. So take chicken for example. Chicken shrinks in size when it's cooked because it loses a lot of the water that it has when it's raw, so what may start out as 4 oz of raw chicken can turn into 3 oz (of course, this all depends on how you cook it). Even though the chicken "got smaller" it still has the same amount of macro nutrients as the raw chicken did. 

This isn't necessarily a challenge if you're cooking one-off meals...but definitely can be if you're cooking in bulk or making recipes for the week. 

What happens is you end up over-eating because (using the chicken example) you're logging 3 oz of meat when you really at 4 oz of raw chicken worth of macros. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it can definitely add up, which is why I wanted to take some time to break it down for you.

I did an experiment to see just how much of an impact this can have on your macros. 

I went to the recipe section in MFP and added a new recipe. All I wanted to do was see what difference the chicken would have once it was cooked, so I added boneless skinless chicken breast and weight how much raw chicken I had: 939 grams. I then pan seared the chicken using a little bit of olive oil non-stick spray. After I finished cooking it, I weighed it again and it came out to 700 grams.

That's a significant difference!

When I went to log it and check the macro difference between the chicken in MFP that I usually used (Boneless, Skinless- Cooked Chicken Breast) I was shocked.

150 grams of the chicken I had made came out to 52 g of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat...while the chicken I normally log at the same 150 g had only 32 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat and is 100 calories less than the one I had made.

So I've been potentially over eating by 20 g of protein each time I've logged it.

There are some other things other than meat that you should do this "recipe" trick with. Things like rice and pasta that can be different weights depending on how long you cook it and how much water you use.

If you've been stuck, this might be the reason why.

To check out exactly how to use the "recipe" trick, check out the video above!

~Evans



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