Weighing and Tracking your food is going to be a very important part of your success when starting a nutrition plan. Weighing and tracking for at least a month or two is very important because it will teach you about what foods contain various macronutrients and how to judge portions. This is a very valuable tool because once you’ve learned this, it will be very easy to stay on track long term without having to plan every meal.
Weighing and Measuring - Cooked vs. Raw
The weight of your food is going to change when you cook it. When cooking meat, you will lose a lot of weight due to the loss of water. For things like rice and oatmeal, you will gain a lot of water during the cooking process.
Weighing things raw is the most consistent for tracking because the way you cook foods can cause changes in weight. A steak cooked well done has a different weight than a steak cooked medium.
Our rule: You can choose to track your food cooked or raw. Just make sure to pick the right one! The differences in the steak example above are so minor that it won’t make a huge impact. We want you to weigh and measure your food whatever way is most convenient for your food prepping preferences. If you are anything like us, we like to cook about 3 days worth of protein at once, so weighing it per meal after it’s cooked is much more convenient.
Meal Prep Tips:
Prep your meals for the middle of the day. This could be 2-3 meals a day depending on if you are eating 4 or 5 times a day. Most people have time to make breakfast and dinner, and this is where you can add more variety.
The foods we usually prep are: a couple of lean meat choices, vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate source or two.
Buy a food scale. This way you can be sure you are counting everything accurately. You can find inexpensive digital food scales at most grocery stores or Amazon.
Prepare balanced meals. Try to split your macronutrients evenly throughout your meals. This will help make sure you stay full longer and never need to binge eat to hit your macros.
Set aside time right now that you will use to meal prep. Planning when you will be prepping will keep you on track. Most of our team does meal prep Sunday and Wednesday night. It only takes about an hour and you'll have most of your meals for the week. If you aren’t down to eat 3-day old meals, that’s ok! A great technique is to prep extra food during dinner that you can eat the next day.
Have some easy accessible protein and vegetable sources on hand - Ex: canned chicken, tuna, deli meats, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, canned green beans, chopped bell peppers, etc…
Meal Prep Hack
If you think you don't have time to prep, buy a crockpot. Throw in some frozen chicken breasts, rice or sweet potatoes, vegetables, and seasoning before you leave the house in the morning. When you come home it will be ready for dinner and have leftovers for the next day's lunch.