T Nation

Food Log Question

When keeping a food log, what is the correct measurement of food to use - precooked or cooked. I’ve noticed with lean red meat, the weight of the raw food significantly drops after grilling it, more so than poultry. But when looking at the nutritional label on the package, which is the proper weight to use? Raw or Cooked? I have been using the cooked weight to measure the food. I appreciate any insight.

keep using cooked weight…

your body doesnt care what the meat ‘use to’ weigh…


Thats what I thought. Thanks a ton Jay!

Most labels actually go by the raw weight. If it is cooked weight they usually specify it.


Thanks for your insight Phil. Actually that was what was confusing me, because I know that after food is cooked the weight can vary from loss of water and other natural juices. That would make sense as I realize the actual meat content itself shouldn’t change by cooking it.

That was a good question, astdim. Meats do lose water when cooked, often quite a bit. And the amount of water squeezed out of the meat depends on how the meat is cooked and varies widely. (There’s a reason why good restaurants serve tender, juicy meat rather than tough, dry meat, and a big part of that reason is technique.)

If the label specifies that 4 oz raw meat contains 30 grams of protein, that same 4 oz piece after cooking will weigh less, let’s say 3 oz. So if you weigh your meat after cooking, you will be eating more grams of protein (and fat) than you thought. If you are keeping track of grams of protein, it does matter. Think about it.

you should calculate your intake values based on cooked weight…

it enters in your body at a cooked value

some nutritional value labels are tricky… for example:

a tetra pack (juice box) label gives you a value based on if you only drank 1/5 of the juice box.

-who the hell drinks 1oz of orange juice only…