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View Full Version : Chicken Breast: Raw V Cooked & The Calorie World



Irish Pilot
03-28-2010, 12:20 PM
Ive been weighing my food for nearly a year now, and always functioned off the standard 4oz of boneless skinless chicken breast is about 110cals. This is presumed raw. There is a lot of discussion out there about whether it should be weighed raw or after cooking. Obviously the logic is that there are more calories per oz AFTER cooking due to the water/fat etc being cooked out.

This is where it seems to get dicey.

Ive been experimenting with my chicken lately and cant seem to resolve how many cals per oz I should be documenting. Ive gone through all the major nutrition sites, and they all have about the same info as long as you clearly select cooked, method, and raw. Say today for example. I take two unsalted, unseasoned, etc. chicken breast that weigh 5.3oz and 6.9oz respectively.

Based on averages from all the cal counting websites for boneless skinless breast raw v cooked:

5.3oz raw = 121 calories.
6.9oz raw = 158 calories.

5.2oz grilled = 238 calories
5.6oz grilled = 257 calories

Now as I mentioned, most people say to go by raw numbers. Obviously after the chicken cooks, the cals will be more dense as the moisture etc. is eliminated. Logic would tell me to use the numbers after cooking for calorie counting, as that is what you ACTUALLY consume. But that would mean a 121 calorie piece of chicken (per the nutrition label) has magically turned into a 238 calorie piece. Thats nearly doubled in value for a single piece!

I know some may say Im overthinking this, but when you consume lots of chicken over the day/week/month etc. the cal difference may very well end up in lbs of difference in lost vs gained etc. Using the above numbers, imagine you at 4x4oz servings a day for the week.

If you went by the raw numbers, you would have eaten 112oz that week and thus 12320 calories.
If you went by cooked numbers, you would have eaten 112 oz that week and thus 20496 calories.

Thats a 8176 calorie difference.

So where does this leave me? I have no clue. What do those of you who weigh & log your calorie intake at log your chicken breasts at? Whats your reasoning? Did I miss anything in my logic above that would make for an obvious clarification?

Mick Manley
03-28-2010, 12:23 PM
just weigh it cooked?

Irish Pilot
03-28-2010, 01:55 PM
just weigh it cooked?

Right, but then the cal content completely changes and based on whats given out there, that would mean that the nutrition label was wrong. If you have to 8oz pieces, the nutrition label would tell you that it was 220 calories (110 cals per 4oz usually). Say one piece reduced to 6.5oz after cooking, and the other reduced to 4.5oz. Are they both still 220 cal pieces?

I know this all reads like Im way over analyzing it, so you will have to forgive me as Im bored at work lol.

Mick Manley
03-28-2010, 02:41 PM
Right, but then the cal content completely changes and based on whats given out there, that would mean that the nutrition label was wrong. If you have to 8oz pieces, the nutrition label would tell you that it was 220 calories (110 cals per 4oz usually). Say one piece reduced to 6.5oz after cooking, and the other reduced to 4.5oz. Are they both still 220 cal pieces?

I know this all reads like Im way over analyzing it, so you will have to forgive me as Im bored at work lol.

too ocd for me, i go by averages, if one piece is a lil lighter then theres gunna be a piece thats a lil higher. U need to stop focusing on little things that dont really matter.

Irish Pilot
03-28-2010, 03:13 PM
...U need to stop focusing on little things that dont really matter.

True. Just killin time bud.

Skalami
03-30-2010, 08:21 AM
hey if this is fun (or at least not excruciatingly boring) then more power to you go all out ocd! I cant just do it...i have a hard enough time recording my calories and estimating.. but yeah being precise does have its benefits... being off just 10% on your daily calorie counting can lead to an extra 2-400 calories depending on diet.. and even a good calorie tracker can be off that much throughout the day so if youre going to do it and it doesnt bother you then go all out

Holto
03-30-2010, 10:12 AM
So long as your consistent your numbers are still very meaningful. What I'm getting at is if you maintain on 3000 cals (based on weighing the chicken raw) then that is your maintenance calories so long as you eat like that. The only concern would be if you cut the chicken out completely and that really skewed your numbers.

I think from reading your posts that you are enough of a vet to respond to what the scale is telling you. I say use the raw numbers.