Turn that boring chicken into a taste sensation with our chicken hacks. Dieting doesn’t have to be rocket science! Take the guesswork out of your meal prep with our grilled chicken hacks. Grilled chicken is a popular choice for those looking to make healthy dietary changes. Chicken is easy to find, not expensive , fits in with many diets and is easily prepared ahead of time. Check out our easy hacks to make that boring grilled chicken taste great!
BENEFITS OF GRILLED CHICKEN
Grilled chicken is packed with several benefits, including:
• Less Cholesterol: The amount of cholesterol found in chicken versus other animal protein is a big reason why chicken is a healthier choice for people with fitness goals. Regularly eating foods with high cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke.
• Low in Saturated Fat: Saturated fats can derail your diet and increase your weight. Grilled chicken has less saturated fat and is a leaner protein alternative. This means you don’t have to work so hard at the gym to burn through these calories.
• Fewer Calories: It is filling without all of the extra calories! It provides the nutrients that help add bulk and definition to your body without all of the fat. A three-ounce portion of grilled chicken breast clocks in at about 102 calories.
• Protein Punch: Chicken packs a powerful protein boost. A three-ounce portion of grilled chicken breast can provide about 19 grams of protein. All that concentrated protein will help you feel fuller.
• Stress Fighter: What’s more comforting than a bowl of chicken soup? Well, there’s some science to support why. Chicken helps you combat stress. Chicken comes piled with B5 (pantothenic acid) which can help you cope with stress. This vitamin source is found more in white meat versus red meats, and it can help you manage day-to-day stress. [1,2]
Eating grilled chicken can help you stay trim while giving your body fuel to make muscle, but how about red meat? Can it provide the same benefits?
CHICKEN VS. RED MEAT
The foods you choose for your diet plan should be supplying you with the best macros for your fitness goals. Introducing more white meat protein such as grilled chicken versus red meat can give you more benefits in the long run.
Chicken is a lean, protein rich food that can be eaten in large quantities to help you bulk up. Eating red meat in large quantities, however, can be tough on a diet due to it’s higher caloric content. , This doesn’t mean you need to give up red meat, but eating it during periods of cutting isn’t the best idea. Need your burger fix? Try ground chicken instead.
Chicken has vitamins to help restore and rebuild parts of your muscles, including various vitamin B types, zinc, and iron. Chicken also carries niacin, which helps keep your cholesterol low.
6 WAYS TO MAKE CHICKEN MORE AWESOME
1. Keep it moist: Cook your chicken quickly and at high temperatures. Especially for chicken breast, cooking “low and slow”for this lean meat is a bad idea.
Prolonged cooking at low temperatures will lead to dried-out chicken. So, make sure your grill is hot, and cook until the internal temperature reaches a safe 170°F.
2. Pound it flat: Chicken breast is unforgiving, and its unusual shape doesn’t help. If you don’t already have one, invest in a kitchen mallet to pound your chicken breast flat. It’ll cook quickly and evenly.
3. Get those grill marks: Getting perfect grill marks isn’t nutritionally necessary, but it sure does look nice. The trick is in the rotation! Let your chicken sear for 2-3 minutes, then rotate for some amazing grill marks. For chicken breasts, after searing, you’ll likely need to cook a little longer. Place the breast to one side of the grill, away from the heat element or hot coals. Cover, and allow the breast to bake until the safe internal temperature is reached.
4. Charcoal vs gas: What’s the difference? Mostly, it’s just personal preference. Our advice: charcoal requires a lot of attention and experience when it comes to temperature control. If you’re new to grilling, a gas grill may be a better investment. Although they can be pricey, check local shops and garage sales for less expensive, used models.
5. Bulk meal prep: Chicken breast is the best friend of every meal-prepper. It can be purchased in large packs and cooked all at once. Once cooked, you can chop it up for use in salads, burrito bowls, tacos, and even for omelets.
If you find a really good sale, or are a member of a shopping club, buy as much as your freezer can hold for future use.
6. Pack it full of flavor: Chicken isn’t very flavorful, but it can be. Due to its lack of natural flavor, chicken is the perfect host for all kinds of flavors. For a Latin spin: top with cumin, paprika and chili powder. After cooking, spritz with some lime. If Mediterranean is what you’re craving, rub with rosemary and garlic before salting to taste. If you’re ready to take your chicken flavor to the next level, make a brine. Basic brines consist of water, sugar, and salt. In a gallon of cold water, place ½ a cup of kosher salt and ⅔cup of light brown sugar. Submerge your chicken and allow to sit for a couple hours before grilling. If you’re trying to keep your salt and sugar intake down, skip the brine.
Your chicken preparation doesn’t have to be boring. With just a few changes, grilled chicken is a flavorful addition to any protein-rich diet. Chicken is a heart-healthy alternative to other forms of animal protein, and it can help you meet your body composition goals.
1. Coleman, Erin. “Will Eating Chicken Breast Every Day Help You Lose Weight?” Will Eating Chicken Breast Every Day Help You Lose Weight? SF Gate, n.d. Web. 31 May 2017.
2. “Eat More Chicken, Fish and Beans.” Eat More Chicken, Fish and Beans. The American Heart Association, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 31 May 2017.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.