Meaty Subjects….(Moo, Peep, Oink)

If you are vegetarian, vegan or do not eat meat, you probably want to skip this post.


Adjusting my meat consumption on this calorie-deficit diet was one of the biggest adjustments I had to make. I was used to consuming eight to ten ounces of meat (or more) as a serving for a meal. I would eat a whole steak or chicken breast at one meal. Now when I prepare those meat cuts, they last at least two meals. When I weigh meat to log my calories, I weigh it without the bone and always after it is cooked.


The USDA considers a serving of beef to be three and a half ounces. My Fitness Pal shows most servings of various meats as three and a half to four ounces. As a general rule of thumb, when you can’t measure a serving of meat, consider one serving to be the size of your palm. Your palm does not include your wrist or your fingers. I would use four ounces for a palm-sized meat serving when logging it. I’ve included a link to an interesting website that has calorie counts for all types of meat. If you can’t find what you are looking for in an app, this website might help you. It even has game meat on it.


I eat meat with my midday meal and nightly meals. I have four ounces at midday and six ounces at the nightly meal. This is what works for me and keeps me satiated. If you are doing considerable strength training or use protein powder, you may need to adjust for those factors.


I love beef. I could easily eat steak every single night of the week, and change it up with some prime rib, a rib eye or a hamburger. You don’t have to give up beef on this plan. You should, however, be aware that some cuts are leaner than others, which mean they have fewer calories than others. I tend to limit my beef intake to one or two meals a week, at the maximum, and I stick to lean cuts, which are the lower calorie cuts:


  • Eye of the round roasts and steaks

  • Sirloin tip side steaks

  • Top round roasts and steaks

  • Bottom round roasts and steaks

  • Top sirloin steaks


Notice that ground beef is not on the above list. I’ve traded my ground beef for ground turkey. For me, it’s an adequate substitute since I rarely eat a hamburger at home, have given up pasta dishes entirely for this diet, and I can’t tell the difference in taco meat. Those are the only meals we make in our house that require ground meat.


Be sure you understand the portion size for the calorie counts when logging beef calories. The USDA uses three and a half ounces as a portion size, My Fitness Pal uses four ounces and I’ve found several charts on the internet that use three ounces.


I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed an entire flock of chickens on this diet, so far. It is the one staple I always have on hand, ready to eat. I’d be shocked to discover that someone on a diet, who is a meat eater, that isn’t eating chicken. I’m sure I’ve personally boosted the chicken market on this diet. I mainly eat chicken breast but will eat chicken thigh meat because my husband is a dark meat person.


I hope you eat chicken or turkey, because they both could be your best food friends on this diet. They are filling, low in calories and fat compared to other meats, and an excellent source of protein. Non-breast meat is going to have more calories as it has more fat in it, but it is also a great protein to eat on this diet. Always try to cook it without the skin. Leaving the skin on may add more flavor but it also increases calories.


  • Skinless chicken breast – four ounces 120 calories per USDA

  • Skinless chicken thigh – four ounces 160 calories per USDA

  • Skinless turkey breast – four ounces 120 calories per USDA

  • Skinless turkey drumstick – four ounces 196 calories per USDA


One of the biggest complaints I hear about turkey and chicken breast is that it’s dry. My sister and I have had this debate many times. She is team dark meat, for sure. She cooks it, using the ancient wisdom of our mother who cooked everything at 350F until it was ‘done’ (overdone). I, however, researched and found that for a boneless, skinless chicken breast, that is fully defrosted, cooking it about 30 minutes on 400F in the oven yielded a juicy, cooked breast. So, this is what I do, and it works for me. If you want to be sure your chicken or turkey is cooked, I believe the proper internal temperature of chicken or turkey, when cooked, should be at least 165F.


If you like to bake whole chickens, or even turkeys, read about spatchcocking. It’s a time saver and cooks a bird more evenly. See link below for chicken.


I always keep cooked chicken breast in my refrigerator to cut up for salad or throw in a low calorie wrap for a quick lunch. That is my go-to lunch protein, unless I have some leftover meat from a nightly meal that I want to get rid of. Having a cooked chicken breast available means I never have to worry about lunch. It’s there and precooked. My husband and I will have baked chicken on salad two nights a week as our nightly meal when we are not camping. I usually bake a family pack of five to six chicken breasts, cut them into slices and freeze several packages. We can easily pull out a package of cooked breast when we need them for salads or lunches.


Chicken breast can be boring and bland, so I buy premixed rubs to use with it. I like to try different rubs and see how they taste. My sister uses Italian salad dressing sometimes. I’m more of a rub person than a marinade person for my chicken. If you do not have any premixed rubs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Italian seasoning go a long way to making chicken more tasty. We like to use this seasoning called “Grub Rub” that we put on a lot of our meats. You can buy it in the grocery store but I’ve included an Amazon link below to show what it looks like.


If you repackage your meat after purchasing it, or freeze it, I have put rubs and marinade on meats before throwing them in the freezer. This seems to work really well for me. I’ve also added repackaging meat to my post-shopping tasks, along with the vegetable preparation I wrote about in my previous post “It’s Not Easy Eating Green.”


I mentioned before that I am camping this summer next door to my sister. Well, that white meat hater had a half of a cooked turkey breast left in her freezer that someone had given her. The turkey had raised by a neighbor up here where we are camping. She asked if I wanted it. She had cooked and eaten one half of the breast and decided she didn’t want to eat the other half because blah, they were sick of white meat. I gladly took it off her hands and it became my salad protein staple for several days. Very delicious and flavorful. My husband even ate a chunk one night for dinner.


I have to talk about pork on this diet, because it has low calorie options. If you do not eat pork, you can skip the next few paragraphs but don’t miss the recipe for breakfast sausage that does not use pork.


Years ago, pork was called “the other white meat” and I as recall, the pork industry took a lot of heat for that description. However, there are cuts of pork that are very calorie friendly. I don’t suggest you eat a bunch of pork ribs slathered in brown sugar barbecue sauce, though.


One cut of pork I consume frequently on this diet is boneless pork tenderloin. I bought a tenderloin last week where the nutritional information stated that four ounces was 120 calories. I've noticed that most of the pre-packaged pork tenderloins have nutritional information on the packaging. Tenderloins are a great option because they cook quickly in the oven and can be cooked on a grill as well. When I use the oven, I always use a rub or marinade, and I cook at 400F for 30 minutes. Pork also has the tendency to be dry if overcooked so be mindful of that. Pork should be cooked to at least 145F and I recommend letting it rest for a few minutes after you pull it out of the oven. When we cook it on the grill, we wrap it up in tin foil and put it on the grill so that it cooks at 250F for 3 or 4 hours. You will get a pulled pork consistency with this method.


I’m not going to post a bunch of calorie counts on pork because I found a lot of different calorie counts for the same cuts of pork in different places. I rely on my calorie tracking app to provide me with meat calorie counts rather than other information. I would suggest using an app or the USDA website if you are not using a food tracking app.


What about pork breakfast sausage, you ask? Well, I’m glad you brought this up. I happen to have a wonderful breakfast sausage recipe that I’ve been using for years, only it doesn’t use ground pork, it uses ground turkey!


I cannot take credit for this recipe. I found it on the Skinny Taste website (see link below). The way I make it yields one sausage patty at about 94 calories. I recorded the recipe in the My Fitness Pal food app so I can easily add a serving. I did make the following “I’m lazy” adjustments to it after making it for several months:


  • I use onion powder and garlic powder instead of browning onions and garlic.
  • I don’t toast the fennel seeds in a hot pan, I just toss them in with the other dry ingredients.
  • I bake them in our combo air fryer/toaster oven instead of frying them on the stove.
  • I use the lowest fat content ground turkey I can find.


One of my biggest time savers for this recipe is that I combine all the dry ingredients for a batch of sausages into tiny salad dressing plastic containers that people use for lunches. I fill a bunch of these containers with the dry ingredients so all I have to do to make a batch of sausage patties is dump the dry ingredients from this container into the ground meat, add the cooking wine, mix it up and make patties. This is a big time-saver. The most time-consuming part of making these sausages is creating equal-sized patties. Yes, I weigh the entire batch and then divide it by eight and that is how much each portion should weigh. When they are cooked, I store them in the freezer. When I’m ready to eat one, one and a half minutes in the microwave on high gets them defrosted.


Please share any ideas or tips regarding meats in the comments. I love learning new food preparation ideas.


Other posts in my blog with food-related tips, tricks and dietary information:

I’m Having a Crisis (An Eggxistential One) (

I Just Wanna Veg…. (It’s Not Easy Eating Green) (

Fruit – OMG!!! SUGAR!!! (


The post that explains the calorie deficit diet:

This is How We Do It! (


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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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