Follow the Cheddar Brick Road: Meal Planning

I feel like I might’ve posted that burgers post a tad prematurely. Yes, it’s a healthier version of burgers, but it’s still a pretty large meal. But that’s okay, because of the way the meals are set up, and since I forgot to mention it before, I’ll do it now.

Premature Burger

Premature Burger

Maybe you’ve heard the ancient secret to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”? Don’t be coy, we all have. Well, turns out, the study that supposedly proved this was funded by Nestle, those objective people that want to sell more breakfast cereal.

Anyway, I won’t pretend to be an expert, since even experts disagree on everything remotely diety, like this one, and this one that are directly at odds. I can though, say what worked for me. And not eating after 6 wasn’t one of them since, well, I don’t go to bed before midnight. That’s a long time of no eating, and would relegate me to senior early bird specials. No thanks.

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Dieting expert consensus

I’m a little proud though. I know a lot of people that trade out their diet every few weeks and I’ve been trudging along for several years now, slowly modifying things that seemed to be halting progress. Like sugar. I try to eat under 20 grams a day. But on some really hot days, I wants an enormous Costco frozen yogurt (vanilla, the true flavor), so compromise, and share one with the wife. I don’t think it does much good to deny these things completely, (Especially not on holidays, Thanksgiving dieters are the foolest of fools) just don’t have them all the time.

All right, so back to the plan, what works for me is trying to have between 1800-2200 calories a day. That range for me, works. It doesn’t matter what the foods are that contribute to it, but macronutrient balance helps me for feeling full; more on that another time. It’s a decent amount, and I’m rarely hungry.

Peanut plate

Dieting meal of the day

Along with that, it doesn’t seem to matter when I eat either. I’m rarely hungry in the morning, so eat light. Lunch, same kind of thing. I like to have bigger dinners. That’s when I’m free, done with work and all that, so that’s when I eat. So meals like burgers are fine because it’s usually the only big meal of the day. If it’s someone’s birthday and I had cake, then a lighter dinner to make up for it. Simple. But in general, it’s worked to have burgers, pizza, tacos, etc. for dinner made in a healthier way, because that’s the only big meal I have.

And food is still a blessing, not a curse.

Holy ice cream


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No burger for you!


So it should be clear now. I like burgers. I eat them a lot. In fact, at one point, this way of eating healthy became the burger diet. Seriously. Not just beef either. Salmon, Chicken, peanut butter, whatever. All burgers.

Anyway, for some reason, burgers are like the Demonic Grail of dieting. Friends, I’m here to tell you all; it’s a lie. All a lie!

Burgers True Form

Burgers to official “diets”

This one is remarkably simple. There’s a rumor going around that only fatty, low-percentage beef makes juicy burgers. For a burger to taste good, it can be no more than 80% lean. That’s like saying chard doesn’t taste good unless it’s 80% red. (It doesn’t; bad example)

I noticed in a lot of these examples, these false claims of burger juice, that they had a few things in common. By their cherry-picked stats, yes, they’re right. But I can fix that.

  • Use extra lean beef. Like 93%. Grind a steak if you want, it doesn’t matter. “But it’s so dry!” Hence, point 2, er, dot under this:
  • The patty has to be big. I eat half pound burgers. And I lose weight. “But isn’t that terrible? Half a pound?” Yeah, I guess. It’s the big boy on the restaurant menu. It depends on your size, but anything lower than 1/3 pound probably will be dry. But that’s okay, because a half pound of 93% beef has less calories than 73% beef. And protein helps you to feel full!
  • Supposing you’re still having trouble (or want McDonald’s size patties for some reason) add an egg to the mix. I have chickens, so I add eggs to most things, but maybe those white store ones work fine? First world problems.
  • Don’t overcook. If you’re one of those Cro-Magnons that shudder at the site of pink on the meat, might as well give up now… On life. These burgers are juicy if they aren’t overcooked=not charred black

And that’s it. Oh yeah, directions. This is for a clamshell grill, I use a small Cusinart from Costco:

  • Turn the grill on 325
  • Add seasonings, to taste. I use just salt and pepper. Simple.
  • Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • Toss some onions on the grill unless you’re one of those allergics or whatever that won’t eat them.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes, then open up and add cheese if you want. Muenster is good.
  • Stick on some lettuce or tomatoes or pickles or anything else that makes it look healthy.

So cheesey

Then eat it! Burgers. I’d recommend Litehouse 1000 island for pseudo Mac sauce, or Portland ketchup for low-cal burgers if you’re lucky enough to have it around.