Who doesn’t love a rotisserie chicken? It’s hard to pass by them when they are on sale at the supermarket for what seems like impossibly low pricing. (Apparently they sell it at a loss to get you in the store or something? Bit outside the scope of this article though)
But, as summer approaches- we all want to get rid of body fat and shred for the season. And some of you may have actually heard that rotisserie chickens are actually good for losing weight- and are actually a really good ‘convenience food’.
So- is rotisserie chicken good for weight loss? Yes, rotisserie chicken is REALLY good for weight loss. It is super low calorie, super high protein, and it keeps you full. You can also eat a lot of it and still have eaten very low calories- which makes it perfect for those late-night binges. The only drawback is the somewhat high sodium.
Let’s cover this more in-depth.
Rotisserie Chicken Is VERY Low Calorie
The single golden rule to weight loss is: eat less calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. There is no other way to lose weight.
That is why it is best for people to eat low-calorie foods to lose weight- makes sense right? Eating ice cream is super high calorie and it will push back your goals.
Rotisserie chickens are actually very low-calorie. Surprisingly low. In fact, I regularly buy the cheap rotisserie chickens from Costco (they taste amazing!!) and use them as my ‘weight loss food’.
(It’s genius when you think about it. It’s cooked, seasoned, all I have to do is heat it up, and they’re really cheap)
Let’s look at the calorie nutrition of a rotisserie chicken.
According to Nutritionix, here is the nutrition label of a rotisserie chicken.
|Rotisserie Chicken (3oz / 85g)
Let’s break that down-
In a 3 oz serving, you get 180 calories, 22 grams of protein, no carbs, and a high amount of fat. But what does this mean?
You have low calories, TONS of protein and fat that will make you feel full, regulate hormones, AND BUILD MUSCLE.
But right now- we are focused on the calories. On average, most people need to eat under 2,000 calories a day to lose weight, and 200 calories is nothing.
Most people are going to have more than 3 oz of grilled chicken, I’d say most people will go for 6-8 oz, as most people cannot really eat much more above that.
So, for your dinner you will be eating 400-500 calories, that is really good. Compare this to a food like a sandwich where the bread is 200-300 calories ALONE.
But, there’s more to this than just the low calories that make rotisserie chickens great for losing weight.
Rotisserie Chickens Make You Feel FULL – Making It Hard To Snack or Eat Causing Further Weight Gain
One of the most appealing things about rotisserie chickens that make them good for weight loss is the fact that they make you feel so full that it’s hard to snack or even eat.
Okay, let’s say you have some ice cream. A scoop can be 400 calories nad you don’t feel full at all. In fact, you’ll probably get a blood sugar crash and feel even HUNGRIER after!
But, with the rotisserie chickens- it’s not like that at all. You eat a lot of food in actual weight that is low calorie.
Rotisserie chickens are not only low calorie, but high in protein and fat- both take much more energy and take much longer to ‘digest’ in your stomach. This leads you to feeling fuller, and makes it hard for you to snack or even eat.
Some of you may be familiar with bulking- the concept of eating a ton of food to grow muscle for the gym. You may have noticed at parts of your bulk it was actually hard to gain weight- almost impossible at times. When your body is full or satiated it really doesn’t want to take anymore food in.
It’s the same concept here- but now we are losing weight. When you are full with that chicken and perhaps some vegetables, your body just signals that you’re full and you don’t need anymore food. It becomes super hard to snack or even really eat- and that’s a good thing in this instance, because you want to lose fat and stay healthy.
Rotisserie Chicken Helps Maintain Body Composition (Burns More Fat, Keeps More Muscle)
One of the nice things of rotisserie chickens is that they are super high in protein.
This is great for maintaining a good looking body composition when you are cutting.
Some of you may have made this mistake already. You go to the gym a ton, and decide to start losing weight- but you let your diet go and stop going to the gym. You will notice that your body will lose that muscle and you’ll almost start to look ‘fatter’- even though you’re losing weight.
Rotisserie chicken has HIGH protein, which makes your body lose fat instead of muscle, and helps maintain that muscle composition.
So, this is a staple food almost, as if you’re losing weight you want to keep your protein really high- as when you lose weight your body has a higher chance of breaking down muscle.
When you are in a ‘caloric-deficit’- basically you’re losing weight- your body LOVES to break down muscle because it is a ton of calories it can access. Obviously, we don’t want this. But, evolutionarily it made sense for our ancestors to retain fat and lose muscle as it preserved their energy and chance for survival.
(But that evolution and science stuff is a little outside the scope of this post about rotisserie chickens haha)
So- what makes your body not break down muscle? Protein presence in the blood. And how do we get there? We eat lots of protein.
Notice that if you are trying to lose weight and you eat low protein, your body composition will start to look really out of wack and you will start to lose muscle. Up that protein and your body will keep the muscle, and focus on burning the fat.
This is also a way to almost get ‘targeted fat loss’- ie: your body won’t burn anything other than fat when you are eating the recommended daily amount of protein every day.
Rotisserie Chicken Has Tons of Nutrients Important to Our Health
As we all know- we need a diverse variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to survive. That’s why we can’t just eat like 3,000 calories of crackers all day.
Chicken has tons of nutrients important to our health, including:
- Vitamin B12
These nutrients are critical in a range of things from regulating hormones, regulating brain function, to even building muscle. Rotisserie chicken is good for you.
Only Drawback? High Sodium
The only drawback with rotisserie chickens is the higher sodium that usually results from the stuff its’ seasoned in.
As we’ve all heard- a lot of sodium is bad for you. Sodium is just salt, just like the stuff on your table in the salt shaker.
There’s a lot of controversy regarding sodium and your health. However, right now we know that eating a lot of salt increases your blood pressure and often leads to fluid buildup in unhealthy individuals.
For most healthy people, higher sodium isn’t really a problem right away- but in the long term, it can lead to weakened arterial walls due to increased blood pressure. This usually leads to heart disease.
For those that already have things like congestive heart failure, that higher sodium can literally be fatal. For most though, you may experience edema or increased fluid intake- which your doctor has likely advised against.
So, as a fair warning- make sure you are monitoring your sodium just as you monitor everything else.
Sometimes you can ask the store you order the rotisserie chickens from to make it without the salty brine- and this usually removes most of the sodium.
Some people online have even devised ways to remove the sodium by soaking the chicken in water for a bit- but, I’ll let you decide if that’s what you want to do.
So- rotisserie chickens are pretty healthy for you. They have high protein, low calorie, high fat, good nutrients, and keep you full. Although, be advised the higher sodium can be troublesome at times- but for most people this won’t even be a worry.
FYI – Costco sells rotisserie chickens for like $5!