Everyone tends to put such an emphasis on exercise and activity these days, and although those things are INCREDIBLY important, that is only a small part of what needs to be done in order to get and STAY fit!
We all know that healthy eating is important, but why does it seem to be so damn hard?!?!
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in being frustrated by your inability to stay the course and eat healthy consistently. It happens to everyone, and I mean everyone!
This post is not so much about what to eat, as you can learn a bit more about that by visiting this link. I’d actually strongly encourage you to do so and give it a read even as a refresher.
This post is about the single thing that will have the absolute biggest impact on your progress:
There is nothing that you can do that will help you more that planning, preparing and having food available to eat whenever you need it. Absolutely nothing!
I wrote recently that fitness is simple, not easy. What I mean by that is that in order to get fit you just need to do some simple thing consistently. The things you need to do are simple; the consistency, however, is NOT easy!
Eating is similar.
- Find some recipes
- Write a shopping list
- Schedule time to bulk prep as much food as you need for the week
- Individually portion meals
- Grab, reheat and eat!
Most people already have plenty kicking around, but if not I strongly encourage you to go out and buy some various sizes of microwave safe and sealable containers.
We use these from Rubbermaid because there are a variety of sizes that work well for us and they stack and store neatly.
The other thing that you should stock up on right away is ziplock type baggies. These are great for portioning out snacks and storing things that you want seperate from your main container. An example is when I make up a salad to bring with me, I tned to keep the veggies seperate from the meat, nuts and any toher items so as not to get things soggy beforehand.
Below is what I prepped up for this coming week. I’ve been making an effort to cook breakfast at home and use that tim ein the kitchen to make sure that everything is prepped and ready Sunday morning. This isn’t evey meal, but it gets us through most of the tricky ones like breakfast and lunch.
I cooked up a huge batch of burger as well as a sweet potato and veggie hash that I use for a bunch of different things.
While this was cooking I made up a pound of bacon, some for breakfast and some to save for thew week. I leave much of it a bit undercooked so that when it gets tossed back i nthe pan to re-heat it comes out properly done.
Here you can see the burger, bacon and sweet potato hash as well as a couple of salads and some leftover veggies that I cut up so they are ready to go when needed.
Getting ready to get breakfasts for the week going. You can read about that by clicking here.
I get 5 big servings out of the baking dish and this is about 3 servings for Vanessa with the muffins. Leftover chicken from lunch to add the the fridge!
We also have 4 more salads made and about half the ground beef is still available to be used throught the week in things like taco salad, sauces etc.
This is just an idea of what you can cook, I did this more for the concept of having you get in the habit of batch cooking your food so that it is ready to eat immediately and thus will allow for you to avoid the fatal error of waiting too long, getting hungry and then grabbing the first thing that comes available…often junk or fast food!
Here is a page I found that does a good job breaking down the food prep process step by step that you may enjoy:
Danielle, a girl that I know from training Jiu-Jitsu years ago recently won a national 90-day body transformation contest. The timing was perfect as she posted about her food prep right when I was finishing putting this article together.
I was going to take some concepts from her post to add here, but I decided to just use it in it’s entirety as this is a great quick little synopsis of her food prep during her transformation:
“PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING when it comes to eating well.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to count calories or weigh and measure food, but it definitely means you need to always have healthy options available to you so you’re never left hungry, with nothing to eat except what’s conveniently offered to you from a fast food menu.
There will be times where you’ve forgotten to bring your food to work or you’ve been out and about longer than expected running errands… And in those instances, CHOOSE wiser.
That is not an opportunity to say, “well, I forgot my lunch, and I’ve been doing so well all week that I deserve to have that awesome __________ on the cafe menu I’ve been craving so bad, why the fuck not”
We have to get away from justifying unhealthy choices. This doesn’t mean you can’t have them. Just don’t eat them on a daily or regular basis. If you’re not at your goal, all the more reason to say “I will choose better today, I will be better prepared tomorrow”.
2-3 times a week I meal prep. I cook my meats and any cooked vegetables. The only thing I cook fresh in a daily basis is breakfast.
We have our “I don’t have time” excuse as I used to… But when it boiled down to it, I made it work.
In 30-40 minutes starting from grocery store bags to the oven, I washed, cut, seasoned, and prepared a whole chicken to be roasted with veggies, crock pot chicken wings, oven roasted pork ribs, and roasted vegetables, normally I’d have also thrown a large piece of salmon in there as well, but I already had some cooked in the fridge:
You can make a large salad to eat off for the whole week or buy prepared mixed greens for convenience.
So in 30-40min, I prepared all this food. Everything will be done cooking in 2hrs give or take, and I now have healthy food options to eat for the next 3-4days. All I have to do it pack my food the night before I go to work so that’s it’s done and ready to go in the morning.
BE PREPARED, Choose wiser, stop justifying and remember your goals!”
Keep in mind that Danielle is a working mom of 2 kids so she completed this feat while juggling similar responsibilities to what you are likely dealing with. She didn’t have a secret way to sneak more time in her day, she merely developed a plan and STUCK TO IT!
So what can YOU do to make sure you have healthy food available when you need it?
Please post any strategies and recipes you use in the comments below!