Eat Your Way to Summer
Summer is almost here. Many of you are likely beginning exercise programs to get in shape or lose some body fat. And, as the age-old saying goes, your weight loss goals will be approximately 80% diet and 20% gym efforts. Let that sink in. Your results will be predominately driven by your dietary habits – not how much effort you put in at the gym! While results will come mainly from diet, it is very challenging to constantly follow a nutritional program that leads to the results you want. This is especially true while balancing a job or school and maintaining a family and/or social life! So how do you overcome this challenge and get that summer body you want? One answer it to meal prep and eat your way to your goal. Here’s how you do it.
First, figure out what your nutritional requirements are to achieve your goals. This isn’t an easy task. Entire books are devoted to this topic so trying to sum it up in a few sentences really isn’t possible. In addition to figuring out how many calories you need, there are also plenty of “schools of thought” about where those calories should come from and what proportions of fat, carbs, and protein (paleo, keto, etc.) So spend some time figuring out what is a good fit for you. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like assistance determining what nutritional requirements are for you! Or try referencing an online calculator for an estimate.
Now, let’s move on to some meal prepping tips:
Basic Cooking Tools
First, you need the proper equipment. While cooking isn’t absolutely necessary – you can use canned or pre-packaged foods – it most definitely is more affordable. Here is a list of some of the basic kitchen items that are helpful:
- Weighing scale
- Rice cooker
- Crockpot or Instapot
- Chopping knife
- Cutting board
These items are multi-functional. The steamer often has multiple layers so you can cook different food items at one time, and crock-pots are great for cooking entire meals at once!
You may be asking why a rice cooker is listed. While having easily made and a lot of rice on hand is great, it can also be used to cook others foods as well – there are entire books with tons of recipes for rice cookers! And a scale is so important I almost gave it its own category. You need to know how much you are eating and a scale is the perfect tool for that. Never underestimate the convenience of a sharp knife! It will save you lots of time and frustration.
You have to have the right accessories. If you have all this food made and you need to carry it with you throughout the day, then you need a good way to do it and a way to keep it from going bad! Your solution: meal management bags. Companies design multi-functional meal prep bags that store large quantities of food and keep it cold. Plus, they often have special spots for your NutraBio shaker, protein powder, and multivitamins!
There are plenty of food storage containers at grocery stores and even IKEA too. You can get what you need for not much money. And skip the flimsy plastic forks and pack some real cutlery. It makes a difference!
You must plan ahead. It’s called meal prep, so you’re going to have to do some planning and prepping. Life is full of responsibility with little free time. The free time you do have, you don’t always want to be devoting to food. So how can this problem be resolved? Pick a day, buy what you need for your plan, cook it all at once, and portion it accordingly. It may sound overwhelming, but once you do it a few times it becomes second nature. And that’s what we like to call #mealprepsunday
Have a Backup Plan
At some point something will likely go wrong. You may forget something at the store, you may plan wrong, you may place your bag on top of your car and forget it there as you drive to work, and the reasons could go on. If something goes wrong you need a backup plan. This is where I rely on my NutraBio products – my protein sample packs especially!
Think of things that are easy to transport and have very long expiration dates. I, personally, have NutraBio sample packs of protein and SuperCarb stored everywhere – my desk at work, my gym bag, my car and so on (you get the idea).
You may be wondering, what if I can’t get to my desk, car, or bag? Stay calm and work with what’s around you. Find a convenient store or gas station. They often have fresh fruit, nuts, hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, and other options.
Use these tips and make certain your diet isn’t an excuse for why you aren’t meeting your goals. Meal prepping can be fast and easy (and fun too). Make it as easy as possible by having the right equipment and backup plan so you don’t give up on your eating plan. Give these tips a try and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!