Fail to Prepare, prepare to Fail! We have all heard this quote many times but I don’t think any of us realise the huge impact failing to prepare for the week has on our health and diet. Convenience, processed, manmade and therefore calorie and/or chemically laden food is everywhere; it’s quick and easy and is your downfall! Our modern day, technological lives have become increasingly hectic and demanding of our time and attention.
Do you remember the wonderful home cooked meals that your grandmother used to make? How is it that too many of us have lost this invaluable skill and probably more on point where has the time gone to devote to this dare I say, boring, domestic chore? Sadly preparing a healthy, home cooked, family meal has dropped off too many of our priority list. TV, social media, the internet, smart phones are the obvious time suckers!
Food “prep” as we call it in the gym world was a new concept to me when I started down this road. Why on earth would I want to spend my relax time on a Sunday cooking! I have never been much of a cook and still to this day don’t enjoy it…. But I very quickly realised if I was going to stick to this horrendously strict diet and get my ass on stage I had to change my approach to food and cooking. Not to mention what was on my list to eat I could not buy at the local take away, food court or frozen food section of the supermarket.
Successful weight loss is 80% diet. Another quote that I am sure you have heard of! If you are managing to commit the time to your workouts and you are not making the same commitment in the kitchen you are wasting your time. And I am sure you have also heard that successful weight loss is not a 12 week diet but a lifestyle change and your approach to food and cooking is at the very core of that change.
We must go back to old style cooking of real food and by pass all the pretend food that comes in a packet, box, bag, jar, bottle, can, container etc. I am sure you have walked into a fresh food market and been overwhelmed with the sight and smell of all the fresh produce; here is where the answer is to your weight loss success!
Here are my top 6 tips for getting organised and ensuring you prepare to succeed!
- Buy a weeks supply of food on a Friday/Saturday so one trip to the supermarket a week. A couple of reasons for this first one is that you remove temptation of buying extra naughty food with each trip. So you had to stay back a bit late at work, there is no food in the fridge I will drop into the supermarket on the way home and there is a huge display of chocolate strategically placed near the checkouts. I have had a hard day I deserve a treat…. Yes; I have been there too! And the other is point 2.
- Cook once, eat two, three, four, five times. On Sundays I cook all my protein for the week (lunch and dinner) so all I have to do is cut up salad or veges through the week. Some even prep their veges for the week but I prefer mine fresh and I don’t use a microwave to cook or reheat. Cooked meat lasts for days in the fridge and for dinner I will reheat (this is usually organic mince) If I run out by the end of the week eggs are my back up or I will buy a BBQ chicken and only use the breast meat (no skin!)
- If you are a list maker (I am so not!) then write down your meal plan for the week prior to going shopping to ensure you have all the ingredients for the week.
- Prepare your snacks for the week also. Nuts, seeds, cut up carrot/celery/cucumber, hummus, cottage cheese, nut butter, dates, rice cakes, fruit, boiled eggs etc. etc.
- You can even prepare your breakfast smoothies ahead of time; put all the ingredients in a plastic bag and freeze. Then all you need do is throw into the blender frozen, add your liquid base and voila!
- Stock up on plastic Tupperware containers! Of all shapes and sizes. I also have a cooler bag with an ice pack to transport my food particularly in summer.
Yes; it all takes additional time, organisation and preparation but isn’t your one model issued, has to last a life time body kinda worth it?