At the forefront of a lot of our minds when discussing health and fitness is weight loss. By no means the only health and fitness goal out there, weight loss is a major concern for a lot of people. There is a well-known quote stating that abs are built in the kitchen, meaning that one of the most important elements of weight loss is what you’re putting into your body.
Eating healthy is easier said than done, though, right? Every time you shake your fist to the sky vowing to eat healthily, it seems like that’s the week management at your job decides to spoil the employees with free food. Bagels, sandwiches, the like. Calories can quite easily add up, and losing weight is tough when you’re eating impulsively, or taking your company up on their bread-laden offerings.
So how can you make sure that you’re disciplining yourself to eat healthy, and keep yourself on task? One of the best ways is meal preparation. This is a practice of preparing your meals in advance, to help take the guesswork out of what you’re going to eat for the day. There are no question marks, no “Should I order a salad from Subway, or head to Burger King which is right across the street?”
When it comes to preparing your meals, you’re going to want to choose food items that cover the different food groups that are as nutritious as possible, while also low in calories. The normal players for this are: baked chicken breast without any breading, baked turkey without any breading, or fish, along with veggies such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc. You can throw in an apple, quinoa, low, non-fat, or Greek yogurt, and other healthy foods that you enjoy. The options are endless.
Where the challenge often lies is remaining consistent. Food preparation looks like it would be relatively easy; throw in baked salmon, some broccoli, and add a cup of yogurt and call it a day – not quite, unless you are preparing for shorter periods, 1-2 days in advance. Meal preparation is often done by the week, which takes a more substantial amount of time for that day. Only you can decide the frequency at which you prepare, but the key is making sure that you are carving out the time and making it a priority. Get into the habit of preparing meals at a certain time. Using a planner or setting an alarm on your phone to jolt you into action could help to keep you consistent until the action has become a habit for you. Make sure that you are eating what you prepare and not going for that bag of chips in the vending machine at work. Hold yourself accountable for what you’re taking in. If you need a cheat day, take the cheat day, and then hop right back onto the horse.
In life, we tend to make things more difficult than they need to be. The same is done for weight loss. We take a cheat day, and then that becomes a cheat week, and falls into a cheat month and before you know it, we’re looking at the calendar and saying, “Well I have a whole ‘nother five months until summer, so I can start eating healthy next month.” Let’s not postpone what we can start today. The next time you’re in the grocery story looking at your food options, you can decide to go for the sugary stuff, or you can decide to go for the stuff that your body will thank you for later. It’s all up to you.
When it comes to food preparation, two interesting sites that I stumbled upon are: PeanutButterAndFitness.com and FitMenCook.com . Both sites have great food recipes, great healthy eating options and meal prep ideas. PeanutButterAndFitness even shows different ways to meal prep. If you’ve recently evaluated your eating habits and decided you want to make a change, this may just be the change you need.