Prepping All the Live Long Day
6 Strategies to Make it a Little Easier
So prepping. This is difficult part of starting a healthy eating journey. The difficulty is less what you put in your mouth and more what is already available. Empty fridge and hungry mommy equals hanger of epic proportions and probably a night of fast food and junk.
After using meal plans in the past, I am a super advocate of food prepping. However, just kiss your first few weekends goodbye because the beginning of the process is extremely time-consuming and daunting.
It does get easier. I remember it being second nature at one point. I have even used meal plan generators and adapted them to do the math for me. Brilliant, if I use it. I made it about 3 months of relentlessly writing down my entire plan for the week before I started to become more lenient. And to some extent, you must have grace for yourself at some point. The problem is that I went from one cheat to 90 in three seconds flat.
So, I am back on the bandwagon. I am not going to give a day-to-day update of my meals and progress, in fact, I am not going to look at a scale once. I want my clothes to fit. End of story. I am however going to give tips and strategies that have helped me in the past and will hopefully help me (and maybe some of you) on this new embark into feeling confident during swimsuit season. That is the key to results: confidence and feeling healthier in general in all aspects of life.
Prepping Equals Planning
Find a Good Program for You
The first step is to determine what your body needs. There are some great programs out there to help you determine your caloric and dietary needs. Consult your doctor before trying any of these. Also look for one that allows you to eat. The idea is to replace that ice cream sundae with a bucket-load of fruit and veggies. You know you need it.
Also look for something that is achievable. If you cannot consistently do it for one month without keeping to it at least 90 % of the time, it probably isn’t the right fit.
Will it be longterm? I try to find plans that have a maintenance option after I have reached my desired level. I like to keep going past the time I set. That is a minimum. Do not let this be just a 30 day thing. Eating healthy is a lifelong commitment. When it gets tough, dust yourself off and try again. Have you ever seen a baby learning to walk. They sure as heck don’t give up after a few face-plants.
Can you modify? Be realistic. Save one small thing that you will allow. I kept my coffee with creamer addiction: See website name and lost weight like crazy, I just increased my workouts. See my last post about my Hoss Status in the gym: Hitting the Reset: Putting Your Health First. The food is my struggle.
Get everyone in your circle involved in some way.
Maybe they are doing it with you or at least not shoving delicious meals in your face. Support is crucial.
Does it include a workout plan? You need to incorporate 30 minutes-1 hour of exercise daily depending on the intensity. Walks in the park are activity and are great to add, but don’t count unless you get your heart rate up. Check what you should be at here.
Do you have a support network to make it work? Is it online or a friend? Get one. People are going out of their way to help you lose weight. Do it. Let them help.
I chose the 21 day fix, no, this is not a sponsored add…although…let me know. Wink wink. I like it because it involved six small meals a day. It retrains your body to eat an appropriate amount in each sitting and keeps it fueled throughout the day. Thanks April. I skipped the shakes though.
Make the Plan Before Each Week Begins
I start my weeks on Mondays. I make my plan Thursday/Friday so that I can shop on Friday or Saturday. Check out your area to see if you can get pickup options at your grocery store. You will already have a list, so this is an easy option. Then, I just pick up my veggies and deli meat on Sunday after church, a ten minute trip instead of a ten-hour bonanza.
Write everything out.
Everything. This is crucial the first few weeks when you are starting out. Imperative. The most important part. Forget counting calories after or recording each thing you put into your mouth. It is too difficult, especially for busy people and forgetful ones like me. Instead write it out. If it isn’t on the list, don’t eat it. Give yourself a written in cheat meal starting week 3. Sorry first two weeks, but you kind of suck. Time to retrain the brain mostly so the body will follow. After the 30 days, you can add cheats and change them up, but just be aware of how much you are cheating and stick to healthy eating the rest of the week. Life is not worth living without culinary indulgences once in a while, but it is no longer special when you are hoarding sweets from the toddler and eating in the closet so he won’t see you. Maybe a touch specific, but you get the idea.
Get rid of everything you don’t need prior. Since I expect many are not starting this until after the next holiday, clean out. Toss or donate. Is it on the plan? Granted, keep stuff to keep the littles full (probably more fats and carbs than you need).
Shop online or send the husband. Be specific down to brand, color, shape, texture, precise shelf and location in the store. Otherwise, you will be frustrated, say the wrong thing and have to do the shopping for the next 2 weeks. In other words, I am sorry husband.
Don’t forget to add Tupperware and snack size baggies. Also, pick containers that have size labels. It is much easier than measuring out each thing beforehand.
Meal Prepping Resource
21 Day Fix Excel Menu Planner ->Click here for the excel sheet I modified to do the math for you. Free!
Time to make the food, and by make the food, kiss today goodbye because you are cooking for the week. Especially if you work or go out often during the week. This day is a doozy. Cook, cook, cook some more. Get the whole family involved. oh, and remember, spices are normally freebies on most plans so spice that #@$ up until your family will eat it.
Relax and Follow the Plan
It isn’t always easy to follow a plan, especially when a coworker brought cookies or you are attending another kid’s birthday party. But, you already have everything ready. Just eat it. And don’t skip any of it. It can be easy to get behind and skip a snack, but this is what leads to the Hunger Monster making an escape. Nobody likes the hunger monster.
The first day is easy, but the second, third, fourth and even fifth are challenging. Push through. The reward is worth it.
*See disclaimer under health and fitness: Remember to consult your doctor prior to starting any new diet or fitness program.
Use your common sense!
What hang ups do you have when it comes to meal prep?