Updated: Oct 8, 2018
When it comes to weight loss and getting healthy....everyone struggles with the FOOD. The gym aspect of it all is actually the EASY part!!
Do you struggle with your weight? Are you always reaching for the wrong things when it comes to food?
Do you feel like you are “always on the go?” and never have time to make healthy food choices since fast food is so convenient? First of all, let me say...there is nothing faster than grabbing an apple and a bag of almonds! AND they are super healthy for you!!!
This may sound shocking, but to lose weight efficiently and effectively it doesn’t start at the gym…it starts in your kitchen!
It all starts with a menu plan and a shopping list to the grocery store!
Get your free meal plan print out here
I usually take about an hour to grocery shop and then 2-3 hours to meal prep, it may take slightly longer when I am trying out new recipes. But, it is TOTALLY worth it! I promise!
Three hours to plan, shop and prepare your meals might seem like a lot of time and too much of a commitment for some people. It may seem like a lot of work when you could just grab something from a restaurant. But meal prepping won’t only aid you in your weight loss journey it will help keep your wallet from being empty!
Eating out everyday adds up... Let's say you pay an average of $6 for a "crappy" fast-food meal, and an average $10 dine-in option equally distributed across weekdays, our average lunch cost is $8. (For some people, that's still low, but we'll work with that for now.) Assuming a five day workweek, that's $40 per week, or $160 per month or $2080 per year!
Just think what you could do with that money if you put that aside instead of in the restaurant's pocket....I smell a nice vacation! :)
You may be asking…. "Laurie, how helpful is it to meal prep really, and why should I even bother?"
Here is what I find helpful when meal prepping….
1) Meal prepping helps to ensure that I’m not hungry throughout the day and I always have healthy options on hand. It’s when I don’t meal prep I tend to just grab the junk food because it’s convenient and at that point I am usually SO “hangry” that I’ll grab anything just to fill that void.
2) Meal prepping allows me to have full control over my portions, food sources, and how much oil, sodium, or what types of seasonings are added to the food I’m eating. Even if you’re buying healthy food, there are plenty of places that can overdo it on the salt, use poor quality oils and add chemical-food enhancers…. which are not that great for you. (Things like MSG).
I’d rather leave out all the guesswork and make sure I know exactly what is in my food and how my food is handled and cooked.
3) My kids are involved! My son recently started a health journey and he meal preps with me! He is learning about healthy choices and also learning that things labeled “healthy” or “natural” don’t always necessarily mean those things! So not only am I getting healthy, I am making memories with my child and using it as a teaching opportunity…which hopefully, when he has his own children, he will pass those lessons on.
Check out Casey's progress with meal prepping! Abs start in the kitchen not at the gym.
Although this doesn't mean you get to skip the gym! He also goes to the gym 3-4 times a week! :P
Work SMART! Not HARD!
Here are a few tips for your meal prepping
Write out what you’re going to eat for the week THEN write your grocery list. I have provided you a handy, dandy worksheet to help with this... HERE!
Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach! This is absolutely the WORST time to do groceries…trust me…been there, done that…it doesn’t help the meal plan at all and it doesn’t help the bank account!
Bye Money! :(
You don’t have to start meal prepping every meal…. start off with just lunches and snacks. Even this small start can be a huge help. Once you are comfortable doing this you can move onto dinners and breakfasts!
Again, start small. Don’t over complicate things when you are first starting out. It will overwhelm you and frustrate you. We want to set you up for success so stick to some of your favorites that you can cook in bulk.
Invest in extra food containers and a cooler bag. This is a MUST. Also, if you are watching your portions you can invest in a food scale. I bought one at Walmart for $10!
Don’t be afraid to use herbs and spices. Eating healthy doesn’t mean it must be bland tasting.
Pick a schedule you can stick to! Put it in your calendar. Make this an important business meeting with your health. Your health is the boss of you! Don’t make the boss upset! I promise if you stick with it, it will start to become a habit and you won’t even think twice about it. It will become a part of your ritual like brushing your teeth.
Make it a family thing. Not only will it create some fun memories, it can be a valuable learning experience for your children. HOPEFULLY if they learn this at a young age they won’t be struggling later in life with obesity!
Having your food prepped in advance is the KEY to staying on track. Especially with the Holidays coming up! If you are good with your food choices 80% of the time you will be doing just fine! With this meal prepping regimen in place you can indulge on that Turkey dinner and not feel guilty because you have been doing fabulous with your meal prepping!
Just remember it is life and you DO want to enjoy it every now and then. Always remind yourself you are not depriving yourself of things. YOU can have ANYTHING you want...you are just making a choice to change. You are choosing to make your health a priority! It's always a choice. Not a limitation.
Having meals in place ahead of time will keep your body and mind fueled for great things!
I love my fitmark cooler and containers! Got my son hooked on them as well...he uses them everyday to take to work.
You can purchase them online or if you are local Integrity Health Coaching Centers carries them in their Health Boutique.
PS - This is not a paid advertisement for fitmark nor do they endorse me. I just really LOVE their products.