Here are my top three tips that everyone, including you can start using today. Make smarter decisions when planning meals and save time. Read on for more!
You know that you have to eat several times per day, so why is that that so many people leave their meal planning to the last minute and wonder why they can never follow a healthy nutrient-rich diet?
Here are my top three tips that everyone, including you, can start using today. Turning your old habits into new ones takes 21 days. Remember this magic number and try these tips. Mark the 21-day point on your calendar.
1. Cook Your Meals In Advance & Keep It Simple
Preparing your meals in advance ensures that you won’t be tempted to make a detour into a fast food establishment. If you want to have a gourmet meal for dinner every day, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment since gourmet eating may take more prep time than you have.
Plan ahead by cooking your meals every other day, providing you with enough food for the next two days. If you are really busy, keep Sundays and Wednesdays as your cooking days. When working, I normally ate breakfast at home unless I was doing morning cardio or did not have time to go home right away.
Keep your breakfast / meal #1 simple, with foods such as oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese and whole wheat toast with almond butter (or organic peanut butter).
Choose the foods that will equal a carbohydrate and protein. Healthy fats will also be included with the protein choice.
|MEAL 1 (Sample Choices)
||Eggwhites (1/3 cup)
||Two full eggs (fat comes from the yolks)
For your next meals, which should be spaced every 2.5 to 3 hours apart, choose foods such as:
- yams/sweet potatoes
- brown rice
- whole wheat pasta & breads
- avocados (with a sprinkle of lemon juice)
- brown rice sushi (yes, it’s out there!)
- fish (salmon, tuna, snapper, orange roughly, tilapia, swordfish, halibut)
Also remember your fibrous vegetables, such as:
- green beans
- brussel sprouts
Many of my suggestions are foods that are low in the glycemic index, though there are many other healthy choices such as raisins, peas, corns, carrots, and white potatoes.
For my meals #2, #3, and #4, I will plan ahead the night before by cooking a large amount of chicken in the oven. Simply spray some olive oil on a baking pan, lay out your chicken and sprinkle on any spices you like. Spices will be your best friends when it comes to making your meals enjoyable.
While my chicken is in the oven, I will cook a sweet potato and steam some green beans and/or broccoli.
|MEAL 2 (Sample Choices)
||½ cup brown rice & 1 cup of green beans
||1 chicken breast
2. Divide Your Meals Into Portion Sizes
Get yourself plastic containers that are the correct size for your mini-meals on the go. If you are not sure what a portion size looks like, remember this:
|Container Size Guide
|1 oz. Meat
||Size of a matchbox
|3 oz. Fish
||Size of a cheque book
|1 oz. Cheese
||Size of 4 dice
|1 medium Potato
||Size of a computer mouse
|2 tbsp. Peanut Butter
||Size of a ping pong ball
|1 cup Pasta
||Size of a tennis ball
|1 average Bagel
||Size of a hockey puck
|3 oz. Meat
||Size of a deck of cards / bar of soap
|8 oz. Meat
||Size of a thin paperback book
Having your meals prepared ahead and stored in a cooler with you will triple your chances of achieving your fitness goals. Look at the amateur and pro bodybuilding competitors. Whether they are male or female, competing in fitness and figure or bodybuilding, all of them will plan their meals in advance.
If you are not at all hungry three hours after your last meal, you may have consumed too many calories. Try making your portion sizes a little smaller.
3. Always Have a Bottle of Water With You
Some H2O Facts:
- Blood is 83% water
- Muscles are 75% water
- The brain is 74% water
- Bone is 22% water
It may feel like a hassle at the start but having water with you will make a major difference in your life. Water is a necessity. Your body needs water to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. Water also detoxifies the liver and kidneys, and carries away waste from the body, and makes digestion possible.
Fiber alone cannot aid proper digestive function. Feeling dehydrated? You may be, and not even know it! Without water, your blood is literally thicker, and your body has to work much harder to cause it to circulate. As a result, your brain becomes less active, it’s hard to concentrate, your body feels fatigued, and you just tire out. Aim for 2-3 litres a day. Before you know it, you will start to crave and love your water. Add lemon for a new taste you’ll come to enjoy.
This is about you!
Are you worried that people are going to joke about you bringing your own food to work, or that you can’t have lunch with the rest of the gang? Remember your reasons for why you planning your meals ahead.
If your friends and work associates joke and have an issue about how you are eating they certainly have some issues of their own. Remember this: I will be with you every step of the way.