6 Essential Tips for Optimal Food Preparation and Planning
Posted on 21st June 2016 at 19:21
Preperation and planning is all important when it comes to our diet. In this blog we take a look at this aspect.
Everyone knows the importance of cooking their own food , whether the aim is fat loss or just trying to generally eat more healthily.
Having control over what goes into your food, and ultimately into your body, is key to eliminating unwanted, unhealthy foods that will set you back on your journey. But why do so many people find it so hard? In today’s article I’m going to give you my ‘6 Essential Tips’ for optimal food preparation and planning.
It was always the weekend that use to get me, I’d eat great all week and then get lazy with preparing my food at the weekend.
Before I knew it, I was eating a burger, or something equally unhealthy, with chips or snacking on chocolate.
It wasn’t until I took my food preparation seriously that I really started to achieve results with my body and, ultimately, improvements in my health and well-being.
That old saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ couldn’t be more applicable in this situation; it is all about preparation and being in control and not putting yourself in a situation where going off plan is the easy and only option.
So what are these ‘6 Essential Tips’ that, based upon my past mistake, will ensure you have a smoother transition to the body you are after.
1) Decide on a cooking schedule.
This may seem straight forward, but it’s too often over looked. You need to have a set time and day(s) each and every week that you cook your food. Only then will you guarantee time in your schedule for cooking your food and eliminate the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse.
In my experience, if you jot it down in your diary it gets done, if not it gets brushed aside.
When you decided to cook your food is of no concern to me, but personally I cook mine every night before bed. Even if I get in late, the food gets cooked so that it is there ready for me in the morning. This schedule may not be realistic for others, but many of my clients choose to bulk cook on a Sunday night for the whole week, freezing it and then defrosting it the night before its needed. Others bulk cook on Sunday and Wednesday. Simply, it doesn’t matter when you do it, so long as it works for you.
2) Decide on a shopping day/days.
This is almost as important as Number 1, and in some cases is even more so.
In order to cook your food to a schedule you actually need the food to be at your disposal. It’s no good planning to cook food if there is nothing in to cook. Personally, I go to the supermarket every single night to buy the food I’ll be cooking later that evening.
This approach may not suit all lifestyles, but in a world of online supermarkets offering free delivery, surely there is no excuse for not taking at least one order per week when you’ll be at home. These supermarkets often allow automatic orders, meaning that once you place your order it will come weekly without you doing anything. Many online meat stores like Kezziefoods.co.uk and Muscle-meat.co.uk will deliver the meat in freezer packs so it can be left outside while you are at work.
Again don’t make excuses – just get it done on a schedule.
People often claim that healthy eating is too expensive.
I can’t agree. It becomes expensive if you don’t have a plan and go into the supermarket and buy whatever catches your eye. You will often over buy and, especially if its fresh stuff, you could be throwing money down the drain. I am speaking from experience here as too often in the past overbuying stupidly has seen me throw away meat and salad because it’s gone off.
If you set a budget and know exactly what to buy there should be no hidden surprises, and you won’t be wasting money on food you don’t need and/or can’t eat in time. Online meat shops like Kezziefoods.co.uk and Muscle-meat.co.uk often have discount codes that can be found online.
I have also attached discount codes that the company I work for (M10 fitness) use so you can get discount from these sites.
4) Buy a cooler bag.
If like me you are eating or planning on eating 6 meals a day, the last thing you should be doing is trying to cram them into a warm rucksack. Invest in a cooler bag such as an Isobag (link at the bottom) or if you want to have more ‘stylish’ cooler bags buy a six-pack bag (link at the bottom). These bags are great as they give you storage for 3,4,5, or 6 meals depending on what size bag you buy. Along with that, they have ice pack spaces so your food stays cool and compartments to fit any supplements or bottles. I have both a six-pack bag and an isobag, holding 6 and 4 meals respectively. My 6 meal bag also has the capacity to hold my laptop, making it ideal for work. If that wasn’t enough, they all come with Tupperware boxes so you’re onto a winner all the way!
Don’t give people at work the opportunity to moan about you taking up valuable fridge space that they use to store their bought cheesecake, and which they plan on eating every day for lunch.
Bring your own cooler bag and no one will be any the wiser.
5) Get creative.
Food preparation can become monotonous. But I have a question for you, are you a bodybuilder who's some 12 weeks out from a show? No? Okay then, why are you only eating chicken, rice eggs and cottage cheese? There are so many varieties of protein, fat and carbohydrates available that there really is no excuse to get bored of eating. Body builders have specific reasons for restricting their food choices, you don’t!
I present my clients with a huge custom list of foods that they can enjoy, as in order to make this is sustainable long term change you need to diversify your food list, otherwise you will get bored very quickly. ‘Variety is the spice of life’.
Also don’t be afraid to experiment and mix things up a little.
Throw some random spices together and see what happens. I’ve done this numerous times and the outcome has been amazing.
6) Have a plan and stick to it!
This isn’t really a point, but it's worth reiterating it.
Get yourself organized, and don’t give yourself the opportunity to fall off track.
If you don’t plan you will find yourself hungry and, probably with no other food available, hitting the junk, and we all know how slippery that slope is!
Iso Bag Link – Isobag.co.uk
Six Pack Bag Link – Sixpackbag.co.uk
Kezzie Food Discount code – M10fitness
Muscle Meat Discount code – M10fitness
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