We all know how easy it is to ’fall off the wagon’ when it comes to food. One little off plan meal and it snow balls into a day, week or even a month of chaos. Next thing you know, you find yourself asking where it all went wrong. This article will show you how to stay prepared and on top of your food, so that you never get caught off guard again. 
It took me a while to figure out just how important food preparation was for my clients. In the early days I’d give them perfect nutrition plans, specifically designed to meet their goals. Yet week on week they would come in and their measurements would be the same. It’s only when digging deeper that I found out why things weren’t changing. 9 times out of 10 the client had forgotten some meals and grabbed whatever was to hand to stop the hunger; understandable. 
 
The problem is that sticking to your nutrition plan is the key to achieving your desired results quickly. You need to realise that getting into shape isn’t easy. But If you keep taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back, eventually you will stop being able to make that 1 step forward, or it will take twice as long. You will inevitably end up wasting your time, money and most importantly end up worse off. 
 
Here is the method that I use to help my clients stay on track with their nutrition plan. But I have to emphasise that this is just a guide.  
You must find your own way of managing your food preparation. Early on, you will make mistakes, but it’s about how you learn from your mistakes to ensure that they don’t happen again. 
Make food preparation as important as going to the gym – If you go to the gym 5 days a week, that’s 5 maybe 6 hours a week spent in the gym. If you eat 3 meals a week that’s 21 meals a week. See where this is going? Your meals, and what you do outside of the gym, are far more important that what you do inside of the gym.The gym puts your body in a fantastic place to burn fat, but it’s what you fuel your body with during the remaining 16 hours or so when you are awake that will determine whether your body will ‘burn’ or ‘store’ fat. That one off-plan meal can halt your fat burning in its tracks. The bottom line is make food preparation a priority! 
Cook your food ahead of time – This is in the name; food preparation = Preparing your food. The best way to do it is in advance. I don’t mind how you do it, you can bulk cook on a Sunday and Wednesday then freeze it. You can wake up and cook at 5:30 every morning, or do it each night before bed. Personally I prefer the latter as almost no-one wants to be awake earlier than they need to. Prepare your food however you want, but make sure that you have everything cooked for the next day. 
Plan ahead to avoid derailing – This is all about being proactive rather than reactive. If you can see an obstacle in the road, move it or go around it. Don’t stare at it and wonder why you crashed into it when you have made no effort to avoid it. The same rule applies with food preparation. If you know you are going away with work, call ahead and ask to book a hotel room with a fridge. Research local restaurants and decide what a good option is ahead of time. 
Same for family events, no one is asking you to become a recluse. You can still go out to eat occasionally for big events. But plan ahead, pick a food choice that is in line with your plan and then you won’t be pressured on the day by people rushing you to pick. 
 
Now you have read those 3 tips, your excuse of ‘I forgot to cook my meals’ is invalid. You can no longer use ignorance as an excuse. Alone, adopting these 3 tips will stop you falling off track. The only reason you will fall off is through conscious choice. This may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. People pay me for results, you are reading this article because you want results, and change in your body and/or health. I owe it to you to be honest. If you are paying a trainer to get results and they keep letting you ‘go off plan’ it suggests that they really don’t care about your progress. 
 
Food preparation is very easy and very simple. However, it does take time for it to become second nature, just like waking up and going for a walk, going to the gym and buying ‘low fat options’ (tongue in cheek comment! see my article about why low fat diets don’t work for fat loss.) If you use these 3 simple steps as a base your food preparation you will find the whole process easier. Notice how I said nutrition plan and not diet. A diet is temporary, if you want permanent fat loss you need to make healthy eating a part of your life. Once you get yourself into a good place -which will take time- you can start to enjoy some of the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating guilt free. 
 
What little tips do you have that may help others to stick to their nutrition plan? Feel free to share them in the comments box below or join the conversation on Facebook. 
 
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