Can you relate to this scenario: You have been given a new dietary regime by your personal trainer, this includes eating quite different to the way you’re used to eating, and you’re struggling to keep on track. Makes it feel like you’re failing.
You’re not alone.
It takes 21 days to breed a new habit, such as eating more healthily. So, cut yourself some slack, don’t get discouraged by relapsing into old habits occasionally, and always keep your eye on the prize: a healthier, leaner You. But how do you get there?
Food Prep Tips
Here are some top tips to help you keep on track with eating healthily:
Preparation is key
If you’re well prepared you won’t slip up so easily. Pick a day a week you set aside for food prep. If you don’t have that much time in one block, then pick times during the week for shopping/preparing lunches/preparing dinners.
Cook double the quantity and set aside for the next day
Food keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days. Cook a large batch of soup for lunches or one-pot meals for dinners, and either freeze them or refrigerate them as you need.
Plan your weekly meals
This one is really important. Before you go to the shop, create a list of the meals you want to cook. Buy accordingly. This alone with help you stick to your meal plan and eat well – you will be cooking meals because don’t want to throw out fresh food you have bought. If you feel you have overbought on vegetables, simply cut them up to eat as snacks in front of the TV or between meals, never throw veg out.
Buy a good amount of food storage containers
Don’t get caught out working out how to take your lovely freshly cooked soup to work with you. Invest in a few handy reusable flasks and tubs. There are lots of options, and I always recommend you buy good quality containers. They last longer and keep your food cool/hot longer. Also, buy a couple of cool packs to keep cold salads fresh during the day.
Learn to cook a handful of healthy dinners
If you have a few healthy meals up your sleeve you won’t ever be cut short. Once you’re confident about those meals, you can spread your wings and learn to cook more demanding meals. Figure out which meals you enjoy, and stick to the main principle of ½ vegetables, ¼ protein and ¼ carbs.
What even is a healthy meal?
If you’re happy to experiment rather than learning to cook set meals, here is the guideline for any healthy meal: your plate should be ½ colourful vegetables grown above ground like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, a large mixed salad, courgette, mangetout, asparagus, etc. It should then contain ¼ protein such as fish, meat or beans; and ¼ complex carbs such as brown rice/pasta, sweet potato or potatoes.
Buy a couple of good cookbooks
As much as you can find good recipes online, there’s nothing quite like having a handy guide at the ready in the kitchen. And a printed copy is more forgiving to spillages than your device, should you ever spill anything. Derval O’Rourke’s cookbooks, Food For the Fast Lane and The Fit Foodie, are two brilliant books with oodles of delicious healthy meals.
We hope these food prep tips help you on your fitness and wellness journey. There are many ways to stay healthy and what you eat is probably the most important aspect.