By: Matt Weik
When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, it’s extremely important to focus on meal planning. Not only will meal planning help keep you accountable, but it will also make following a solid nutrition plan more convenient and less stressful. Are you currently using a meal planning strategy? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Make Your Meals in Bulk
As they say, “prior planning prevents poor performance.” The same rings true for your meal planning. To simplify your life, I recommend taking one day out of your week to make meals in bulk to plan the week ahead – something like a Sunday. Grill your protein sources, steam or cut up your carbohydrates, etc. This will ultimately allow you to mix and match macros according to your tastes for a given day.
Some people like to put the full meals together in Tupperware containers while others put each source in its own container and put their meals together based on what they are hungry for. Either way will work.
We live our lives out of what seems like convenience these days. We shop online so we don’t need to go to the store. We go to restaurants when we don’t feel like cooking. We grab that bag of potato chips because it’s convenient to open and consume in a hurry. We use our smartphones to get information instantly. Meal planning is very similar. You get the convenience of having everything already prepared for you from the one day you cooked in bulk, so all you have to do is grab your food from the refrigerator and warm it up or grab it, toss it in your bag, and off you go to work.
Don’t overcomplicate things. With meal planning, you strategically place yourself in a position to stay focused on your diet and not allow the wheels to fall off due to temptation.
Consistency is the name of the game when striving to achieve your health and fitness goals - especially when it comes to weight loss. If you can consistently be consuming healthy and nutritious foods on a daily basis without “cheating” on your diet, you put yourself in a winning position. This is where meal planning can help keep you on track.
By planning out your meals, preparing them, and having them ready to go will help you stay consistent with your nutrition. You are less likely to go off the beaten path to find food when it’s already conveniently prepared and ready to go. This goes hand-in-hand with your exercise routine as well. The more consistent you are with your workouts the better and quicker the results will show.
4. Resist Unhealthy Snacking
Meal planning doesn’t need to be just about breakfast, lunch, and dinner – the big three. Meals are also considered consuming snacks or “smaller meals” throughout the day. The key is to have a plan in place to prevent yourself from giving into temptations. At work, 3pm comes rolling around and you watch people hitting up the vending machines because they are hungry. This is where your meal planning comes into play.
If you thought things through and were prepared, you would already have a backup plan at your desk ready to go. Plan ahead for situations like this where you have a container of healthy nuts or something like beef jerky. In fact, your desk drawer or briefcase is the perfect place to store some protein-packed Brotein Candy Fitness Jerky. When in need of a healthy snack to satisfy your craving, you can grab yourself a bag of Brotein Candy and you’re good to go. You also have the added convenience of being able to reseal the bag if you don’t eat it all at once.
Meal planning doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s meant to make your life easier while helping you move towards your goals. If you haven’t already been utilizing this healthy strategy in your routine, I’d highly recommend giving it a shot.
By: Matt Weik
Listen, we all don’t have the cooking skills of a Gordon Ramsay – and that’s ok. Hopefully, none of us has his temper either, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, we are no master chef in the kitchen. In fact, for many of us, we have a hard time even finding the tools we need in the kitchen to whip up a healthy meal. Well, I have good news. You don’t need to be all fancy to improve your healthy lifestyle and make dishes that are over-the-top. Keep things simple and you’ll be just fine. Let me explain.
How Do You Pronounce That?
You grab an item off the shelf at the grocery store because it looks healthy and delicious. You flip it over to the back and start reading the nutrition panel and ingredients. As you are scanning you notice half of what’s included in the ingredients list you can’t even pronounce. Look, you shouldn’t need to ask Siri how to pronounce an ingredient found on a label. More than likely if you can’t pronounce it, the ingredient isn’t the healthiest of items listed.
Keep it simple! You don’t need to throw the kitchen sink in food or meals in order to make them taste good or make them fit your healthy lifestyle. Sure, add herbs and spices to bring out more flavors in your dishes, but most of the stuff you are consuming that you can’t pronounce are additives, preservatives, fillers, or for a lack of better term… JUNK.
Stick with minimalistic products and profiles with real simple ingredients that are made from real food. It was this very thought process that helped Brotein Candy create the planet’s first fitness jerky to fit your active and healthy lifestyle. Real ingredients like organic grass-fed beef, brewed coffee, organic blue agave, pink Himalayan salt, cayenne, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves to name a few. There’s nothing in the ingredients that you can’t pronounce or that you haven’t heard of. It’s CLEAN and DELICIOUS.
What Do You Actually Need?
There are three macronutrients that we all need in our diet – protein, carbohydrates, fat. Each of these nutrients serves a different purpose from helping build muscle, to improving recovery and energy levels, to ensuring we have a balance of hormones and nutrients to feed our brain.
Real food options will always give you the best nutritional profile over any product that has been refined or modified in any way. When food companies try to get fancy by adding all of these extra ingredients along with the kitchen sink, it changes the natural and savory flavor profile of the item. Whatever happened to the KISS principle? Keep It Super Simple (I cleaned up the phrase a little).
How do you know if a product is of good quality and something to consider adding to your healthy lifestyle? It’s simple. Eat as many whole foods as possible. From there, look for items that do not contain preservatives, trans fat, MSG, added sugar, or added nitrates (to name a few of the big no-no’s).
It honestly doesn’t get much simpler than that. Real food with real simple ingredients creates a healthy lifestyle. Use that principle in your own nutrition program and you will find you are better able to reach your health and fitness goals.