Squatting til' you drop or doing jumping jacks until you blackout will not burn off the huge bag of Cheetos, the dozen donuts and that large order of fries.
It’s a nice thought, but unfortunately you can't fix a bad diet with a crazy amount of exercise.
I am sure we have all heard the Benjamin Franklin saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This is very true when it comes to all aspects of life, including fitness and weight loss. The key to weight loss is generally 75% diet and 25% percent exercise. So, it is best to prepare your meals and snacks, so you do not fall prey to the temptations of Cheetos.
Let’s talk about a little thing called meal prep. No, this is not the latest, greatest thing. It has been around for a while. As a matter of fact, it helps a countless amount of people reach their goals.
Below are some items to help you start if you are considering taking this on:
- The first thing you do is purchase quality containers. If you are going to prep for a few days, buy containers that can fit easily into your fridge. I found my containers on Amazon.com. They have three compartments which helps me section out my protein, vegetables and fat. And they are microwave safe!
- PLAN YOUR MEALS! If you are just starting to meal prep, don’t overwhelm yourself. It is a daunting task to cook up a week’s worth of meals. Stick to a couple of days at a time in order to get familiar with the process. Write down your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, then do a breakdown of ingredients. Stay away from items that spoil easily.
- Prepping is the fun part. You can go with simple chicken breast and vegetables, but that will get boring pretty quickly. I recommend finding recipe sites that promote healthy eats. I enjoy skinnytaste.com. Whatever you decide to prepare, it is important to write it down so you can stay on track.
- Set aside some time to prep as it does require a couple hours out of your day. I prefer to prep on Sundays while watching sports or a comedy. The distraction helps time fly, so you don’t realize a couple of hours have passed.
- I don’t often cook all my meals at once. You can place your protein in a bag with spices and then put it in the freezer and defrost when you are ready. And DO NOT underestimate the power of “The CrockPot.” You may have seen it, but do not understand the power of this one tool. It is your one stop shop for simplicity and you can get a full meal out it.
- Don’t forget the importance of SNACKS! I get so excited when it is time for almond butter with an apple. Having healthy snack items available like fruits, almonds and/or vegetable sticks will help you stay on track and keep you away from those donuts.
I hope this breakdown gives a little more insight on what meal prep is, and more importantly how to get started. The purpose of meal prepping is to make your life simpler. It is important to do what feels comfortable for you. Start off with meal prep for a couple of days in order to get acclimated to the “Meal Prep Life”. A little bit of prep is better than no prep. And of course don’t forget that 25%, so get moving with some cardio and/or lifting.
Keisha Dunstan is an avid lover of the meal prep and gym life! She is either at the gym, headed to the the gym, or thinking about the gym. DONUT Judge Her!