If I had a dollar for every time a client or potential client said these 7 words to me… I’d have enough money to hire someone to cook my meals for at least a year.
Darn… that would be awesome. For real.
Unfortunately, I’m not bathing in extra cash, and need to do this meal prep on my own. I often work 12-14 hour days throughout the week, even if I’m not working that entire time, I’m out of the house. Saturdays I usually spend the majority of the day either working at the gym, lifting, or running errands. With Sunday being my only day off… how do I manage to eat healthy all through the week? Here’s a few tips to help you stay on track amidst a busy schedule.
1) Stop making excuses. It’s isn’t about finding time, it’s about making time. 😉
I know no one likes to hear this. Part of the plus side of losing a boat load of weight personally through diet and exercise is that if someone tells me something is impossible or too hard to do, I can look them straight in the eye and say that I somehow managed to do it… so it must be possible. Think you don’t have time? Tough luck. If you have a goal, whether that’s to lose weight or gain muscle, you need to make time to prep food. Grab some paper and write out your entire week from the time you open your eyes to the time you close them. Bet if you try real hard you’ll be able to find a couple hours in there to hang out in the kitchen. And ladies… if this means PVRing the most recent episode of The Batchelor… it has to happen. Priorities. (P.s. is PVRing still a thing? Is the Batchelor still a thing? I haven’t had cable for 7 years… don’t judge me.)
2) Prep food in batches.
I usually spend a solid 2-3 hours on a Sunday evening while I’m doing laundry prepping food. I’ll have a tray of chicken thighs in the oven, big crock full of mixed vegetables in the slow cooker, a big pot of sweet potatoes on the stove, and usually some ground meat formed into patties and some fish waiting to hit the grill. All at the same time. I can cook meals for the entire week in one afternoon, throw some in the freezer, some in the fridge, and boom… no more excuses as the week gets busy. Right before I head to bed I’ll pull out my 5 containers, portion out my protein, veggies, fat, and starch for each meal, and it’s all ready to grab and go first thing in the morning on my way to the gym. No microwave or anything at work? No problem. I’ve been eating my meals cold for years. (The first couple of weeks are rough, then you get used to it I swear.)
3) Accept that healthy food isn’t necessarily convenient.
“I was rushing after work and didn’t have time to eat so I grabbed something on the way.” Unfortunate news for you if you’ve said this before… there isn’t really many healthy food options that you can “grab on the way”. This is where planning becomes paramount. Watch out for protein bars and shakes that can end up being loaded full of sugar and chemicals that will wreak havoc on your system. Real food, ladies and gentlemen. Often if I’m on the go I’ll literally have a container of cut up pieces of chicken, and a full pepper to eat like an apple in my bag. Easy. Convenient. Prepped in advance.
4) Make it a habit.
I challenge you to give me one month. Four weeks of spending a couple hours each week prepping food in advance to get your diet on track. After the first month I promise it gets a little easier. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll become so good at meal prep it’ll be done in record time. Not only will you save money on more expensive convenient foods, but your progress will sky rocket. Trust me on this one.
I’m not here to tell you that this is an easy process. I’ve said it a million times. No one said it would be easy. But it does take a conscious effort to ensure everything is on your side when it comes to success. Preparation is the key, in so many aspects of life. Don’t miss out on achieving a goal simply because you were too lazy to make time to plan in advance. You’ve got this. Get it done.
Oh… and you should probably go lift something. 😉