When it comes to weight loss, maintenance and muscle gain, training and nutrition go hand in hand.
You are only going to have limited success with one or the other. Lucky for you, at GSD we have your training covered! Our programs are carefully constructed, progressed, and designed to give you maximum results so all you need to worry about is turning up!
When it comes to nutrition, one of the biggest roadblocks I find with my clients is that they tend to OVERTHINK and OVERCOMPLICATE things! So today I’d like to share with you my top tips on how to kick start your health and fitness goals with Meal Prep.
Now before you start panicking about spending your entire weekend in the kitchen STOP, COLLABORATE & LISTEN! I am a Mum of two very energetic young boys, I run group classes and PT sessions at GSD and also have another business so believe me when I say “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Tip 1: PLAN PLAN PLAN
My number 1 tip is to sit down and PLAN your meals for an entire week. The more you do it the faster you will become. I like to sit down on a Friday night and plan our meals and snacks for the week for my family. I try and make meals and snacks the whole family will eat but let’s be honest, with two boys under 7 it does not always happen every day so I do plan a simple healthy pasta meal once a week that I can freeze in kid size portions for the nights they are not digging what I’m serving.
While doing my weekly meal plan I also do my ONLINE grocery shopping at the same time which I then collect on a Sunday morning. This saves me so much time and avoids the NIGHTMARE that is going into a supermarket with two kids. Plus as an added bonus, online groceries save me from any impromptu ‘off the plan’ naughty purchases which I don’t really need thus saving my budget and my hips!
Tip 2: Wash, rinse repeat
Love mixing it up? Awesome! But if you are happy to keep things simple, you do not need to make 6 different meals and snacks every day! Again – who the heck has time for that? I like to repeat meals and snacks through the week (think bulk cooking lunches to repeat or making extra serves of dinners to be used later in the week for lunches).
Tip 3: Soup it up
One of my favourite lunches to prep are Soups (even in Summer yes!). I like to look in the fridge and see what vegetables and protein have not been used and then throw them together to make a healthy soup. This helps to avoid food (and money wastage and is a quick and easy way to bulk cook lunches and emergency dinners ready to go for lunches to take to work or at home (so no excuses for grabbing take away).
Tip 4: Snack Attack
I like to pick 2-3 snacks that I can prepare quickly and easily on a Sunday and have ready to go for during the week. Examples include light cottage cheese and rice cakes (buy a 500 gram tub and weigh and portion out 5 x 100 gram serves, and bag up 2 rice cakes per bag or container so they are ready to grab as you are running out the door. I also love light dip and carrot sticks (if pushed for time you can purchase pre-made light dip and chopped carrot sticks) or even a dollop of light dip on mountain bread and roll it up.
I also like to make a batch of wholemeal muffins on a Sunday as a healthier lunch box treat for the kids and I. Having ready to grab and run snacks will really save you from reaching for sugary counterparts when the 3pm slump hits.
Tip 5: Look what I prepared earlier!
When I am doing my meal plan and online shopping I also like to write up a quick ‘Sunday prep-list’ of things I can prep on a Sunday to save time (for example, if you were having an Egg Salad, and a Chicken and Pomegranate Salad for lunches you could jot down on your prep-list, “boil eggs for salads” and “poach chicken & hull pomegranate”. You could make the sauce for a pasta or prep a pasta bake so it only needs to get thrown in the oven when you get home.
Having a plan also makes it feel ‘more do-able’ and gives those of us ‘list lovers’ a feeling of accomplishment as you tick them off. Once you pick up your groceries you know exactly what needs to be done which for me reduces a lot of stress and saves me a lot of time wandering around the kitchen wondering what to do first.
Tip 6: Duplicate
When I cook Dinner, I generally allow one serve for me, one for hubby, the kids share one and a fourth which I put straight into a container in the freezer for a future lunch. This helps me by 1 stopping me from having seconds when I don’t need it, and 2 I have a ready to go meal for another day.
You can make extra serves of a meal or even double the recipe and have an entire meal for the whole family ready for another night earning you a well-earned night off cooking and avoid the take away temptation after a very long day.
Tip 7 : KISS (Keep it simple stupid!)
Keep your planning simple. Duplicate meals and snacks where you can. Use leftovers, bulk cook, and keep a ‘freezer stash’ of ready to heat and eat meals. Keep a folder with old favourite recipes handy for when meal planning and you will be on your way to making you and your family the healthiest versions of yourselves yet!
Why not try one (or more!) of my above simple tips that you can do on a Sunday (or any day really) to help set you up for the week ahead and help reduce the opportunities to give into excuses that will take you further from your goals.