Let’s Get Real About Meal Prep
We all run into those beautiful pictures of a perfectly plated meals with the caption that reads “EASY, DELICIOUS MEAL PREP”. So, you click the link to the recipe and find out it takes 3 hours to cook and involves 3 different types of mustards you have never even heard of. (Easy, right?). Realistically, you probably do not have time for that recipe nor do you want to buy 3 different mustards you are NEVER going to USE AGAIN.
You find another beautiful picture of food again… but this time the recipe calls for you to have unattainable seasonings, and a scale to weigh out your portions. AGAIN, this is not realistic for the everyday person just trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I have a healthy diet but an average diet. You won’t find me in the kitchen crafting some 25 ingredient, 3 hour long, recipe. I am constantly on the go and can usually only dedicate an hour or two at most to meal prepping for the week. (I think this is probably the case for many). Your food does not have to be intricate and fancy to be healthy.
I Keep It Normal
[ct_leading]I do not use scales to weigh my food, I do not cook rare, hard to find foods.[/ct_leading] I do not count macros or calories and I certainly do not restrict myself to a miserable plain diet. (I mean in the past 48 hours I have had 2 bagels, pizza and some garlic knots). Now, that is not my normal day to day intake but it does show you that I treat myself, and indulge. I have learned I do way better when I treat myself here and there and avoid completely binging one day. I think this system can work for many. Stick to quick, easy, simple meal preps, with a dab of treats here and there.
I do not even know what people mean by a cheat meal. You mean, you ate some maybe fatty but delicious foods you were craving because you are human? Is that the definition of a cheat meal? Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely people out there training for something big, like body building, bikini physique competitions or sports, but the average person does not need to be following some intense, super restrictive diet. For the average person that is unrealistic, and it will not lead to long term success.
How do I pick a diet?
[ct_leading]Well, this is a tricky question.[/ct_leading] A diet that works for me may not work for you. This is why I say do not model your diet off of others, and do not buy pre-made diet plans. Everybody requires different dietary needs. If you have an online coach or personal trainer and they embark on making you a diet plan to follow, make sure they are asking you questions about your health, background, and any other special needs. Do not just purchase and follow some impersonalized diet plan. Just because Susy is following some diet plan and seeing results does not mean that same diet will yield you the same results. Diet plans need to be personalized and extremely thought out.
It is safe to say though, making a change from a bad diet to a healthy diet can be fairly easy and the same for everyone across the board. Start eating intuitively, do not starve yourself and do not over stuff yourself. If you are hungry eat until you are full, not until you are stuffed. (We all know the difference, avoid the Itis). Our bodies are well oiled machines, so listen to yours. It will tell you when you’re hungry and when you are full. Measuring portions, counting calories or macros, will lead to you feeling like eating is a task not a natural instinct for survival. When eating begins to feel like a BURDEN you will begin to fall off, or pick up new unhealthy eating habits.
Keep it Balanced!
Balancing your diet is key! And by balance, I mean: If you plan to have a big dinner out at a restaurant eat healthy meals throughout the day so you can enjoy all that food at dinner. For example, the other day I knew I was going to an Italian restaurant for dinner which means heavy chickens, lots of bread and delicious pasta. To plan for this big dinner, I made sure my breakfast and lunch were healthy meals. I had a protein shake and avocado toast for breakfast, a salad with chicken for lunch and enjoyed my big dinner. The dinner was heavy and fatty, foods, but it’s okay because I did not eat like that ALL DAY. I fed my body good nutrients all day and snacked healthy so that I could enjoy every bite of that dinner.
Other ways to keep it balanced are: drink tons of water throughout the day, and choose healthy things to snack on! Nuts, granola, smoothies, fruit, veggies, etc.!
Moral of the story
[ct_leading]Keep your diet clean, simple and unique to you![/ct_leading] I plan to post bi-weekly about different SIMPLE meal preps I do. Let’s be mediocre chef’s together. There is no need to be super fancy with your food or super restrictive (unless you are competing or have serious goals other than just living a long healthy life style). In my opinion, the everyday person does not need to count calories, macros, weigh out their food, or stick to some awfully, plain, tasteless diet. MOST IMPORTANTLY, eat intuitively and make sure any diet plan you choose to follow is personalized and beneficial for you.
Lastly, I promise promise, promise, forcing yourself to starve or eat less will not get you the results you are looking for. That diet choice will not get you anywhere. Your body actually stores fat when it is not fed enough. On top of that eating less will not allow you to grow muscles (Including those glute gains all girls are looking for). FEED YO-SELF.