Meal plans are typically expected in the health and fitness industry and unfortunately, most of the time do not work.
“But coach, I don’t have time to figure out what to eat can’t you just tell me what time and what specifically?”
The reality is meal plans are typically short term and life isn’t linear. Things can change at the drop of a hat at work, kids get sick, you don’t feel like eating the same thing everyday, etc. As a matter of fact, rigid eating can create disordered eating and cause mental, metabolic, and hormonal consequences.
Think of this approach almost like a game. What change can I make to each setting a little bit better? We aren’t seeking “perfect” we are seeking “a little bit better.”
The most successful secret is to have a food prep ritual. Now, I didn’t say get out there and plan for the whole week, but stock your household with items that are conducive to your goals and focus on changing one meal at a time. This can mean adding veggies or replacing snacks with more nutrient dense options. This helps makes decisions much easier so you don’t have to make a choice when in a bind. We typically know what a busy week may look like and planning ahead even just a little bit goes a long way.
- Get 3-4 different protein sources on hand every shopping trip.
- Create a menu for the week prior to shopping at the grocery store.
- Pre chop veggies and portion out meals ahead of time to have ready in case
- Don’t leave your house without your meal bag especially on the busiest of days
Now let’s have our come to Jesus. Where are you on your meal prep game? Are you a level 1 (beginner) level 2, or level three? Where do you want to be ? Is this level realistic given your goals and current situation? There’s no “right way” to meal prepping. It’s what works for you. Lastly, think long term and be patient. This needs to be sustainable over the long term and small steps add up. Remember, all goals require a trade off, so understand what you are prioritizing and sacrificing.