I am often asked “What is the most effective way with staying on track with healthy nutrition?”
I can tell you one thing. Preparation is the key to being successful with any type of program. Here are some guidelines to help you get AND stay on track.
Keep a grocery list – If you are given a food program to follow or just want to avoid some foods, get only what is on your list. If your program calls for protein (chicken, tuna or steak) then ONLY get that. If your list calls for certain types of carbs (oatmeal, sweet potato, etc.) then get that ONLY. Stick to your list.
Season the right way – ALL foods naturally have sodium in them. Avoid the high sodium seasonings and stick to seasonings that do not have any at all. My favorite go to seasoning is Mrs. Dash. They have a variety of great flavors.
Food prep Sunday and Wednesday – I usually make sure Sunday is my “me” day. This is when I get a chance to sleep in, clean my apt, do laundry, lay on the sofa and watch garbage TV. However, I make sure to include the most important task which is FOOD. I live for food :-).
On Sundays I head over to Trader Joe’s with my grocery list and get the things that are ONLY on my list. That ensures I do not reach for anything yummy which usually is JUNK. Once I get home, I cook all my protein either on my Foreman Grill with my Mrs. Dash seasoning or in the oven. I steam all my veggies and ONLY make enough food that will last me 2-3 days. This ensures my food is always fresh. I then continue to separate my food and add them into BAGGIES. I live off zip lock baggies. I separate my foods into individual baggies per meal and then label it Meal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. It works best for me if I then take a large freezer bag and place all my small baggies inside. I label my big freezer baggies by days, MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY etc. This makes my mornings easier. I just grab a big bag and go on with my day.
If you do NOT have a fridge at work, you can always purchase some small freezer packs from any Walmart or Target. I repeat the same system on Wednesday night for the rest of the week. Prep usually takes me about 2 hours. The key is to have as many things prepared as possible. All protein, all veggies etc.
Supplements – If you are required to take supplements, use baggies and label them or purchase a vitamin tracker from any CVS or drug store. Label them accordingly.
Hydrate before you dehydrate – make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Chugging water in between meals not only keeps me nice and hydrated, but it also helps curb my appetite until it’s time to eat again. These are just a few tips that have helped me stay on track when I want to stay away from the fast foods and control my calories intake. The more I am prepared the less likely I will deviate from my plan. I’ve learned throughout the years that failing to plan is planning to fail. Hope this helps, fitness pals!