Trying to eat right? It's all in the planning

Does this sound familiar? You vow to start eating better. You go to the store and pick out healthy & nutritious foods. You omit the old ones that were making you feel tired and weighing you down. The week goes by and you're actually feeling lighter and more energetic. But then, oh-oh, you're out of the salad mix and down to your last broccoli spear. The lean chicken breast that's been fueling your workouts is gone and you don't have time to defrost another package. You're in a rush and you need to eat...NOW. So you make a quick batch of mac and cheese. You come home after work and make something else that's less than virtuous. It's not you fault you think; I had nothing left to eat. It's too hard!!!

If I had a dollar every time a client of mine tells me this story... Yes, it's true. Life happens in the midst of your search for a better body. That is why YOU HAVE TO PLAN if you want to succeed. Unless you can afford a personal chef and shopper, then healthy well-balanced meals are not going to miraculously appear in your kitchen. You need to prioritize your time and make sure you have what you need for the week ahead. Yes, it may cut into your Facebook time a bit, but you will be rewarded with a thinner and healthier you.

PLANNING TIPS:

Make a list and check it twice:
Before heading to the store go through your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards to make sure you have everything you'll need. When in doubt by extra of things you can freeze like lean proteins, spinach, and broccoli and healthy canned goods like beans and tuna fish.

Storing food:
Instead of just shoving veggies in the crisper, take an extra couple of minutes to wash and cut things like celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower. Dice an onion and put it in a container. Having these veggies "ready to go" will make salads a snap and give you fewer excuses to eat poorly.


Protein prep:
Having lean protein on hand can be a challenge if you don't prepare. Do what I do: Make a big batch of things like chicken breast that will be good cold on things like salads or in wraps. To take it an extra step, slice up the chicken and put in little individual portioned baggies so you can just grab and go. Have staples like vacuum sealed salmon in the freezer that you can defrost in the fridge the night before and pan-sear in a flash. (Cold salmon is also good too if you make a few pieces at a time). Make sure the fridge is also stocked with high-protein Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

Make snack bags:
Anyone who knows me will see me pullout my insulated lunch bag from time to time. Since I eat small frequent meals, I need to have snacks when out and about. The night before prep your bag with things like some chopped veggies and hummus, turkey breast, a small apple, a few nuts and a couple of bottles of water. No excuses!

Learn to love your freezer:
I rely heavily on my freezer. Sometimes I don't have time to go to the store and am happy that I have plenty of healthy food that just needs a little defrosting. For example, once my chicken breast is cooked up, I pull out a frozen pack to defrost in the fridge, since I know it will take a few days to do so, and by then my cooked chicken will be gone. Also, when I'm out of my fresh veggies I can heat up some frozen peas, edamame, spinach, etc to round out my meals.

Yes, this all takes some time. But sabotaging your diet over and over because you're not prepared is so much worse. Put in the extra time. I promise you it's worth it.