I find that much of the cheating people do while on a diet is often caused by a lack of readily available food. Setting yourself up for success requires a routine that will bypass this potential setback. Your goal should be to reduce the time and effort it takes to follow a healthy diet that will promote weight loss.
One of the first things I do EVERY morning is get in my Daily Energy. It has become an absolute staple in my eating plan. It's made from a variety of organic fruits and vegetables with added probiotics and digestive enzymes...it's my daily dose of "nutrition insurance".
Not only does this stuff taste great, but it's quite satisfying and energizing, especially first thing in the morning. Perfect way to start your prep day!
Next, I have a once a week shopping and chopping day! This is Sunday’s for me, but can be any day that works for you to prepare for the next 7 days. Here are the four things I make sure to include in my routine:
- Put a couple of hours aside one day per week. Buy enough groceries for a week of recipes. You will need to prepare for 21 meals and 14 snacks, or three meals and two snacks a day. Chop all your vegetables first, then tackle weighing out and preparing meat last, to avoid cross contamination; divide into enough portion sizes for your recipes. To avoid the spoilage of chicken and meat that potentially will go bad in the fridge, think about storing your meat in the freezer, or pre-cook until almost done. Brown any beef, grill chicken breasts, and store meats and marinade in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Soups and stews can then be thrown together after work, or ingredients can be combined and ready for later slow cooking.
- After you've chopped and divided up all your ingredients and meals, use portion sized containers for the finished product. Glass is preferable to avoid toxins that can be released by some plastic brands, such as those containing BPA. If you only have plastic bags readily available, wait until your food has cooled before storing because its the heat from the food that causes toxins to leech from plastic. It also may be helpful to purchase containers that are pre-divided for easy frozen lunches to take to school or work. The bottom line is, you can separate your chopped vegetables and meats in a way that makes it easiest for you to grab and go before rushing out the door.
- Account for your weekly snacks as well. Include healthy proteins, fats, and carbs by adding foods such as raw nuts or nut butter, hard boiled eggs, avocado, Greek yogurt, and raw vegetables into your snacks throughout the week. Trail mix is an excellent snack to make ahead and portion out for snacks throughout the week. Try to make enough to eat every 3-4 hours to keep blood sugar regulated and avoid cravings.
- Each morning refer to your daily meal plan and consider what you need to prepare. Take out a meat or soup from the freezer to thaw or slow cook throughout the day. Leave frozen items in the fridge to thaw overnight, or in the sink in the a.m., and by dinner time it will be thawed. Either throw it in a pan or the oven to re-heat it. A toaster oven is also a convenient option without having to use the stove. Throw prepared frozen soups or meats in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. This is a good way to cut down on prep time after a long day. And what's better than coming home to dinner prepared and ready to serve?!
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At the end of your meals, package and freeze any leftovers. Be sure to make use of the Beyond Diet community to find new and easy recipes to add to your meal planning. By following these guidelines weekly you'll be able to cut out any unhealthy snacking or last-minute dinner decisions that may interfere with your weight loss goals.
AND if you want to make sure to keep your energy and motivation high, start each day exactly like I do with your nutritional insurance, Daily Energy!
I've been drinking this delicious, naturally sweet drink every day for over six years, and I've seen a huge difference in the number of cravings that hit me, my ability to keep up with my weekly meal planning, and life in general (not to mention two boys running around!).
If you want to guarantee that you'll stick with your plan, then start each day on the right foot, try Daily Energy, risk-free, today!