Sometime when talking with clients we just can’t seem to get past this one thing.
Freeform eating vs having a plan.
Freeform eating is when you just “try to make better choices”. You’re basically winging it. Assessing what your options are and making the best decision for you at the time.
That’s totally cool, and for the most part if you’re not trying to change your body composition (how much fat and/or muscle you have) it’s a great, no-obsessing way to eat; just eat healthy most of the time. Simple as that.
But when the specific goal of having less fat/weight or more muscle is your focus, freeform eating is not the most efficient path. You need a plan.
The biggest obstacle however seems to be WHAT to eat.
My advice: KISS (keep it simple superwoman).
We are all so busy and have many things pulling at us. It’s important to take time for ourselves and care for ourselves and then there is the reality of obligations and responsibilities. Aka: adulting (boo!).
If we can make healthy meal prep a simple 90 minute venture instead of a 6 hour ordeal the chances that we will have success are far greater and achieve our weight loss goals.
So here is your focus: Protein and produce
Protein is anything that had a mother or came from a mother: chicken, turkey, seafood, eggs, beef, pork (if you are vegetarian or vegan then your protein sources will differ of course)
Produce: Fruit is totally okay and can satisfy a sweet tooth. Most of the day however focus on making vegetables the main source of your produce. You’ll get the most bang for your buck with: Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, and other greens. Throw in some peppers for color.
If it’s a lift day add in some complex carbs like quinoa, sweet potato, winter squashes and plantains.
If it’s cardio or rest day see how you feel with just protein and produce but make sure you add in some fat to keep you full or you’ll be hungry in 90 minutes. Think: higher fat proteins, nuts, avocado or coconut oil. Fat does not make you fat.
It’s fun to experiment with recipes and try new things but most weeks most of us will have more success sticking with the basics
Big batch cook two kinds of protein, perhaps an easy shredded chicken recipe and a platter of white fish.
Big batch cook two or three vegetables: Maybe some sautéed green beans and roasted asparagus. If you can, have some raw veggies each day: salad greens, baby carrots, whatever vegetables you like raw are fine.
Big batch cook two starchy carbs. Sweet potatoes and quinoa are my go-to. Drizzle with avocado oil and the endless spice and herb options.
Then get out your containers and mix and match. Instead of doing all the fish with the quinoa, portion half the fish with quinoa, the other half with the sweet potato. Mix the vegetables up too. Sounds simple but it will change the taste on your pallet and keep you from getting bored longer.
Throw half the containers in the freezer and leave the other half out.
You’ll add your raw produce the day of.
Now here’s the thing, next week, choose different vegetables and proteins or at least cooked a new way. Still keep it simple but maybe a chicken with an Asian flavor chicken instead of a buffalo chicken. Pick broccoli and eggplant. Plantain and butternut squash.
You can circle back around to the first weeks combo after another week or two but this will also help stave off boredom for more time
It really can be as simple as that.
You can do this tonight and have a better rest of the week.