Why You Should Plan Your Meals

Everyday is a struggle. A struggle to train, a struggle to eat well, a struggle to avoid the sweeter things in life, a struggle to be sensible on weekends and the king of all struggles- to combine the lot on a daily basis and still have a life worth living!

Well for some this will feel impossible. But the health journey is all about prioritising correctly and understanding how you to utilise your time. Now anyone can relax the whole Sunday evening, feet up and happily waste their day away, but an hour or so in the kitchen preparing for the next 3-4 days will save you far more time throughout the rest of the week to spend scrolling through Instagram!

Now imagine walking into a gym, with no plan, no idea of what what you wanted to do, no idea about form or technique! You may break a sweat or even get a good pump on but eventually your progress over time would become limited. Which is why having some direction or basic understanding of your training helps. It eliminates 99% of the decisions that can derail us on our progress: “Should I do 3 sets of 5 or 5 sets of 5 blah blah blah!

So, we know following a workout plan would improve our chances of reaching our targets so why don’t we think of food in the same way. Particularly when food controls a hugely significant amount of our progress. Studies would suggest over 75% of our progress happens in the kitchen!

I want to try to convince you that you should

Now with all the effort gone into committing yourself to your new fitness regime, staying in on weekends and avoiding the good friend that loves a glass of red during the lunch hour! The last thing you’d want to do is throw away all that hard work by diving straight into the nearest croissant basket or fast food restaurant the moment hunger strikes- simply because there was nothing prepared!!

Now with a little food prep you can can eliminate hours of work (or dozens of bad decisions) especially later on in the week. This could potentially be the difference between success and failure whether you are trying to gain weight, lose weight build muscle or improve your fitness performance!

We have a tendency to think we “know” about food so planning is unnecessary;

“Oh, I don’t know about squats, but I’ve been eating food since I was born! I know, sugar is bad, eat less processed food and more real stuff. I don’t have time to plan, so I’ll just make healthy choices as I go.”

Now as the saying goes “there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” Whether you’re trying to build guns like Arnie or you're simply trying to stop yourself from eating like a hungry wolf, I think most of us know how difficult doing it can be. It’s always gonna be easier said than done.

Often our choices are based on either emotion, convenience or the the people around us ie work colleagues, friends & family. And if your days not going great or your support network is dead on the ground then these daily choices often result in having a negative impact on our progress. It’s just was too easy to say f*#k it and sink into those sweet juicy snacks. Your brain is constantly playing the devil and short term solutions are all about gimme, gimme gimme, now now now!!!

I don’t know a single person that hasn’t experienced a rough miserable day, skipped lunch, had a shed load of errands to run and still dinner isn’t paid for, let alone prepared...Yep, you know it, brutal! Our will power can run thin, decision fatigue sets in and you hear those famous words again...f*#k it!!!

But every day you wake up with good intentions, you meant well, you even had the ingredients in your fridge. But guess what- You had a hard day. You “earned it,” right?

Remember, lifes hard! Things get messy and shit happens. We already know this right! Which means there’s even more reason to try harder to set ourselves up for success. With just a little organisation, an hour or so behind the hob, slam on some good music, throw in a few herbs, experiment a little, breath, relax, feel good and enjoy the journey.

Reasons to prepare your meals

1. Saves Time

Endless shopping trips and you’ll also avoid the sweets far more by the cashier desk!

2. Saves Money

The initial investment might feel like a sting but do the maths once meals are made and you’ll notice see difference

3. Build knowledge

Allows you to know exactly what you're eating ie Weight, ingredients etc.

4. Portion Control

They’ll be no excess eating. You’ll prepare a sensible size meal and once it’s gone it’s gone!

5. Applies accountability

No one wants to throw away food they’ve prepared! So you're far more likely to eat well during the short time it’s all still fresh.

 

Note: Meal planning DOES NOT consist of making 21 different recipes for 21 different meals each week. Even those of us who have been doing this for years aren’t that crazy… that just sounds exhausting!

Instead, try be picking ONE meal per day (lunch? dinner?), perhaps the one you struggle the most with. Then try prepare those 5 meals for your workweek.