The 5 Steps (+1) to Dial in Your Diet
Let’s face it, you are busy. No, seriously busy, and we get it. Modern life with all its conveniences has not overcome the simple but enduring fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. There’s work, family time, CrossFit, meal prep, social events that cannot be skipped and if you add school or kids to that mix… good luck!
Yet, some people who have all these things and more to juggle still seem to find a way to get their meal prep dialed in regardless of what life throws their way.
How do they do it? Read on to learn the 5 Steps (+1) to Dial in Your Diet
The Sunday Ritual
Busy people who maintain great nutrition commonly use Sunday to write menus, shop and prepare for the week. This might sound like a lot. But believe it or not, this can easily be contained to a three hour time block that gives you back 4-5 hours later in the week were you to spread things out or worse yet, have no plan at all.
The Breakfast Ritual
For some, daily prep is more engaging, convenient, or simply preferred. Instead of winging it, these successful daily meal planners will use the time they cook breakfast to also meal prep the rest of the day. Perhaps that looks like throwing lunch together in their cooler while setting up the slow cooker to have the night’s dinner ready when they arrive home. This is a great strategy for those who make a daily breakfast and a great way to pass the time vs just drooling over that bacon!
Another great way to head nutritional blunders off at the pass is to precook your protein. People who are serious about maintaining or gaining lean muscle and a high metabolism always have their protein ready to eat. To do this prepare your protein on shopping day then keep it in the fridge until needed. Serious carnivores will be baking chicken in the oven at the same time they are making burgers, steak or fish on the grill. Even if you have to freeze a few pre-cooked chicken breasts so they are good to go on Friday, it’s worth it to avoid missing a meal or any potential gains from the hard work you are doing in the gym.
Pre chopping veggies
The most common problem we see with athletes and their eating, especially busy people, is they simply do not get their veggies in. If this is you, then not only are you missing out on vital vitamins and minerals here but you run the risk of being overly acidic. And if your body is in a highly acidic state due to high protein, low vegetable nutrition coupled with high intensity exercise, it may not gain muscle as fast as it could. Nobody wants to miss the gain-train! Avoid these pitfalls by simply pre-chopping at least half your vegetables and storing them in tupperware containers. This way it becomes easy to simply dump some veggies in to your eggs in the a.m., alongside your steak at dinner, or to snack on them with some tasty dip at lunch time.
These two words could change your life. Especially if you have been known to skip meals or have struggled in the past to gain muscle. Those who need to up intake in order to maintain metabolism or gain muscle may find it hard to eat all the healthy foods needed to hit their caloric goals for the day. This is when the blender should become your new best friend! Not only do protein shakes mix up even better but it is fast and simple to add in some fruit, veggies or even a greens mix to ensure you are getting in all your macro and micro nutrients. Low on protein and fat for the day? Try a scoop of your favorite chocolate protein blended with some natural peanut butter and you may forget the way to Dairy Queen once and for all! You could even keep a smaller blender such as the Ninja or NutriBullet at work in the event you need to make lunch in a pinch or fit it around a lunch-hour workout session. Solid food is always optimal for fat loss but if it’s a shake or falling short for the day, The choice is easy, mix it up and be more awesome.
Super high-performers know that some things in life are best left to the pros. This leaves them freed up to do the things they are best at. So they trade a little money for a LOT of time. Whether that be saving lives, designing the next tech breakthrough, running their business or being a super-mom or dad. If that sounds like you, try a pre-made meal plan or hiring someone who knows what they are doing to prepare healthy meals for you. When you choose an option like this, you trade off paying slightly more (not a lot since you had to buy some kind of food anyway) but dropping your meal prep time to literally zero. You can also mix this option with the others by simply purchasing a lunch or dinner only option to de-load your busiest time of the day.
Do you implement the strategies from the list? If not, try to implement either 1-5 or option 6 for a full week coming up. Either way, even as a busy person, you can make a dramatic improvement to your nutrition and time-management all in one fell swoop. So what’s stopping you? Time to take action!