As we embark on the dog days of summer, our ability to maintain a “clean” diet becomes increasingly challenging. Attending weekend BBQ’s, after work social events and going out to eat multiple times during the week, makes eating clean extremely tough.
How do we work around our busy lives to make sure that we stay on track with our diet?
Knowing what to eat and when to eat is part of the battle, but the true battle of maintaining a good diet is done with meal prep. Carving out time at the beginning of the week to prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks is paramount to achieving your dietary goals. By meal prepping you avoid:
- Making poor meal choices on the go;
- Eating poor quality carbohydrates that you think satisfy your hunger;
- Overeating due to hunger or a missed meal;
- Eating poorly prepared foods when eating out;
Who has 1-2 hours in their weekend to dedicate to your overall health?
A good way to start meal prep in the summer months is to get started by cooking dinner Sunday night. Instead of cooking only dinner, throw a few more chicken breasts and steaks on the BBQ. marinate some veggies in some Olive Oil and throw them on the grill as well. You will then have prepared some quality proteins and carbohydrates for the week. Keep breakfast simple, oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder and maybe some almonds, often my go to since I am up early during the week and need a simple, yet quality meal to consume.
Yes, buying all that chicken and steak (lean proteins) can be pricey, but so is dropping $8 on a crappy sandwich from the deli that will kill your clean eating streak. That $8 would have been money better spent on quality protein and not processed meat in between two pieces of bread that will surely turn into fat.
If you dedicate 1-1.5 hours per day 3-5 time per week to exercise, you can dedicate an extra hour or two towards the piece of the puzzle that accounts for 70-75% of your ability to gain/maintain lean muscle and decrease body fat.
Trust me, if you learn to prepare the quality foods your body needs at the beginning and towards the end of the week, you can achieve the results you are seeking. Whether your goals are to lose body fat, gain lean muscle or maintain your current condition, meal prep will be a major component in doing so.
Life can get in the way from time to time and meal prep won’t always serve as the answer. Having backup plans like meal services (Belkis Bites, Kettlebell Kitchen, etc.) can be a savior. Going out to eat or eating at an event are challenges we face, but there are ways to avoid a catastrophe.
Stay tuned in the coming months for ways to eat clean on the go!