What do you do when you want to lose weight and become fitter? It’s simple – you may say – eat less! In line with this concept most people cut their calories drastically (1000 and even 800 calories per day seem popular lately). Will you lose weight at such a huge deficit? Yes, you will. But there are far more important things to take into consideration. Do you want to improve your health and fitness? Do you work out? If not, you should consider it to build some muscle (more muscle mass will really improve your metabolism and speed up fat burning). After all you don’t want to end up a skinny-fat wreck of a man or woman with a yo-yo effect just around the corner.
In order to avoid such an unhealthy and unsustainable diet you should establish an amount of calories that’s reasonable enough to keep you energized yet in a deficit and split your macros wisely. Same goes for bulking, muscle building etc. Whatever your goal you need to establish a healthy and balanced nutrition plan. You can find a lot of material online but preferably consult a dietician, coach or physician.
Why and How You Should Plan
Okay, so you have your numbers worked out. If you eat what you feel like at the time and track your food later – you will not hit your macros and you will probably over- or under eat! It may sound petty but if you plan your menu a day or even a few days ahead it will help you stay focused and hit your numbers. Use an app that will help you track – there are plenty out there to choose from. You can easily do it on your phone, tablet or computer. Of course, if you are old –school you can keep a paper diary – as long as your tracking is accurate. Making such menus ahead will help you make a shopping list and you will not wander around the aisles of the grocery store wondering what to buy (and making all the wrong choices).
Why and How You Should Prep
You may associate meal prepping with a crazy person who goes everywhere with a Tupperware full of weighed out rice and chicken. Well…yes and no. As long as it fits into your meal plan you can eat what you like. You don’t always have to carry a box of food. If you plan to eat out – that’s ok. But preparing most of your meals and snacks ahead will be tremendously helpful in sticking to your plan. For example, imagine you have a busy day and you come home tired. You have nothing ready to eat so you…. PROBABLY ORDER A TAKEAWAY! Such a silly way to sabotage your nutrition. Prepare all your meals a day or even a few days ahead. Have a healthy snack handy in case you really feel like a little treat.
Some people even pick a day like Sunday to prep for the whole week. That depends if you are comfortable eating food that’s a few days old, if not – simply prep a day ahead.
As challenging as it all may sound at first, believe me you will succeed in reaching your goal, save time and money! And remember you can always use supplements to help you reach your macros, such as Rule 1 Protein.