Meal Plans and healthy eating tips
The success or failure of your health and fitness journey depends on your ability to plan and be consistent. No one likes the word diet and rightfully so; it immediately feels like you have to deprive yourself of things that taste amazing. Let’s ditch the word diet from this point on and consider your journey to be a lifestyle change; something you are doing because you love yourself. Agreed? Great, now that we have created a mental shift and given this change a positive spin, let’s discuss an efficient and effective way to reach your fitness goals. If you ask most fitness enthusiasts or health gurus about techniques for losing weight or achieving fitness goals, they will always tell you that what you eat is much more important than how often or hard you exercise. Some would argue that its 80% diet (I know we said we wouldn’t use this ugly word again—my apologies), 20 % exercise. Exercise is extremely important but getting the proper nutrition will give you the results that you are looking for much faster, trust me. Meal planning is a process that comprises of planning all your meals for the entire week to make certain you know what is going into your body.
Before we get to the tips, let’s discuss what you should be eating. In an effort of full disclosure, I think it’s best to share with you that I am a vegetarian. Don’t roll your eyes yet! No, I am not one of those salad-eating-every-day vegetarians. I actually only like salads that I make at home or from specific restaurants. I ENJOY food and have my cheats just like everyone else but my journey to vegetarianism was after doing a lot of research about what I was actually putting into my body. I ain’t trying to convert you into a believer (loose Kanye quote). Let start the “what to eat” discussion with a talk about macronutrients. “Nutrients are environmental substances used for energy, growth, and bodily functions by organisms. Depending on the nutrient, these substances are needed in small amounts or larger amounts. Those that are needed in large amounts are called macronutrients.”
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the macronutrients that you need to focus on so when planning
your meals. I know what are probably thinking; how do you know how much of each you should be
consuming? Great question. Follow this link: Macronutrients. Based on the information you enter, it
should calculate your macronutrients based on your goals. You can also find other great calculators on
that page. Okay, now that we know how much carbs, fats and proteins we should be consuming every
day, we can finally get to the tips.
Tip 1: Download the MyFitnessPal app.
This app is the best app I have used for tracking my meals and planning. Enter everything you eat into
this app and it will not only give you insight into what you’re eating but also give you a macronutrients
breakdown to make sure you are reaching those goals we discussed earlier. You can also enter your
exercise for the day. There’s an interactive social side of this app that I have never used but feel free to
interact with like-minded individuals while you reach your goals.
Tip 2. Plan your meals using MyFitnessPal first.
Before you even go grocery shopping, plug meals into the app. For example: 4 oz. chicken breast, 2 cups of broccoli and a 1/3 of an avocado. You may need to adjust the serving size fit your macronutrients goals for the day. You can make your shopping list after you know what you can or should be eating. The closer you get to the goal, the faster and more consistently you will lose weight and get to your fitness goal.
Tip 3. Buy containers.
You will need a lot of containers. Check your stash first to see if you have enough for all the meals you
will be eating for the week.
Tip 4. Cook/prepare everything on Sunday.
The easier you make it on yourself, the higher the chance that you will stick to it.
Tip 5. Give yourself some options.
Variety is the spice of life. If you’re anything like me, eating the same exact thing every day will bore you to tears. Make sure to consider that when deciding what to cook. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday can be chicken (for protein). Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday can be ground turkey. You can also switch up the fruit or vegetables (carbohydrates).
Tip 6. Plan a cheat meal—once you reach a milestone.
Note the word meal. That is not a day or a weekend. The last thing you want to do is undo the success
you had for 5 days straight over the weekend. Rewarding yourself after you lose 5-10 lbs. or successfully run 3 miles is good for morale.
Tip 7. Educate yourself on food.
Education is the best thing you can do for yourself. You will likely incorporate eating more leafy greens and organic food once you realize the benefits to your body. Healthy food can be really delicious if you prepare it with some creativity.
Tip 8. Drink LOTS of water.
Outside of an occasional glass of wine on the weekend, my drink of choice is always a tall glass of ice
water. I don’t drink juice or soda. That seems extreme for some people but my reason for this is 1. I like to eat ALL my calories, water has zero. 2. Water helps flush out impurities from your digestive system without adding anything back..like sugar. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. (Example: 120lbs/2 = 60 ounces of water)
We have come to the end of our discussion on meal planning and I hope you learned something new. I
wish you all the best on your new lifestyle change, Sistah girls!
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