Our lives are an endless stream of choices.
Whether or not to hit the snooze, what cup for our coffee, one cup or three, shave or don’t shave, what clothes to wear to work, what route to take to work, where to park…
You get the idea. That endless stream of choices includes the choice of when to eat, what to eat, and how much… Multiple times per day, we make that CHOICE of the foods we eat. Sometimes we make choices that are helpful to our goals of fat loss and muscle gain. Sometimes we make choices that are pretty poor from a fat-loss and fitness perspective. Obviously… making more fat-loss-conducive choices is better than the alternative… eating crap. But HOW do you increase the number of GOOD choices, and decrease the likelihood of BAD?
Often, one of the biggest factors in food choices is your emotional state. It has been proven in study, after study, after study… that our emotional state impacts our food choices. It’s no real surprise that when under stress, 2/3 of Americans have a tendency to over eat, eat more sugar, and eat more fat (generally eat more calories); stress stimulates their hunger. The other 1/3 of Americans “forget to eat” under stress; stress kills their hunger. The complex psychology of these two extremes is well beyond the scope of this blog post… but it’s true. There’s therefore little surprise that… 2/3 of Americans are over-weight/obese, and 1/3 of Americans are normal/under-weight.
Anybody want to guess which group matches up with which stress-response to food???
So stress drives our choices… stress isn’t going away… no amount of meditation and yoga classes will significantly reduce the stress in our lives. So how do we beat it?
CONTROL YOUR CHOICES.
You take control through the one thing everybody WANTS to do, but many people neglect… Prepared food… “Failing to Plan, is Planning to FAIL!” No plan is perfect, and nobody eats exactly the food they prepare and ONLY their prepared food. But having a POSITIVE food choice, or better 3-4 positive food choices available to you at ALL TIMES is critical.
How do Lisa and I make “better” food choices? We figure out what we need each week, based off what we need each day, based off our PLAN.
If you don’t have a PLAN… COME SEE US!!!
Once we have a plan, we make a shopping list. (Years later… we rarely use a shopping list anymore, since we buy the SAME FOOD 90% of the time we go shopping.) From YOUR list, choose 2 times per week, we use Sunday night and usually Wednesday or Thursday at lunch time (since we’re off), to COOK. And we cook a lot! We’ll cook 5-6 pounds of chicken breast, 3-4 pounds of pork loin, lean ground beef, and hard-boiled eggs. We’ll also cut and prep a lot of vegetables, chopping peppers, and cucumber, and mushrooms, and squash… A LOT of it. We own a BIG rice cooker that keeps rice right on the kitchen counter. We’ll cook 5-6 sweet potatoes, or white potatoes, and even cook pasta and store it in a gallon zip-lock.
After all of this cooking… we have Tupperware tubs full of protein, bags full of raw veggies, and tubs of cooked veggies all ready to eat. We have the LUXURY of eating almost all of our meals at home, due to our split-shift work style, but even if we worked a 9-5… we’d HAVE FOOD to pack and bring with us!
This makes heathy (fat-loss conducive) food choices EASY! It’s a quick microwave blast away. 80+% of our meals RARELY take more than 2-3 minutes to “cook”. Easy, convenient, quick healthy options are the KEY! When we come home exhausted, stressed, tired after training 12-15 clients and a hour workout… a fat-loss-conducive meal is 2 minutes away! NOT delivery pizza, not take-out Chinese, not a swing through the drive-through… Instant gratification, flavorful food, brain-less stress-less eating… already cooked.
Do we cheat? Do we occasionally do pizza or Chinese? Yes. Do we eat “junk food” as many call it? YES… but it’s PLANNED into our requirements, conducive to our gains, part of the PLAN! (As I take bites of my Rice Krispie Treat between paragraphs… my PRE-WOROUT simple carbs…) It’s part of my plan, and it WORKS.
Emotional food choices are impossible to COMPLETELY eliminate… Lifting heavy and sticking to your workouts are the EASY part of fat-loss. Dialing in the nutrition is the HARD part. But if you can master that… results will come faster, consistently, and they will STAY.
Having a HUGE supply of prepared food at your fingertips makes stressful living LESS LIKELY to screw up your diet!
And again… if you’re having trouble creating a plan to stick to… come see us. Please… You’ll be happy you did!