BLOG

Keto Dieting

Keto Dieting
What is it, what it does and some tips to get you started

A Keto Diet (officialy called a Ketogenic Diet) is essentially a high fat, very low carb diet that has been made very popular by its ability to help people loose weight quite quickly and effectively. This is defiantly a bit of a craze in the fitness industry at the moment for its ability to achieve results while having the ability to eat foods that people love.

In a nut shell it involves getting your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. This is achieved by the drastically reduced number of carbohydrates you intake and replacing these with good fats. When you reach this state your body becomes very good at burning fat, resulting in the weight loss stories you see everywhere at the moment.

This diet has grown in popularity because not only is it effective in helping people loose weight but the diet itself isn’t complicated and is quite easy to stick to with a variety of delicious meals you would normally think are ‘off limits’.

I have several clients who currently use the Keto Diet and a little closer to home my wife has been using the Keto diet for the last 8 months and gotten some amazing results. I sat down with them to get some tips, pointers and advice for anyone looking to start a keto diet or who wants find out more about this current craze.

Why Keto?

So why keto over other diets currently out there?

  • It is easy to stick to with a variety of foods on offer
  • You don’t need to count calories in the traditional sense
  • The food makes you feel full even though you are having very low carbs
  • New and exciting recipes are easy to find on social media, Google or in cookbooks.
  • The food is delicious and you get to keep all the creamy, fatty foods you love without the guilt
  • Its easy to transition into and after a while you don’t feel like you are even dieting.
  • Given the nature of the diet even dining out is easy
ketogenic diet macros pyramid food diagram, low carbs, high healthy fat
ketogenic diet macros pyramid food diagram, low carbs, high healthy fats

Summary of Foods

Here is a very brief summary of foods to avoid and foods to eat as found on Healthline.com

Foods to Avoid
Any food that is high in carbs should be limited.
Here is a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
  • Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

Foods to Eat
You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

  • Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey.
  • Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel.
  • Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
  • Butter and cream: Look for grass-fed when possible.
  • Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella).
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
  • Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole.
  • Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.

Some Tips for Getting Started and keeping on track

The big draw card for a Keto diet is how easy it is to start and keep to over a period of time. So here are some tips and advice on where to start and how to keep on track.

  • Start with foods you love to eat and look at how you can make them Keto friendly. A great example of this is a creamy pasta, swap out the pasta for zucchini noodles, make sure there is protein and veggies in the mix and you get all the creamy flavor you love without the carbs. Or lettuce bun burgers are another great example.
  • Meal Prep, most keto friendly dishes tend to be food prep friendly from mini breakfast quiches to chicken and roast veggie lunches. So plan your week and prep as much as you can, this always helps you keep on track
  • Lean on the foods you think are ‘naughty’ but are allowed in the first few weeks to ease into the diet like cheese, bacon, butter, cream etc.
  • Variety
    Variety is key, don’t have the same meal over and over all week, this does work for some people and I am one of them but most people this will get boring and you will break the diet quiet quickly. Mix it up with grilled chicken, meatballs, steak etc.
  • Snacks are key to keeping you from getting hungry there are plenty of great snacks that are keto friendly like nuts, cold meat slices, hot sticks, some yoghurts, dips and veggie sticks etc.
  • For those with a sweet tooth look for some keto friendly sweet recipes weather its dark chocolate peanut butter balls or coconut and blueberry keto muffins. These are sure to help curve your sweet tooth when you need a fix.
  • Jump on socials and follow some Keto accounts to get daily inspiration. The 2 most popular I have found clients use are
  • Find a style of food you love and look at how it can be adapted to be keto friendly. Mexican food is a great example of this with dishes like taco bowls, burrito bowls, guacamole all being easily made keto friendly.
  • Due to the high fat, low carb content of a keto diet it is also recommended to take a fibre supplement as you arnt typically getting as much fibre from your food, this can also help with bowl movements as many people report issues of constipation when on a keto diet

Some recipes to get you started

I asked my wife and clients some of their favorite keto recipes and these are below:





https://www.instagram.com/p/ByPP-MpgK2D/

 

Finally it is important to remember that each individual is different and what might work for others might not work for you and that is ok, it is all about finding balance and what works best for your lifestyle. You should always speak to your GP or healthcare professional before starting any diet to make sure it is safe for you to do so.

I hope I have been able to answer some of your keto question, if you would like to find out more leave a comment with your questions below or hit me up on the socials.

Happy Eating
Dean

Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#what-it-is

Eating Healthy and Having a Social Life

The number of people I talk to who say you can’t have a social life and live a healthy lifestyle, because these days most activities are circulated around food. But the truth is it is easy, all you have to do is be willing to put in a little effort and you can easily balance both a social life and eating healthy.

Here we will discuss some of the common excuses I hear and some hacks on how to balance both a social life and eating healthy.

Excuse: I can’t eat out they don’t have healthy options.

This is the number 1 excuse I hear from people, and it frustrates me because I am still yet to find a place that doesn’t have some kind of healthy option. Maccas even has salads these days, Chinese restaurants have steamed veggie stir-fries, Italian restaurants have a chicken or beef main or salad, Mexican places often do Burrito bowls or salads and the list goes on. When you go to a restaurant look at the whole menu and pick something you can eat, most places will have a salad or steak / chicken and vegetable dish, ask for the sauce or dressing on the side and portion it yourself, its that simple. Just remember to read the whole menu even the sides section and kids meal options.

Excuse: But ill be the odd one out

Yes this may be true, but I cant tell you the amount of times I have been out and everyone feels like they have to conform and then when I break it and order a salad or steak someone else is like oh we can order that, ill have X.

This does come down to your own strength and will power, if you can say no and order what you want great do that, otherwise make this your cheat meal and watch your portion size. I understand the want to fit in and eat what others are, so watch what you eat, share a pizza and only have 2 slices with a side salad instead of a whole pizza to yourself.

Excuse: But it’s a work thing

Most people spend more time with those they work with then their own families or partners, so the truth is if you are trying to eat healthy or comp prep or whatever it is, the people you work with will know this. Bring your own food to lunch when possible, or if it is a corporate lunch at a restaurant with a client etc then order the salad or steak and veg or if it’s a set menu watch your portion size. Most people are completely fine if you are honest with them and explain why you are doing what you are doing, most people are actually supportive and appreciate you speaking up. People might surprise you if you just open up.

Excuse: But everyone will be drinking

That is fine you have two options, don’t drink, you will be surprised the amount of fun you can have sober. Or drink but drink Vodka lime and soda, this has very little calories and when alternated with water you will be fine to part take in the drinking activities during the night. Another little hack I know people use it to ask for a Soda and lime in a small glass from the bar tender and then everyone will think you will be drinking even if you aren’t.

 

 

Hack: Have your list of Go To Restaurants

My wife and I for date nights or nights out with friends do tend to cook at home when we can, but that is more because we love to entertain but when we do go out, we have a list of go to restaurants. We know places we can visit that will meet my dietary requirements and still offer healthy options. We tend to favour places like steak houses, local club or pub bistro’s or bistro style restaurants like Rashay’s and rib houses. These offer a variety of meat and veg options and we just always ask to swap the chips for either salad or vegetables. Places like this also mean that the people you are with can eat whatever you want, most bistro menu’s will still have pasta’s, pizza’s, burgers etc for your friends who are looking to carb load or have a cheat meal.

Hack: Breakfast or Brunch over Lunch and dinner

When catching up with friends if possible opt for a Breakfast or Brunch instead of Lunch and Dinner. There is generally more healthy options available on Breakfast and Brunch menu’s from omelettes to bacon and eggs. Plus with this option you don’t feel like you are eating something completely different to those around you, you feel just like anyone else.

Hack: (well kind of) Be Honest

This isn’t a hack as such but just talk to your friends and family, be honest with them, tell them why you are doing this and 9 out of 10 times they will be supportive and ask what they can do to help you might even convert a friend to do it with you. It is important to have a group of supportive people around you when you are taking on any form of transformation weather weight loss or comp prep so just be honest. Honesty truly is the best policy.

I would be keen to hear your guys thoughts, what do you do when dining out or how healthy eating has effected your lifestyle either good or bad.

Happy Eating,
Dean

Why Adults Need a Bedtime Too

The benefits of a good nights sleep.

Life is stressful, we are often over worked, feel underappreciated and have a lot going on in our everyday lives, this can lead to stress, anxiety and overall feeling unwell. Some people are surprised to hear that Sleep plays a major roll in how we feel every day. Too little or too much sleep can effect our mood, stress level, everyday health and daily body function. I spent years working shift work, playing video games til the early hours of the morning and noticed the effects of to little sleep daily. It wasn’t until I was a few year into the fitness industry that I realised how important sleep truly is to your body.

Sleep is a necessary part of body recovery. Alot of people I know won’t do a work out without a warm up or cool down but don’t think about how sleep has the same effect for your body overall. It is your brains time to recharge and your whole bodies time to rest and recover. Sleep is designed to repair your muscles from whatever you did that day from walking to deadlifting and this is essential to having a healthy recovery from exercise. It also allows your mind to relax which plays a big part in your mental health as well.

Ideally an adult should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. For some this seems crazy but it is attainable, this is why even adults should have bed times. You know what time you have to be up in the morning, so count backwards 7-8 hours and that is your bed time. Your body will thank you in the morning believe me, I saw results within weeks when I swapped from shift work to more regular hours and was able to adjust my sleep and set myself a bed time.

The benefits of setting yourself a bed time far out way to side effects of getting not enough sleep. To little sleep can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, obesity, depression, mental health issues, physical and mental performance, chronic sleep deprivation and other health conditions. It has also been known to hinder in fat loss and effect ones appetite and even the foods they eat.

Just some of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep can include:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved memory and retention
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight maintenance through hormone regulation
  • Improved organ function
  • Increased performance both physically and mentally
  • Muscle recovery and repair
  • Fat burning

For some people getting to sleep can be a problem as well. Here are my top tips on how to get to bed on time and fall asleep easier

  • Exercise regularly
    Put simply if you work your body, your body will be tired. Regular exercise also reduces your heart rate which in turn can make falling asleep easier as your heart rate doesn’t have as far to drop.
  • Herbal Tea
    This is a common one, but it is true. A nice cup of hot tea before bed can help sooth your mind and body and prepare it for a better night’s sleep.
  • Lavender
    The smell of lavender is said to help with relaxing the mind and body and aid in a good nights sleep.
  • Read a book or article
    Put away your Facebook and Instagram feed and instead choose to read a book or article this can assist in relaxing the mind and you will not get distracted by the world of social media and funny memes. The blue light on your phones or laptops can also trigger receptors in your brain to keep your mind awake longer. Switch to old school paper or warm light devices.
  • Set Alarms
    We all set alarms to wake up but why not set one at the time you have to go to bed? So you don’t get distracted and say ‘just one more episode, I’m not tired yet’ or get caught up in your online game as you try to relax. I do this daily and find it helps a lot.
  • Eat a Healthy mix of foods
    Maintaining a healthy balanced diet and eating a variety of foods can assist in getting a better nights sleep.
  • Get bed ready
    We often come home from work and get into comfy clothes and we also as adults often wear these comfy clothes to bed as well. It is important to set up a pre bed routine, get into PJ’s or get out of your clothes if you choose to sleep without any, brush your hair, have a tea etc. Whatever works for you. Eventually your body and mind will learn that this is your ritual and will start to prepare itself for sleep when you are doing these activities.
  • Listen to music
    If I am having trouble falling to sleep I often put on some music in the background to help calm my mind and ease into sleep. Over the years I have listened to anything from ambient noise to dedicated sleep playlists or even light gospel music. People often need background noise to assist with falling asleep. Plus phones these days allow you to set alarms to turn off music in X amount of time so its not playing all night long.

All in all if we let your body and mind recover daily we will feel better in ourselves, give it a try even for a week and you will notice the difference in yourself.

Do you have any tips on getting a good nights sleep? We would love to hear them, either leave a comment below or send us an email.

Happy Sleeping.

 

Living with Food Intolerances & Allergies

Living with food intolerances  and allergies can defiantly be a challenge; the same goes for anyone who has food restrictions. 

Now food allergies and food intolerances are 2 very different things. Food Allergies often result in much harsher side effects and often you need to carry around an eppi pen. Allergies are also often present from birth or a very young age, that is not to say you can’t develop them in later life it is just less common. Food Intolerances on the other hand can appear at any stage in your life and can disappear as well.

Today we are going to focus on food intolerances and some tips on how to deal with the common issues you face. These tips can also be applied to anyone who has food restriction due to dieting, vegetarian living, vegan living etc. as well.

From experience I know the first few weeks and even months are the hardest as you navigate your way through what you can and cant eat and find new favorite foods.

Before we jump in a little bit on me and my intolerances.

I got officially diagnosed almost 2 years ago through allergy testing, after I had come out of 5 years in competition prep and my body just wasn’t feeling correct. I would bloat, get rashes, have the runs etc almost every time I ate.

After all the testing was complete I found out I have intolerances to the below, some more then others and I have notices the longer I stay away from the food the worse the side effects I get. From what you to be mind bloating is now turning into 3 days of looking like I have had a run in with poison ivy while being 6 months pregnant.

My Intolerances and allergies are:

–       Gluten
–       Dairy
–       Egg
–       Soy
–       Vinegar
–       Almonds
–       Wheat (all forms)

My initial reaction was Nooo…. This meant no more beer, burgers, cake etc. But learning the below tips helped me find new foods to love and live a more normal life.

 

Meal Prep

I have found the easiest way to get around all of my intolerances is to meal prep. Whether physically cooking all your meals or planning your week before going shopping it helps to know what you are going to need. There are so many recipes out there these days that cover all forms of intolerances and often some of your favourite foods can be modified with a few ingredients.

Plan ahead and know what you are going to eat for each meal. See my blog on Meal Prepping HERE for more tips.

 

Dining Out

This was a hard one for me at first, what if I want to take my wife out to dinner what am I going to eat. Firstly allergies and intolerances are becoming a lot more mainstream these days and most menu’s will have indicators on them. There is even whole restaurants dedicated to allergies these days.

My top 5 tips for eating out are:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter questions
  2. Ask for all sauces and dressings on the side, as they often have hidden things in them the waiter may not know and you can judge when it arrives if you will eat it or not
  3. Know that 99% of places even through they say an item is Gluten free it will not be prepared in a Gluten Free environment so if you are allergic or don’t want to risk it don’t order it.
  4. 99% of restaurants will have a salad or vegetarian option, simply ask if you can add a protein to this if you want more then a salad, most places will happily oblige.
  5. Do your research before you go, have a look at the menu online so that you know before you get there what your options are, and if there is truly nothing on the menu go somewhere else. I have a handful of go to places that I know I can eat at and that is fine. Having someone else book your meal while you enjoy good company is variety enough for me.

 

Be Prepared & Know Your Limits

Always be prepared, have anti-histamines, creams or an eppi pen handy should you need it. Take snacks with you when you go out so you don’t starve if there isn’t something you can eat when you get there.

Most intolerances have a limit so know these as well, know if you can eat 1 chicken nugget or 5 before breaking out in a rash. This will help you in more public situations where you aren’t the one who has prepared your meal.

 

Family and friends outings

Communication is key. Tell those around you what is going on and why, always offer to bring your own food and if they truly are your friends they will be fine with it and accommodating. It really can be as simple as prepping the same meal and not adding sauce or giving you the pasta topping without the actual pasta.

 

Travel and holidays

Plan, plan, plan. Know where you are going, if you can bring your own food, what food options are available. If you are planning the trip yourself choose a destination that is more accommodating to your needs like I wouldn’t be going to a cheese and beer festival if I can’t eat or drink anything. Do your research and you will be fine.

 

Have your go to list of foods

Have a list of foods that are easy and you know are safe to eat. Mine is always steak and veg. its simple, everyone can cook it and most places have it on the menu. Know what you like, what you don’t and be ok with those options. Living with intolerances means you miss out on some food yes but it also means you get to discover new foods as well.

 

Don’t apologies

And finally don’t apologies, you cant help that you break out in hives or spend a week in the bathroom after eating a burger bun so don’t feel sorry. People will understand and if they don’t they are idiots.

There will always be an option wherever you go and If not you get to eat the snacks you have stashed in your bag. 
 
 
Happy Eating, 
Dean
 

The Gym Can Be Scary

The gym is one of those places that you either love or hate.

For anyone new looking to go into a gym for the first time or returning after some time away those first few times can be scary.

I have had clients tell me stories about their fear of the gym for years from driving to the gym and not getting out of the car, to making it to the front counter and turning away. I have lived this first hand recently when my wife started training with me at the gym late last year for the first time and now a month in she is loving it but the first few times she was hesitant. I have been able to learn more from her on this, so I thought I would share some tips and tricks on how to battle those first few weeks in the gym.

Generally speaking when someone decides to go to the gym for the first time or returns after some significant time away from the gym their motivation for going is the key factor in how long they will stick it out for. Weather you are going to the gym to loose weight, get fit or tone up all of the below tips will help you get through those first few weeks and have you craving a gym session in no time.

Crowds and people

Going into a new gym with all those people can be daunting, are they looking at me, am I going to look like an idiot, what am I doing here, there is to many people I should just turn around. All of these are common thoughts and one that you shouldn’t be ashamed of thinking.

The first thing you need to realise is most people in the gym are there for themselves, with headphone on and in their own little world, to put it frankly they couldn’t care less what you are doing. That sounds harsh I know but it’s the truth, people go there to train and get out and rarely pay attention to you.

Each gym will have peak times and low time, ask the staff when these peak times are and build up to them. If it is quieter in the morning vs the afternoon train around these times for the first couple of weeks and build up to the peak period where the is more people as your confidence grows.

Gym Equipment

People often head into the gym with a training program in hand they got off the internet or some exercise routine YouTube videos they have watched, but often these don’t tell you how to use the actual machines once you get to the gym.

This can be very daunting when you start out or if equipment has changed since the last time you were there.
These days 90% of equipment has diagrams on how to use it and the muscles it works printed on the machine itself. This can be a big help as often they have step my step diagrams which will show you how to use the machine.
Don’t be afraid to ask a PT either, do a couple of sessions get your head around the equipment and what you are doing. A PT is there to assist you and build your confidence so you can train in the gym by yourself as well. Gym’s like Crunch Fitness even offer PT packs where you get 3 introductory sessions at a discounted rate so that you can get a handle on the gym. These are a great way to ease into training.

Or put in your headphones, bring up YouTube and type in ‘how to use a leg press’ and watch the video, everyone in the gym is on their phone anyway so no one will know the difference.

Bring a Friend

Training with someone you know and trust whether its their first time or not, can also be a big help. My wife will still only go to the gym with me or a friend and that is fine, I like it, we get to spend time together and I love to train so I am getting to show her part of my world.

Training with someone you know makes everything a little less scary. From having someone to ask questions or throw ideas off to the simple things like if you are both doing the same exercise you can swap out between your sets and that makes your rest time easy to measure as your friend is on the machine while you are resting and vice versa. Plus you get to chat, gossip, talk the whole time which is always a plus.

Group classes

Group classes are an easy way to ease into gym life, they are made up of a group of likeminded people who are there to have fun and exercise. There is an instructor to help you or show you how to do something if you have any questions. Plus it is a great way to meet other people in the gym who may turn into training buddies. I know several people who have gym friends that all started from group classes, I even have some of my own and we now even years later still catch up.
Personal trainers
A personal trainer knows the gym like the back of their hand. They are there for you to ask questions and help you each step of the way. They are also a great at customising programs for you, if you have injuries, like or dislike machines and a pt session means there is someone there to literally help you each step of the way and show you exactly what to do.

So remember even through the gym may appear scary at first it doesn’t have to be. Take a friend, ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help or join a group class. In no time you will be loving going to the gym and remember the more you go the more confidence you grow.

 

Image credit: Crunch.com.au

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss

Today I wanted to talk about one of the big debates I have with people almost on a weekly basis and this is Fat Loss vs Weight Loss.

When talking about weight loss, there is so much emphasis put on dropping kilos and what the scales say. When in actual fact there are so many other factors that need to be considered and the focus in my opinion should be on cm or body structure over the physical kilos one does or does not loose. The main reason for this is if you are doing any form of exercise either cardio or weights training to loose weight and not just a food based diet, you will build muscle as you exercise and put simply, although fat and muscle weigh the same physically, muscle take up alot less room in your body then fat. The other important thing to remember is that every person’s body is different and will react different to dieting and exercise.

The most common goal clients come to me with is ‘I want to loose 10kg’. My response is always along the lines of, that is great but lets break down what your true goal is, and more often then not its about fitting into a dress or trimming down for an event or wanting to get more fit or improve their general wellbeing. Once we have an idea of their end goal outside of a kg figure, I like to discuss the below points with them.

CM vs KG

Whenever you start any program record your cm, measure your bust, waist and butt along with your starting weight. Then when you weigh in each week record both your cm and kg. Over the first couple of weeks you will normally notice kg dropping then as you get further into the program and you start to build muscle you tend to notice cm dropping over kg. Recording both from day one allows you to see the overall picture on how your body has changed and not just how many kg you have lost.

BMI’s

This is a whole topic in itself but I want to touch on it briefly. I am not a huge believer in the BMI index, anyone that knows me knows that I love fitness, train daily and eat healthy. For my height and weight according to BMI I am obese and I am most defiantly not. This is due to muscle weight and a lot of other factors that don’t come into the BMI index rating which I will do a blog on in the future. But for the purpose of this when looking at your BMI it is essential to look at the overall picture if you are dropping cm and kg you are naturally going to be dropping fat regardless of what any scale will tell you. And any reduce in fat is better for your health overall.

Body Structure and Building Muscle

A combination of both cardio and weights training is ideal for loosing weight and getting fit. With this comes changes to your body structure overall. People hold and loose weight from different part of their body at different rates and in different orders.

You will notice this the most within your clothing. Pants are getting looser, tops sit differently, all of these are important things to consider as well when looking at weight loss as a whole. It is quite common for people to loose 5kg – 10kg but drop 3-4 dress sizes at the same time because of the way in which their overall body structure has changed and moved.

As you build muscle you will also notice you will burn more calories as muscle burns faster at rest then fat does.

How often to track your weight progress

You are fresh into a new diet and you are feeling great, we all want to jump on the scales everyday and see the kg going down. This is both physically and mentally not a good idea. Weight and cm will go up and down from day to day based off water intake, the exercise you have done that day, the food you have eaten etc. So my recommendation is to only track your weight and cm progress once per week. Keep the day consistent each week. Always do this at the same time of day as well, I like to do so before my morning shower but it is up to each individual on what they would like.

Focus and Goal Setting

The hardest thing when it comes to weight loss is stepping away from societies normal views and focusing on what works for you. Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t have a end weight goal in mind I am just saying that all goals should be realistic and made up of smaller goals to help you every step of the way. Focus on what you want and truly anything is possible, you would be amazed what your mind and body is capable of when you are willing to put in the effort. Set small and large goals while focusing on knocking them off one by one.

 

Above all of this the most important thing to remember is all progress is progress no matter how big or small, weather going for a walk, going to the gym or loosing cm or kg, each step you take in the right direction is progress.

 

The Art of Meal Prepping

Meal prepping isn’t a new concept, families have been doing it for several decades, with roasts on Sundays, pasta bakes on Mondays and steaks on Tuesdays. The concept for meal prepping when it comes to healthy eating in principle is the same.

You can meal prep anywhere from weekly to daily or any combination in between. As with anything there is pros and cons, we are going to go over some of these to give you an overall look at what is involved in meal prepping and my tips on how to make it successful.

Over the last few years my wife and I have prepped at the same time, I have prepped and she hasn’t or neither of us have prepped and just cooked day to day. I can tell you from experience a house hold that preps together is much easier and we are both currently prepping and we have system that works and we love it.

The Pro’s

  • You don’t have to think about what you are going to eat once it has been prepped. All the work is done for you.
  • You don’t have to prepare food every day unless you choose to.
  • Food prepping assist with portion control and calorie control
  • You will eat more food not less over the course of the day
  • Having pre prepared food allows you to avoid temptation
  • If you choose to shop and buy in bulk and prep a week at a time you will most likely save money
  • You get to be organized and plan the week, which is always a plus in my books.

 The Cons

  • You have to be organized and plan ahead
  • Depending on the food you have prepped you often have to carry an extra bag or cooler bag to store the food in for the day.
  • It is hard at times, as you may crave something that you haven’t cooked but don’t want to waste the food you have cooked
  • When in group situations at work or social you are often eating different food to everyone else.

That being said I tend to think the pros out weight the cons and will some simple tips you will be effectively food prepping in no time.

Choose you duration

The first step is to decide how long you want to prep for. I personally find it easier to prep a full week in advance, but you can prep for 2-3 days at a time or daily if you wish. 

When choosing your duration of prepping consider the following

  • How busy your week will be
  • Do you have time to set aside to prep for the whole week
  • How much space do you have to store the prepped food
  • Do you have to cook for other people in your household

Once you have a prep period decided on, lets move onto my top tips.

Top 7 Tips for Meal Prepping

  1. Organisation Is Paramount
    Know what you want to eat, if you have any dine out plans in the week ahead and your schedule so that you can allow time to eat food. Then write down what you need to cook, buy and prep.
     
  2. Variety is Key
    If you are planning on prepping for longer than a day or so, variety in the food you eat is essential. Because I can almost guarantee that by day 3 you will be over the same food over and over and you will most likely give up and never do it again.
    Change up your proteins, sauces and vegetable to keep each meal different from the next.
    That isn’t to say that you can’t bulk cook food, Just spread it out so you have the chicken dish Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the steak dish Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

     

  3. Know Your Budget
    Set a budget on what you are happy to spend on food and stick to it. You don’t want food wastage at the end of the week or to go broke meal prepping. Sticking to raw fresh veggies and simple meats can assist with this. Meat choices like lean mince are easy to cook in bulk, cheap and can be applied with many sauces for variety.
     
  4. Don’t Shop Hungry
    This may sound like an obvious one but if you are hungry when you shop you are likely to buy extra food, sweet foods or foods you might not normally buy.
  5. Set Aside Prepping Time
    If you are going to prep for the whole week set designated time aside and do it all at once, this makes it easier to control, bulk cook and store.
  6. Label Everything
    label everything in the fridge & pantry from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If you have clear containers use a marker or you can get coloured containers. This makes it easier to grab what you need in the morning and you won’t forget anything.
  7. Have a Shopping List
    White everything that you need to buy at the shops and stick to it. This will allow you to just buy what you need and not get the extra stuff we are all tempted to buy at the shops.

That is my tips on food prepping. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

I hope you found some of the above useful and i look forward to creating more content