Today's Blog Post is Brought to You By: Maria Halkiadakis
On the journey to become the best version of ourselves, it is important to remember that you absolutely cannot out-train a poor diet. If you have been successful in dedicating yourself to a good training plan, but still aren’t seeing the results you want, then you probably need to make some serious changes in the kitchen. You can lift, run, cycle, hike, or jump on a trampoline till you’ve sweat enough to fill a small swimming pool, but you aren’t going to get the results you want without suffering the perils of overtraining…
That doesn’t look like a good time now does it? Exercise is definitely part of the equation, but not at the expense of wearing ourselves down to the point of being dysfunctional for the rest of the day. Instead, we provide balance in our lives by doing a little less work in the gym, and a lot more work in the kitchen.
In this two part series, we’ll highlight a few things you can do in the kitchen that will be crucial to achieving your goals, be it performance-based or physique oriented. If you're read SAPT's blog long enough, you’ve figured out by now that most things in life aren't easy. If you want good grades in school, you are going to have to spend hours studying. If your name isn’t Kim Kardashian then you are going to have to do actual work to earn at least a six-figure salary. I've also heard Santa hasn’t left anyone a beach body under their Christmas tree this year so you are going to have to put in the work yourself. It will be worth it!
PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE YOUR MEALS
Step 1: Plan a week's worth of meals and snacks.
In other words, be prepared! Take some time to sit down and plan out your meals for an entire week or two. Unless you married a chef, leftovers will be your new best friend. Be sure to have a small healthy snack readily available so you don’t over-indulge at mealtime or give in to temptation when you walk past a vending machine.
Don’t know how to cook? I bet you know someone who does! I bet you have Internet too! (Hint: Consult the Google for free recipes and cooking instructions.) You could also borrow cookbooks from the library, call your grandparents for recipes, or if your feeling rather brave, just start throwing things into a skillet and see what happens.
Where there’s a will, there is a way. There may be some trial-and-error in the beginning, but you can find a way to do things that works for you.
Step 2: Make a grocery list.
Once the meals are planned then you can make a grocery list. Don’t forget to actually bring it to the store with you and stick to it! Unless of course you find yourself drooling over a bunch of kale in the produce section and you realize you forgot to write it down. A very important note about grocery shopping: DO NOT GO GROCERY SHOPPING HUNGRY! Done it before…it was a bad idea wasn’t it?
Step 3: Pick one or two days a week to cook.
This really depends on how you feel about eating leftovers that have been in the refrigerator for almost a week. I like to do my grocery shopping on Saturday, cook on Sunday, and then my next cooking day is either Wednesday or Thursday. This helps spread out all planning and preparation work and I’m never eating five day-old leftovers. Do whatever works best for your schedule. You are going to be cooking food for half the week at a time, so make plenty!
Step 4: Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Putting in the work to plan ahead and prepare meals will actually make your week much easier; most people don’t want to or have the time to cook everyday. It’s pretty nice when you get home at the end of a long day and have a healthy meal waiting to have a little rendezvous with the microwave. Clean up is much faster and you don’t have to endure the potential guilt that comes with devouring half a cheese pizza you decided to order to make the night easier.
PURGE YOUR PANTRY
Get rid of temptation. There’s no reason to deprive yourself from a treat every now and then, but there’s also no reason to keep a box of cookies in the pantry especially if you find yourself snacking on them occasionally. It adds up…
Do you have kids? If so, I bet they LOVE junk food. You don’t have to deprive them either, but by no means do you need to keep Oreo cookies, potato chips, and ice cream on hand. Save the goodies for special occasions. I know that jumbo box of Oreo cookies at Costco is such a good deal, but I promise you won’t miss it and neither will your waistline. You’ll feel a lot less guilty about indulging on some holiday goodies if it’s the only junk food you have eaten all week.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. If you want to see results whether it be looking stellar in that bikini this summer or becoming your team's VIP, you have to put in the work to get there. Stay tuned for part two of the Battlefield is in the Kitchen next Friday for more advice on how to win the war!