If you want to lose fat fast and permanently, you should never leave your nutrition to chance. This is why you should opt for healthy meal planning ahead of time, so you’re never at the mercy of the drive-through.
The first thing I recommend is purchasing an inexpensive, portable cooler or soft-sided lunch box, and two refreezable cold packs. The cooler should be big enough to hold at least one meal and two snacks, and the cold packs should last a full day in the cooler.
Next, buy a bunch of baggies and plastic containers of varying sizes. And, of course, make sure the containers fit into your new cooler. This cooler is now your new best friend. Take it with you to work, to your kids’ soccer games, to the beach—everywhere you go!
Inside your cooler you should pack enough meals and snacks to nourish you for the duration of your time away from your kitchen. It’s also a great idea to pack a few snack-size baggies with dry roasted almonds or apple slices or veggies or other healthy snacks and keep them in your car or desk.
Here are some other helpful tips to make planning your snacks and meals a little easier:
1. Cook in Bulk. Dedicate a few hours every week to cooking up a large batch of a good protein source, such as chicken, fish, or steak, or a bunch of slow-cooking carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes or brown rice.
Parcel out the food into proper portions for the week, freezing some for use later and refrigerating that which you plan on using sooner. You can even pack your protein, carbs, fats, and veggies as complete meals into separate containers so you’ll only have to grab a Tupperware container and go!
2 Get Chopping! Once you get your fresh veggies home, chop them up and put them in separate containers or baggies. Store them front and center in your fridge, where they are handy and you won’t forget about them! Now it’s easy to grab a handful of vegetables and toss them in your morning eggs, or whip together a great dinner salad in no time.
3. Buy Prepackaged and Precut. If you don’t have time to cut up a bunch of vegetables or wash and chop a head of lettuce, go for the prepackaged and precut alternatives offered at many grocery stores. These cost a bit more but are handy options for busy people.
4. Make More. If you’re making a recipe such as chili, tacos, soup, or a casserole, make a double batch instead of a single one. These meals will keep for several days in the refrigerator and are great leftovers to be reheated in a pinch for lunch or dinner.
5. Love Your Leftovers. Whether you’ve taken some food home from a restaurant or made extra food the night before, leftovers make great lunches or next-day dinners. Take that grilled chicken and toss it on a salad, or throw it in with some rice and steamed veggies for a rice bowl. Take your extra baked yams, a few raisins, and some and make a sweet side dish to go with leftover flank steak. Be creative!
6. Make the Most of Your Kitchen Time. While your fish is broiling or your rice is steaming, chop some veggies for an omelet in the morning, make and wrap your sandwich for lunch the next day, or even toss some chicken in to marinate for tomorrow’s dinner. You’re in the kitchen anyhow—may as well make the most of it!
7. Bother Your Butcher. When buying fresh fish, ask the butcher to remove the skin from the fish, and cut it into 4–5 ounce portions. If you ask really nice, your butcher might even wrap each portion separately so there is no question as to whether you’re having too much or too little when you cook it up for a meal.
Here are a few suggestions for some things that will make your life a bit easier in the kitchen:
- A sharp knife,
- A rice/vegetable steamer, it’s a quick and easy way to cook in bulk
- A few different sizes of plastic containers
- Nonfat cooking spray, time to get rid of all the fatty sauces and oils
- A plastic or glass cutting board
- Different sizes of baggies (snack, quart, and gallon)
- A blender, I’m a big fan of the Magic bullet blender
- Measuring cups and spoons, it’s important to know your portion sizes
- And a little indoor grill, such as the George Forman Grill.
With a little time you’ll get into your routine in the kitchen and you’ll see it takes less time then waiting in line at the drive thru and you’ll be right on track to losing all the fat you want.
I understand that for many of you this can be a big change, and a tad overwhelming. But remember, as a member of Fast Track to Fat Loss, we’re here to help you as much as you need. We have all sorts of great meal-planning tips like this, and more importantly, we can help you shop, plan and prepare the foods you love AND that will offer the best possible results in the shortest amount of time. So if you need any help at all, you call on us – we’re here for you and 100% committed to your success, please feel assured.
Your fat loss coach,
Kim Lyons, BS, CPT
Best-selling author of Your Body, Your Life
Co-trainer on The Biggest Loser
Your Fast Track to Fat Loss