Sunday, 27 November 2016

ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN


The saying goes that abs are made in the kitchen and so the truth be told that no matter how many times a week you workout you can never out train a bad diet.

No matter what your end goal is your diet is just as, if not more important than your training program and the secret in helping you achieve your goal is to "meal prep like a boss" as Joe Wicks, The Body Coach would say. We all live such busy lifes and as nice as it would be, we don't always have time to spend hours in the kitchen when we get home from work. However, by preparing some or all of your meals for the week ahead it will not only make your life easier but will help you get closer to achieving your fitness goals.  Remember "if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail", so here are some of my tips.

1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN 
As the name suggests planning is key and so it's a good idea to set a few hours aside one day a week to cook up a storm in the kitchen and prepare for the week ahead.  I usually find a Sunday works best for me but you need to plan around your lifestyle and what works best for you.

Write down what you're planning to eat for each meal for the week and decide if you're going to prep for every meal or just lunches/dinners, breakfast/lunches etc.  If you're new to the whole idea of meal prepping then I suggest you plan ahead for 2-3 days so it's not too overwhelming. For some of you, you might only prep lunches and snacks if you're going to be home for breakfast and dinner. However, I find it easier to prep every meal as it keeps me organised and saves time, but again fit your meal plans around your lifestyle.

You will also need to make a list of snacks that you plan on nibbling throughout the day as this will prevent any "snaccidents" from happening... yes we've all been there.  When deciding on snacks take into account what time of day you will be training so you can eat the right type of food pre-workout and post workout.

2. KEEP IT INTERESTING
When choosing recipes for the week ahead I swear by Joe Wick's The Body Coach books and Clean Eating Alice for recipe inspiration (before you ask I've not been paid to recommend these books). Just because you're eating healthily, it doesn't mean it needs to be boring.  You should enjoy what you eat and so using recipe books will help mix things up a little.  If you cook food you enjoy rather than sticking to plain chicken and rice everyday you're more likely to stick to your plan.
Remember the meals you choose to cook regardless of whether you use a recipe book or not need to be balanced with the correct macros (protein, carbs and fat) and need to be nutritious.  Below are the ingredients I tend to stick to.

Lean Protein: Chicken, Turkey, Fish (any), Eggs, Beef (sub 7% fat)
Carbohydrates: Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Potatoes, Wholewheat Pasta, Oats
Fats: Brazil Nuts, Peanuts, Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter
Vegetables: Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Lettuce, Green Peppers, Green Beans, Onion, & Cucumbers

Tip: Try and come up with meals that you can make in large batches and pop in the freezer; for example turkey burgers or chilli.  However, remember to use lean mince.   

3. STICK TO THE LIST
Once you've decided on all the meals you're planning for the week, make a list of the ingredients you require before hitting the supermarket.  By doing this you will be less inclined to throw random items into your basket then realise you've bought the whole of aisle 4 and have to hope for the best when you get home.  Note that spices will become your friend and will help keep things exciting, so it may be worthwhile stocking up on these.

4. COOK UP A STORM 
Now that you've got all your ingredients take a look through your recipes and decide if there are any ingredients from each that can be cooked together.  Can a few chicken breasts be cooked at the same time?  Can you cook a number of vegetables together? How much time you spend in the kitchen is entirely up to you but you want to allow enough time to cook all the food and snacks you need for the next few days but not too long that you get bored and give up.

5. BE A TUPPERWARE KING/QUEEN
Preparing all your meals means you will become the king or queen of tupperware boxes.  If you haven't already got some, go out and buy some in a selection of sizes.  Once all your meals are prepared you are going to need these boxes to divide them up.  At this point it's useful to get a set of scales out so you can weigh everything.  This will make it easier to track your macros for the day to ensure you are hitting them and getting the nutrients that your body needs.

Finally, once all your meals have been divided up, ensure they are kept in either the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh.

Have fun meal prepping like a boss!

A.x


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