How to stay true to your diet goals
Some words of wisdom
“People who don’t get sick of eating the same foods have the kind of physiques everyone is pining over”
There’s a lot of truth in that but you don’t have to eat the same foods every single day for fat loss. Your repertoire of meals doesn’t have to be boring.
You can eat whatever you want and lose fat, provided the number of calories taken in is fewer than the number of calories expended.
However, having some go to meals that you can prepare really easily, or in batches, is a really great strategy.
If you fill your fridge and your cupboards with the ingredients for these meals, and you’re happy to eat them most of the time, you’ll do really well.
One of my go-to meals is really simple.
I buy chicken breasts, I get two of them out. I stick some greaseproof paper on a baking tray. I season the chicken breasts with something like Cajun seasoning or American BBQ seasoning.
I chop up a couple of sweet potatoes. These go on there as well. You can season these too if you want. Paprika works nicely.
I put all of this in a pre-heated oven at 180 – 200 (depends on your oven) for half an hour (sweet potatoes might need more or less time, depending on how small you chop them).
When that goes in, I start chopping up some green veg. This is usually broccoli or green beans. Sometimes I have Brussel sprouts, or even some carrots (I know they’re not green). Throw that in a pot and boil the kettle. When there’s about 10 minutes to go until the chicken is ready (or more/less depending on your preference) put the pot on.
This is so easy. Anyone can do it, and it takes minimal effort.
This will get you loads of protein, the vegetables give you much needed micronutrients and carbs for energy.
Depending on your portion sizes, this can be an incredibly high protein meal for low calories. Perfect in a cutting phase.
Wanting to gain weight? Add more starchy carbs – rice, more of the potato, or snack more between meals. Get those calories up to about 10-20% above maintenance.
If you’re happy to eat like this regularly, you will do well – as there’s little room to go wrong. You have some set meals that you know the macros/calories of. You’re never bored and looking for something else to try. You don’t need to add calories by making breadcrumbs to go over things, or sauces/dressings.
You can replace the chicken with some steak, some fish, or another protein source from an animal.
The other thing I do is batch cook meals.
Here is a great go-to recipe idea
My favourite is a Turkey Chilli.
I take two 500g packs of 7% turkey mince (you can use 2% or whatever you can find – it just affects the macros and calories slightly).
I cook all this in a wok (both packs together), drain off the fat. While that is draining, I am cooking mushrooms and onions, throwing in some chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and spices. When that’s cooked nicely, the turkey mince goes back in.
Split this up into however many meals you want it to make (for me it makes 4 – I eat quite a lot of protein).
I like to use digital scales to weigh the whole thing, then make 4 evenly weighted meals but you don’t have to do this. If you eat slightly more one day, and slightly less the next, it doesn’t matter. The average over the longer period is still the same.
This will really cut down on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. You now don’t have to cook for the next 3 nights.
Sound like a great plan? you can do better
If you want to be really efficient, you can make the turkey chilli while the chicken breasts are cooking, and now you have cooked on Monday but you have meals for Monday – Friday.
When you’ve already done that work up front, you now don’t even have to think on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday etc.
Your meals are already prepared. When you come home, you’re tired, and the temptation is there to get a takeaway, it’s easier to resist because you’ve cooked in advance.
This is why Mitch says people who are happier to eat the same foods without getting bored have the kinds of physiques everyone is pining over.
When you pre-prepare all of your meals, you remove the chance of tiredness causing you to order takeout one night after work. Your pre-prepared dinner is already there, and it is ready with less time and less effort than it takes to order food.
Compare that to NOT having any meals readily available. There might be A LOT of friction between you and a dinner that keeps you on track.
There’s no food in the house. You have to go to the shops. You’ve had a stressful day. You’re tired. Too tired to cook. No energy for cooking. Just want to watch TV. Don’t want to do the dishes after. You deserve a treat. OH go on then!
Want to read more about the benefits of meal-prepping and why I do it?
Check out this blog post – Why Meal Prep?