Hi Bodyholics!! This is the prep for the prep post ;)
May 27th will be the official 5-day Food Prep Challenge. So here's what you need to know if you are interested in food planning and prepping:
The Why (1-4)
Meal prepping makes sure you stick to your dietary goals, or at least it makes it a whole lot easier. It can really help remove the temptation of the snacking room sweets / the grab and go lunch from the cafe around the corner from the office / the skip and work through mealtime (and hunger) only to get home famished and demolish anything in sight.
Moreover, when you cook, and plan, your own meals in advance, you have caloric control and macro (nutrient) balance. You can eliminate and/or limit ingredients that might not be so healthy like added sugar, salt and (trans) fats. The other thing is that you get to make sure that the ingredients are fresh and edible yourself (let's be real...).
Prepping also helps manage your hunger because you get to eat when you are hungry rather than thinking about it, then making it / ordering it and then waiting for it to be ready. Hunger management will usually help you avoid overeating because your hunger hormone ghrelin won't be turned on... if you're anything like me, when you push off eating eve though you're hungery, grehlin will you get HANGRY and can down a pile of anything in sight within minutes.
Prepping saves time and money. This one is self explanatory but it's a biggie! You have one day, every few days, where you get things ready and prep your meals and then after that, you're ready to go and don't have to go through the deciding-and-waiting. Money, because you are less likely to get take-away, or go out for lunch.
In terms of the why, food prep can be a huge stress remover. You probably have noticed, if you have every dieted in your life, that food TAKES OVER your life. Diets often do not work because they use up our willpower on a daily basis and then we are all more likely to, not stumble but rather, jump- head first, "off the wagon". We will use the prepping to help reduce the stress that may accompany the attempt to lead a healthier life. (1-4)
Sounds good, right???? Here's the surprise...
Personally, I used to prep to the oz, to the mg. I used to account for every single thing that entered my system. I would prep it, make it and then I would log it. Really. True story. So... Now, as a trainer with nearly 15 years of experience and as a mom, I am thinking... huh...food obsession? disordered eating?
Do you think I'm exaggerating?
Well... I will absolutely not get into definitions of eating disorders and disrodered eating. It deserves so much more time and energy and it is incredibly complicated. However, I do wonder - is it healthy to control all of the controllables so that there is no way in heck and you will consume an extra calorie? or, an extra carb?
So, I invite you to remember: There is so much more to food than just the calories. And... the calories are AWESOME because they are our energy and fuel and they allow us to smash our workouts, play with our kids, go for a walk, think clearly, sleep well, have sex, cook, clean, hike, camp, swim... need I go on? In addition, the food itself is a tool, a conduit, for social events, whether big or small. Food is nostalgic, it's a gift, it's cozy, it's a form of displaying love. Food prep does not do ALL that...
So... Here's the bottom line: If you have struggled with eating disorders at any point in your life... I am not your therapist, nor am I your doctor, but I am a professional who knows what a slippery sloap is in this area and food prep can be just that... so CONSULT and maybe, perhaps.... AVOID.
However, if you run a busy schedule and you cannot seem to get your eating on track and the food your eat does not support your workouts and/or your health and you do not suffer from (pathalogic?) food obession and/or disordered eating... maybe this will be a great experience for you, or, maybe you can take a few tips into your day to day.
The next email you receive will be The What, so you can have everything ready to go by the 27th.
Let's so this!
PS You remember that everything I say and write is ONLY advice, right? I am not a medical professional and I certainly do not know what your physical and /or mental health status is... so always check in with those who do know....
1 Fryar CD, Ervin RB. Caloric intake from fast food among adults: United States, 2007-2010. US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics; 2013.
2 Lachat C, Nago E, Verstraeten R, Roberfroid D, Van Camp J, Kolsteren P. Eating out of home and its association with dietary intake: a systematic review of the evidence.Obes Rev. 2012 Apr;13(4):329-46.
3 Monsivais P, Aggarwal A, Drewnowski A. Time spent on home food preparation and indicators of healthy eating. American journal of preventive medicine. 2014 Dec 1;47(6):796-802.
4 Baumeister RF, Bratslavsky E, Muraven M, Tice DM. Ego depletion: Is the active self a limited resource?. Journal of personality and social psychology. 1998 May;74(5):1252.