Fitness and diet

If you want to lose weight or get fit, your diet is going to form the major part of any results you achieve, perhaps 75 or 80%. It is preferable to spread your eating out over between five and seven meals a day and to ensure that your food intake is the best you can achieve, you could plan your meals for a week ahead.

If you are serious about improving your diet, whether to lose weight or improve your health and fitness, then you need to cut down on processed foods and refined sugars – but then you knew that already, didn’t you? The kind of foods you need to include are those high in protein, such as chicken, turkey and tuna, plus fibrous carbohydrates, such as cabbage, other green vegetables and salads and also some good fats, such as olive oil, almonds and flax seed.

You can increase your metabolic rate by increasing the number of meals you eat throughout the day up to maybe five or seven small meals. This works because every time you eat, you increase your metabolism, though you have to ensure you don’t increase the total number of calories you eat. If your normal (or desired) intake is 1800 calories daily and you want to eat 6 meals a day, then you could allow 350 calories each for your 3 main meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner (1050 calories) and 250 calories each for your 3 snacks (750 calories) at mid morning, mid afternoon and pre bedtime. These 6 meals total 1800 calories a day. You can change these around if necessary to account for a training session, but this will be covered in a later article.

Plan Ahead. Choose one day during the week when you have a couple of hours free to prepare your food for the next 5 days. I say 5 because I only prepare my food for Monday to Friday but some people may find it easier to cover the full 7 days. I aim to make all my lunches and dinners for the working week. This ensures that I am not tempted to reach for fast, high calorie food, which ends up being more expensive anyway.

I prepare my week’s food on a Sunday, making sure I check on portion sizes, based on the “size of your hand” principle. This usually means one chicken fillet, a cup of lean mince or a palm-sized piece of steak for each adult. Because the protein preparation is the most time-consuming, this is mostly what I prepare ahead of time. The carbohydrate portion is usually salad, which I prepare in the morning, or frozen vegetables which only take a few minutes.

For example, for Monday to Friday of this week, I decided to have two chicken dinners, two fish dinners and one steak dinner. The fish is frozen and therefore only requires 15 minutes baking on the day of use. So, on Sunday of this week, for two people I cooked 8 chicken fillets, 6 hard-boiled eggs and 2 steaks. Four of the chicken fillets were for dinners, and four were for lunches. I put two cooked sets in the fridge and two cooked sets in the freezer, for later in the week. I work on the assumption that cooked meat can be kept safely in the fridge for two or possibly, three days. The cooked steak went in the fridge, as it will be used early in the week, along with the eggs, which make excellent snacks or breakfast choices.

Thursday and Friday snacks, such as hard boiled eggs can easily be prepared on Wednesday evenings.

On a closing note, always remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. For more information on fitness and diet look at the WordPress Blog – My Fitness Tale.