There are so many gimmicks that promise weight loss or changes to your overall body composition, ranging from wonder pills, special workouts and special eating plans put together by any and everybody that promise you will lose 10 pound in 10 days. With all of these options, how are you supposed to know what really works? I don’t know about all the new diet fads and which ones are most effective, but preparing your meals in advance is one thing that does work for sure.
While we are working hard in class a few days a week, this is a great start to working towards the body you desire, but we must not forget that it is also important, actually more important, to make sure to monitor your eating habits throughout the week. This is the most important obstacle to overcome, and failure to do so will make it next to impossible to get the results you want. It is a fact that you can’t out work a bad diet. The math is simple the calories you take in through eating (lets not forget drinking), minus calories you burn daily through everyday activities and exercise determines your weight. Yes, there are other factors that might play a role in weight loss or weight gain (medical conditions, medication, etc..) but calories in, versus calories out sums it up in the simplest way.
To be one hundred percent honest with you, if you stay within your suggested caloric intake (recommended calories your body needs to function), you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight, but there are two problems with that. The first problem is, bad calories in equals horrible calories out. Just imagine how you feel after a week vacation of eating and drinking whatever you want. I personally feel horrible, my energy level is usually lower then normal and I have a sluggish feeling for days after. You can’t put cheap gas in your Ferarri and expect it to perform at high levels for an extend period of time, it will eventually crash and burn. Reason number two is calorie density. According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), the average adult male that is moderately active needs 2200-2400 calories per day, while the female counterpart needs 2000-2200 calories per day. One sit down meal at your favorite restaurant can cover well over half of your daily calories in 30 minutes, not adding the two beer/wines/ or margaritas you had to wash the food down. I just looked at T.G.I. Fridays menu, and the Jack Daniels Sampler Appetizer is 1,830 calories. As a result of the one meal, you are now left with between 200-500 calories for the rest of the day, so unless you are snacking like a bird on little pieces of bread, you are going to go well over that recommended number. Now imagine eating out like that 3 to 4 different nights a week.
On the other hand, good calories in equal great calories out. Your overall energy level and performance in class is directly related to how you are feeding your body. Putting premium gas in you Ferarri will help it to perform at optimal levels.
As some of you already know, I will be competing in my first physique competition on Oct. 3 2015 in Baltimore Maryland. This is a competition where men and women who workout all day and measure every calorie, get spray tans and parade around the stage in their bathing suits flexing there hard earned muscles. I have less then 35 days to get my body ready for this, and sometimes I wonder why I signed up for it at all. In order to maintain a health body fat percentage, I am going to use a simple, yet effective strategy that takes a little time upfront to prepare, but if you are consistent that the results will show in due time. This strategy is called meal prep. Every meal except one cheat meal per week will come from my lunch bag filled with Tupperware.
I take time on Sunday to cook Breakfast, lunch and dinner for Monday thru Wednesday, and then repeat this process on Wednesday evening for the days to follow. Since I have an open schedule on weekends, I focus my preparation for weekdays.
To keep things simple, I have a few items I like to mix and match. My tupperware always includes a green of some sort (I love spinach or broccoli), protein (Eggs, Chicken, Turkey, Fish are my favorite) and sometimes a complex carb for extra energy (potatoes, rice, pasta). By doing this I am making sure that my body is getting the proper nutrients from a balanced, well cooked meal, and that I am reaching my daily caloric intake based on my specific goal.
Recommend caloric intake, (required calories for the day) varies from person to person based off their specific goals. An individual who wants to gain weight or muscle mass, would have a higher daily caloric intake versus an individual who wants to maintain or lose weight and muscle mass.
An app I like to use on my phone is Myfitnesspal. While this method is not as accurate as weighing your portions on a food scale, it can give you an idea of your daily calories. This app will also give you a good estimate of what your calories should be for the day.
So, now it is time to go buy a 10 pack of Tupperware and put those cooking skills to work. The old saying goes “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”, and an eat whatever is available meal plan is one surefire way to move further away from your physique goals one meal at a time.