Do you find you aren't getting results as quickly as you'd wished?
With each week of training that you achieve, each day spent suffering; when a walk up the stairs seems like a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, it can start to make you question if you're willing to do it all again next week. Don’t throw in the towel just yet.
The answer doesn’t lie in more cardio, fat burners or any thing as extreme as these methods. Learn how to utilise the most overlooked day of the week, Sunday, and I promise you that you will reach that next level of training and hit all of your goals.
Prepare once and eat healthy all week long. Sundays can be the key to your success.
Lets say for example; it’s the middle of the week, your meeting at the office has dragged out for what seems like forever and lunch should have been 2 hours ago. The grumbling in your stomach has everyone looking at you like an alien is about to pop out of your chest.
Unfortunately, you still need to pick up food to eat when you finally break free from this never-ending meeting. This is when you’re in danger of becoming a slave to your low sugar levels and empty stomach. Let's say you cave in, eat the first thing you could find and pick up way more food than you needed because you're on the verge of getting hungry.
Now that progression filled training session at the gym that evening turns into a last-ditch attempt to work off that big expensive lunch that could have been avoided.
Sunday food prep is where you can put up a big barrier to everything that’s going to try and knock you back in the week. What's the old saying? Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.
Think of this blog as your cheat sheet to keep the week ahead from working against you.
Where do I start?
There’s going to be very little you can do if it gets to Sunday evening and you haven’t been shopping in preparation for this moment. A tin of Heinz hoops and the remains of Saturday night’s pizza doesn’t quite help you in this case. My biggest suggestion would be to plan what you are going to cook and make a shopping list from that.
Make sure the recipes are something that will travel well, I can tell you first hand that scrambled eggs reheated is not the most appetizing thing to look forward to at lunch and will stink out the whole staff room when microwaved.
Protein Tip: Lean mince, chicken/ turkey breasts and heck sausages all travel well, reheat great and taste good coming out of a container as well as them all having high protein contents.
Carbohydrate Tips: Instant rice packets can be a massive time saver when cooking on Sunday. White potatoes are not the devil that Dr. Atkins had us all believe they were. Infact 200g Vivaldi potatoes is only 162 calories and 35g of carbs. Compare this to the same weight of brown pasta you’re looking at 290 calories and 61g of carbs. You could eat 350g of Vivaldi potatoes and it would still beat the so-called healthy brown pasta on macros. Imagine getting to lunch knowing you have a nice big portion of twice cooked potatoes seasoned to your liking that’s helping you achieve your goals!
Greens Tip: Build the rest of the meal with some greens. Leafy green vegetables are an important part of the human diet and are packed full of important vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids (building blocks of protein) which you can’t source from other foods. Kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, swiss chard and collard greens are great examples, just to name a few. The right seasoning can really bring out the flavours in these wonderful veg. Or you can lazy (like me) and chuck a bag of spinach in your mince and rice wok concoction.
Shopping list done, what next?
This part, like any skill in life, gets easier the more you do it, practice will make perfect. I can guarantee you that the first time you meal prep for 3 to 5 days’ worth of food, your kitchen is going to look like a team of cooks have just used and abused every piece of cookware you have (make sure the dishwasher is empty before starting) leaving you to deal with the mess. This can add to the time problem and also give you a reason not to do it.
Cooking Tips: As you start to prepare the meals you enjoy more and more each week at work, plan out what takes the most and least time. If you batch cook the same meal it will save you a lot of time and effort. The downside to this is that you are eating the same meal a few times in a week. The upside is, it can help keep your sanity intact.
I can tell you from many a stressful Sunday; do not, I repeat do not think that you will find matching lids to the containers your last few take out Chinese dishes came in!! (Um, yes the personal trainer likes and eats Chinese food). There is a magical land where all your lids disappear to and you are left with perfectly prepared food in a lidless container just asking to leak in to your bag.
Tupper tip: Invest in some decent meal prep dishes. You can find them relatively cheap online. MYPT studio currently have a pack of 15 HERE.
This makes life much easier when you know you have 5 dishes to separate your meals in to, the lids are all there and you can just stack them in the fridge ready to grab each morning before you go to work.
Life tip: Set a reminder on your phone, leave a post-it note on the door, in front of the mirror you brush your teeth in or all of the above. There is no pain like getting to lunchtime and realising that all that time spent meal prepping has gone to waste with your food still sitting in your fridge at home. “I’ll just have to get a foot-long subway today “is not something you want to try and justify to yourself.
Prep Tip: Get yourself a set of digital kitchen scales. The advantage of doing food prep instead of buying food out every day is you know exactly whats gone in to each and every meal. This level of consistency is whats going to take your results to the next level. A decent one will set you back less than a lunch out.
Snacks! Most people who I talk to about nutrition say that snacking is their downfall. Don’t let it be! Three meals a day can be so boring, so have some snacks, but factor them in to your food prep. A protein bar, a small Tupperware of dark fruits or a high protein yoghurt can be all great snack ideas. Plus, it means no extra cooking time, you prevent your sugar levels dropping too low and you don’t get drawn in to high calorie choices.
Cash Tip: Buy your snacks in bulk. A box of protein bars, of low calorie snack bars will have a disgusting mark up when sold in the shops individually. Buying a box for the week ahead means you just add it to that bag you take with you each day, or save them as backups for when you’ve run out of snacking fruit at home.
Can’t cook, wont cook.
You made it this far and still don’t feel inspired, its now you feel you are forever doomed to cry in to your Five guys milkshake. Do you just not have the ability to cook anything edible? The thought of last Sundays kitchen massacre keeps you up at night? What ever reason, you are not out of options. There are companies now where you can have them spend their Sundays cooking high protein healthy meals for you. They will even deliver.
" Jonny from heat eat and lean shows us that even the busiest person in the world can start their week right. "
Jonny what is the most common type of client you have?
A: busy people. That sounds kind of broad but it really is true, there is a stigma with 'mealprep' that it has to be about diet food etc. But it's for people who don’t have time to shop, cook and wash up AND for keen healthy and fitness buffs.
Who would you say would benefit most from your services?
A: anyone started out in the gym to keep a calorie control on their diet, less in + more out = weight loss with of course the correct protein macros.
How much time could someone save from employing heat eat and lean?
A: we estimate on average, 20 hours a week, time spent travelling to shop, chooses what to make, cooking, washing up will be more than this figure. Who likes to wash up? #NoWashingUp
Finally what's been the most popular meal recently from your menu and what are the macros on this?
A: our customers love the
Turkey Meatballs ???? ????
kcal 324 P33 C30 F9
Salmon Risotto ???? ????
kcal 364 P33 C35 F19
Oriental Chicken ????
kcal 372 P42 C33 F9
We never rest on one set menu, the menu changes regularly, keeping popular items and adding new dishes inspired by travel and different eating cultures.
We have had some incredible feedback on the new meals, especially the macro friendly Protein Carrot Cake
Currently the New meals we have are
Protein Carrot Cake ????????
kcal313 P27 27 F10
BBQ turkey 'naked' burrito????????
kcal365 P32 43 F7
Spanish Chicken ????
kcal370 P40 C11 F20
The take away.
If you start to see the end of your week as the beginning of it, the positive changes this will have on your results (not to mention wallet) can motivate you to keep it up every week. Just make sure you get your food in the staff room microwave before any one else.