Today’s post is going to be a little less philosophical than most; a little more practical.
The other day I was asked how I am able to maintain a healthy diet with training 5 days a week and working full time, as well as on shift patterns.
So I figured that it would make a good post to share with you today.
I do get asked a lot of questions about what I eat and if I’m ever tempted to eat the food that I used to eat before. My answer is always the same, I choose to eat colourful healthy food because I want the best for my body each day. Once you make that decision with regards to the foods you eat then you are instantly empowered.
I don’t believe in counting calories or cheat days and I don’t believe in 'tracking macros' because I believe that we should live a positive life of choice rather than restriction. I feel that there is a great paradox when you enter the world of health and fitness; everyone strives for positive change but the reality for a lot of people is that they see the gym as a chore and their diet becomes the ‘can’t have’ diet. I’ve been there myself - multiple times in my life.
This time round I found food that I really like and exercises that I enjoy doing and I stick with it.
It took me about 2 weeks at first to change up my tastebuds and for my body to really appreciate whole foods again; that was 2 weeks of positive choices when it came to food and drink. I made a conscious effort to remind myself each day that the decisions I was making with each meal would define my health in the future. I could either contribute to feeling amazing or continue feeling rubbish, sluggish and un-inspired.
With that said, I find maintaining a healthy diet these days fairly straight forward.
If you're at a loose end the I recommend investing in a cooler bag that has space for plastic meals tubs. In the bag that I have (6-Pack Bag) there are 4 plastic food tubs and ice bricks that you can refreeze (they fit in the sides to keep everything super cool!) Put aside any thoughts about what people might think of you walking into work with a cooler bag on your shoulder. If it is going to help with your health and vitality then what other people think shouldn’t matter.
The next thing would be to find about 4-5 different meals that you really like, and list them as your ‘work meals.'
I know where all the best ingredients are in the shops that I like to go to. So I make sure that I can find good food at decent prices that work towards giving me the tasty meals I enjoy.
I try to eat my breakfast at home each day; on a work day I’ll have my bag prepped with food - that’ll be done either the night before or I’ll get up 30 minutes earlier to prepare everything. On a day off I tend to make food when I'm hungry or go out for a meal and choose something deliciously colourful.
Now, with those 4-5 meals that you've chosen for your work week all you need to do is make enough for the meals that you'll be having outside of the house. Some people I know prep a whole week of food on a Sunday. I prefer to prep everything on the day, that way I don’t need to use a microwave, I don’t believe microwaves are healthy at all but we won’t go into that today.
Once I’m prepped with my delicious food in my bag I’m good to go!
The truth is that there is always a solution, there is always time to get these things done as long as you allocate the time. I’ve written about this in a similar way before, but some of the best constructive criticism that I ever received was in an interview for a job that I didn’t get. The interviewer wanted me to vet one of his pubs and give feedback in the 2nd interview. I chose a bad time of the day to go to the pub and he pulled me up on it. My response was, ‘I didn’t have time.’ His response was, ‘a good manager will always make the time.'
I you want to manage your life better, feel better and ultimately look better then you are simply going to have to learn to manage your time effectively. Invest in learning new recipes that are healthy and that you enjoy, invest in your body because it is the only one you have! Trust me the time invested is definitely worth it when you regain control of your life.
I hope that information helps you on your journey. If you are stuck for meal options then pop your details in the form below and I will send you over a copy of my recipe book with my favourite healthy meals.
Have a great weekend!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.