This isn't just an article, it's a tiny giveaway. No email or subscription necessary.
This is the tool I use to plan and stick to nutrition programs for myself and the same process I give to my clients.
It's designed to be very simple, easily repeatable, and flexible so you can remain consistent.
A FRESH APPROACH TO DECISIONS
Too often, folks focus exclusively on the exercise part of a fitness plan. Somehow, they decide that the workout alone is going to change everything in their life and all they have to do is hit it hard 3 days per week for an hour.
While the exercise portion is important, three 60 minute workouts a week is less only 1.7% of your week. Roughly 2% of your time will not override the things you do the other 98%. Not to mention that at best you make 7 actionable exercise based decisions per week. Every day you decide whether or not you will exercise. That's it.
Over the course of a week you make WAY more numerous and more frequent nutrition based decisions. As a result, nutrition practices make a bigger impact on your fitness. Without a plan, these frequent habits are harder to stick to.
WEEKLY BUILD-A-MEAL TEMPLATE
1) Follow this link to access the template.
2) Download a copy to your own device so you can edit it.
3) Fill in the highlighted sections.
WHERE TO START
The calculators for your personal macronutrient breakdowns and/or total number of hand portions per day are at the bottom of the template.
Once you know how much you need to eat, you have to decide what ingredients you will use.
This template is built for nutrition beginners and folks who love simplicity. It has the macronutrients listed separately.
If you're a more advanced cook and like to make dishes that put all the macros together, just make sure your ingredient ratios are correct before mushing it into a big delicious blob.
When choosing ingredients there are a few things to keep in mind. This article has the spark-notes information on your macronutrients and what they are do for a quick review in the context of this planning template.
Each meal should be built around selecting a source of protein. Choose whatever you’d like - chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, fish, eggs - the leaner the better. If you are vegetarian or vegan please understand that a lot of your protein sources also contain a lot of carbs or fat with them that you will need to account for as well. Your protein needs will not change unless you are aggressively trying to build muscle.
Add your complex carbohydrates next. Carbs are not the enemy. Overeating on anything (including carbs) is what works against your goals. Rice, bread, pasta, quinoa are all great choices.
If you’re using the calculations to lose weight, try to plan these carbs before and/or after your workout, when they are least likely to be stored as fat for later.
Really, each as many as you want, but your minimum should stay the same regardless of goal. Due to the low calorie content and high nutrient density of vegetables, they are a staple at meal time and solid go-to for snacks.
Fats are essential for many functions in your body. Make sure to eat fish regularly to get Omega-3 fatty acids. Stay away from transfats.
THE PLANNING APPOINTMENT
Make a standing appointment with yourself each week. During this appointment your objective is to plan your meals, compile a grocery list, and schedule time to shop and cook. Treat these appointments as immovable meetings with yourself.
With the right plan in place, execution takes care of itself. Take control of your health. Plan your meals to win.
90% > 100%
Aim for 90% compliance. Typically, 80% compliance will maintain where you are, 90% will move you forward, and 100% will build up temptation and rage over time and result in most folks falling off the wagon completely.
What this means in practical terms is that you get 2 free meals and 1 free snack per week. What I mean by "free" is that you don't have to stick rigidly to you macro ratios or eat the healthy food you planned. Your total daily calories need to stay on target, but you can use these meals to tackle cravings.
I love pizza and burgers. Yes, I too am human. I still eat burgers and pizza regularly. However, I keep my daily calories down on the days I eat them and I never replace more than 2 meals a week. Moreover, if I use a free meal on pizza, I only have 1-2 slices not a whole pie. That's why these are "free" meals and not "cheat" meals. You're not going crazy and there's nothing wrong with enjoying certain foods.
If this template makes you in any way hesitant or confused, don't be shy, reach out to me via email or social media and let's clear things up.
You can't fit a square peg in a round hole. If this template's approach to planning doesn't mesh with your way of doing things and you're looking for alternate ways to accomplish your weekly meal plan, reach out and we'll find a solution that suits you.
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