I'd like to think I've been at this whole clean eating thing for a minute, or two, or three;o) The truth is, there are lots of things that continually repeat themselves over and over again that I think are worth sharing. Keep reading below to find the tips! Easy peasy.
Master and choose between 3-5 meals that you can rotate into your plan and stick with it until you can't stand it anymore, and then rotate in different meals.
If you think you're someone who couldn't stand eating the same things every day (even though each meal is different) I'd say try it for 6 weeks. I felt the same way until I saw how much work went into prepping food. I like variety too, but I'm a bigger fan of creating systems and being organized and consistent.
Essentially, I eat the same thing every day. Not the same meal for all meals, but the same meals rotated throughout each day. I have a set of meals that I rotate through continually.
Having been a fitness competitor back in the day, this was something that I adopted and continue to stick with it, because it's simple and it works. I continue to browse for meals that are simple and easy in the interim of meal prepping, but I do have my favorite staples that I never seem to tire of. Here are some examples:
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to make different meals for every day. For instance, don't try to make 5 different meals on Monday, and then Tuesday make 5 completely different meals. You will tire of this very, very quickly and be batty in no time. It's exhausting and completely unnecessary to try to rotate between 4 or 5 different meals every day. Trust me on this. I don't care how much you love to cook.
If you have someone you pay to do this, or have a service you can afford to use, then by all means, knock yourself out.
Find a meal replacement shake(s), or meal replacement bar that you love that you can fall back on in the event you run into a kink in your plan, or in case of emergencies.
Personally, I use, buy and sell Isagenix. It's been a staple in my life for the last 5 years and it works well for me. Shit happens that we don't always have a plan for and the last thing you will want is for all your hard work and efforts to wash away because you didn't have time, or weren't' in a place where you needed access to something you felt good about eating. It's nice to have something portable and can sustain you for 3 hours, or until you get to something you'd feel good about eating.
Do not keep food that is off plan in you house. You will eat it eventually. It will find it's way into your mouth. Trust me on this. I don't care how much will power you believe you have.
I told the hubster not to bring certain foods into the house as they are not something I want laying around. He's not really a junk food eater, so he can actually walk past something without it calling his name. It appears that I am not equipped for that. So, I told him a list of things he was not to bring into the house anymore and he respected it. Then one day we decided to go somewhere together and when I got into his truck, there it was in his back row seat, a litany of foods I had been asking him to keep out of the house.
At least he cares about my goals.
Plan meals only 2-3 days in advance if at all possible. After about 3 days, the meals begin to take on that 'leftover feeling' and you will begin to find things more appealing to eat that is not on your pre planned menu.
Have 'go to' joints you can go to THAT FITS INTO YOUR CLEAN EATING PLAN.
Find places of things that fit into your clean eating menu that you like and are on your way home, or close to your home that won't sabotage your clean eating plan.
We've got several local restaurants around our town that we have preset things that we order from them from time to time in the event that there's nothing in our house, or someone was too lazy to cook.
Before going out to an event you've been invited to make up your mind BEFORE YOU LEAVE about how you are going to handle the situation. If you're going to give yourself permission to eat what you want, then do that and don't guilt yourself about.
If you're going to eat one of your clean meals so you're not tempted to gorge on what's there, then do that.
If you're going to eat your clean meal and go to the party and eat less of what you would have had you gone starving then do that. Make a plan, stick to it and then move on. Don't beat yourself up about it. If that plan fails you make a plan that won't. The point is to find something that works for you. I personally eat clean before I go and then sample a few things there that look interesting once I get there. If nothing looks good enough to sacrifice the caloric intake, then I still win because I'm not starving and I don't have to eat crap.
Choose fresh over frozen at any opportunity.
This is probably more so a personal preference of mine. I hate frozen foods. I'm trying to think of something that I eat that's been previously frozen that I enjoy. Frozen fruit comes to mind to add to smoothies. If I buy something fresh, then I know I will be using it in the next day or so. I hate for food to spoil on me, I generally will get to it, but I've lost a few in the game.
Look for ways to NOT have to cook.
Find things that are fresh and already prepared and fits into your clean lifestyle to make your life easier and conducive to consistency. For example: