Spring is here and the days are getting longer, the weather is getting nicer, clothes are getting lighter – finding motivation and energy is easy at this time of year. So you’ve made the decision; you are going to eat healthier and you’re going to start on that new workout plan that you’ve had in your mind since the beginning of January.
But even with motivation it’s easy to lose track. What you need is a good plan and preparation to help you stick to it. Have a look at my top tips below, but don’t be afraid to freestyle and change these recommendations to suit your own taste and dietary requirements.
Do you sometimes skip breakfast because you snoozed too many times, and putting a bowl of porridge in the microwave for two whole minutes is definitely going to make you late for work? So later in the morning, with two hours still to go before lunch time, you are so hungry that you have to get something from that vending machine, or you might overeat at lunchtime instead.
With some planning, and not too much effort, you can have the whole week’s breakfasts ready on Sunday evening!
Overnight oats is a great breakfast which is easy to prepare, gives you a slow release of energy, and provides you with fibre, vitamins and minerals (depending on what you put in them). Make a big batch that will give you enough for five portions, if you use fresh ingredients it will easily keep for five days in the fridge. The internet is overflowing with recipes for overnight oats (soaked oats/bircher muesli), but even if you just freestyle it, it’s hard to go wrong.
Basically, you need five portions of oats, try our Protein Porridge oats and you will get an extra addition of whey protein, making your breakfast even more nutritious – and perfect if you eat it after your morning workout. Mix the oats with milk of your choice – cow’s milk or a dairy free alternative and add some natural yoghurt as well (can be left out). This is the base and from here you can add pretty much anything; a grated apple works great for texture and a bit of freshness, seeds and nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, MCT’s and lemon juice are also great additions. For a bit of sweetness apple juice or honey is often used, but try adding one of our Zero Calorie Syrups and it will take it to a whole new level!
Dish up your soaked oats into individual containers, maybe along with some fresh berries and a dollop of nut butter, and you’ve got breakfast sorted for the whole working week!
In Between Meals.
So you get home from work and you’re hungry and you can’t wait until dinner. You open the cupboard or fridge and grab whatever quick fix you find in there. We all know this happens, so planning ahead here is key. Make sure your fridge and cupboards are stocked up with good stuff that will make easy snacks, so that when you get home from work you can grab maybe a handful of fruit, nut, and seed mix, or a boiled egg, or maybe some avocado or nut butter spread on crisp bread.
If you‘re lucky enough to have a blender sitting on your kitchen worktop, why not make a quick nutrient-packed smoothie? If you like the idea but you’re just too tired after work to start washing and cutting up fruit and veg then it’s a great idea to get them in powder form instead. No fuss, no mess and still packed with nutrients!
Try greens like spinach, kale or broccoli in powder form, or why not the superfoods Maca, Spirulina or Baobab? These superfoods are high in micronutrients and will help make sure your intake of vitamins and minerals is sufficient. A vitamin deficiency will most likely make you tired and that is not going to help with staying motivated and sticking to the plan.
Again – planning is key. On the weekend, make a plan of what meals you are going to cook during the week and make sure you have all the ingredients you will need. You don’t want to end up in the situation were you’re tired and you realise you can’t cook the healthy meal you had in your mind because you’re missing ingredients. In that situation ordering a take-out might be quite tempting, or maybe skipping dinner altogether, which isn’t great either. So make plans and shopping lists and if you always make a bit extra you will have lunch for the next day as well!
Following just a few of these tips on planning and preparation will help you achieve your goals. You’ll feel more prepared and motivated to stay on track with your food/nutrition plan, and in addition you’ll feel healthier day to day with more energy to hit the gym and train hard!
So plan ahead and stay on track.
About the Author:
Karin has a degree in Food Science & Nutrition and works within the BULK POWDERS™ product team. She is passionate about fitness and healthy eating and her role at BULK POWDERS™ is to help make sure that all our products hold the highest possible quality.