There’s no debate when it comes to which topic comes up the most with nutrition coaching clients — preparation. You can do all of the “right” things, like set bold goals and splurge on an expensive gym membership but if you don’t set yourself up for success on a weekly basis, you’re putting yourself at a major disadvantage.
Karla (a busy mom, wife, grandmother, and business owner) discovered that preparation was the key to her success whether she was at home or traveling for work projects. Here are a few simple strategies that worked for her and may work for you too.
Meal Plan & Stocking the Right Foods
Let me be totally clear, by “right” I mean the right foods for you because there is no one perfect diet. Most of us have an idea of what a delicious, satisfying, and “feel good” day of eating looks like but which foods do you need to grab from the store to make that happen? Coming up with a flexible meal plan is a game-changer for anyone trying to make positive nutrition changes because in the end — you’ll eat what you have.
Kodiak Cakes has plenty of convenient breakfast options for anyone who lacks time (or energy) first thing in the morning. Karla’s go-to breakfast is the double dark chocolate muffin cup, topped with Greek yogurt and fresh raspberries which is quick, delicious, and nutritious!
Take Time to Prep
Meal prep often gets mischaracterized as spending hours making all of your meals for the week and then subsisting on leftovers for the next five days. Rest assured that this does not have to be the case.
Prepping a homemade snack, pre-chopping some vegetables, and batch cooking staples like grains and beans can be a huge time-saver. Best of all, meal prep doesn’t have to look the same every week. Evaluate how much time you (realistically) have on Sunday, then just do the best you can.
Karla’s strategy was to take advantage of Sundays to meal prep while she already had everything set-up to cook a big family meal. Cutting boards, knives and kitchen equipment were out, so doubling down can save a lot of time on clean-up.
Schedule in Exercise
I think we can all relate to the age-old “there will be time later” exercise routine. The alarm goes off and we rationalize an evening workout will be fine today. Then 4:00pm rolls around and a last minute work project comes up, your friends invite you to happy hour, or the weather takes a turn and you “better beat traffic to get home”. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter if the reason is valid. What matters is coming up with a solution to prevent this from becoming your new norm.
First and foremost, work on cultivating a positive relationship with exercise so it feels less like an obligation and more of a tool to help you live better. Next, consider scheduling it in your calendar at the beginning of the week like you would any other important meeting or commitment. Making it a social event by inviting friends can kill two birds with one stone: it becomes a great way to catch up while also providing extra accountability.
Karla found that she stays accountable by working with a personal trainer and she also enjoys swimming with her husband - a win win!
The Key to Long-Term Success
Regardless of which of these make sense for you, remember to keep things fun and interesting too! Setting yourself up for success at the beginning of the week is a tried-and-true strategy that is totally doable for even the busiest of people.
About the Author
Leanne Ray, MS, RDN, is a virtual nutrition coach and the founder of LeanneRay.com. Her blog is aimed at making cooking and nutrition practical for busy people with an emphasis on intuitive eating and plant-forward recipes. Connect with Leanne on Instagram for more cooking inspiration and nutrition tips for busy lifestyles.
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