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By Michael Collins
Probably the most asked question we get after we publish articles on dieting is: "How can you eat right with a busy schedule?"
A “busy schedule” is a weight loss killer for too many people. It doesn't have to be. If you take time out to plan your eating program properly, you can reduce or eliminate the roadblocks.
The truth is everyone has a busy schedule. We all have to go to work, travel, etc. The difference is in how we handle the busy schedule.
First off, you need to create a compelling goal for yourself. By
compelling, I mean one that really excites you. One that when you think
of it, it changes your state- you feel different. You get excited, you
breath differently, you move faster.
That goal could be anything that's important to you- losing 10 pounds to
fit into those jeans? Gaining 5 pounds of muscle so you're looking good
on the beach? Whatever it is, it's the main reason why you're doing this
What the heck does having goals have to do with eating properly?
Well, it's the driving reason behind why you want to eat right- busy schedule or not. It's your mental “ace in the hole” that you can pull out and think about when you're fighting off the craving while walking past that McDonald's in the airport.
So, write out your goals now- recently Eugene posted a very helpful process for goal setting.
Now that you have your compelling goal down, and you're committed to
getting to that goal, you'll get your
food journal out and schedule a week's worth of meals. If you
need some help with what you should be eating and how to schedule the
meals, check out black
book of secrets.
I like to break the meal schedule up into 2 categories- “on- the- go meals” and regular meals. On- the- go meals would be the one's you're eating and need to head out soon (like breakfast for most people) , or are already out the door (in the car, or at work)
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Remember, one meal does not make or break your body. It's the habitual eating patterns that make your body. Don't be afraid to schedule in a cheat meal. If you're eating 5 small meals per day over the course of a week, that's 35 meals per week. If you were to put in 3 cheat meals throughout the week, it shouldn't be a problem as long as you're not going overboard in those meals.
Ok, so how do I eat well on the go?
Being that you'll probably be out of the house 80% of the time, you'll
be wise to pick up and make use of some Tupperware and Ziploc bags.
I prefer to cook the bulk of the “slow cooking” foods on Sunday, and keep them in the freezer until ready to eat during the week.
I'll usually bang it out on Sunday evening. It takes about 1 to 2 hours total between cooking and cleaning up afterwards.
“Slow cookers” on Sunday
1 bag of (26) boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I'll steam half of them in a pot and cook the other half in a pan with some Adobo powder. Once they're cooked I put them in Tupperware containers – 1 container in the fridge- for the meals at the beginning of the week, and 1 container in the freezer to take out on Wednesday.
I also steam half a bag of broccoli, that I also put into Tupperware and dole out for meals during the week.
Depending on what part of the year it is, I'll also pop a piece of lean beef in the oven that can be used as 2 or 3 days of meals.
You don't have to go with chicken and broccoli, you can do this with whichever foods you choose.
After everything is cooked, you can divide the food up into appropriate
portion sizes and store them in the fridge or freezer. This helps with
over- eating, since you'll have just the right amount of food in the
container, and no more.
Another helpful tip I've picked up over the years is to carry a small
bag with calorie- free condiments- mustard, hot sauce, seasonings,
whatever you enjoy.
What about when I get thirsty?
On Sunday's, I also load up at Costco- I get a box of medium sized Poland Spring water bottles to bring along for the ride. If you drive, I recommend keeping a few bottles in the trunk. Or, if you don't drive, stick a bottle in your bag to take with you.
While I'm cooking up the food on Sunday, I'll also make a tub of green tea to drink during the week.
Emergency Protein: it also helps to have some emergency protein sources for when there's just nothing else around. Turkey or beef jerky, green apples, high quality protein bars (we listed a whole bunch of alternatives in black book of secrets)
To wrap up:
1) Set a compelling goal that will help you follow through on your commitment to eating right- even when stressed or rushed.
2) Keep it simple- preparation and ingredients wise. You'll save time and calories.
3) Check out black book of secrets for some powerful tips and a solid program.
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Is cardio the best way to get toned? I'm a mom just starting to get back into working out after a long layoff off due to work and family commitments. I haven't been to the gym in a little over 2 years even though I kept the membership and I feel like I'm starting from scratch. I need to lose about 30 pounds and want to shape up as soon as possible.