Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Why do many professionals not meet their nutrition goals? There are many reasons, which we will cover in just a bit. But how can one eat healthy on a busy schedule? It's easy: meal prep. In this article I'm going to give you 3 easy steps to pack delicious, nutritious lunches work week after work week, in the same amount of time it takes you to call and order delivery.
Let's list some of the reasons professionals don't meet their nutrition goals: they don't eat breakfast, they eat out, they eat food with high sugar content, they eat heavy carbs, they don't have time, and eating healthy is too hard. Have you said this before? Of course, we all have. We have all fallen victim to not eating healthy because our busy days get in the way. But how can you turn your eating habits around? You must plan.
People are lazy by nature. Why do you buy the burger and fries from McDonald's for lunch? Because it's easy, and it's "fast" food. Hence, you're lazy. You don't want to spend the effort to find a healthy meal, and you need to get back to work. But being lazy is the exact reason that you need to meal prep.
You need to meal prep because your brain is too lazy to think about what it wants you to eat, so you eat what is easy, be it the restauraunt closest to your work or where you're traveling. By preparing your meals in advance, you take into account your laziness, and created a solution so you don't have to think at all about what you're going to eat because it's already there.
Preparation is the key to eating a nutritional lunch day after day. On Sunday, plan out what you will eat for lunch every day in the upcoming week. I recommend you have the same meal for lunch each day. That way, you can prepare one large meal and divide it into 5 portions, one for each day of the work week. Then you don't have to think about lunch again until the next weekend. During the week your brain will have a chance to rest instead of working to make a lunch decision.
Sounds easy right? Here's the 3-step guide to help you through the process:
1. PLAN: On Sunday, decide what you want to eat for lunch that week
2. EXECUTE: Go to the grocery store (or order delivery) to gather the ingredients and prepare the meal at home
3. DELIVER: Package into separate containers, one for each day, and store in the refrigerator or freezer for optimum freshness
The additional step that will guarantee you meet your nutiritional goal is
How are goals achieved? By making small, smart choices, consistently over time. The secret to success is found in your daily habits. Make meal prep a habit.
I've taken the process a step further to make it even easier on my brain on Sunday. I have the same meal for lunch week after week. I make salads, and add variety with toppings such as vegetables, meats, cheeses, or dried fruits and nuts. By doing this, I'm able to save time in the grocery store. I don't need a list; I know exactly what to buy, and exactly where to find it in the store. Between shopping and preparation, the total process takes me about 1 hour.
Here's a photo of what my finished salads look like. I opt for low-fat dressing, or salsa, and make sure to have multiple choices to vary the flavor each day.