Quick and easy steps to a simpler life
Zero the scale
Ever struggle with working out exactly how much sauce you used from a bottle, jam from a jar, peanut butter managed to stay in the tub?
Before you add the ingredient to the bowl/pan, place the jar on the scale, hit zero, take out what you think you need (interesting lesson to be learnt here if you MASSIVELY overestimate quantities) and then put the jar back on the scale.
Your negative reading will tell you how much you used, making it way easier to track!
Divide your daily calories and macros evenly for steady energy
Struggle with how much to eat at each meal and having consistent energy throughout the day?
Look at your daily target, divide it by the number of meals and have this idea in mind, or programmed into MFP to follow at every meal.
This can also be very flexible depending on how you like to eat, or where your energy is needed most.
Target: 2000 calories, 150g protein, 78g fat, 175g carbs
Four meals a day (same size): 500 calories, 37.5g protein, 19.5g fat, 44g carbs
Three meals and two snacks:
Meals: 500 calories, 37.5g protein, 19.5g fat, 44g carbs
Snacks: 250 calories, 19g protein, 9g fat, 22g carbs
Three meals (larger dinner, smaller breakfast) and two snacks:
Breakfast and snacks: 250 calories, 19g protein, 9g fat, 22g carbs
Lunch: 500 calories, 37.5g protein, 19.5g fat, 44g carbs
Dinner: 750 calories, 56.5g protein, 28.5g fat, 66g carbs
If you often then forget to eat the food you’ve prepped - set an alarm or block out time in your diary to remind you to eat and stop people booking in meetings. Ten minutes of you time!
Prep the easy stuff ASAP
Do you know you have the same breakfast and snacks all the time? Do you struggle for space (fridge/cupboard)?
For example, breakfast oats come up almost every day. Whenever you wash the Tupperware, dry and refill them with pre-measured oats and any dried ingredients you like to have (seeds, nuts, dried fruit, protein powder), making it easier to add liquids and fruit ready to run out the door or reduce a step the night before.
What about freezer space? You know you have a busy week next week and no time to prep but limited space to store anything. Prep a few easy meals on a free evening the week before and store food in a zip-lock (better yet, reusable zip-lock) in the freezer, lying flat. Easy peasy, minimal space and delicious food instead of wasted money and calories whilst you go have fun on holiday or over the weekend.
Cook the same recipes regularly?
When you’re using a new recipe book and you find an idea you love. Eat it, enjoy it and then go back using an app like MFP, create the recipe to work out the macros and save it for ease of tracking.
Then go back into the recipe book and write down the macros and portion sizes you need, so next time you can follow the guidance and voila! You can also add in any relevant notes you want to leave - did it make you feel good, could it do with more spices, do you need more or to pack a snack with it. This will save checking your app regularly and wasting effort.
Freeze the extra bits
Baking cookies but don’t need it all now? Store the extra cookie dough balls in Tupperware in the freezer. Cook one or two from frozen when you want/need them, instead of eating 12 for no reason now.
Made too much sauce, bought too many spices, or have leftover wine? (Imagine, leftover wine, or cookies, I know). Use an ice cube tray or plastic egg carton (recycling too!) to store excess liquid for later.
Set up your work environment for success
We often talk about home, but we don’t always look at what the office (or home desk) should look like. Find yourself carrying the same things to work regularly and hating it because it’s a waste of time, energy and it makes your bag super heavy?
The next time you order protein powder, get some for the office too. Take your favourite nuts, fruit, yoghurts into the office at the start of the week or month so you’re ready to go with limited excuses.
If you know you’ve got a break coming up or a busy week and the office happens to have a freezer - sneak in a couple of extra portions of meal prep to the work freezer and make your planning life even easier!
My old office drawer go-to’s:
Small bars of dark chocolate - emergency
A couple of protein bars