If you follow me on Instagram you will know that over the last few weeks I’ve been really focusing on nutrition. Although I didn’t eat badly before, I always felt that I wasn’t eating what I should be to achieve my running and Crossfit goals and have been wanting to learn more about nutrition for a long time. Maybe it’s because it’s January and a fresh new year, but earlier this month I finally decided to do something about it and signed up to work with a nutrition coach at my Crossfit gym and an online course to help improve my nutrition. I’m still only a few weeks into the course, but two areas that I’ve already made huge improvements on is my meal planning and prepping.
For me meal planning wasn’t a new concept as I’ve meal planned for a long time. I find it not only helps me to stick to healthy eating habits, but also saves time when I’m busy as I already know what I’ll be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As well as this, I find meal planning means I spend less money on my food shop as I buy only what I need and rarely throw away unused food.
During these last few weeks I’ve made a few changes to the way I meal plan. Before I would roughly write down what I planned to eat, but now I ensure each meal is balanced with the carbs, protein, fats and vegetables I need to sustain my workouts. I’m also more strategic about when I eat certain types of food now, whereas in the past I never really gave it any thought. This has had a huge impact as before I would feel really hungry in the afternoon at work, whereas now I’m feeling much fuller for longer but on the same amount of calories.
This doesn’t mean I’m following dieting ‘rules’ like no carbs after 6pm, instead it means that I’m thinking carefully about when to eat certain foods. Healthy fats help to make you feel fuller for longer, so I make sure I have a snack of healthy fats and protein early in the afternoon to keep me feeling full for as long as possible. After workouts I’ll aim to have a combination of protein and carbs, no matter what time of night I’ve finished.
The biggest change I’ve made is meal prepping. On Sunday’s I now spend a couple of hours making sure I have most of the week’s meals prepared and measured so that I can just grab healthy meals out the fridge. This has saved me tons of time during the week as I’m not constantly having to prepare lunches the night before or breakfast in the morning. Instead I know it has already been prepared and waiting to go! Dinners have been a lot easier as well, as I’ll either have already prepared them or it will be something really quick and easy that can be ready in 15-20 mins.
I’m always really busy during the week fitting in runs, Crossfit workouts, work, socialising, plus this blog that time is really short and knowing that I have my meals planned and already prepared helps to free up a little time – which basically means I get an extra 15 minutes in bed most mornings!