At APH Personal Training, we don't ask clients to starve themselves, count calories or get weird and "diety" about things.
But we do ask them to take ownership of their food choices. And that can mean cooking. Lots of cooking.
Their general response?
"Where on earth am I supposed to find the time to do that?"
We get it. They (like you, we're sure) have jobs, families, work and a whole range of other commitments that seem to take up every single minute of every single day. The last thing they want to do with their few precious minutes of free time is get in the kitchen and get their Nigella on.
That's why we've put together these 5 tips to help you stay healthy without spending all your waking hours with an apron on.
1. Chop your veggies twice per week
After a settling in period, we ask our clients to eat veggies with every meal. Lots of veggies.
(Seriously, once a client was told by a family member that they would turn into a vegetable if they ate any more. We were so proud).
Now, in an ideal world every single serving of veg would be lovingly prepared and chopped just moments before eating in order for them to retain all of their nutrients.
But we don't live in the ideal world. We need to focus on the things that we can do consistently in our real, everyday lives. And the fact is, sometimes we don't have time to freshly prepare our veg for every meal.
Pick two days in the week and make those your veggie prep days.
We suggest preparing half your vegetables on the day of your weekly food shop, and the other half 3 or 4 days later. Simply chop them up, seperate them by type/colour and put them in a Tupperware box or freezer bag.
That way, you'll cut down on your food prep time AND have ready made veggies available for every meal.
2. Pre-cook your protein
Another great way to save time spent in the kitchen is to pre-cook your protein for the week. Plant-based or otherwise, this is a great way to ensure that every meal you eat has a good serving of protein included (yes, protein is that important).
You can grill, steam or boil your protein sources (hey, maybe you could do it while you prep your veggies) and store them in the fridge until you need them.
From there, heating them in the pan or microwave will only take a few moments.
3. Make big batches of stir-fry and chilli
What makes stir-fries and chilis so awesome is that they can be cooked in a big batch and stored, ready to provide instant gratification after a long day at the office or a late gym session.
Try cooking a stir-fry or chili once or twice per week. If you cook up a big enough batch, you'll not only have a great tasting dinner - you'll have a solid ready-to-go alternative to that late-night pizza place next time you get home late.
4. Get some Tupperware
You're going to need something to store all those veggies, proteins and leftovers - and Tupperware offers a convenient, easy to carry option that will allow you to take your new-found healthy eating habits on the road with you. Just fill it up with leftover goodness and take it along for the ride.
Make sure you have enough to store all the food you plan to prepare over the course of the week. There's nothing worse than cooking extras of a great meal and having nowhere to put it!
Extra tip: Try and find some that's the right size for your meals - that way you won't be tempted to over or under fill it.
5. Make a shake
Often find yourself skipping meals because you don't have time? You can make healthy, great-tasting shakes that give you all the nutrients you need. This can be particularly handy if you're one of those people who's mornings feel more like a war zone than a relaxing introduction to the day ahead.
Simply put some hemp protein, chopped nuts, seeds, oats, fruit and veg into a blender with cold water or nut milk (stop laughing) and blend away.
Don't have time for it right now? Take it to work with you and store it in the fridge, ready to lend a hand a worthy adversary to those biscuits that always get passed round at 10 o'clock.
So there you have it. 5 great time-saving strategies that allow you to have your good nutrition and eat it too. Follow these tips and you'll spend less than 30 minutes a day on food prep.
Oh, and you'll look damn good too.
READY TO lose weight, have more energy and feel all kinds of awesome?