How to prep like a pro to watch those kilos go
(AND WATCH THOSE KILOS GO)
Planning to lose weight for real this new year? Here’s how to set yourself up for success
the real secret to getting your pre-baby figure back? (Yeah, we know. It’s been 27 years, whatevs!) It’s not running yourself ragged at the gym and it’s not starving yourself stupid. Successful weight loss happens when you plan and prepare for it. From your fridge to your state of mind, planning helps you stay the course, especially on the days you feel like quitting or taking the easy way out. It doesn’t matter whether you’re eating ‘clean’, following a national weight-loss program or doing the 5 Bite Diet (yes, it’s a thing!), flying by the seat of your pants won’t get you the results you want.
Losing weight is a mental battle of wills – with yourself. There’s temptation everywhere and, when you’re tired and hungry, it’s easy to say ‘bugger it’ and grab whatever’s not nailed down.
This is why practical prep is so important – do the groundwork while your resolve is strong and you’ll be so happy you did. You can opt for the fast-food fix (that you’ll regret) or that healthful bowl of soup you already whipped up.
Go through your fridge, freezer and pantry and remove whatever trips you up. If you know it’s your personal downfall, get it gone. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Boom! Your kitchen is the business end of operations, so make it work for you.
• Good cutting/chopping boards • Sharp knives • Measuring cups/spoons • Wooden spoons/spatulas • Mixing bowls
• Pots, pans, well-seasoned cast iron skillet
• Storage containers (for your make-ahead meals and leftovers)
• Immersion blender (for turning soups into creamy bowls of delight)
• Food scale (eyeballing is great in theory, but…)
• Baking paper or silicone baking mat (for easy clean-up after roasting trays of divine vegies)
• Blender (for whipping up healthy smoothies in a flash)
• Slow cooker (for ‘ready when you walk in the door’ dinners)
• Barbecue/gas grill (for bulk cooking fabulous meats and vegies to have on hand all week)
• Vegie spiraliser (‘zoodles’ – zucchini noodles – are the new fettuccine!) • Digital pressure cooker • Food processor • Vacuum food sealer • Electric wok
• Herbs and spices • Chicken/beef/vegie stock • Vinegar (white/apple cider/ red wine/balsamic) • Olive/avocado oil
• Tins of tomatoes/tomato paste • Almond/coconut/ wholewheat flour • Quinoa/wholewheat pasta/rice • Wholegrain bread/crackers • Almond/cashew/peanut butter • Tins of tuna, corn, baked beans, beetroot
• Canned coconut milk • Nuts/pretzels/ fresh popcorn kernels
• Quality dark chocolate
FRIDGE/ FREEZER ESSENTIALS
• Eggs • Butter/cheese • Deli ham/turkey • Plain Greek yoghurt • Pickles/olives
• Milk or dairy-free equivalent • Barbecue chicken • Pork loin/chops • Beef/chicken/ turkey mince
• Fresh or frozen chicken thighs/breasts • Light soy sauce • Fresh vegies/salad • Mayo/dressing/mustard • Frozen fruits and vegies • Salmon/snapper/ bream/trout
YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Be intentional. Work out a weekly menu that covers brekky, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks, taking into account your way of eating. This will also save you money on indiscriminate impulse buys. (Never shop hungry!)
An afternoon of meal prep will save your butt time and again. Make portion-controlled, fridgeand freezer-friendly meals. Soups and stews lend themselves perfectly to this and there’s a million variations on a theme. Other suggestions include lasagne, meatballs, burger patties and grilled or barbecued chicken breasts you can eat and then repurpose during the week into salads, tacos and stir-fries.