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Preparing for success: pre-shopping for my 2012 cut.

Saturday, December 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


If you want to be successful at fat loss you’ve got to be well-prepared with a solid dietary strategy, a plan for your training program and a positive attitude. Over the years I’ve witnessed hundreds of people stumble into fat loss with few (if any) of those things going for them, and most of them fail. While it is possible to sort of “find your way” after starting a fat loss program ill-prepared, why make it harder than it has to be?

I discussed some of the things I do to prepare for fat loss or bulking program in my November 30, 2011 blog. This morning I want to talk about something else I do before my fat loss program begins: food shopping. Specifically, shopping for proteins.

Before a cut or bulk I always go to Costco and stock up on my proteins. The reason I do this is two-fold:

First, shopping in bulk saves time and money.

Second, having the primary ingredient for just about every meal I’ll be eating while I’m cutting on hand makes staying on track MUCH easier. How many times have you fallen off the wagon because you didn’t have anything healthy to eat in the house? Having a good stock of healthy proteins eliminates that excuse.

When you have a large stock of frozen proteins, the trick to making that work is anticipation: with a little practice and experience you’ll know exactly when to remove the frozen food from the freezer so that it is defrosted in time. I tend to cook six chicken breasts at a time, and I know that defrosting six chicken breasts in my refrigerator takes two days. Fish portions can be defrosted overnight, and I can defrost shrimp overnight or even right on the spot under cold running water. Because shrimp can be quickly defrosted in a couple of minutes, they make an excellent fail-safe if I happen to forget to defrost something (that rarely happens anymore, as this cycle is very routine for me).

Obviously you need to have your meals planned out to make sure you know how much of something you’ll need. For example, if you cook a batch of chicken breasts you’ll probably want to consume them all within 3 or 4 days maximum (at least that’s my rule!)

So yesterday I went to Costco and purchased most of my proteins for my 2012 cut. I have a large spare freezer in the garage, and this is where I store my bulk proteins. The extra freezer was a solid investment because it saves me time (I won’t have to go back to Costco for months) and money (Costco is much cheaper than the grocery store). The freezer has certainly paid for itself over the years.

My 2012 Cutting Proteins

My 2012 Cutting Proteins

In the picture to the right you’ll see:

  • 52 pounds chicken
  • 10 pounds lean ground sirloin
  • 9 pounds salmon
  • 6 pounds shrimp
  • 3 pounds mahi-mahi
  • 1 pound grouper

Not pictured are a few dozen cans of tuna (in water), which I like to eat (right out of the can, if you’re wondering) with some almonds as an afternoon snack on non-training days.

It also helps to have a well-stocked pantry. Having a lot of healthy staple ingredients around will allow you to be creative and enjoy the healthy meals you’re making. I gave an extremely detailed tour (lots of pictures) of my pantry, spice cabinet and fridge here. Check it out if you’re looking for some ideas.

Lisa does the weekly grocery shopping, and I know she appreciates that her weekly trips are basically just to purchase fresh produce (and thanks to all the fruit, herbs and vegetables we are now growing, that list is growing shorter all the time!)

Folks, this is it: if you want to lose weight and get in shape for the new year, don’t wait until the last minute. Start planning now, and get fired up about the awesome changes you’re about to make.

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Preparing for success: pre-shopping for my 2012 cut.”
  1. Hey John, I am on board and am excited to start my fitness goals and am looking forward to becoming part of this community again. No excuses. January 1st is my start date. New car, car racks for my Titus Racer x MTB, built three step aerobics boxes for me and my daughters, complete weight set with rack system, and foods to be purchased the week before start date. To get get ripped again and stay motivated.

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