My tips for keeping your fat loss diet on track, even when life gets crazy.
I wanted to talk about some of my cutting diet meals this morning. Over the past few days I’ve received some questions about the foods I’ve logged on MyFitnessPal, and so I wanted to address those this morning. I’d also like to provide some (hopefully) helpful tips that will make it easier for you to stay on track, even when life throws unexpected twists and turns at you.
My number one piece of advice is to keep your pantry and fridge well-stocked with healthy staples (and devoid of temptations). If you’re looking for some inspiration and ideas, I’ve got an extremely detailed tour of my pantry, spice cabinet and refrigerator (with lots of photographs) here.
Sometimes life can get pretty crazy. There are times when things don’t go as we planned, and a lot of people use that as an excuse to go off their fat loss diets. Well, I say that’s a cop-out! We all know that things don’t always go as expected, so it’s up to us to have a backup plan in place just for those situations.
What I like to do is have healthy meals that can be prepared in minutes on-hand. Some examples:
- I have grilled chicken breasts in my fridge at all times. I grill the breasts six at a time, and then put them in a large zip-lock bag. They keep for 4-5 days, and are great cold. I make sure I have six more breasts defrosted and ready to grill before the previous batch is fully consumed.
- Keep lots of fresh and frozen veggies on-hand.
- Brown rice (I use Uncle Ben’s Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice) is something I consume a lot of, and so I’ve devised a way to make sure I can have it ready in less than a minute. I do this by preparing the rice in bulk, and then freezing it in 1/2 cup servings. These 1/2 cup servings can be reheated in the microwave in about 1 minute. I’ve got full instructions on how I do this (everything from cooking the rice in bulk and how I store it) in this article. Preparing the rice in bulk saves a lot of time throughout the week when I’m the most busy.
- As you can see in the photo to the right, I keep a large stock of lean chili on-hand. This is another healthy meal that can be re-heated in the microwave in just minutes (I always have it with brown rice).
I get a lot of questions about how I prepare the chili, and it’s actually quite simple. I use 93% lean ground beef and Carroll Shelby’s chili kits. You can use even leaner ground beef or turkey if you like, of course. I always make a double batch using two chili kits and 4-5 pounds of ground beef.
Here’s how I prepare the chili (double batch). First I brown 4-5 pounds of 93% lean ground beef in a large pot and then drain off the fat. Then I add two cans of tomato sauce, 2 cans of water, both chili seasoning packets, both cayenne pepper packets and one of the salt packets. I find that using half the salt is perfect – any more than that makes the chili way too salty for my tastes. I completely omit the corn masa that comes in the kits. I actually love corn masa, but it just adds too many calories so I leave it out. I also add lots of extra cayenne pepper because I don’t find the chili is spicy enough straight from the box. Anyway, I stir all that up, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes. When it’s done I put 10-ounce portions into reusable 2-cup storage containers with screw-on lids. After allowing the chili to cool down for a bit I put the lids on and stick the containers in the freezer. Defrosting is easy: take the lid off and defrost in the microwave just long enough to allow transfer of the frozen block of chili into a bowl. I add frozen brown rice (pre-cooked, as described above), cover the bowl and nuke for about 4 minutes, stirring several times. It comes out perfect!
These are just a few examples that will hopefully get you thinking in the right direction. The point is to be prepared for those times when things go sideways, so get creative and NO EXCUSES!