Prepare for Success

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln
Ask most people who have worked hard to make drastic changes to their physique and health, and they will tell you that spectacular results come from unspectacular preparation. There's no immediate glory in preparing a healthy meal and there's no spotlight shining on you when you come away from a grocery store with healthy food choices. However, in order to achieve your goals one key aspect is vital, even though it's rather mundane and often overlooked — preparation.

In particular, I'd like to focus on meal preparation, and how attacking your diet with a gameplan can bring about the results you're after.  One doesn't want to walk into a grocery store and think they are going to get great results by just stocking your shopping cart with items that say "Low Fat" or "Low Carb" or buzzwords like "Healthy" and "Smart".  If it was that simple, then we would all have great bodies and extraordinary health.  Just like going to the gym, you want to prepare and plan what needs to be done in advance.  It is extremely helpful if you put together a tentative menu for yourself or your household; this way you can effectively shop with a grocery list.  If you're a newbie when it comes to healthy eating, then you may feel very tempted to grab that bag of Doritos or chocolate chip cookies out of your favorite snack aisle.  Having a list will keep your grocery cart from making a wrong turn.

Most of us work and a lot of us work a lot.  With very little free time in our busy schedules it is hard to prepare your 5 -7 suggested meals and snacks throughout the day.  Now that you have all the proper foods that you need, why not prepare some meals in advance? Cooking in bulk can be a great time saver and it also helps to prevent overeating or making the wrong choices.  We have all been guilty of grabbing the first thing in sight when we are starving and don't want to spend time cooking.  Throw a bunch of chicken and steak on the grill keep it in the fridge for a few days (just make sure you clean out your fridge on a regular basis so you don't end up eating old food!).

A lot of healthy recipe books have different low calorie cassoroles and chilis that can even be frozen.  The good thing about a lot of these books is that they even give the breakdown of protien, carbs, fats, and calories.  Some people may like to portion out there food in advance to save even more time.  It wouldn't hurt to have containers of Tupperware sitting in the fridge with already prepared meals in them.

Remember, perfection doesn't come over night — it may take you a while to form these healthy habits, but over time healthy meal preparation will become like second nature along with looking and feeling great!