Struggling to up your nutrition game? No worries, we have you covered...
Life is faster and busier than ever these days.
Finding any kind of balance between work, developing your career, your personal life, and feeling great (not to mention looking great) can be hard.
And that’s before you even start trying to work out how to:
It’s time to KISS your goals
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!
Every week, new clients come to our personal training gym after years of confusion, wrong turns, bad advice (unfortunately, often from their previous personal trainer).
The frustration of trying to balance looking and feeling better, against trying to find the right strategy for their personal goals and life circumstances, all while trying to fit everything else into life, while not actually getting any of the results they want, is what drives many of our clients to get a personal trainer.
But most times, where our personal training team starts out isn’t some crazy, complicated, extreme or faddish programme.
It’s usually starting with the right but simple basics, building a simple but solid foundation, based on consistency and education of what it really takes to achieve amazing short term results, and keep those results long term.
Nutrition is No.1
So what’s the most important factor in keeping it simple while getting the results you’ve always wanted?
Many people think it’s exercise.
But actually, nutrition is by far the most important factor to get right.
And when it comes to nutrition, you absolutely don’t need some extreme strategy to get sensational, fast, sustainable results.
So optimising your nutrition is key to:
If you want to build a solid nutritional foundation upon which to build a better body and a better life, there’s never been a better time to invest a little effort in sprucing your nutrition strategy up.
Even if you work long hours and have little time.
The most important thing to remember in thinking about revamping your nutrition is that whatever you do has to be sustainable.
Yes, you can live on steamed kale for 3 weeks and drop a ton of weight, but that’s not worth much if you put it all back on again.
Instead, focus on flavours and cuisines that you like to eat – do you like Italian food? Mexican? Indian? Thai?
Great, each of these will add variety to your life, keep you from getting bored, and can be made in a way that meets your nutrition goals.
This way, you’re eating in a way that you choose and which you enjoy.
And that means long term results; a better body, better energy levels, and a better life.
Here are a few strategies we employ with our personal training clients here at Optimised.
1/ Shop on Sunday and Wednesday
On Sunday buy everything you need to last until Wednesday lunchtime.
If you leave shopping until you’re on your way home after a long day at work, with low blood sugar levels, and you haven’t really thought about your evening, you’re far more likely to go for convenience food.
And that convenience food is not likely to be the best choice for any of your goals.
In fact, ending up in this situation is likely to lead to choices that actively destroy your progress and lead to looking, feeling, and performing much worse!
Invest a bit of planning time up front and you’ll save time in the long run.
2/ Batch cook on Sunday night
No, ‘food prep’ is not sexy.
And it’s not really that much fun.
But it is absolutely key if you have no idea where to start and want to look, feel, and perform better than you have in years.
Make a huge chili for instance, it’ll last you a few days.
Batch cook again on Wednesday night.
I have personal training clients who were getting home so late and knackered that they were eating cereal as their evening meal.
Don’t let this be you!
3/ Variety and taste is really important
Some people eat to live, and don’t mind eating the same food day after day.
They’re not too concerned about flavours and taste, and any kind of basic flavour is good for them.
These people tend to find nutrition quite a lot easier, once they have the right strategy in place.
Other people really live to eat – they love the variety and flavours of food, and a boring diet that lacks variety and flavour feels like being in nutrition prison.
If that’s you, it’s really important to think about what kinds of cuisine you enjoy, shop ahead so you have everything you need, and batch cook so you’re still keeping it simple.
For instance, making slow cooker chicken curry is quick, easy, and delicious.
It’ll take you about 10 minutes to find some awesome recipes, get to it!
4/ Breakfast can be the biggest challenge!
This is the meal that most of our Manchester personal training clients struggle to get right.
Here’s a quick, simple, and easy solution to getting breakfast right:
Get a NutriBullet, some cheap frozen berries, plain whey protein, a couple of different kinds of nuts (cashews, almonds and Brazils work for me) and freeze some spinach or kale.
Make a NutriBullet for breakfast 3 times per week using a different nut each time.
Add kale or spinach according to how hardcore you are!
The other two days, get some eggs. Boil a bunch up at the start of the week and 2-3 eggs for breakfast with a handful of spinach.
5/ Lunch is easy
When you do your shopping, buy a couple of pre-made egg Spanish style tortillas, olives, feta, houmous, baba ganoush, leaves and so on.
Bang some in a lunchbox and you’re good to go.
Even better if you add some of the protein from what you ate the night before – that’s a really easy way to boost your protein intake.
Fancy something hot?
You can now buy plug in lunchboxes that will heat your batch cooked food over an hour or so!
6/ Meal delivery can save the day
There are so many great food delivery services around Manchester now, and services that deliver pre-chopped ingredients.
I feel conflicted about meal delivery – as a population we’re increasingly deskilling when it comes to basics such as feeding ourselves, but this can be a good go to when needed.
Food delivery is even more important when you’ve been caught out being unprepared.
Having a go-to food delivery option when you get caught out is a much better option than winging it and falling back into bad habits.
So if your go-to is, for instance, Lebanese food delivery that’s protein, humous, and a tasty Middle Eastern salad, or tandoori chicken with rice and salad, then you’re still covering your nutrition bases in a simple and tasty way, even in a tight spot.
Of course, gaining the cooking, planning and kitchen organisation skills that will give you both short term, and long term, sustainable results, is the real win.
But we’ve all had times where we’ve been super busy, and having a go-to back-up plan is really sensible.
7/ Don’t over-complicate it
The is the biggest mistake most people make, and the one that most frequently de-rails their nutrition.
Most people who have no time and no clue where to start with nutrition don’t need to start out thinking about detailed macro’s, specific calorie targets, calorie tracking, protein goals, carb cycling, supplements, and so on.
Keeping it simple and looking after the basics consistently will get you some seriously amazing results.
When it comes time to gain confidence in the gym, get more specific with our programming, and with your nutrition game, that can be a good time to find the right personal trainer.
Nutrition can be simple, and you can win at nutrition even when you have no clue and no time!
Keeping it simple is key – getting your kitchen organised, and doing something simple like buying a cookbook stand, some cookbooks, or an iPad, plus some Kindle cookbooks, can make a big difference.
Taking these simple steps will get you some huge results, so don’t use being busy or having no idea where to start with nutrition as an excuse.
Our experience with thousands of personal training clients – busy clients who were in exactly the same position as you are today – tells us that it is possible and you can get it done.
It just takes a few first steps and a minimum investment of time.
To your lean, healthy, optimised future,
Matt & the Optimised personal training team