How I Stopped Stressing About Eating In One Evening

What you’re getting into: 1100 words 7-11 minute read.

How I Stopped Stressing About Eating In One Evening

Let me tell you a story.

Eating right is HARD and I’m supposed to be really good at this stuff right?

I mean given my resume you’d think I’d have this down but it’s still hard. I’m a personal trainer, former Mizzou Football player, I’ve got a BHS in Health Sciences, heck I’m even a Precision Nutrition Certified Coach.

Food. Still. Sucks.

So I wanted to share this story with you about how I recently stopped stressing about what to eat next in one evening.

As a bonus, I’ll tell you how to make this even easier a the end of this.

I’ve been working on my eating lately and it’s paying off. I’ve lost some weight, my knees feel good and most recently I stopped stressing about eating.

Here's exactly how I did it:

I make all my food in advance.

That’s it.

You can stop right here if you’d like. The rest of the article will walk you through exactly how I do it. I hope you continue on, you might find something you can steal from me to use in your own life.

 

What makes eating stressful?

 

Several factors influence the psychology of your eating. They range from where you chose to eat to what foods you were surrounded by growing up.

I personally wasn’t always surrounded by the best foods so picking for me has always been difficult. (Anyone who’s planned lunch with me is rolling their eyes right now) I suck at picking places.

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to make eating less stressful.

About.com notes a few in an article a healthy eating plan to reduce stress:

  • Plan Ahead
  • Keep It Simple, Silly.
  • Cook Ahead.
  • Use A Crock Pot.

I’m not using a crock pot…but that doesn’t mean you can’t!

The most important takeaway here is that planning works. When you’ve already planned out what you’re going to eat all you need to do is pick up a fork.

 

Exactly how I do it in steps:


I’ve always had a goal of getting lean, I was overweight as a kid so it’s important to me. I think it would be really cool to get single digit bodyfat (6-9% is healthy).

I want to look good for whoever my wife is going to be and taking care of myself will allow me to play with the kids I’ve dreamed I’ll have :).

Getting to 6-9% is hard<===Link to infographic explaining another way you can figure out the cost to getting to your body fat goals.

Step #1

I started by figuring out how much food I need for where I’m at. A lot.

Calories as a guessing tool:

There are several tools you can use to estimate how many calories you need in a day. I don’t think counting calories is effective but I used it as a guide for this experiment.Because I’m a male, 6’1 and 219 pounds. I need anywhere from 2650-3700 Calories in a day. Big range right?

The Mayo Clinic has an online calculator that spit out 3200 for me since I selected “active” by their standards. It’s based on the Harris Benedict Equation for calculating calories, one of the three popular formulas.

Step #2

I picked a macronutrient range:Disclaimer: I am NOT telling you to try this range, it’s just the one I decided to go with based on my learning, research and this article. If you’re skeptical about protein you can read this,  an article precision nutrition put together on the science behind how much protein is safe.

The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range has some ranges for adults (percent of energy):

  • 20-35% Fat
  • 45-60% Carbs
  • 10-35% Protein

That’s not what I followed, I’ll back it up with some more science for any naysayers potentially reading this.

High Protein diets are not harmful for perfectly healthy individuals

I did this for my goal and body type:

  • 40% Fat
  • 25% Carbs
  • 35% Protein

I’ve done this before and I find it to be effective for my body and my lifestyle.

I decided 3,080 calories a day was something I could maintain. Mind you this is to lose weight.

Yeah I’m expensive…

That looks like:

  • 40% Fat= 136g/day
  • 25% Carbs= 192.5g/day
  • 35% Protein= 269.5g/day

I track it all using a handy app on my phone called Myplate.

Step #3

I bought containers to store my food: SAM’s Club had some containers for around $20

Step #4

I pick the foods I like that work for this. I’m not super picky but I want to eat more veggies, fish, chicken, fruit, nuts and whole grains. I base my eating off that stuff.

I could write an entire post on this alone, so I’ll spare the details.


Step #5

Track it all:

You can really track anyway you want, it’s a tool just like anything else. Photo journals, written logs, cell phone apps. Whatever works for you do it.

I decided to go with Livestrong.com’s myplate app. Its pretty handy.

Here’s what one of my day’s looks like:

What this looks like in real food:

Here’s a couple pictures of my breakfast this morning.

7 eggs, 1 banana, 3 oz of spinach, 2 tbsp flaxseed, 1 tbsp chia, One a day multivitamin. 749 Calories.

During…I clown around a bit.

Finished! Not pictured: my water cup with the flax and chia in it.

Lunches + for the week

How you can do this

You can do all the fancy math or you can choose a simpler route. You can meal prep and make food in advance, use this as a guide. Adjust it as you go.

Women:

  • 1 Palm Protein (Chicken, beef, fish, etc.)
  • 1 Thumb fat (mixed nuts, avocado, etc.)
  • 1 Cupped Handful of Carbs (rice, oats, fruits etc.)
  • 1 Fist Veggies

Men

  • 2 Palm Protein (Chicken, beef, fish, etc.)
  • 2 Thumb fat (mixed nuts, avocado, etc.)
  • 2 Cupped Handful of Carbs (rice, oats, fruits etc.)
  • 2 Fist Veggies

Or you can straight up email or call me or hire someone to figure all this out for you.

I offer nutritional coaching that’s more than just a template.

My email: Steven@Simplesolutionsfitness.com

Phone 573-443-1495 


Conclusion

 

Eating doesn’t have to be stressful. There are several strategies to get around this. My favorite one is making all of my food in advance. You can just make some of it like protein, that usually takes the longest.

Give it a try this week, make all your lunches in advance and let me know how it goes!
comment on this post or email me. I’d love to help.