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One of the toughest challenges to eating a healthy diet is food preparation. When you’re hungry after work and strapped for time, it’s much easier to hit the drive-thru on the way home than it is to head home and cook a meal from scratch. But sticking with a nutrition plan gets much easier with a little preparation ahead of time.┬áThese guidelines are designed to help anyone stick to our nutrition guidelines.

 

Cook lean protein and healthy carbs in batches. We recommend basing meals around lean protein, and having cooked protein waiting in the fridge is a great way to ward off greasy convenience meals. Dinner is much easier when all it takes is a reheat. The same goes for your carb choices. Bake several pounds of chicken breast all at once and you’ll have chicken fingers ready all week. Cook a double batch of lean-meant chili and you’ll have lunch leftover.

 

Keep frozen vegetables and protein in your freezer. It’s much easier to go out for a cheat meal when you know you don’t have any food waiting at home. This way you always have a go-to meal. Frozen seafood thaws in minutes. Saute in your choice of healthy oil, and you have dinner ready in minutes.

 

Cook your own lunch, and use the weekend to prep the next week’s lunch. When you’re busy at work, it’s easy to go out for a quick bite. But chances are that the convenient lunch meal has too many carbs and calories. If you work in an office, try bringing five lunches in on Monday. If you work on the road, buy a cooler lunchbox to take with you.

 

Love your slow cooker. Slow cookers are a great way to have a delicious, healthy meal waiting for you when you come home. Start cooking a large portion of protein on low in the morning, and it’ll be ready when you get home. This can be a whole chicken, chicken breasts, or a lean cut of pork or beef. Steam and season a side of vegetables when you get home, and you’ll have a quick dinner without sacrificing flavor.

 

Keep healthy snacks on hand. This includes fruit, nuts, and lean dairy, such as reduced fat string cheese. Nuts and lean dairy are a great way to get in a little extra protein, and nuts come with the added bonus of healthy fats. If you’re looking to get leaner, you’ll want to watch your portions on these.

 

Know the healthy options at the restaurants in your area. It’s unrealistic to deny yourself ever eating at a restaurant again. Sometimes there really is no time to cook, and sometimes you just want the social atmosphere of going out to eat with friends. That doesn’t have to wreck your fitness goals if you know what to look for on the menu. Look for the entrees with lean meats and veggies. Try the salad instead of the sandwich.

 

Eating right is always a challenge, especially when you’re busy living life on the go. These are just a few ways that a little planning can help set you up for success!