It’s week 4, we are ¼ of the way done with the challenge! I think at this point we all need some motivation to get swimsuit ready! Luckily, today’s discussion is all about your willpower – or rather your lack of willpower – and how to bridge your willpower gap! But first our weekly stats
Team 1: down 4.5lbs/1.95%
Team 2: down 4.6lbs/1.28%
Team 3: down 4.4 lbs/ 3.54%
Team 4: down 9 lbs/ 3.07%
Team 3 and 4 are really taking this seriously! Time for teams 1 and 2 to step up their game!
The average person makes over 200 decisions about food each and every day! Eating right, prepping meals, avoiding all the bad (but tasty) stuff you know you shouldn’t eat, and oh yeah, staying committed to a healthy diet can be difficult—duh. Even the non-food related decisions add to decision fatigue, making it difficult to eat the healthy choice. Planning your meals ahead of time or establishing a prep day can mean the difference between good intentions and behavior change. You need to bridge that willpower gap!
BUT, most of us don’t have the time or the energy to make a healthy home cooked meal after a long day at work. Instead, use your high-willpower moments to power your low-willpower moments.This helps you stay on track and overcome diet-wrecking temptations. Enter Prep day! Take a minute or two to plan healthy meals before your stomach makes the decision for you.
A prep-day can look differently for different people.
By having a Prep day you can have dinner on the table in a flash all week long. Prep day takes the guesswork out of what’s for dinner/lunch/breakfast and allows you to make healthy choices at each meal.
More reasons for and benefits of prepping your meals ahead of time:
Preparation doesn’t have to just be about food, you can also prepare for success in other areas of wellness. For example…
Anything you do to make the healthy choice the easy choice will help you succeed. Research shows that if you surround yourself with junk food, you are more likely to eat that junk food. So hide or get rid of candy jars and replace with healthier alternatives like nuts or fruit (halos make a delicious and fun desk treat). Put the healthier foods at eye level in your refrigerator and move the less healthy food out of sight.
Lastly, I want you to depend on friend-power instead of willpower. Willpower will ultimately fail, science shows it. Share your number within your groups and text each other whenever you feel tempted by unhealthy foods or wanting to skip your exercise routine. Accountability can go a long way with getting you back on track when you have decision fatigue – or perhaps just plain physical fatigue. Another idea: make a list of 10 things you are thankful for next time you are struggling to stick to plan. This little exercise of gratitude encourages you to think positively about what is going right instead of what you don’t have and can really boost your willpower. (This is especially powerful for stress eaters).
EASY, FAST, PREP-DAY Recipes:
Fall-Off-The-Bone Whole Chicken
I love cooking a whole chicken as it’s super easy with very little prep and I have meals for the whole week! I buy the largest whole chicken I can find (2 whole chicken at BJs for $17! – cook one or both of them at the same time).
Here is an easy brine recipe and it tastes just as good as the ones with sugar, but this one is sugar-free! All you need is salt and water: This will literally make your chicken fall off the bone (no more dry chicken!). I double the recipe for 1 whole chicken or 3x if you do two chickens.
Keep chicken in brine overnight in the fridge, then drain and stick in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. I add 1 lemon juice and zest, 2-3 cloves crushed garlic, fresh rosemary and/or Italian seasoning. (Be creative and use any seasoning you like. Fresh ginger is also good). Cook on low for 8 hours while you go to work!
Come home to a delicious dinner (just make sure you sauté up some veggies)! Eat chicken and keep bones and broth for Dinner #2. Add water and any vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, celery) to bones and broth and keep in cooker overnight on low (can even cook 24plus hours while at work). Add any leafy veggies to soup and/or cooked chicken before serving.
5 Clean Eating Chicken Sheet Pan Dinners You Can Prep In Minutes! These recipes take 5 minutes to prep and you can stick them in your freezer all ready to go for whenever you need an easy meal.
Want to incorporate a prep-day, but have different meals each day? Here are some recipes that can be easily interchanged to create new ones:
Still need more ideas? Here are 30 days of mouth-watering recipes already planned by a dietitian
Also some easy lunch ideas
More Slow Cooker recipes than you can possibly make: