Stay Trim Tip #1: Brown Bag It!
This is the first in a 5 part series on my favorite and most successful tips for staying trim and fit.
The very first tip to introduce the Stay Trim series is to Brown Bag It! Now what do I mean by brown bag it? It’s the old school term for pack your own lunch and take it with you. Thankfully, we now have much prettier versions of the brown bag to dress our lunch up in. There are also a plethora of containers and icepacks to keep everything fresh. This is my first stay trim tip for an important reason. My client’s that have had the most success getting to their goal weight (and staying there for good), have combined my brown bag tip along with their personalized exercise program. The results they have achieved speak for themselves and are beyond remarkable.
When you bring your own lunch you know exactly what’s in it. You know it’s caloric load and you can make it well rounded and nutritious. If you have a long workday, it’s also important to pack some 100-200 calorie snacks that you can munch on. This way when you walk in the door you won’t be ravishingly hungry and jump for the quickest chip fix. It is so important to NEVER EVER let yourself hit a state of hunger where your glycemic index drops so low that you want to reach for the quickest fix. This is a danger zone and you will end up way over eating at your next meal.
I know it probably seems like a lot of work to pack your own lunch each day, but trust me it’s not as bad as it might seem. The best way to prepare your lunch is to plan a meal out on Sunday evening and package up 3 lunches for the week. Wednesday can be your next cook day where you plan your next meal and package up your 2 remaining lunches for the workweek. If you don’t work and your thinking this article doesn’t apply to you, think again. Make sure that you always pack lunches for road trips and try to avoid eating out as much as possible during the week. You can maintain a consistent eating schedule even if you are a stay at home mom or work from home. It’s so important for weight loss success!
I know it might seem boring to only be eating 2 different types of lunches each week, but consistency wins the race each and every time. Heck, if you really enjoy cooking/preparing feel free to change it up each day there is nothing wrong with that. I would also recommend changing your meals each week so that you and your body don’t get “bored”. This will also ensure you are getting the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals by varying the types of foods in your food groups.
If all of this seems too overwhelming for you, then I would recommend doing as Kathy Freston says and just “lean into it”. Maybe try just bringing 2 lunches a week and then gradually ease into doing more. When you start seeing and feeling the benefits you are going to want to make it a weekly thing!
If I still haven’t convinced you yet of the benefits that packing a lunch can provide, here are a few more reasons to give it a try:
- You will save a boatload of money over the course of your life. I know eating healthy can cost a bit more, but when you are packing your own lunch it almost always is cheaper then eating out each week.
- You will be much healthier on the inside. Fast food restaurants cook with oils and garbage that is no good for your body. When you don’t take your lunch to work chances are you are eating out. Eating out is never the healthiest option. When you pack your own lunch you know exactly what’s going into it.
- You will have a trim waistline and consistent weight. You will be saving your body from thousands of “extra” calories entering it each week. It can be quite shocking to know the amount of hidden fat and calories in some of this restaurant food. I always say, restaurants are in the business of making food taste good. They will do whatever they need to do to make that happen. This includes using excessive salt, sugar and fat. Packing your own lunch provides your body with consistency in the caloric intake department.
- You enjoy your weekend splurge even more! On the weekends you can splurge a bit with your friends and family by eating out at a restaurant or eating your favorite food. This does not mean that you “over eat” but you enjoy what you would like at 2 different meals. After eating well all week you are going to enjoy it so much more. Your body will burn through this meal because you ate well and consistent all week. You can have your cake and eat it too without severe consequences.
- Your weight will stay consistent with no more yo-yo dieting. Your body craves consistency. When you feed it well all week, it’s not going to scoff at you when you eat pizza on a Saturday night with friends. It knows it’s a treat and that you will be getting back to your consistent behavior. Hence it rewards you by burning through the pizza with no problem and maintaining a stable weight for you. When you don’t eat well all week and then you choose to also splurge on the weekend the weight packs on quickly.
I hope you found this information helpful. Stay tuned for stay trim tip #2 next week. If you enjoy reading these articles I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you have any health and fitness questions or if there are any fitness topics you would enjoy reading more about.
My passion is helping people succeed in reaching all of their health and fitness goals no matter how big or small. That is why I built a wellness company focused on positive change in lifestyle that delivers lasting results! If you have any fitness questions please feel free to Contact Me.
Owner of Storm Fitness Personal Training and Nutrition