10 Reasons to Plan and Pack Your Food

Today, I will be at a ball park watching a friend play ball....ball park food is a "minefield of bad nutrition".....you are better off planning and packing your food.

One of the biggest mealplan-busters is "eating on the run." That usually turns into a disaster as far as your calorie count is concerned. There is no planning and you end up eating what taste good...."taste good foods on the run" many times equates to fat-filled, nutrient-thin and calorie-rich foods. Even more, you end up wanting to eat more just a short time later.

Here are 10 great reasons to plan and pack your food:

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1. Eating on the run is expensive. Eat better and save money....a winning combination.

2. Healthy eating habits help you burn fat and lose/manage weight loss. When you eat whole, natural foods, you are filled for a longer period on less calories. Whole, natural foods have one ingredient, like fresh fruits and veggies.

3. When you pack your foods, you are less likely to go long periods of time without eating. The food is always right there with you. Eating every 3-4 hours maintains your energy and keeps your metabolism active throughout the day.

4. You can eat protein with every meal when you plan. Protein helps you stay full for longer and helps keep carbs from spiking your blood sugar.

5. Similarly, you can eat enough fiber and healty fats during the day. Just pack fruits and vegetables and eat them with each meal. A fruit, like avocado, is a great source of healthy fat.

6. If you will pack water and unsweetened tea, you will have no need to drink sugary, belly-fattening drinks.

7. You won't be tempted to eat at a restaurant on the run.

8. Planning and packing meals helps you stay with your meal plan better, even on weekends.

9. You are more likely to eat healthy snacks like low-fat Greek yogurt, nuts or smoothies.

10. You are more likely to journal your food when you plan. Research has proven that you will have a better chance of succeeding with your meal plan and fat loss if you keep a food journal.

By logging your actual food choices, you are holding yourself accountable throughout the day. It will also help protect you from binge-eating and emotional eating if you write down why and what you eat. Once you get a good feel for how you need to eat, you won't need a daily food journal.

Eat better, feel better and look better!

Tired of deciding what to eat each day? Quick solution: smoothies.....Smoothies for meal replacement, workout performance or workout recovery are delicious, easy to prepare, hopefully healthy and cost effective. What else do you need?

Smoothies for Meal Replacement

Eating every 3-4 hours will keep your energy up and metabolism active. Going too long between meals can cause you to load up on sugary carbohydrates to get quick energy. These types of snacks are usually high in calories, not very nutritious and cause rapid ups and downs in blood sugar levels.

Whether you're on the run or eating breakfast or lunch, smoothies are a great choice. Hopefully, you will use whole, natural foods like fresh fruits, veggies, oats, nuts and Greek yogurt. And, take advantage of healthy herbs and spices instead of using excess sugars and salt. Its easy to make meal replacement smoothies of 400-600 calories. All it takes is a little planning, which is the best way to stick with your meal plan anyway.

If you plan your smoothies right, you will get the necessary protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals you need during the day.

Here is a good smoothie you can eat just about any time of the day:

BLUEBERRY-BANANA SMOOTHIE (good for energy, protein, antioxidants, pre- or post-workout)

--1 banana
--handful of blueberries, frozen or fresh
--1 cup plain Greek yogurt
--handful of walnut or almond pieces

If you want more protein, you can always add protein powder.

Smoothies for Workout Performance and Recovery

Smoothies are ideal for pre- and post-workout nutrition. This will help you build more muscle mass. You have to eat enough of the right foods to rebuild your muscles bigger. Even if you gain weight, you will be leaner because muscle takes up less space than fat.

The rigors of weight training breaks down your body and you need proper nutrition and rest to rebuild your body bigger and better. Protein consumption, in particular, is critical if you want to build muscle.

1. Pre-workout nutrition should mainly include carbohydrates, a small amount of healthy fats and proteins. During intense training, your body depends on fuel from glycogen made from the carbohydrates that you eat.

Consuming a smoothie 1-2 hours before a workout will help build up your glycogen stores. When your glycogen stores are low, your performance will suffer.

Research has shown the effectiveness of pre-workout protein drinks (such as whey and casein). Your muscles get 2 times as much benefit from a pre-workout protein drink compared to having just a post-workout protein drink.

2. Post-workout nutrition is important to help your body recover from intense exercise. You don't need to eat immediately after your workout but there is a 30-45 minute window where replenishing your body's fuel (carbs, protein, fats) will optimize your tissue's repair and growth.

The post-exercise meal should consist of carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of healthy fats. A smoothie is good because it is quickly digestible. A ratio of 2g carbs/1g protein is what you need. Protein provides the main building blocks for your muscles.

It is also important to drink enough water every day. Drink daily about a half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight (160 pound person would drink 80 ounces). Since your muscles are comprised of about 70% water, don't dehydrate yourself. During exercise, drink about a cup of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. For intense exercise lasting more than one hour, a sports drink with carbohydrate and protein is needed.

You can use healthy, delicious smoothies to help manage your weight. Many times, you may be looking for healthy snacks or meal replacements to control your calories while maintaining your energy during the day.

It doesn't take many ingredients to make smoothies, so you will definitely save money. 

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workout Book below and start shaping your body faster! There are 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You will also get fat-burning menus!

About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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