How many times have you settled for chicken and rice for your evening meal just because it was easy and you knew it was providing you with all the nutrients you need? I mean, it’s easy to see why people think that eating healthily means sacrificing flavour as well as calories.
Because on the one hand it makes perfect sense. We are constantly being told to try and make every aspect of our training as simple as possible so that it can be sustained over a long period of time and that includes what we eat. But does simple food have to be flavourless?
I’ll be honest, putting a piece of chicken in the oven and boiling some rice and peas is probably about as simple as it is going to get. But the reason why we are trying to keep everything simple is so that it is easy to repeat – you can do it day after day without very much thought at all. In that respect chicken and rice is ideal. However, what you need to remember is that boredom, in any capacity, needs to be discouraged.
I’ve spoken before about getting that balance right between routine and variety and this is another perfect example. Routine is good. Setting good habits is the best way to start a successfully fitness regime. But that routine needs to be varied from time to time to maximise results. Trust me, if you eat the same 3/4 meals every single day for long enough then you will soon be bored.
The problem comes with what you do next. You are so sick of boiled eggs for breakfast and chicken in the evening that you just decided that one day you are going to order take away. And even if that is just for one night, it won’t last forever. The longer you try to keep going with something you don’t enjoy, the more likely you are to giving it all up in the future.
So what is the answer? As always it is never just the case of doing one thing – there are lots of answers! And there are lots of ways to eat different foods that you enjoy throughout the week.
The first thing you can do is plan. First decide what you want to eat. So search for recipes online, see what other people with similar goals are eating or get yourself a cookbook – there are plenty that focus solely on meals you should eat when training!
Once you have decided what you want, go out and get the ingredients! Then choose, either try to find the time to cook each day or prepare all your meals on one day and just heat them up whenever you fancy them.
I’m not going to pretend that will all be quite as easy as chicken and rice, or as cheap, but it will be for the best in the long run. If you are eating well and enjoying it then it doesn’t seem like you are missing out. So you won’t be tempted to binge or snack when you shouldn’t be!
And yes, it might cost you a little bit more but there are plenty of recipes out there that maximise convenience and nutrition, whilst minimising cost.
Don’t be fooled into believing that training is all about boring meals that are designed for practicality, not taste. Change your routine from being the same meals everyday, to routinely changing what you eat each week!