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Wedding Day Meal Prepping

Earlier this week I introduced my one month-out plan to get myself prepared for a big event. Right now, I’m talking about my wedding day, but I follow suit for a vacation, a photo shoot, or any other milestone I want to be looking and feeling my best. If you’re tracking with me, you know there are two key considerations: what you do in the gym and what you do in the kitchen. While both play a crucial role, I hold food, diet and nutrition as my highest priority when I’ve got my eye on the prize.

Devil Wears Prada

Just kidding!!! I literally just said that you have to eat to lose fat and gain muscle.

If I have one hour to workout or to cook/prepare my food I’ll take the time to prepare my food. You can workout all you want, but if your eating isn’t on point, nothing good can happen. The below requires a lot of pre-planning, grocery shopping, and time in the kitchen. It’s not super thrilling, in fact it can feel like a second job, but when you find that sweet spot of what, when and how much to eat the results will be really satisfying.

What To Eat:

  • Produce (veggies and fruit)
  • Meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc)
  • Eggs
  • Healthy grains (quinoa, brown rice, wheat pasta, etc)

Foods for Weight Loss

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but a great representation of what protein, carbohydrates and fat look like in food form. Often times we think that carbohydrates are limited to grains or rice, or that fats are limited to avocado and nut butters. Not true, get creative, people!

When To Eat:

  • Meal 1: Upon waking*
  • Meal 2: 3 hours after Meal 1
  • Meal 3: 3 hours after Meal 2
  • Meal 4: 3 hours after Meal 3
  • Meal 5: 3 hours after Meal 4
  • Meal 6: Before bedtime**

*If you workout in the morning and like to workout on an empty stomach you can eat this meal first thing in the morning. For me, I workout on empty, have a protein shake directly after, and will have my first meal 3 hours or so after waking.

**A casein protein shake for recovery and muscle growth. This is your dessert now. Just accept it.

This may seem like a lot of eating, and it may be if you’re used to depriving yourself of food on a 1,200 caloric diet. Develop your meals based on the macro count below.

How Much To Eat:

  • Determine how many calories you need to eat.
    • Multiply your weight by 11-14x (fairly sedentary – super active).
    • For me, I’m 140 lbs and super active. My caloric goal is 1,960.

Be honest with yourself here. Be accurate with your weight and be realistic with your activity level. This is between you and you. 

  • Determine how much protein you should consume throughout the day in total (not in one meal).
    • Your body weight in pounds is the amount of protein you should consume throughout the day. Doesn’t get easier than that.
    • I’m 140 lbs. My goal is 140 grams of protein.
  • Determine how much fat you should consume throughout the day, again this is calculated by the food you consume from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Not just in one meal.
    • You should consume .3-.6 grams of fat per pound of body weight. You will most likely have to play around with this to figure out what works best for you.
    • My body responds fairly well to fat so I go for .6 grams. I weight 140 lbs. My goal is to consume 84 grams of fat throughout the day.
  • Determine how many carbohydrates you should consume throughout the day. Grab your calculator, kiddo. Remember when you had to take math in high school and college? This is most likely why.
    • Convert your fat and protein intake from grams to calories.  For me, I consume 560 calories from protein and 756 calories from fat.
      • 1 gram protein = 4 calories
      • 1 gram carbohydrate = 4 calories
      • 1 gram fat = 9 calories
    • Subtract the amount you eat in protein and fat from your total caloric goal. For me, after I eat my protein and fat, I’m left with 644 calories left for carbohydrates. Or, 161 grams.  

These calories add up FAST so accuracy is really important. Buy a food scale and download a food tracker app to help you visualize what you’re putting in your mouth. The scale below is MY overall food distribution that I will divide across meals to achieve this overall macro count.

meta-chart

What does this look like in meals? A sample day for me looks like this:

  • Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1 cup of sautéed kale, 1 TBS of coconut oil
  • Meal 2: An apple with 1 TBS of almond butter
  • Meal 3: 4 oz of chicken breast, 2 cups of mixed greens, 1/2 an avocado
  • Meal 4: 1 scoop of protein powder mixed with water, banana
  • Meal 5: 4 oz of fish, half of a sweet potato, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils
  • Meal 6: 1 scoop of protein powder mixed with water and a TBS of almond butter

This is why I say, it’s not thrilling, and it’s not always pretty…at night for that final meal I’m literally fighting every fiber of my being to reach for my BlenderBottle instead of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. This is when you need to remind yourself that this type of diet isn’t forever, it’s just for a month! I’ve got a date set and I am working towards a goal! It’s all good and that indulgence will be so much sweeter on the other side. Note to self: Wedding pictures are forever.

What to Avoid:

  • Sugary drinks (soda, juice, 90% of the menu at Starbucks, etc)
  • Excess fruit (be mindful of sugar and carbs)
  • Sugary foods (candy, ice cream, Nutella, chocolate, pastry, etc)
  • Any food that comes out of a box or a wrapper
  • Basically anything that tastes good. Sorry. 

So there you have it. A month out food prep guide. Is this sustainable? Actually, it could be for those who are super disciplined and have no tastebuds. For me, hell no!

Heart says Tacos

As hard as I try to food prep, the plan I’ve laid out is hard to achieve for someone with real life responsibilities. I follow a looser version of this for my everyday life (a version that includes wine, cheese and dessert) but when I’m trying to step it up I hold myself to a higher standard. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth it on that big day when you see your results.

Good luck!

Images via Boldomatic, and Bodybuilding.com, GIF via Marshall and the Movies, The Huffington Post. 

And, here’s another way to calculate your caloric goals: Bodybuilding.com

One Comment

  1. What type of protein powder do you use? It’s difficult to figure out which ones are “clean” and giving you the most bang for your buck!

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