Recently I have really gotten in to fitness and nutrition. I don't plan on being a body builder or anything, but I value looking and feeling good. I have done any polling or research into our profession, but just from staring at teams' sidelines... there is a large percentage of football coaches who are overweight.
When I was 21 I made some big changes in my life and I dropped a total of 90 lbs from my biggest down to my smallest. I wrote about that here. I no longer care about the number on the scale, I only care about how I look from working out.
I want to share some pieces of advice, simple things that you can do to help yourself lose weight. We are still in January, the month where everyone vows to drop those extra pounds. However most people that start a new years weight loss plan, give up within a month or two.
I won't get into working out... do something you like... do it often. Burn Calories. For me, I enjoy lifting. I hate cardio. If I want cardio, I will lift weights faster. But that is just me, do whatever makes you happy.
I wont to focus on what I feel is the most important part of losing weight...
We spend hours of time every week breaking down film, preparing for opponents, and organizing our team. We can spare an hour per week for meal prep.
I typically do all of my cooking for the week on Sunday night. I am an extremely picky eater but when I find something I like, I am able to eat it on a daily basis. I do not want to get too much into the actual foods because everyone has different tastes and favorites. But if you are curious here are some things I eat almost every day...
A lot of chicken (I genuinely like chicken more than beef and it has less fat/calories)
Tuna fish (I prefer pouch over can because I hate draining and I don't need to bring can opener with me)
Ground turkey (I sub this in for any recipe with ground beef)
Eggs/Egg whites with turkey sausage
Whole grain Pasta (With a little low calorie alfredo sauce)
White Rice (most will tell you to use Brown Rice... I just think white rice tastes much better)
I have a whey protein shake every day post workout as well.
I have other snacks at times, or I will switch a meal up... but these foods are fairly constant in my day to day eating.
The are multiple benefits in mass preparing all your foods.
-Saves time. It is actually quicker to do all of your cooking at once for the week than making each meal
-Less prone to cheating and over eating. The meals are already done
-Convenient, quick, Can eat on the run
-save you money, avoid eating out and fast food
What you will need
A digital food scale. I picked one up a couple years ago. You can get them for $20 or less on amazon, walmart, or target.
A Calorie counting App - The best in my opinion is "My Fitness Pal". I have tried others, but this one is the best. You just type in the food and it has everything you can think of in it. You just adjust the serving size to enter how much you ate. It even has a scanner function. You just hold it up to the bar code of any food and it will automatically input the food's data. I've seen it work on dollar store brand items. it has everything programmed in there. Using the app is where the food scale comes in handy. It allows you to measure what you are eating so you can enter the data into your phone. You can't expect to get solid weight loss results until you begin tracking your calories (and macronutrients). What some people might think is a serving of a particular food might actually be 2-3 servings. The app is awesome because you can enter in some info about yourself and it tells you how many calories to consume in order to reach your goal. When I want to lose fat I choose the 1 lb per week goal, which will give a 500 calorie deficit per day.
TupperWare to store your food in. I bought most of mine from the dollar store. I have no idea what size they are but they are big enough to fit each meal, stackable, easy to clean and reuse, and they were cheap. Buy a decent amount of them, since you will be prepping probably 3-4 meals per day for 5-6 days at a time.
I am able to get my cooking done quickly because I do it all at once. A typical Sunday evening looks like this. BBQ or oven cooking chicken, boiling pasta on stove, while cooking eggs/turkey sausage on another burner, while my rice cooker is doing its thing making rice for the week.
Once all of the food is cooked I use the scale and Tupperware to divide the food out evenly into packaged meals and stack the meals up by which day I will eat them.
Add Flavor without adding Calories/Sodium
I try to add as much flavor to my food without adding extra calories, recently I have shifted away from eating anything with sodium in it as well. A lot of what I eat is high in sodium so it is important for me to not add any.
Since you other coaches are like family to me I will let you in on my secret recipes.
I add spices to almost everything... they are zero calorie, and have zero sodium... literally if you look at the nutrition facts they all say 0 for every category.
These are my go to seasonings. I got all of these at Sam's Club (just like Costco for anyone who isn't familiar with the warehouse store). I love the taste of pepper. I love anything spicy and feel the crushed red pepper helps to give otherwise bland egg whites some needed flavor. My mom used garlic salt on everything growing up so garlic powder is my no calorie/sodium way of replicating that taste in my food. If I could only pick one seasoning it would be Mrs. Dash. Mrs. Dash has a wide range of flavors and the good thing is that now ALL of their products are salt free. I recently purchased the chipotle version and I like that as well. It tastes good on everything.
I can't imagine cooking without PAM. Makes clean up much easier because food doesn't stick. No need to cook food in oil or butter when you can use PAM and add ZERO calories to your meals.
Zero Calorie Foods
Hippies will tell you they are bad for you and aren't natural. However there a number of zero calorie foods you can experiment with.
Walden Farms produces nothing but zero calorie foods.
One that I have not tried but have heard is amazing is "I can't believe it's not butter" Spray
Give it a shot. You do not have to eat any of the foods I mentioned above. However I promise you, give meal prep a try for a month and you will see results. It seems like a lot of work to do up front but I assure you it saves time compared to cooking food each day of the week.
If you get bored with food easily pick out a few breakfast meals, a few lunches, a few snacks, a few dinners and this way you can change it up.
Monday: breakfast A, lunch A, dinner A
Tuesday: breakfast B, lunch B, dinner B
Wednesday: breakfast c lunch c dinner c
Thursday: start the pattern over
Give this a shot. We all want kids that are in shape and take care of their bodies... don't they deserve a coach who does the same?