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Setting yourself up for success involves planning. We’ve all heard it: A failure to plan is a plan to fail. It can seem like an insurmountable task to meal prep,...

Setting yourself up for success involves planning.  We’ve all heard it — “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”  We often apply this to in-your-face priorities like prepping for a meeting at work or getting your kid's school lunch ready the night before.  Rarely do we take the time to stop and apply this discipline to our fitness lives. It seems like an insurmountable task to meal prep, count macros, keep track of how much water you drink but with a few hacks, you can make it happen much easier than you think. 

Plan for Success


Hack #1 - Find easier ways to have healthy protein sources ready.

Hit up your local grocery store on your way home and pick up a rotisserie chicken.  Typically they are $4 to $7 — hot, fresh, and ready to eat. The average rotisserie chicken contains approximately 160 to 200 grams of protein. If we take the average price and grams of protein, at 30 grams of protein per meal, this works out to about 91 cents per meal. Pretty dang cheap for literally doing nothing but buying it. 

Hack #2 - Find easier ways to prepare whole meals using healthy restaurants.

There are so many fresh, fairly healthy, fast eateries available now, that it makes it extremely easy to buy healthy meals ready to go ahead of time.  When traveling, something I often do is hit up a nearby Chipotle, buy 2-3 burritos and 2-3 salads, eat one, and put the rest in my hotel fridge. I already know the macros thanks to their calculator on their website, and the majority of their ingredients are locally sourced and very fresh.   Anytime I’m hungry, I have a meal ready to go. This keeps me from the dreaded “it's 1PM, I haven’t eaten anything but hotel pastries for breakfast and I’m ready to eat a whole bag of gummy bears” feeling.   Almost all restaurants have nutrition calculators online at this point, and all restaurants are required to provide nutrition information if requested.  Find your favorite healthier spot, do the math once,  and order a few extra versions of whatever you like that fits your goals and stay nutritionally prepared. 

Hack #3 - Find easier ways to get a healthy breakfast.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?  Depends on who you are!  Some people do really well fasting until lunch, some people cannot function without food when they wake up.  Regardless of when you eat that first meal, it’s almost always consumed under the pressure of time. Make it easy on yourself and prepare a smoothie to blend for the morning. Add frozen or fresh fruit, ice, peanut butter, almond milk, Barbell Brigade Protein Powder, Barbell Brigade Performance Greens, and Barbell Brigade Immunity Support and hit blend.  In 20 seconds, you have a healthy, nutritious meal ready to drink on your morning commute.

Hack #4 - Buy a humongous water bottle with measurement marks.

Do you absolutely have to measure your water intake?  No.  Do you often feel like you don’t drink enough and constantly complain about needing to drink more?  If so, then YES you do need to measure your water intake.  It’s really hard to know how much water you’ve drunk throughout the day if you constantly drink it out of random cups. The easiest way is to hop online and buy a massive, gallon-sized reusable bottle with measurement marks on it. They even have bottles now with positive, encouraging sayings like “Almost There!” and “Keep Drinking!”  Fill it up every night before you go to bed, then drink out of it or pour your water out of it throughout your day.  That way you can look at it anytime and know exactly how much you’ve drunk.  Remember that pouring water into a protein shake or pre-workout should also be counted as fluid consumption. 

Hack #5 - Develop enough consistency that you don’t need “cheat meals”.

Cheat meals are a hotly debated topic.  Essentially you should reward yourself for not eating certain foods by eating whatever those certain foods are that you have not let yourself eat throughout the week.  Seems like a very complicated premise.  Instead try and develop a consistent, healthy, calorie understanding of what you consume at most meals.  The majority of people eat fairly similarly week to week.  Once you’ve done a little homework on macronutrients for those similar meals you should be able to quickly add up in your head how much you’ve eaten on a given day.  If you’re in a good spot on your calories and your kids want to get ice cream, get it!  If you are working out most days of the week with intensity and staying in a similar eating pattern, there is no reason to restrict certain foods to certain days or times.  Food is more than fuel.  It’s social and cultural.  Don’t miss out on such an important daily life event because of the dogmatic ritual of the cheat meal. 

Dominate Humbly, 

Jacob Ross
Elite Sports Performance Coach
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