Hello. Hello. Hello. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena. I hope that you’re feeling amazing.
Today I’m gonna jump right in and talk about weight loss and meal prep. Meal prep is one of those key tools to weight loss. Once you sort this out you’ll be singing and dancing all the way to happy and easy weight loss.
If you ask me, the two big keys to weight loss are emotional eating, and meal planning. Before you tell me you don't like meal planning remember “easy and fun” and it needs to fit into your life.
The big question is can meal prep help you lose weight? Let me say that again. Can meal prep help you lose weight? And the answer is a resounding oh, heck yes, of course it can.
Meal prep is an amazing tool to help you lose weight. I talk to so many people who say, “Hey, you know what? I eat really healthily. I eat healthy foods. I do things well.”…
When I ask them why they aren’t losing weight, they tell me that on top of eating healthily they’re also eating snacks, treats and chocolate.
Part of the issue is emotional eating.
Another part is planning. It's what I call systems habits and routines.
If you want to end emotional eating, my “End Emotional Eating”course is up and ready to rock and roll. It’s just $27 and has all the tools you need to end emotional eating. Find out more here: https://www.drorlena.com/end-emotional-eating
You're in the habit of reaching for junk food. Imagine if you could wave a magic brush and create a different system. A different routine. A different way of creating food without thinking about it.
You could create healthy foods that fill you up, nourish you and satisfy you. Foods that you enjoy eating, but also support your weight loss goals.
There’s a big difference between the two and meal prep can help you get from scene A to scene B.
Meal prep is having a plan. You decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat, and you start to prepare some of it.
Our brains don’t like to make decisions.
What’s the difference between people who lead a healthy life and people who don't lead a healthy life? Many people think it’s discipline but there are studies that show discipline isn’t the key.
People who think that they’re disciplined actually make less decisions every day. If we can avoid those decisions, we’re less likely to pick the less healthy choice. (Kinda stands to reason!)
We need to set our lives up so we aren't relying on our decision making capacity.
If I were to offer you a choice between broccoli and cake, you’d probably pick broccoli the first few times. You’d be thinking how healthy it is for you and how it’s going to help you lose weight.
Now you've had a busy, stressful day. You’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
I offer you broccoli or cake. This time, you’re far more likely to pick cake. Even though you know broccoli is more healthy, your desire for the cake is stronger.
During the day, our ability to be able to make good decisions gets weaker. We get decision fatigue.
There are other studies that show breakfast tends to be people's healthiest meal of the day. Breakfast is a “routine meal”. It’s part of the “systems, habits, routine”. People often eat the same foods and have a stronger morning routine.
Dinner time is more of a problem. You’re less likely to have an easy plan for dinner. Often people get in and think, “oh my goodness, I haven't prepared dinner. What am I gonna cook?”
They reach for takeaway, frozen pizza or something that’s easy and quick to prepare.
Normally those foods are less healthy. But you can prepare foods that are easy, nutritious and support your weight loss goal.
It's just a matter of changing that chip inside your head. (Example. Have an healthy “emergency” dinner up your sleeve. My “go to” is homemade baked beans. No added sugar or salt. Easy. Quick and tasty.)
Meal planning and prepping is an amazing tool to get from A, to B. To get from reaching for junk foods to reaching for foods you know are healthy, tasty and easy to prepare. Meal planning and prepping means you aren't having to make any decisions in the heat of the moment.
Can meal prep help you lose weight? Yes, absolutely. It can. It is an amazing tool.
The next big question is what does meal prep mean?
It's different for different people.
I always say the key to making something work is to make it your own.
There's no point in me telling you to follow my exact system. (How I shop, how I prepare, what foods I eat.) You might not like the foods on the menu!
You need to make a plan that works for you. You need to consider how often you shop, where you shop, what kind of foods you're shopping for.
Hint: Go and look at your shopping basket. Is it full of fruit and vegetables and healthy foods? Because that's what you're going to be eating during the week.
If your shopping basket is full of junk foods, packaged foods, that's what you're going to be eating.
Having systems, habits and routines means you can do it without thinking.
My meal prep goes like this: On Sunday I go to the vegetable market and I buy loads and loads of vegetables. (So many my husband has to come and help me carry them home.)
During the week I prepare dinner at lunchtime. (During school time, my children come home at lunch.) I finish work at lunchtime. I prepare lunch and I prep dinner at that time.
Other people have different systems. Some people use Sunday to chop everything up. So it's all ready to go. Totally prepped days in advance.
If you're going to prep it days in advance, you need to think about how you're going to store it. Options include the freezer, mason jars or other containers in the fridge. Make sure you keep it somewhere cool so it stays fresh.
Meal prep means different things for different people.
For me, meal prep means prepping it at lunchtime so that at dinner time it's easy.
You need to find a system that works for you.
You want to avoid coming home from work exhausted and not knowing what you’re going to cook.
I’m not somebody who wants to spend hours in the kitchen. Cooking has never been my passion. I’ve learned to love cooking because I have four kids. I need to prepare food for them. I've learned to enjoy that time in the kitchen because I figure I have a choice.
I can either stand there in the kitchen, hating every single moment of it, or I can work out how to make it fun. So I do different things. Sometimes I record a video for the Facebook Group. Sometimes I listen some music, do a bit of movement. It all kind of depends, but my mindset is, “I'm in the kitchen. I'm enjoying spending a bit of time here.”
Going back to weight loss. The title of this podcast is can meal prep help you to lose weight?
In order to lose weight, you have to give your body the opportunity to use stored energy.
Let me say that again. You have to give your body the chance to use the energy stored in fat.
There are different ways of releasing the energy. (Think: Intermittent fasting and how often you are eating are useful to consider.)
At some stage during the day, your body needs to be accessing that energy, using it and not putting it back on.
The easiest way to do this is to eat less energy than your body needs.
When you eat less than your body needs, your body starts to use the stored up energy.
It’s a perfectly normal process and how our bodies are designed.
I don’t teach people to count calories. When you’re eating a diet high in plants and vegetables you’re naturally eating less calories.
IMO counting calories is not a healthy relationship with food.
But it is useful to understand which foods are high in calories and which foods aren't high in calories.
For example, watermelon, amazingly low in calories. Aubergine (or eggplant) amazingly low in calories. (Particularly if you are comparing them to highly processed foods.)
You do need to reduce your calorie intake if you want to lose weight. But the way I teach people to do this you don't need to feel deprived and hungry.
The first step is to change the type of foods you're eating. To shift from packaged foods, to healthy foods, fruits and vegetables.
You will naturally decrease your calorie intake as you do that. You shouldn't feel hungry because those foods will fill you up. They're full of fiber and they’ll help you feel full.
If you want a weight loss of one to one and a half pounds per week, your daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories.
You do need to reduce your calories, but you don't have to do it in a way that leaves you feeling deprived and starved.
If you Google this I’m sure you’ll come up with 5 million different people who say, “my plan is the best”.
There are so many different diets out there right now. Some have more evidence and research behind them than others.
The main choices are the ketogenic diet; a plant-based diet, or the diet that you have and make healthy changes.
I don’t teach people the ketogenic diet, but it has been shown to help people lose weight. The big problem with the ketogenic diet is that a lot of people don’t find it a sustainable way of eating.
Evidence shows that people don't stick to it long term. It might work for a while. Then after a few years, people stop doing it.
For a more in-depth overview of the ketogenic diet, check out "The Truth About Carbohydrates and Weight Loss".
I always say if it works for you, stick to it. The ketogenic is an option, but not something that I teach people.
The second option is a plant based diet. There's lots of different types of plant based diets.
Plant based diets are great for weight loss as well as overall health benefits such as heart health, brain health and of course living a long and healthy life.
I personally eat a Mediterranean style diet. (And teach my clients how to eat it.)
The difference between the Mediterranean Style Diet and other plant-based diets is extra virgin olive oil.
The Med Style Diet is high in fruit and vegetables. It's high in nuts and seeds and lentils and legumes.
A little bit of protein and less packaged food, less processed, and highly processed food. Super simple!
I have a handout about the Mediterranean style diet. You can sign up for a free "VIP resources" account, which includes the handout. Sign up here: https://www.drorlena.com/offers/izxhw6Bd
Interested in the research in the Mediterranean style diet podcast? Listen to podcast number one, the first podcast I ever did is telling you about the Mediterranean style diet and the research behind.
Podcast 1: The Health Benefits of the Med Style Diet
The Mediterranean Style Diet is more of a framework than a diet in that you don’t have to deprive yourself. Nothing is forbidden in moderation.
It's easy, it's fun. It's versatile. It can be applied to any kind of cuisine that you like.
In my opinion, the best nutritional plan for weight loss is the Mediterranean style diet.
It's good for kids. It's good for adults.
As much as you want.
Meal prepping is one of the keys to helping you lose weight in a sustainable way.
Once you have found your system, you just need to stick to it.
You’ll reach a plateau, in which case go and listen to my other podcasts on what to do when your weight plateaus.
Podcast Episode 154: 3 Easy Steps to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
(Hint, it's not bad news. It's often good news that your weight has plateaued. You've reached a new weight and that's amazing.)
Meal planning is the key to keeping people going. Once you've got your meal plan and your system for prepping, you can just keep going and keep going.
When people start changing the way they eat they normally do really well. They feel motivated and keen to lose weight.
When “life happens”, things fall apart. It's not that there was anything wrong with the original plan. It's that they stopped doing it.
If you get into the routine of doing a meal plan and meal prepping you're more likely to keep going. You keep going until you reach your ideal weight.
There’s no reason why you can't reach your ideal weight. Meal planning and prepping is an amazingly effective tool to help.
As many as you want.
I prep for dinner, but it doesn't mean you can't prep for lunch and dinner. It depends what your system and your circumstances are. You might find that you have a really good system for making lunch and you don't need to prep for that.
Or you might find you need to prep for all three meals. You need to have your meals ready and lined up so that you know what you're eating. Some of my clients do this. Some of my clients, for example, have overnight oats or porridge. And so their breakfast is prepped for. Others make their breakfast right before they eat it.
There's no right or wrong answer. It goes back to creating what works for you.
Again, no right or wrong answer.
You want to avoid lots of snacks and never giving your body a window long enough to use that internal energy.
I recommend at least a 12 hour, if not a 14 hour window, between when you finish eating at nighttime and start eating again in the morning. An easy way to do that is to stop eating after dinner.
If you want to eat once a day. Eat once a day. Lots of people who eat just once a day and it works for them. It doesn't work for everybody.
Other people start eating midday and then finish eating at seven o'clock.
Other people start at seven o'clock in the morning and finish at six o'clock in the evening.
There isn't a right or wrong answer.
When you change your eating routine, there is an adjustment. To begin with, you're gonna find it difficult. It can take up to two weeks for your body to get used to the change.
So there is no right or wrong answer to how many times a day you should eat to lose weight.
If you are thinking this all sounds amazing but you have no idea where to start, I teach my clients to do a two week “reboot”.
You spend two weeks creating healthy, wonderful food to retrain your mind and your body.
After that two weeks, the next phase is “weight loss phase”.
I’ve packaged up all the tools I use with my private clients so you can access them too. Find out more about Dr Orlena’s 2 Week Reboot.
Find out more about the Reboot: https://www.drorlena.com/dr-orlena-s-healthy-eating-reboot
Dr Orlena Kerek (MBChB from the University of Bristol, UK) trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health coach. She helps busy mums who want to feel amazing by eating healthy food, enjoy a healthy life, get back into their honeymoon shorts and teach their kids healthy habits all without thinking about it.
Book a chat with Dr Orlena: https://bookme.name/drorlena/emotional-eating