Recently, I asked my followers a simple question: “What’s the hardest part about getting fit?” You all gave me some great responses and in order to help you all with your fitness journeys, I’ve responded to each of your challenges with some suggestions that have been helpful for me! Scroll down to see my responses.
“Meal prepping when low on time”
If you need to meal prep faster, optimize your cooking and clean up time. I like to utilize my oven, stove, microwave, rice cooker and steamer simultaneously to cut time in 1/2.
Zero Time Lunch/Dinner Game Plan:
- Start rice in rice cooker (1-2 hours)
- Add ground meat to hot skillet. Stir to crumble (approximately 14-16 minutes)
- Start cutting veggies that don’t need to be cooked before being added to a meal prep (zucchini, asparagus, summer squash, riced cauliflower or broccoli) **chop while cooking meat,
- Place in big containers, assemble meals night before in meal prep container
- Things to wash: 1 Large skillet, rice cooker dish, rinse steamer
Zero Time Breakfast Game Plan:
- Grab 5 Zip Loc Bags
- Portion out dry rolled oats, protein powder, and nut of choice (I like almonds)
- Keep available, and enjoy simply by adding water mixing in large bowl and microwaving for 2-3 min **Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t boil over to calibrate perfect time
“Eating Healthy is Hard”
It’s not hard once you get good at it and start to see results. Remember nothing worth having comes easy… KEEP TRYING you will have a breakthrough.
- Make it easier by making healthy eating more convenient
- chopped veggies
- fruit on the counter
- hide junk food or stop buying it (never leave it in plain sight)
- Don’t put yourself in tempting situations without a game plan
- Surround yourself with people who have similar health goals (find a friend to make lifestyle change with)
“Meal Prepping Staying Under Budget”
Buy whole foods in bulk, never buy pre chopped veggies or fruits, and also look at the price per oz. when comparing foods, NOT the overall price.
- Costco Business Center: buy your meats here come home, chop, portion and freeze for later use
- Rice, potatoes, canned beans, oats
- Frozen berries won’t spoil as fast as other fruit
- Buy nuts and seeds in bulk never in small packets
- Buy generic brands and read those ingredient lists!
“Keeping it Off”
Its only hard to keep it off if you haven’t learned the series of habits that align with you maintaining that new body composition or weight. Don’t be discouraged, this takes WEEKS to figure out.
Anyone can follow a strict plan and see results but not many take the time to learn how to “life” at that new weight.
Neeks Tip: Take the time to learn and educate yourself it will be worth it! (Hint: This is what my Ebook is designed to teach you! )
“Working out with no progress/ Time it takes to workout”
In terms of learning from my own personal experience, I’ll note that controlling your food intake is much more challenging and has a much larger impact.
Consider this, it takes 2 min to chew and swallow a 220 calorie cookie and over 20+ min to burn it. Investing time into the part of the “equation” that will give you the highest “return” on your “time” investment would be my best advice.
Neeks Tip: focus on calorie intake not calorie output first!
“Motivation. eSpecially After a Setback.”
Here is my solution: Don’t look at it as a set back. Change your outlook on setbacks by posing the question, “what can I learn from this experience so it doesn’t happen again?” Try to reverse engineer it. Also, remember people don’t lack motivation, they lack clarity on how to achieve their goals.
Neeks Tip: Try again. ALWAYS. And take the time to educate yourself on anything that’s not making sense.
“Meal Timing So You Don’t Binge in the Evening”
This is a tough one because it’s different for everyone. I, myself, have tried eating 6 meals a day, 3 meals a day + snacks, and fasting in the AM to purposefully plan on eating more in the evenings around my workouts. By best advice is to try dialing into you body’s huger cues and trying different meal times and food amounts to see what keeps you satiated throughout the day. Trial and error is the name of the game, and most of all, practice patience!
“Hate cooking, hate prepping meals”
My only advice would be paying a meal prep service to do it for you! Another alternative is to find a way to make meal prepping and cooking less miserable. A good in-between is buying your bulk protein from a meal prep service, weekly, and cutting your prep and clean up time in half!
“Maintaining a Diet, Consistently eating healthy”
If you’re not prepping for a photoshoot, or stepping on stage for a bodybuilding show I would not recommend “dieting”. From my own personal experience dieting is restrictive and is why you keep “falling off track.” You’re going too big too soon.
Neeks Tip: Set smaller milestone food goals.
“Not knowing where to start”
There is a ton of free information everywhere on the internet and I would highly recommend reading a ton from all sorts of sources to see what ideas and habits a source explains that would best fit your lifestyle to reach your goals.
I summarized my story and advice in my Ebook for anyone who thinks they have a similar story, or who can relate to my emotional eating.
“Do I do a cleanse?”
I personally don’t think that’s necessary. If we are talking about a juice cleanse, I disagree 100% as I believe they are drastic, make you lose water weight, and give you false up front hope regardless of the possible “benefits” they advertise.
“Getting out of my own head & believing I’m meant to be fat”
You’re not meant to be anything other than what you want to be. You are in control, 100%, and you just haven’t found the combination of habits that align with reaching that new “look” you seek.
Keep trying and promise me you’re going to change that toxic self talk.
Neeks Tip: Don’t identify with being “fat” I say this all the time… there is so much negativity in this world. Don’t add to it by shaming yourself… BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CHEERLEADER.
“Lack of food variety and CONTINUING TO Eat my meal prep MEALS on ‘day 5’”
My advice would be to cook multiple proteins, veggies, and carb sources and continue to keep things fresh by mixing and matching. One thing you can do is change up the way you season your meals and the way you prepare you veggies (bake, steam, sauté)
“Giving up too easily”
This one is simple… SET SMALLER GOALS and put things that derail you in perspective (food especially)
“Roommates that buy junk food”
I’ve been there so I feel you! My biggest tip is remembering no food is forbidden and that you can choose to eat anything but that you are choosing to eat foods that have a “higher return on their caloric investment” to reach your person goals. In tough times, take bites to prove to yourself you CAN but then choose to stay your course to achieve what you want most instead of what you want right there in the moment to achieve a temporary short lived satisfaction followed by guilt (if you’re anything like me).
“Going out on weekends/Happy Hour with friends”
My biggest tip would be learning how order healthy choices when dining out and seeing how simple that truly is.
I explain how to do this in my Ebook and give examples of what to order at all sorts of restaurant types (Italian, Mexican, steakhouse etc.)
If this is referring to drinking alcohol, I would say take the time to see what drinks are the lowest in calories and have them accordingly in relation to your goals. Calories are calories. I personally would just rather chew on them instead of mindlessly drinking them.
Neeks Tip: Order a club soda with a lime on the side…people will think you’re socially drinking.
“Being in a true deficit”
YES! This is hard to figure out because there are so many factors that play into this.
Neeks Tip: Hire a certified professional or coach if you are impatient or use the Harris Benedict equation calculator, below, as a starting point to test out for a couple of weeks and adjust from there.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Daily Calorie Needs – Calculator Online (Harris-Benedict equation)
“Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, or what time to eat”
My advice would be to focus on eating whole foods that are minimally processed, eat to the point of being satisfied. Read chart above, and lastly, eat only when you’re truly hungry. Trial and error is the name of the game!
“Doing cardio after weights”
If you find a type of cardio you enjoy to do, this problem becomes irrelevant! I started making DOPE playlists and began jump roping! Its amazing cardio and I feel like I’m dancing! I highly recommend this for anyone that is frustrated of feeling like a human hamster on a treadmill.
“Starving after sports practice”
I highly recommend eating and timing more of your calories around your biggest amount of physical activity! I personally never liked to eat a big meal too early before practice, so I would eat a good hour before and then again right after (largest meal of my day at the time)!
“Not committing to meal prepping and usually just eating what’s fast easy and convenient ”
There is nothing about being lean that is fast, easy or convenient when starting out. It takes months of trail and error to master and fully optimize a meal prep game plan.
Neeks Tip: Remember you have to make change to see change. Remember you can always make meal prep more convenient by ordering your protein in bulk to cut your kitchen time in half
If you are choosing foods that have a higher return on their caloric investment that are high in protein, have a good amount of fiber from complex carbs, and if you are eating healthy fats, I have found that true hunger is not an issue. It’s when I try to flexible diet in foods that don’t have those characters that I run into “True stomach gargling hunger”. Remember being a little hungry is okay, here and there, that’s normal.
Neeks Tip: Make sure to be drinking enough water throughout you day because your body can’t speak to you when it needs something so it just keeps sending the I’m hungry signal until you guess right and give it what it wants.
“Only losing 2-3 lbs a week and feeling like its going to take forever”
First off, I’m going to note that is a FAST rate to be losing weight as is so I would first celebrate that kind of positive reinforcement while It lasts. Second, I want you to consider how many YEARS it took to put on the weight. Your body is designed for survival and is damn incredible in terms of what it can do to keep you alive. I promise you, it’s doing its absolute best to make sense of the change up in plans you implemented to accommodate your new health goals!
Be patient, take tons of progress photos, and enjoy the journey! I know you going to have one hell of a story to tell!
“Committing but with an all or nothing mentally”
If committing to a healthier lifestyle sounds intimidating to you, I would highly recommend making smaller goals or redefining what your idea of committing means.
Neeks Tip: Partial credit in the world of health and fitness go a long way! JUST GET STARTED… not tomorrow not on Monday…. NOW!
“Drinking more Water”
An EASY solution is to get a green Gatorade 32 oz bottle, fill it up with your water, and add in flavored BCAAs. No joke, this makes drinking water 20 times easier
I can relate 400% here. I myself love to FEEL FULL. But I will note that choosing to fill your plate with veggies, protein and complex carbs that are all minimally processed will help a ton!
Neeks Tip: Sometimes I miss that feeling of being super full so I cook up ½ a spaghetti squash add a little Neeks approved pasta sauce and devour the whole thing (It’s a great lower calorie option that gives me that satisfaction I was looking for without inhaling a zillion servings of pasta for example).
“No meal prep so I eat at a cafeteria or Starbucks”
I teach you how to order out in my ebook but check out this blog post for Starbucks options!
“Consistently following a meal plan but still allowing myself to enjoy certain foods”
The best advice here would be to educate yourself on the “cost” of those “certain foods” (put calories in perspective in less scary terms like rice and oil) so you know how often you think you can enjoy them while not totally derailing your progress OR letting those “certain foods” turn into an “eff it” moment that spirals out of control. Check out this post for a little better perspective on those “certain foods.”
“Not focusing on the scale”
Eliminate the scale if it is detrimental to your motivation! But check this out the above visual that has always helped me when the scale isn’t budging and I know I’m doing everything right!
“Committing to a lifestyle change instead of a diet”
This literally sums up my ebook in one sentence! I give you all the tools needed to LIFE not diet. Check out the table of contents to see what I wrote out in it.
Are there any other health challenges you’ve struggled with in the past that I didn’t address in this blog post? Let me know in the comments!