"I only cook once a week, but it allowed me to lose 85 pounds"

PreventionJennifer Lopez has been overweight since childhood (and no, this story is not about the famous J-Lo.) But it was only in her early thirties that she realized that everything had gone out of control. When she finally forced herself to walk on the scale after avoiding it for a year, she was horrified to see that she had reached a record of 280 pounds. "I was unhappy, in poor health and I had a cruel lack of self-confidence" now the 36-year-old. Lopez had long been interested in the taste and convenience of fast-food restaurants, such as pizzas and wings, often in a frenzy to hide evidence from her husband. And her sedentary lifestyle meant that her daily activities left her often serene. Knowing that it was time to take his health more seriously, Lopez is committed to cleaning his diet and controlling his weight for good.

Small changes gave big results, at the beginning

Lopez's journey into healthy eating began with simple yet powerful changes. In the first place, she exchanged sweetened drinks that she usually drank for sparkling water. And she ended her addiction to fast food, choosing instead to prepare more meals at home. Slowly but surely, 40 pounds melted. But then Lopez hit a plateau. Even with homemade meals, she still struggled to control her portions, often enjoying a second help just because she was there. And finding the time to prepare healthy dinners every night has proven difficult. For a while, Lopez was puzzled over how to overcome these obstacles, until she saw a post on Instagram about meal preparation. "Spending a little time over the weekend preparing my meals to save time during the week and having healthy options readily available seemed obvious," she said. "I also loved the integrated portion control in which I could split my meals into individual portions."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer LopezMore

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From that moment, Lopez started preparing meals every weekend, using a meal planner to write the menu and the shopping list of the week in advance. At first, she did everything possible and planned different breakfasts, lunches and dinners for each day of the week. Experiencing so many new dishes was fun at first, but trying to create as many different recipes took too much time. In addition, she was sometimes stuck with meals she did not like. So she started to find ways to be more efficient, like preparing recipes that gave several portions. "Now I'm going to eat the same meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner two days a week. This helps maximize my cooking time and keeps me from getting bored in my meal choices, "she says. She also tends to stick to proven recipes that she already likes. "I choose a protein and a vegetable with each meal and sometimes a source of carbohydrates depending on what I want to eat," she says. Breakfast is often composed of a casserole with eggs, sausages and vegetables. As she enjoys Mexican cuisine, she often makes burrito bowls or tacos salads for lunch or dinner, changing the ingredients to suit her mood for the week. (Think of ground beef and brown rice or chicken and cauliflower rice.) She will also prepare quick protein-rich snacks such as tuna or chicken salad. Once the cooking is over, she uses a scale to distribute the meals and package them in individual glass containers. (Pyrex Snapware the containers are his favorite, thanks to the robust lids!)

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It was five years ago. The meal preparation allowed Lopez to lose another 45 pounds, a total loss of 85 pounds, which she has been keeping since 2013. She was even inspired to launch the blog on food and fitness. Beauty and the bench press help others to have the same success as her. "Meal preparation has helped me keep pace with my fitness goals and has made a decisive contribution to my weight loss," she says. Do you want to follow? Here are his best tips for getting started and kissing those extra pounds:

  • Start small. If the idea of ​​preparing several meals seems insurmountable, make a jackpot of a single food that you can eat for a few lunches or dinners. Once you're done, you can slowly add more to your weekly menu.
  • Get a buddy on board. Preparing meals with a friend is more fun than doing it alone. Double your recipes and divide them for everyone to have for the week.
  • Use frying pans or a pressure cooker. Both facilitate the preparation of complete meals. Just mix protein and vegetables in the oven or in your casserole and let them sit while you prepare other foods.
  • Be a patient packer. It's good to put hot foods in your containers, wait until the lid pops up until everything is cool. This will prevent the accumulation of condensation and prevent things from swallowing up.
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