In this article, you will learn how to prepare and pack your own food. Of course, after reading, you can Google to get more information about food preparation.
This article is for anyone who wants to start cooking and packing their own food every day to see some results. I have been doing this for many years so it has become second nature to me. I was just like you before, ate just like you or maybe worse. Typically I would have a plate of nasi goreng, a bowl of mutton soup and a bowl of ‘bobo chacha’; I got fat literally. Through many years of patience and determination, food preparation finally became second nature.
1. Why Pack Food When I Can Eat Out?
Honestly, after experimenting for so many years, cooking and packing food yourself for your entire day is the only way to achieve your goals. Simply because you will know exactly what you are eating. You will be more aware of what is inside your food, unlike when you’re eating out. Yes, outside food may taste much better but who knows what else is in there besides MSG? It also contains more sodium than your body needs.
2.It Is Far Too Troublesome To Prepare Food. Are There Any Shortcuts?
I know preparing food can be a hassle and takes a whole lot of effort but this is the only way to a flatter tummy and other fitness goals you have. I always believe in the phrase ‘you are what you eat’. Eating out all the time or doing half packed food and eating out doesn’t work as well. Try one step at a time. Maybe try packing food twice a week then increase your frequency gradually. Easing into this food packing practice helps you stick to it.
3. Is It True That Cooking At Home Saves A Lot Of Money?
Absolutely yes. Some may not agree with me but in the long run, you save not just a few cents but a few hundred dollars. If I am eating out, I would be spending at least $15 for a meal due to my required portion. A ‘healthy’ salad can cost about $10-$15 excluding drinks. Say you spend $50 a day on eating, you would be spending $250 for weekdays. That amount is a lot for my weekly grocery shopping! I spend about $100-$150 for a week’s worth of home cooked food, which is much cheaper and probably of higher quality than what I get outside.
4. What Kind Of Food Containers / Tupperware Should I Buy?
You can get food containers from supermarkets, Japan House or provision shops. Prices range from $2-$8, depending on brand, size and quality. Find a container size that suits your portion size. Most importantly, look for a container that can be washed easily, is microwavable and has an anti-slip rubber to prevent any gravy from spilling out if it is overturned. Lastly, I would recommend changing your Tupperware once a year due to clogging of bacteria in difficult-to-wash areas.
5. What Kind Of Food Bag Should I Use?
There are a lot of good quality food bags available in Singapore supermarkets. If you get a good one, you can keep the food warm for 3-4 hours at room temperature. Or you can search online. I got mine from www.taobao.com and it cost less than $10. Extremely good quality too. A reminder – never put your food bag inside a stationary car for long hours as the heat inside the car can spoil the food.
6. Food Bags Are Ugly. Can I Not Have One?
Yes of course! Be like a construction worker then! Pack your food into brown paper and secure it with a rubber band. I did that for a few months because I was lazy to wash my Tupperware and did not have a food bag. It was really convenient back then. The disadvantage is that the food gets cold extremely quickly.
7.What Can I Put In The Compartments Of The Food Bag?
Most importantly, pack utensils! I used to frequently forget to bring mine and had a hard time getting one even from 7-11! Next is wet tissue if the prepared food is messy. If not, bring your favorite sauce! Yeah, sounds like a picnic bag. Oh well, this is your meal, you are the boss. Don’t bother about what people might say.
8. How Should I Pack My Food?
You can pack your food accordingly to protein, fiber, and carbs mixed into one container or separate them into different containers.
9. How Long Can I Keep Cooked Food For?
This depends on what you cook and how you cook. The drier your food is, the longer it keeps. Steamed or boiled food can usually last for half a day. Baked food can last quite long. Fish and chicken half a day. Beef, up to 12 hours. However, I wouldn’t recommend that you prepare meals in the morning for dinner at 8pm. Try to cook your last meal of the day fresh, on the spot.
10. What Kind Of Food Should I Prepare?
A lot of my clients think that packed food must strictly be steamed breast meat and broccoli. I always advise people to ease into things. You can start with chicken drumstick/chicken thigh or even baked honey chicken wings! Try listing down some foods that you love – e.g. pasta, burger, etc. Now, simplify these meals. Think simple. For example, a burger can simply consist of grass-fed beef, lettuce and Maggie chilli sauce sandwiched in buns. Or stir-fried sambal prawns with steamed white rice. Yes! Make your own sambal chili! YouTube has lots of ideas. Check it out! I wouldn’t recommend my meal prep because it is too rigid, difficult and bodybuilding style.
11. Do I Have To Prepare Food On Weekends Too?
Yes if you can. If you can’t, it is perfectly fine. It would be a bonus because you will be consistent in your diet and results will show. I know weekends are supposed to be chill and relaxed. Well, you can cook a steak with mashed potatoes to suit your cravings. Home-cooked cheat day! I usually do that if I am keeping my diet tight. In some days, I would just let go and enjoy. That is when I know I’ve worked hard dieting for 1 whole week.
12. Do I Prepare The Night Before Or On The Actual Day?
I know of some people who prepare the night before and store it in the fridge. Personally, I have been prepping on the day itself, in the morning. Just 20-30 minutes before I leave the house because I would want to microwave my food eat as soon as possible. My work can get too busy for me to eat. When you want to prepare your food is totally up to you. If you think waking up earlier to cook is a hassle, cook the night before you sleep and store it in the fridge. When you reach the office next day, don’t forget to store it inside the office fridge.
13. How Do I Eat Out With My Friends Then?
If you are always out with friends, try cutting back a little, just for the time being. You have got to sacrifice some things to gain something else. After you see some results, then treat yourself to a meal with your friends. Once in a while is fine. There is another way – eat home-cooked food as much as possible and then treat meeting up with your friends for a meal as a cheat meal.
14. Why Don’t I See Results Even When I Cook and Eat Clean?
That could be due to a number of reasons. One of them is that you are not training hard enough. You need to be training hard and always pushing your limit. If you are training just to keep fit, you don’t have to push so hard. However, for results, only hard work will get you there. A lot of people think that if they go to the gym, they will lose weight. For some people, fats are too stubborn, so just routinely going to the gym won’t be enough. They will need an add-on activity to accelerate fat loss.
Generally, I am advocating something that you can sustain as a lifestyle and not prepping just for a few weeks. It can be done but you will need a lot of patience, experimentation and focus. Take your time and enjoy the process. When you start seeing the results you want, then you’ve found the diet that works best for your body and your goals.
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Your Coach, Amirrudin Ong