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Episode 9: Restrict Temptation and Meal Preparation

by Shaun Kober
June 1st 2020

Welcome to the Launch series of the Live Train Perform podcast.

Temptation is everywhere in our lives. Putting barriers in place to reduce and restrict these temptations is an important el... More

What's up guys? Sean Cobra here of the live transform podcast Over the next two weeks while I launched this podcast, I'm going to be dropping one episode per day, then I'm going to drop back to one episode per week. The first episode is an introductory episode explaining who I am, my background, my knowledge, my experience. The second episode is all about goal setting, that's going to be followed up by progress tracking, then building habits, doing the things that you enjoy doing consistency, restricting, temptation, meal preparation, accountability, crap foods, getting started and building momentum along with hierarchy of value, motivation, direction and your environment. Now, if you go back and listen to each one of those topics again, they are all relevant or optimizing your performance and your everyday life. It's not just to do with health and fitness. Yes, I am a strength conditioning coach that is my background, That is my specialization. However, I'm a coach first and foremost and I need to optimize the other 23 hours of the day so that I can get the most out of my clients for that one hour that I'm with them.

I'll also be answering some of my followers questions that have posted questions on my Q and A memes and I'm going to incorporate those answers into the pertinent episodes. Mhm Yeah. Hey guys, welcome to today's episode, which is going to be all about tools and techniques to restrict temptation and go through some quality meal preparation, let's get started. We had a saying in the army which was the five piece and that was prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. Now I've implemented this into other areas of my life and at the end of the day preparation, when it comes to achieving your goals is super important, it's what sets you up to do the right things, even when you don't feel like doing it. One of the main reasons that I'm skeptical about New Year's and dieting resolutions is that they usually revolve around good intentions. Okay, now, good intentions, Yeah, it's all well and good when you've got motivation, but when that motivation wayne's, it's all about having a plan and being prepared and then having the discipline to be able to maintain and stick to that plan, so healthy eating and in fact any healthier lifestyle choice is not simply about setting yourself goals, it's about creating a long term strategy.

Now, I've spoken about this in my goal setting episodes, so again, go back and listen to that if you want some tools and techniques to implement positive change into your daily habits, but when my clients are looking to change their eating habits, one of the first things I tell them to do is to clean out the pantry in the fridge, this was many, many years ago now, but I had somebody reach out to me wanting to do some work together, so uh you know, I sent them an email and we had a little bit of back and forth and we booked in a consultation, so I went around to her place uh for our initial consultation just to see if we were going to be a good fit to work together And as we were chatting, I was there for about 20 minutes and we're having a good discussion about why she wanted to train with me, um what her goals were etc etc. Now this girl was like 200 kg and she basically contacted me because her doctor had told her if she didn't lose weight then she was going to die at an early age. So I won't go into the psychological component of that right now because I will talk about motivation direction in another episode, but basically um I asked her what she was willing to do to lose weight and if you know how important it was for her to lose this weight and to live a longer life and the reasons why we were having that conversation to begin with.

Now, she gave me all the right answers, She told me that she wanted to live a longer life. She wanted to be there to watch her kid grow up, to play with her grandchildren. Um you know, to live a long, healthy happy life, to grow old with her partner etcetera. It's all well and good to say that you're willing to do X, Y, Z. But actions speak louder than words once she told me all this stuff was like all right, cool, well this is, you know this seems to be important to her. And then I asked her what was going to be the roadblocks that we were likely to encounter throughout that time. And she said uh you know I've got these habits, I can't change these habits, I'm constantly snacking on X. Y. Z. And I said cool, do you mind if I have a look in your cupboard in your fridge, if we take a look in there? And she said no, no problem, let's have a look. So I looked in a cupboard and the fridge and literally there was fucking chocolates and lollies and like all of these snacks littered throughout her pantry and her fridge. Now I talk three quarters of that junk food out and I placed it on the counter and I looked at her and I said I'm happy to work with you if you're willing to throw this junk food out or donate it to somebody else.

And she looked at me and she said, well I can't do that. And I said well I'm sorry, we can't work together. All right now that starts with the psychological and behavioural change. If she was not willing to do that then it didn't matter how many training sessions that we work together, okay, she wasn't in the right mindset for me to be able to get the most out of that and the fact that she wasn't willing to get rid of that junk food out of the house and just remove that temptation was a big sign for me that no matter what we did together, we were not going to make any changes simply because the psychological component was not there. Now, this is important. A lot of people think that they want to do something, but when push comes to shove, they're not willing to align their actions with what they believe their values are because essentially their actions do align with their values. They just don't understand that their values are not actually what they say they are. And a lot of people do this, they tell other people what they think they want to hear rather than asking themselves the hard questions and saying, do I really want to change?

Am I capable of creating this change? Am I willing to what am I willing to go through? What am I willing to sacrifice to create the change that I want create the change that I need in my life to become the person that I want to become? I did a social media post on this circumstance many, many years ago. It's probably about five or six years ago now and just explain what had happened and why I didn't take this client on. And I actually had some of my colleagues in the fitness space, reach out and say that I was doing this person a disservice because I hadn't taken them on as a client now, that's their opinion. In my opinion, it didn't matter what we were doing, she wasn't going to be getting her money's worth. Now, I'm all about maximizing my time now is something better than nothing. Yes, absolutely. But my time was important and I was limited with how many clients that I could take on and I developed this system over the years about only really wanting to work with the people that were in the right mindset that way I could invest my time, energy and effort into those people who were willing to invest their time energy and effort into their own change as well.

one of my favorite quotes is before you ask somebody, if they want to heal, ask if they're willing to give up the things that they're making them sick. Now for me that's a massive component and that mindset and that psychological and behavioral component needs to be addressed first, long term consistency always beat short term intensity. Now I didn't just leave her high and dry. I simply said that I don't think we were a good fit and I thought that she'd be better off working with another coach that would bring a different set of skills. I'm a holistic coach. I'm looking at all 24 hours of the day and I need someone to have the right mindset and be willing to accept change before I can start implementing and working with them on the process. If you have temptations in the house that are going to sabotage your training and nutrition plans and your body composition goals, then you need to remove those temptations. My mates always used to laugh and joke and say that I was super disciplined around food and things like that.

Okay. The fact of the matter is I'm not super disciplined with food, it's just that I don't have shitty food in the house. The part where I'm disciplined is more the fact that I just don't buy that food, because I know if it's in the house, I'm just like everyone else, if I've got a block of chocolate in the house, it's not going to last more than a night. If I've got fucking ice cream in the house, it's not going to last. So, you know, I don't have massive amounts of discipline around having this food in the house and not eating it. My discipline comes from being aware that I understand that if it's in the house, I'm that temptation is always there and it's super accessible and it's super convenient. So removing that temptation and simply putting a barrier in place is an important technique for um putting some processes in place that stop you from sabotaging your efforts. Now, I'm not saying that you need to remove all snack foods from your house, but simply being aware of what your domino foods are is an excellent way of addressing this issue, What are domino foods, these are things like Pringles.

Okay, Pringles catchphrase is once you pop, you can't stop. So that's a domino food. If that's a domino food for you, then simply removing that from the house is going to have a massive impact on that. Now, domino foods are those foods that you just can't put down. Once you start, once you start a packet of chips or Pringles or chocolate or something like that, you literally just keep smashing through them until you're finished. Those are domino foods. So removing those domino foods from your house is a great way of bringing your awareness to those foods that you can't seem to put down and you can't stop once you get started. I'm not saying that you should never eat this stuff, it's more about just removing the temptation from the house. I'm a big advocate of, you know, feeding cravings when they come up as an exception rather than the rule. So if it's not in the house and I'm craving ice cream, for example, this is something I used to do when I was back home in Australia, I'd crave ice cream on fucking sunday afternoon or something like that, But I didn't have any in the house, so I had to jump in the car and drive 15, 20 minutes to go to cold rock and get myself a big ass ice cream.

Now, the simple fact that I didn't have it in the house and I had to drive 15 2025 minutes round trip to go and get myself an ice cream for the most part, that was enough of a barrier to stop me from doing that. However, once a month, once a fortnight I might have gone and done that, but you know, it was the exception rather than the rule. If I really wanted something, then I had to put some time, energy and effort into doing that. Um, and that's a good point. You know, using the 8020 rule, if you do the right thing, 80% of the time, then that's going to allow you the 20% flexibility to do whatever you want. I used to laugh all the time when I'd, you know, I'd play rugby with the boys on a saturday and saturday afternoon, we'd go to one of our sponsors, which was a bar and we'd sit there and we'd ordered chicken, palmy and chips and you know, a heap of jugs of beer and kick back and watch the footy and you know, I have a good time. And the boys would always ask me, I'm like, man, how the fuck you stay in such good shape when you're doing this, when you're eating shit and you're smashing beers, etcetera, etcetera. I'm like, well you guys only seen me for a couple of hours here.

Obviously I've played rugby today, I've burned through a fuck load of calories, you know, I might have only had a very light breakfast this morning and um, maybe I knew I was having a couple of beers this afternoon, so maybe I reduced my calories yesterday, maybe I reduced my carbohydrate intake as well. So that's all about planning ahead. But Like I said, I'm doing the right thing. I'm like, you guys don't see what I'm doing the other 160 hours of the week, you know, I'm doing the right thing the majority of the time that allows me the flexibility to kind of let my hair down a little bit on the weekend and have fucking whatever, I want within reason. you know, so that's an important thing. I don't have those shitty foods in my house, I don't have those domino foods in my house. So I'm going to enjoy the time where I am kind of letting my hair down and I am a little bit looser on my diet because I've earned it. But that's not to say that I'm going to go all in. Sometimes I'd get cold rock on the way home. Other times I wouldn't. And this is another good topic also is the all or nothing mindset with people thinking that, you know, they go out for dinner with their friends or their partner or whatever.

They get the, uh, they get the on trade, then they get the main meal, then they decided to have the desert and they get a bottle of wine with dinner. Now that could literally under all of your work throughout the week, all of the time. Energy and effort that you've put into creating, you know, an energy imbalance to push you in the direction that you want to go. So again, this is where that little preparation time comes into play. If you're going out with friends and you're following some form of diet where you're looking to lose weight, you need to create an energy imbalance, then you need to plan ahead a little bit. Yeah, sure go out with your friends but simply go onto the website prior to going to dinner and have a look at some options that are going to suit you that are going to fit your goals that fit into your plan. All right. So you could say right, I'm going to, I'm feeling like having this entree. So it's a pretty heavy entree. I might look at having a salad as my main meal for dinner and you know, I'm only going to choose one glass of wine or two glasses of wine rather than rather than getting the whole bottle and dessert.

So plan ahead and then prioritize and choose what's going to suit you which fits in with your goals. Most restaurants these days have their menu up on the website and a lot of them will have the caloric content and the macro nutrient ratios. So you can get a pretty good understanding of, you know what meal you want to hit what your caloric um numbers are or what your caloric allowance is for the rest of that day, along with where you might be lacking in some of your macro nutrients, you can kind of plan ahead, have a look at what's going to be the best option for you um and give yourself a couple of options. So you might say, oh there's these three options for entree that I might look at. I'll make a decision once I get there. Likewise, with the main meals and dessert and your alcohol, you know, don't choose everything, choose your evils, choose the one that you prefer to do. If you're going out with a partner for example, then, you know, you might want to share a glass of or a bottle of wine together. So that means, yeah, let's probably not get the entree and probably not get the dessert.

Rather let's get a massive or a decent sized main meal and a bottle of wine that we can share together and enjoy that because relationships are a big part of your life as well. So sometimes it's worth nurturing and nourishing those relationships and enjoying a good meal and a bottle of wine together rather than focusing just on your numbers, but it also needs to be a consideration if you're looking to change something particularly body composition. Another big piece of the puzzle. And also in aiding in restricting this temptation is meal preparation when you have food prepared at home, you're typically going to be much more likely to eat that food throughout the week than just falling back onto because most of the time people when they go and eat out or they make shitty choices, it's because they don't have any food in the house and now they want something quick, they want something easy, they want something convenient. So a little bit of time in going through meal preparation can again remove some of those temptations and put some barriers in place that's going to allow you to be a little bit more consistent with your diet and kind of keeping on track with um you know, eating to align with what your body composition goals are.

So what we're going to go through next is some tools and techniques that's going to allow you to plan ahead, shop in bulk and go through some meal preparation to essentially set you up for the week so that when you are tired, when you do get home from work or the GM or whatever and you couldn't be fucked doing anything. You've already got some meals like half prepped or fully prepped already that you can fall back onto that are super easy, super convenient and ready to roll that are going to fit in with your goals. Let's now go through five of my top tips, four quality meal preparation, plan your shopping and prepare your food in bulk. It only takes an extra couple of minutes to cook 6-10 meals rather than one or two and it will actually save your time over the course of the week. This will also cut out the excuse of not having enough time or eating on the fly during those busy workdays. So I like to look at the types of meals that I would like to eat for the week ahead. Some of these meals will be fished focused, others will be red meat focused, others will be chicken based and even some will be vegetarian slash vegan meals.

I then put together a list of ingredients that will help me get through the week that I can prepare in bulk. They will also support my training, performance and recovery goals. So this is where I'm looking at my caloric intake, I'm also looking at my macro nutrient ratios and what I have planned for the week, so then I can eat accordingly. Then what I'm gonna do is choose three or four meals that I can enjoy and easily make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I might just have typically I'll roll through two different types of breakfast. One is going to be a lot more carb heavy if I plan on training in the morning, uh if I'm planning on, you know, working for a couple of hours and training later on in the day, then my breakfast is typically going to be a lot more protein and fat heavy so I can kind of fill me up and give me that energy to get through um the earlier parts of the day and keep me fuller for longer. All right, So I will rotate through a couple of different breakfast, a couple of different lunches and a couple of different dinners throughout the week. So I might literally be eating for the most part the majority of the same food for breakfast and majority the same for lunch and same same for dinner.

Okay. And then the following week I might swap that around and if I'm having a lot of chicken for lunch and a lot of fish for dinner, then the following week I might have um you know, a lot more fish for lunch and maybe some red meat for dinner. Um and this is where I'm also rotating through my fruits and vegetables as well. This makes it so simple for you to prepare and also track your food intake to set you up for success with your performance, health and body composition goals. Now, you don't have to eat the exact same thing every day, but you know, having a baseline of your foods and a rough idea of your caloric intake and your macro nutrient ratios that are on every individual meal that you're having, it's so much easier to be consistent with it and to be accountable and to actually be aware of how much food you're actually eating. Now we spoke about habits and routine building in a previous podcast, but this is where building those habits around grocery shopping comes into play. So I used to do all my grocery shopping on a sunday, I live in Thailand now I actually don't have a kitchen in my place, so um you know, I don't really do this anymore, but this was an excellent technique that I use for myself that I implemented with my clients as well, is to choose one day a week where you go shopping for me.

That used to be a sunday and I'd kind of play a little game with myself that I'd put on um one of my favorite music playlist and I would literally have a list of all the shit that I needed which was for the most part pretty much the same week after week. Um and then I'd like basically try and get into the grocery store and get out within five songs. Um I was playing these little games on myself that kind of stopped me from procrastinating, walking around all the different aisles. Now this is a good point when you do go grocery shopping, make sure you only go to the areas that you know the shit is that you need now. Um You know marketers are really good at getting you to impulse buy most of the fresh foods and the stuff that you need are on the outskirts of the grocery stores, okay, so don't wander down the middle aisles. That's normally where the process packaged um Shitty foods are okay highly addictive, highly palatable, high energy, low nutrient density. So the majority of the natural wholesome real foods are on the outskirts.

So think about you know the fruit and veggie area, the meat is going to be in one area, the fish etcetera, the um the milk, the eggs, the bread, all that sort of stuff. So for the most part the natural wholesome real healthy foods are on the outskirts. Okay so I understand where they are and then beeline straight for that shit. Don't get sidetracked. You'll notice that when you start walking down the aisles and on the end of each aisle you'll have all these brightly colored packaged foods that are at eye level that all have these massive sale signs. Okay they're there for a reason that's for those impulse buyers. So um you know I put some music on and literally just went I'm going to get the fuck out of here within five songs. So I literally just beeline for everything that I needed so that I could just bail out of there if shopping once a week for you doesn't quite work. Then you know try and limit limit it to twice a week and make sure that when you're doing your shopping you get enough quality produce to allow you to get through at least a week. Or if you're going to go every 3 to 4 days, then at least for every 3 to 4 days.

Now I like to do it once a week. And I would go to, I typically do it on a sunday and that was because I would go to the farmers market on a sunday morning to get most of my, you know, really fresh produce for the week and then whatever I couldn't get at the farmer's market, then I'd stop off at the supermarket and get anything else that I needed. So once home then I'd spend about an hour, hour and a half doing you know, some basic food prep. So I put the oven on, cut up some pumpkins, some sweet potatoes and carrots, maybe some beetroot uh etcetera. So um I put the veggies on, not roast the heap of that, and I have like 2 to 3 kg of chicken that'll roast up as well. Okay, once cooked up, that's my lunch for that day as well as you know, for the next couple of days. Also, then I do the same thing for dinner again I'm instead of preparing one or two meals, I'm preparing, you know, 6 to 10 meals and throwing them in some tupperware containers, have a couple in the fridge, have a couple in the freezer, I would also get a heap of onion, mushrooms, capsicum, snow peas, green beans, et cetera, I chop all that shit up.

Red and roll in the fridge, Okay then they would go into a walk for a quick stir fry for dinner. Um or I might throw some of that stuff into my omelet first thing in the morning. So you know, I'm covering my bases, I'm getting the colors of the rainbow, I'm getting my vitamins, my minerals in throughout the day and earlier you can incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet throughout the day. The better because these um these fruits and vegetables are going to provide a heap of micro nutrients, all of your vitamins and minerals that support all the processes that go on behind the scenes that are essential for optimal um you know, functioning of all the different systems of the body. I do discuss this and a lot more detail in an upcoming episode, but for now just focus on getting some high quality foods in. If the thought of preparing meals is too much of a hassle for you, then I'd recommend adjusting the expectations that you anticipate your training program is going to yield for you or alternatively pay someone else to prepare your food. There's plenty of ready made meal distributors that will gladly take your money to deliver healthy meals to your door.

I've used these companies when I start getting really busy with clients and find myself short on time or I simply get a little bit lazy, so it happens. Um but if it's important to your fine time or pay someone else to do it for you, what I used to do was I'd actually like making my own breakfast, I'd cook up a massive omelet, big scramble um with bacon, eggs, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, spinach, etcetera, I'd have that on a couple pieces of toast, with avocado and Tabasco sauce and it was amazing. So that was my breakfast, I would typically have that first thing in the morning, I actually enjoyed cooking, so that was a good start to the day for me then um you know, my lunch and my dinner, I'm typically fairly busy throughout the day, so I didn't have anywhere near as much time to go through the preparation and if I hadn't done my preparation on the weekend because I've been away hiking or um you know, whatever, then you know, again, I plan ahead and make sure that I had some food that was delivered on a sunday afternoon or monday morning and I might get um you know, two or three different meals for my lunches for 4 to 5 days, and two or three different meals for my dinners for the 4 to 5 days.

So, you know, I knew that I didn't have the time to do that because I was going away for a weekend to go camping or hiking or whatever, so I plan ahead and make sure my meals were delivered on a monday morning to set me up for the week because I knew that I wasn't going to go through my typical grocery shopping on a sunday. So again, preparation is everything and the more you can plan ahead, the more you can prepare then the better your results are going to be, no matter what you're doing okay. It's when we don't have anything prepared, it's when we have no food in the house or we have the wrong types of food in the house that we start giving into our cravings and we basically fucking make shitty decisions. So the more you can reduce the occurrence of all the opportunity to make these shitty decisions than the better to recap this episode, giving yourself some barriers to restricting temptation or reducing or removing the opportunity for temptation is super important. If you're looking to make changes again, the psychological and behavioral change is so much more important and building and providing good positive habits and removing negative habits that are sabotaging your efforts is extremely important when it comes to putting the structures and processes in place to achieving your goals.

And meal preparation is one of those things that helps reduce that temptation and set you up for success failed to prepare, prepare to fail in the next episode, we're going to move on to the next topic which ties in with this one and this is going to be all about accountability, how you talk to yourself and the environment that you set yourself up in and how much of an impact that has on you moving in the right direction or not. If you enjoy the content that I'm bringing to you guys, please help me spread the message and like save, share and subscribe and pass this off to your friends, your family, anyone that's relevant in your life that it could potentially help. And please make sure you leave a five star rating and review Much Love Guys, please.

Episode 9: Restrict Temptation and Meal Preparation
Episode 9: Restrict Temptation and Meal Preparation
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