So how many times should you be eating per day?

The age old question of how many times one should eat per day to achieve the best results with weight loss and lean muscle enhancement, has to be in the top 3 questions we are asked routinely as it pertains meal prep and living a healthy lifestyle.

With so much conflicting information circulating on the Internet, how can one be sure they’re doing the “right thing” as it relates to their fitness goals? Today I’m going to provide clarity once and for all…

So how many times should you be eating per day?

Well….That really depends on so many things, but the reality is the number of times you’re eating per day is nowhere close to as important as the following:

1) Portion Control 

Prepared Nutrition is making sure you are eating balanced meals that are properly portioned toward YOUR goals and lifestyle (not that of your favorite celeb or Instagram fitness personality).

2) Meal Timing

The timing of your meals is super important to this process. And it’s not the duration of hours and minutes that pass between meals that matter, but once we determine what that interval is, (which be dictated in part by the # of meals we decide will work best for our personal needs) we stick to it like clockwork.

3) Consuming Healthy Foods

Duh. That’s why Prepared Nutrition is here!

4) CONSISTENCY!!!!!!!!!!

The “secret” to accomplishing literally anything in life is staying consistent with your approach. Not some of the time, not doing a couple things the right way and 1/2 stepping the other 3, literally applying the most amount of effort each and every time. In this case making sure we stay ridiculously consistent with:

  • Portions
  • Meal Timing
  • Eating Healthy

If you’re 1/2 assing the work, plan on getting 1/2 ass results.

So is there an ideal meal frequency to improve efficiency with and optimize fat loss, muscle growth, speed up our metabolisms, and overall make us healthier people?

Too many studies have investigated this question, and the good news is the results are fairly conclusive. When subjects consume the same total calories split between two versus six meals, one versus three versus five meals, or two versus 3-5 meals, there was no difference in metabolic rate in overweight or obese individuals. Also, no difference in metabolic rate (calories the body will burn on its own over a 24 hour period) was noted between subjects who were considered to be at a “healthy weight”, whether they consumed 2 or 7 meals daily.

However….

It is not practical for most people to eat a finally tuned, well balanced diet eating just twice a day. I mean you would have to be really spot on with your portions, and in order to maintain and be successful with this meal frequency, live a pretty inactive lifestyle and not workout.

Spikes in metabolic rates (exercise) will need to be supported by proper nutrition in order to obtain desired results with the body. In layman’s terms, when we workout we typically get hungry after the fact, and unless we desire to live life in a constant state of hunger and aggravation, it’s not practical to think those of us living active lifestyles will be able to reach our goals eating 2x a day.

What About All This Talk About How I Need To Eat 5-6x a Day To Lose Weight?

It’s a myth. Nothing more.

Yes you can lose weight eating this way. Just like you can by eating 2-4x a day.

The question you need to ask yourself is if you are capable of eating this frequently on a consistent basis. The reality is only the most disciplined and fortunate of us have the ability to do this. This myth most likely originated from the bodybuilding world. Bodybuilders & fitness competitors will eat 6x a day in preparation for competition in order to achieve a lean, shredded, and aesthetic physique. “Society” picked up on this and came to the conclusion if it works for them, it’ll work for us!

Sounds reasonable right? Wrong….

Fitness competitors put themselves in a dangerous calorie deficit to achieve “the look” we see on the magazines and in pictures on social media. We are led to believe these physiques are maintained year round, and naturally aspire to model this in our own lives.

TRUTH: Your body cannot exist in such a deficit for too long, which is why most competitors gain 20-50 pounds and look nothing like their competition pics when they are not prepping.

So how many times should YOU eat per day?

Only you can answer that based off the information I provided. With my company, Prepared Nutrition I have my clients work around a 4x a day meal plan. This gives them the opportunity to space meals out, not have to worry about eating every 2 hours, and allows our company to provide the variety within the diet which I firmly believe is directly proportional to sustainability and the overall success of ones diet and body goals. Of course I have some clients who require additional calories and supplement around those 4 meals, but the 4 meal system has worked out exceptionally well and in my opinion seems to be the sweet spot as far as a happy medium for our average clients lifestyle.

I hope this has helped in some way, and wish you continued success and prosperity on your fitness journey!

Please share with anyone who may need help with accomplishing their goals.

If you have any questions for us here at Prepared Nutrition, don’t hesitate to call of email

Week 4: Making Time To Be Healthy

One of the biggest struggles in life is managing your time and making time for those things that you love, (or sometimes that you’ve been avoiding.) As a full-time working wife and mother of a rambunctious two year old, I know all too well the struggle of finding the time and the energy to make certain things a priority in my life, especially exercising and eating healthy. Prepared Nutrition has given me the push I needed to fully commit to the healthy lifestyle change I had to make in order to reach my goals and succeed in my upcoming pageant. Here are 5 ways you can fit being healthy into your daily routine:

5. Wake up early! Sleeping in or waiting until the last minute to wake up makes you lose valuable time that you could have used to get some exercise in before heading to school/work or to eat breakfast which is one of the most common meals that people skip.

4. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Simply jogging or doing some sort of exercise for 20-30 mins in the morning is a great way to start and it will provide you with a much needed energy boost.

3. Do light exercise in your chair at work or take a walk around the building during one of your breaks. By the end of the week those few minutes will add up to one or more hours of exercise.

2. Bring your aerobic wear with you to work/school if you plan on going to the gym afterwards. It will save you time having to go back home to change and will further keep you from making an excuse or changing your mind about working out.

1. Meal prepping is the latest craze when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Instead of sweating in that kitchen, let Prepared Nutrition provide you with delicious, freshly prepared meals and save you even more time by cutting your cooking time completely out of your schedule (and who wouldn’t love that?!) Allow them to deliver straight to your door for even more convenience.

Enjoy meals like the ones I tasted this past week: Beef Ragu & Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Basil Chile Chicken Stir-Fry, Turkey Chili with Sweet Potato, Sriracha Glazed Salmon & Edamame, Lemon Pepper Chicken with Asparagus, and Pork Carnitas and Veggies (YUM!!).

I hope you can use some of these tips as we head into February to help make your journey a little easier towards reaching your healthy goals. Just making these small little adjustments has made a huge impact in reducing stress and making my healthier lifestyle changes more enjoyable and most importantly I’m seeing great results towards my perfect pageant swimsuit body. See you next week!

Mrs. Shreveport 2015
Jessica Latin

Check out preparednutrition.com for next week’s menu.
Follow @preparednutrition on Instagram and Like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PreparedNutrition/

Four Weeks Down, A Lifetime To Go!

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Congrats! We’ve made it through our fourth week of a healthier lifestyle with meals from Prepared Nutrition!!! Now that you have gotten used to the change in your diet and daily exercise routines, you will begin to notice how easier it is now to choose one of their meals over that hamburger and French fries you’ve been craving. You may actually even feel a stronger desire to workout instead of dreading it like you used to in the beginning. Remember, eating healthy is just like a muscle. You have to make a conscious daily effort to choose the healthier option and pretty soon it will become second nature and you will become stronger. I certainly have had a much easier time avoiding fast food (and saving money) thanks to Prepared Nutrition. Here were my meals for Week 4:
Monday – Beef Raju & Whole Wheat Pasta

Tuesday – Sriracha Glazed Salmom

Wednesday – Lemon Pepper Chicken & Asparagus

Thursday- Basil Chili Chicken Stir-fry

Friday – Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
Every dish is so flavorful and I love how Prepared Nutrition provides its customers with a diverse menu that appeals to everyone. Checkout next week’s menu onpreparednutrition.com and experience the convenience of having multiple pre-cooked meals delivered to your door!
I’m looking forward to next week’s meals as I’m continuing working towards my pageant swimsuit goals. It’s amazing how much of a difference I am already seeing in my body, energy, and complexion just from simply changing my diet with the meals from Prepared Nutrition. Although I started this journey to accomplish my goal of winning Mrs. Louisiana America, I have cultivated a new lifestyle that I plan to continue well beyond my years competing in pageantry and throughout the rest of my life. Don’t stop here, let’s keep going!

Mrs. Shreveport 2015

Jessica Latin
Follow @preparednutrition on Instagram and Like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PreparedNutrition/

Week 2- Jessica Latin- “You Can Do This”

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Hey everyone! It is the second week of January and the second week I have been indulging in the delicious meals from Prepared Nutrition.

The second week of starting a consistent routine is probably the hardest week of all. The first week you’re all gung ho about how fabulous you are going to be when this is all over. The second week you are thinking: what did I get myself into and how much longer?….Well you are not alone! This past week has been full of temptations from those darn fast food chicken fingers to me thinking I can just skip this ONE workout. How do I overcome these thoughts? I talk to myself. I tell myself “You CAN do this”, “No you have an already prepared meal waiting for you at home”, and “no you can’t skip this workout, keep pushing”. I found myself saying these little reminders several times a day this past week. If you don’t encourage yourself, no one else will. Everyone else could care less if you reach your goals or not. Everyday I envision my dream swimsuit body and that Mrs. Louisiana America crown on my head and it gives me that little extra push I need to drive, quickly, passed that fast food restaurant and to hold on a few seconds longer on that agonizing plank exercise. I’ve read somewhere that it takes three weeks to make something a habit. Well, on to week three we go!

This week’s menu:

Monday- Turkey Mac & Cheese

Tuesday-Maple Pork and Sweet Potato

Wednesday-Chicken Bruschetta

Thursday-Cuban Turkey with Beans and Rice

Friday- Turkey Meatloaf

Here’s my review on some of my faves for the week: I am a huge Mac N Cheese lover and I was so thankful for this healthier alternative. The pork and turkey were a nice change of pace from my chicken fetish. My favorite meal from the entire week was the Cuban Turkey with Beans and Rice. Can you say “Yummy”? Seriously, it was great and my two year old son loved it too, which hurt my feelings being that he wouldn’t eat my red beans and rice I made a few weeks ago. *Insert side eye here*

If you want to get in on all of this goodness then go ahead and place your order NOW for next week’s menu options listed on preparednutrition.com. You can pick up your meals or they deliver (Yay!). They also ship for those of you who do not live in the area. Don’t waste another minute into this new year without making a change for the better with your eating habits. Let Prepared Nutrition help you TODAY! Also, follow @preparednutrition on Instagram and Like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PreparedNutrition/

 

Winning In 2016! Week 1

The year 2016 has started off to a great start! Last year, I decided to compete for the Mrs. Louisiana America pageant, coming this April in Baton Rouge, LA! Upon my decision, I hit the ground running trying to become the best competitor that I can possibly be. I honestly feel this is the most I have ever prepared for any pageant I have competed in, and I am proud of myself for being disciplined and working this hard to reach my goal of becoming the next Mrs. Louisiana America.

Most people assume that pageants are all about makeup, hair, and caddy girls trying to sabotage their competition. In all actuality, my experience has been nothing like that at all! With the exception of a few dirty looks and snootie comments, I have had some of my best memories while competing in pageants. I’ve obtained amazing friendships and networking opportunities to advance my career, I have gained exceptional skills in interviewing, and have increased my overall self-esteem, and the list goes on and on. I can talk about the benefits of pageantry forever, but the thing that I am most proud of myself for when it comes to competing is the wholehearted decision I made to become healthier and fit. Yes, I am naturally thin and the biggest I have ever been was when I was 9 months pregnant with my son and I was all baby and water! I realized a long time ago, that just because I am thin doesn’t mean I’m healthy. If I want to be my best self at the pageant then I must change my entire lifestyle! At my most recent pageant last spring, I won the swimsuit award. The swimsuit award is based on physical fitness and healthy lifestyle. Little did the judges know, I ate cookies everyday and fried chicken fingers every week from a fast food restaurant. I was shocked and I do mean SHOCKED that I won this award but something amazing happened. This award gave me the confidence boost I needed a year after having a baby and motivated me to actually try to win the swimsuit award at the state competition.

Of course, I didn’t immediately change my eating and exercise habits. It took me until around August of last year, when I decided to compete for state that I made the conscious decision to do better. I began working out a few times a week, and attempting to cook healthier foods but it was hard. I am so busy and tired that sometimes it’s just easier to swing by a fast food place. That’s where Prepared Nutrition came in like a gift from the heavens. I honestly can’t remember how I found out about them, I believe it truly was just a miracle randomly popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. When I clicked in to read more about this company, I was instantly impressed. I decided to throw myself out there and see if they could help me reach my goal of not just winning the state title but to win that coveted swimsuit award.

Fast forward to now, it is the first week of January 2016, I have approximately ___ days until the pageant and I am running full speed ahead towards my dream body goals: tone and build muscle, gain 5-10 pounds, become more energized, and eat healthier! I received my first week of pre-cooked, packaged and proportioned meals from Prepared Nutrition and I must admit they are DELICIOUS! I am a very picky eater at times and I do not like to try new things but I have pushed myself to get out of my box and expand my horizons and my taste buds. Here were my meals for Week 1:

Monday- Chicken Fajita Sweet Potato

Tuesday– Mushroom Turkey Burger

Wednesday-Brisket, Sweet Potato, and veggies

Thursday– Jerk Pork & Pineapple

Friday– Brisket, Sweet Potato, and veggies

My favorite was the Chicken Fajita Sweet Potato. I’m just a big chicken fan and chicken is a big part of my regular diet, but all of the meals were great. I especially loved the combination of sweetness from the sweet potato and the spicy from the fajita seasonings. I received so many compliments about how good the food smelled from my husband and others as the aroma traveled through the halls of his office.

I love everything about Prepared Nutrition, from their variety of meal options that cater to everyone, to their freshness and quality of ingredients, the cost equivalence to what I would normally spend on groceries (I would probably overspend at the grocery store), and most importantly, the convenience of not having to cook! Yes that’s right, every mother and wife’s dream is to not have to think about what to cook and then actually drag themselves into the kitchen to prepare it. I simply pop the meal into the oven or microwave and Voila! it’s done and ready to eat. Did I mention that they deliver? They deliver out of state as well! Insane right??? They keep their meals fresh by using dry ice!

So now that you absolutely have no more excuses like I did…go ahead and make that decision to get healthier and join me with meals from Prepared  Nutrition, as we all try to get those swimsuit ready bodies! My win is your win. We are all winning in 2016!

Good luck!

Jessica Latin

Mrs. Shreveport 2015

Follow @preparednutrition on Instagram and Like their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PreparedNutrition/

Follow Jessica Latin: https://www.facebook.com/MrsShreveport2015/?fref=ts

 

GREAT NEWS!!

A client told us today that she has already lost 5 pounds within the first week of the 60 day challenge.
She did the following:
1) Eat Prepared Nutrition Meals 4 times a day.
2) Eliminate soda and sugary drinks.
3) Gave up pizza, her favorite food. ××Not easy for any of us!
4) Did aerobic exercises at home 3 times this week.
Now that’s an all around healthy lifestyle!
#GreatJob #PreparedNutrition #PreparedNutritionBlog #60daychallenge #healthy #mealprep #Shreveport #crossfit #planetfitness

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1ODWc1I

Clean Out The Pantry! 2016 Here We Come!

Buy Healthy Food, Live a Healthy Lifestyle!

Buy Healthy Food, Live a Healthy Lifestyle!

It’s that time of the year to CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY and start the New Year off with healthy food in the house! All too often we stock pile chips, cookies and other sweets that tempt us to eat unhealthy at all hours of the day. By cleaning out the pantry during the holiday season, you can put those tasty no good treats out for others to snack on during the holiday season so that the sweets don’t go to complete waste.

 

Another good strategy for planning to eat healthy in 2016 is plan out what you are going to eat for the first 60 days. Make a pact that you will only buy healthy food for your love ones and most importantly yourself! If you don’t like cooking or are just way too busy www.PreparedNutrition.com has healthy meal plans in quantities of 5,10,15 & 20. It is important NOT TO CRASH DIET because that can be very dangerous. The best way to get real results is to eat real healthy food for an extended period of time.

Shop Healthy in 2016! Below are healthy food suggestions for you to use over the next year.

  1. Buy Sodium Free Seasonings: This is often overlooked but can make a big difference throughout the year. There are many sodium free seasonings out there. My favorite is Mrs. Dash because of the wide variety of flavors. This is the brand that we use at www.PrepredNutrition.com to keep our sodium count low on all meals.
  2.  Buy Lean Meat: Selecting low fat meat is a great way to avoid unnecessary fat in your daily intake. Chicken Breast, Lean Ground Beef, Pork, Tuna & Fish are great examples of lean meat. If you choose other meats like big juicy steaks, it is a good idea to trim the fat off before cooking it.
  3.  Buy bottles of water or a filtration system! This is a must going into 2016. The average person does not drink enough water a day. So, buy a case of water once a week if you are always on the go and keep one by your side. If you are like me, you will buy a filtration system and refill your sweet water bottle up all day long. 8-12 big cups of water a day is the ideal amount to keep your system flushed out and your body hydrated.

Did you know some people wake up in the middle of the night because they are dehydrated and not because they are hungry? This can be dangerous if you have cookies easily accessible for a midnight snack!!! Suggestion, drink 2-3 cups of water and try to go back to sleep.

4. Create your shopping list and stick to it. I like to go shopping when I feel rushed so that I get in and out! Especially when shopping in the new Kroger’s off Line Ave. in Shreveport, LA or at any Walmart. If I take too long in the grocery store, I end up buying all types of unhealthy food and things I don’t need. This strategy can also save you hundreds of dollars.

5. Buy a few Quest Protein Bars. These are some of the most nutritious bars on the market and are great for your daily snack or a quick meal replacement to keep calories low.

2016 is going to be a great year! Let’s make it a healthy one too!

For any meal prep needs or even ideas please visit www.PreparedNutrition.com. Our menu changes weekly and we now ship overnight on dry ice. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and business.

Happy “Healthy” New Year,

Jacob Guerra and PN Staff

6 Reasons to Hire a Trainer

With the Holidays in a few weeks and summer right around the corner I think about all the summer activities that we all like to enjoy but we seem to think of how we would look in that cute bikini or board shorts. These thoughts are enough to get someone stepping back into the gym. But, how often have you set goals for yourself only to lose interest in a couple of weeks? We all need some motivations and help. Sometimes as a trainer and regular gym goer I get in the flux of motivation and the feeling of unfulfilled efforts. And it is the reason that I want to share with you the benefits of hiring a personal trainer.

  1. ACCOUTABILITY AND MOTIVATION-

Trainers are experts at holding you accountable. You have set and paid for your appointments. Your trainer will be there waiting on you with a smile on his/her face each and every time egger to help you with your goals but also help you develop realistic plans to attain these goals. Trainers have the ability to believe in you even when you are feeling at your lowest and don’t believe in yourself. “Cant” is not in trainers’ vocabulary.

  1. DEVELOP A ROUTINE-

Sure it’s easy to jump on a machine for 30 minutes or so but, then what? Trainers are educated on effective ways to help you reach your goals. If you haven’t been in a gym in months, a trainer isn’t going to expect you to be consistent for 60 minutes straight 5days a week. A trainer will help you to figure out what makes since in your life that will maximize your time in the gym but not overwhelm you. There will be some challenge but nothing you can’t handle. They will work with you, help develop routines that work best for your goals all the while motivating you to continue. If you just want to get a good workout or if you have a goal of losing a substantial amount of weight, make it evident what you’re there for. Telling you trainer your goals helps him/her focus on what would be best for you.

  1. NEW IDEAS ON HEALTH, NUTRTION AND FITNESS-

There is an overwhelming amount of fitness, nutrition and health information available. It is very important for people to have time to sift through information for what is most valid accurate and up to date. This is something your trainer can also provide and stay on top of though out your process. Trainers are able to use their education, knowledge and experience to provide you with tips and tricks to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. Trainers are also there to point out if you have been complaining about something and whether you should see a doctor or not. Nutrition is also something they can help keep track of. Offer meal plans and even suggest healthy places to eat while on the go.

 

PERPARED NUTRITION – Offers a wide verity of healthy foods packed full of great nutritional foods to help keep you focus on your goals. Who doesn’t want great tasting foods? www.PreparedNutriton.com The benefits of nutrition along with working out with a trainer will get you on track, keep you on track and achieve those goals all the while enjoying the process.

  1. SOLID, CONSISTENT, NON-JUDGMENTAL SUPPORT-

Not everyone has your best interest in mind. Your trainer only cares about you and your success. Your trainer is there to help you focus on you and you alone. This is your hour to shine. They are there to help you feel better about why you began this process in the beginning they are there to help you better yourself and those goals you have set. They will provide constant feedback. Most importantly, the trainer is able to do this without making you feel inadequate or judged. We have all gone into a gym and worried about what we look like doing an exercise or compared ourselves to someone else. Trainers don’t judge or degrade. They help you to see all the successes, big and small, even when you can’t see them yourself. Through this they will hold you accountable and motivate you despite how you’re feeling.

  1. MAXIMIZE WORKOUT/MINIMIZE TIME-

We all have that excuse of not having enough time to get to the gym. You will burn more calories in less time when working with a trainer. A trainer develops programs that is efficient and allows you to get the most in, in the shortest amount of time. Time does not need to be lost as the gym. If you are finding it hard to workout, not only will a trainer help you to the most out of your work out, but they will teach you how your can do that on your own. Each week trainers will follow you to see if you achieved our workout goals for the week, holding you accountable to excise on your own time and make tweaks to the program to help you succeed.

  1. INJURY PREVENTION/ PROPER TECHNIQUE & FORM–

Watching videos and reading magazines doesn’t substitute having someone by your side providing you immediate feedback on form and technique. It is very to hurt yourself in the gym. Trainers pay attention, cue both your mind and body and help you achieve your goals more quickly by making sure you are doing each exercise correctly. Often people shy away from equipment in the gym because they are afraid of hurting themselves. Likewise, one may stop attending the gym due to injury. Training will teach you how to use the equipment properly to avoid injury. Trainers will also work with you to prevent everyday injuries in everyday life by helping you increase your flexibility, and core strength.

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Jessica Hamilton is a mother of two, certified personal trainer and a 2x national qualified athlete in the NPC Body Building. She trains in the Shreveport, LA area and is also a sponsored athlete with www.PreparedNutrition.com

FB: NPC Bikini/Figure Competitor Jessica L Hamilton

IG: jswole_fitness86