Why You Should Prioritize Nutrition Over Exercise

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After my first baby, I struggled to lose the final 10 pounds of baby weight. I worked out five times a week, going to Crossfit and was “eating clean”, but did not see success until I discovered Stay Fit Mom’s one-on-one coaching and got my nutrition on point with Coach Krista’s guidance. After 3 months of hard work and consistency in hitting my numbers, I reached my goals by the time my son turned 2, just in time for me to get pregnant the following month!

After my second baby, I was determined to lose the weight faster! I started back with Coach Krista at 7 weeks postpartum. I weighed 140, which was 20 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. 

I was on FIRE! Week after week I hit my numbers consistently, saw progress, and was so happy with my results. After tracking for 5 months I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight. A month later I was fitting into all of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I felt great inside and out, and I was eating a ton of food! 

One thing that I’m sure you will be surprised to hear is that I lost ALL THE WEIGHT—25 pounds—without exercise. Yep. Just week after week of 7/7 and 6/7s! 

Now, I love to work out. I really do. It makes me feel strong and it relieves stress. But at that point in my life, I knew that I needed more sleep than I was getting to function properly. I knew that a 45-minute workout on a broken 7 hours of sleep wouldn’t do me any good. 

Instead, over those 4 months, week after week, I focused on meal planning, meal prep, sleep, and consistently hitting my numbers. And it worked. 

Most of us KNOW that “abs are made in the kitchen” and “body composition is 80% nutrition, 20% workouts.” So why do we not always prioritize consistently eating and planning our meals? 

I’m here to tell you that if you’re struggling to lose body fat and are unhappy with your progress, it’s time to reassess your habits. Are you making it a weekly habit to meal plan for the following week, grocery shop, and meal prep? Are you planning and prioritizing meal prep just as you do your workouts? Are you going into the weekend with meals prepped just as you do on Mondays? 

Yes, an hour in the gym is GREAT; it’s always good to move your body and it’s such a great stress-reliever. But when your coach sees you getting in five or six 1-hour workouts a week and not hitting your numbers, we want to tell you we’d rather see you spend 1-2 hours of that time meal prepping and skipping a workout or two. 

Workouts are not shortcuts to fat loss. Prioritize meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prepping just as you plan out your workouts.

Building habits to meal plan, grocery shop and meal prep will set you up to succeed with your nutrition. Below I want to share the habits I have created over time and follow to this day surrounding meal planning:

  1. On Thursdays, I sit down for 10-15 minutes and plan meals for the weekend and following week. I will find 3-4 different meals; meals we’ll eat for leftovers the following day.
  2. I then write the menu on a dry erase board on my refrigerator and in my planner. I even keep a space in my planner to write down meals and groceries needed for the following week.
  3. I log onto Instacart and make my grocery orders and have them delivered/ready for pick up on Friday.
  4. On Fridays I always like to make 1-2 dishes I can eat over the weekend. One typically being a one-pot meal, another will be a quick protein I make in the InstaPot, and a big batch of frozen veggies.
  5. On Sundays I like to gather any of the spices/pantry ingredients from my pantry I will need for my other meals, and put them in my kitchen cabinet. I also hang the recipes on my refrigerator.

My system may work for you or you may need to create your own system. But having a system is crucial to successfully meal planning for yourself week after week. If you’ve read Atomic Habits, this is my way of “The First Law of Behavior Change — making it obvious!”

By the time my second baby was 7 months old, he slept well through the night and I knew I was getting enough sleep to start working out. At the same time, even when I was back on a regular and consistent workout schedule, meal prep and planning was always my number one priority. If the kids were sick and I got poor sleep, I cut out workouts. 

I currently have a 4 month-old baby, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old; I don’t think I have a ton of time to cook. But I’ve worked on these habits surrounding meal prep/planning for so long that it’s automatic, and for as hectic and crazy as my days are, I am still able to prioritize my nutrition week after week. So if you find yourself in a spot where you are questioning if macros are working for you, I’d like you to take a step back and assess your habits surrounding meal prep. A few small habits can lead to big changes over time.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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