Challenge 26 kicks off today and though it looks vastly different to what we have seen before (hello home workouts!) the cornerstone meal plan remains the same.
In 2019, Dave and I ‘participated’ in two challenges at our studio, F45 Massey. We basically signed up for the scans to establish benchmarks against which to measure our progress through exercise/class attendance alone. Those who know me will already be aware of how life-changing joining F45 Massey has been for me, so my final scans after each of last years 8-week challenges were always positive and moving in the right direction.
After seeing the epic results my training buddies had achieved by following the F45 Meal Plan, I swore to go all-in during Challenge 25 and combine my regular classes with the nutrition programme developed by F45.
Though we have been unable to complete our final scans at this point (NZ is on Level 4 lockdown due to Covid-19) Dave and I completed the 8 Week challenge and were able to commit 100% to the F45 Meal Plan – something I never expected us to be able to maintain. Our results, though unofficial, are bloody amazing! I had exceeded my body fat loss goal by the halfway mark and smashed my weight loss goal soon after. Dave didn’t do a half-way scan but he is coming up to 10kg lost and who knows what his body fat loss will end up at. We both feel amazing and LOVE this way of eating.
So, we’ve definitely learnt a thing or two over the past 3 months about how to make the F45 Meal Plan work for us, and we’ve done it together every step of the way. Something that has definitely helped on those tough days when motivation has been lagging!
F45 Meal Plan: How to Stay on Track
- Print out the weekly Meal Calendar and stick it on your fridge.
But don’t stop there! Actually look at it, check out the proteins you need each day and get prepared. Does it make sense to switch some lunches around so your chicken meals are grouped together meaning you can cook in bulk? Dave and I like to bbq a bunch of chicken breast so it’s cooked and ready to use across a couple of meals.
- Do your shopping.
Not going to lie. This takes a while. As the male/female dietary requirements are slightly different, I print a shopping list for each of us, then jot down the total amount required on one of the lists. Then I sit down and do an online shop, adding in extras for the kids. For example, if Dave and I need 1.7kg of chicken breast for the week, I’ll round this up to 2.5kg then the kids can eat the same protein we are having for dinner each night.
Obviously, due to Coronavirus, online shopping is not an option for many of us so, mates, you’re going to have to suck it up and hit the aisles. If you’re having trouble finding any slightly obscure items, keep it simple. Can’t find freekeh, switch it to brown rice or quinoa etc. If you are having trouble sourcing ingredients go straight to The Source who are cleared for online shopping!
- Make it work for you.
Go back to point #1. LOOK at the meal calendar and adjust if necessary. I don’t like pork so I’m not going to eat it simply because that’s what’s scheduled for Thursday night. I’ll generally cook the recommended meal but switch out the pork for chicken. This comes back to being prepared. Surprises will throw you, so preempt what you are going to need the day before.
- Portion your meat for the week.
It’s much easier and less admin if you divide up your protein when you get home from the store into meals for the week. Even if you don’t cook ahead, it saves on waste and time to have pre-portioned and labelled containers or sandwich bags in the fridge or freezer. Just defrost and pop them out when you are ready to cook.
- Make your snacks FIRST!
Snacking is a mental game guys. You’ve got to have your ammo ready. The snack recipes in the F45 Challenge Meal Plan are bloody delicious so get into them! Don’t be afraid to keep whipping up your faves either. You’ll find the meals and snacks are formulated with roughly the same calories each day, so if you’re a creature of habit like me, keep rolling out those bliss balls each week if that’s what works for you!
- Find an easy, emergency meal that can be your go-to.
Some days just don’t go to plan but that doesn’t mean you have to cheat. There are heaps of recipes, particularly lunches, which don’t require a lot of cooking, or any! Our fave is the Tuna and Beetroot Bowl. 5 minutes to throw together, it’s HUGE and basically comes out of cans! Don’t give yourself an excuse to fall off the wagon.
- Drink your water!
If you’re thirsty drink. If you’re hungry drink. Get your 2l in per day and you’re going to get through the first 2 weeks feeling good. I’m not a sipper so it’s easier for me to keep a 500ml glass on the bench and simply scull a glass four times a day. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.
- Ditch the wine and high-calorie beer.
This challenge is all about making better choices, so if you like to enjoy a drink, do some research. Maybe try a low alcohol wine, or switch to an RTD such as Pals or Sero which contain natural ingredients and are very low calorie. Dave has ditched the craft beers for Pure Blonde which has a massive impact on those calories going in.
- Enjoy the process.
I’ve found that being so hands-on in the preparation of every meal has meant that I’m massively invested in both the process and the challenge. This is a whole-food based diet. It’s fresh, delicious, nutritious and filling and it’s really satisfying sticking to the process when it’s SO bloody good for you!
- Expect to spend more time in the kitchen.
Abs actually ARE made in the kitchen. I have learnt this to be true over the past 3 months lol. You are going to be spending more time than ever cooking and washing dishes. Factor this into your day or week and roll with it. The results will be worth it!
Leave a comment below if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help with the organisation side of meal-planning if I can. I’m no nutritionist obviously – that’s why I need a meal plan that works!
The best advice I can give is to stay the course and COMMIT to the meal plan. It’s a no-brainer, everything is figured out for you and it will work alongside your F45 classes to absolutely smash your challenge goals.