- Do you feel like your life is run by Tupperware containers of lunch?
- Things can get pretty dull when following a strict diet
- Nutrition consultant, Jennifer Bulcock, shows us how to break free from the trappings of Tupperware, to lead a truly balanced and healthy life.
"If you fail to prepare, then be prepared to fail"
I see this posted on social media- usually juxtaposed with rows of Tupperware tubs, filled with rather boring and unimaginative looking foods.
As a busy mum, I know how important having structure is.
It helps us to keep on top of all the tasks that could easily become lost in disordered family chaos.
Let’s be honest, family life can be a jumble of sleep deprivation, stress and repeated repetition!!
When I started my own fitness journey several years ago, I found myself following bodybuilding and bikini models for inspiration.
I truly believed that I needed to eat six meals a day from Tupperware tubs, usually filled with rather un-enticing foods, (steamed chicken and broccoli), the epitome of bro Science!
Looking back now, I can honestly say that I was indeed, trapped…
I thought that I needed to eat at the same time each day to avoid muscle catabolism. I spent my evenings prepping all my food in tubs ready for the next day. Stacked up in my humongous food bag that I carried around with me, almost as a status symbol!
For many, including myself, a simple task of prepping meals easily slipped into restrictive eating habits. The problem then is, it could become a very slippery slope, potentially leading to the onset of an eating disorder.
Planning days or social events became stressful; “if my next meal is at 6pm, and we’re meeting at 5, how am I going to eat my Tupperware meal”. This restrictive structured eating began to have a negative effect on my life.
I organised my life around when I needed to eat my set meals, ensuring I avoided any risk of eating “bad” foods.
I’d made myself a prisoner of my own eating habits. The slightest chance of breaking free, would result in a binge.
Certainly not a healthy relationship with food.
Prepping food does make sense though. Especially from a cost point of view.
However, as I saw quite recently from an old friend, Olly Foster- Personal Trainer, who has himself been through a journey with eating habits and food prep. He posted that he no longer preps his food.
Out there, in the real world, you can get hold of foods and meals to meet your needs. In fact, he explained how he has a much better relationship with food, all because of his decision to be free from Tupperware.
I couldn't agree more!
If you live in the real world, you can eat real food!
Want to look fit toned and muscular? This is achievable eating 'normal food'.
But what is "normal food"?
It's pretty sad to think that a tuna salad sandwich is off limits. But this is a reality for many folks who lead a restrictive approach to their eating habits. Initially instigated by the Tupperware lifestyle. I too felt like this at one point.
So here's some simple ground rules I use when it comes to meals. You can apply these ground rules to the foods you buy whilst on the go, or, you can prep. But see the prepping as a way of saving money- not because you need to avoid certain convenience foods:
No more force feeding yourself plain cold broccoli. You can use crudités, salads, soups & stews, even pack it all into a giant sandwich.
And who doesn't love a giant sandwich.
Again it doesn't need to be steamed chicken breast in your Tupperware tub. You could use ready to eat options such as tinned fish, pre-cooked meats cottage cheese, just make sure there's a decent portion of protein in each meal.
Don't restrict carbs
Too often I see people cutting out carbohydrates thinking it's a magical way to drop body weight, when actually it just leads to a very unhealthy relationship with food; an all or nothing mentality!
Carbs are not the enemy.
Weight loss (or weight gain) comes from being in a calorie deficit (or surplus) not from some magical meal frequency, nutrient timing, or by cutting out a major food group.
So that tuna salad sandwich pretty much ticks all these ground rules.
Aim to have a balance between prepping food and utilising convenience foods.
For example, we use the muscle food pizza once a week, for the days when, to be quite honest, I just don't want to cook.
I'll usually accompany this with a glass of wine too!
On the go, we stock up on the ready to eat pouch meals, which are so much easier than carrying around Tupperware tubs. Once you're done you throw away the pouch and are very much free from Tupperware!
At home, we set an example to the children of how to cook and prepare tasty meals. But living within true moderation and balance, not a trapped with an existence of steamed vegetables and plain chicken.
No food is banned!
Ready to free yourself from Tupperware?
Want some tasty meal suggestions the whole family can enjoy, without a Tupperware tub in sight?
I've put together an autumnal family recipe guide which will help to give you and your kids some seasonal inspiration on how to eat a truly balanced diet.
Follow this link for your free copy and let me know what you think: