116 - Making Weight Loss Easier: Prepping

When it comes to weight loss, the reality is that we thrive off of routines, habits, and certainty. We want to know what to expect and to do everything we can to guarantee the result we’re working towards. Yet, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we resist it so hard. But prepping truly is the key to making weight loss easy, and we’re showing you why it doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

5 min

We’ve all been there. The notion of prepping conjures up the image of towers of Tupperware, eating the same boring stuff day in and day out, and we’ll be the first to admit it’s not exactly fun. But don’t worry, because our topic today of prepping for weight loss is about so much more than that.

When it comes to weight loss, the reality is that we thrive off of routines, habits, and certainty. We want to know what to expect and to do everything we can to guarantee the result we’re working towards. Yet, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we resist it so hard. But prepping truly is the key to making weight loss easy, and we’re showing you why it doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

Join us this week as we share our thoughts on what prepping for weight loss means, and why building out a practice of prepping that feels enjoyable to you is critical to your success. We’re also sharing how we prep and the impact it’s had on our daily lives. 


Check out Vibe Club, a weight loss coaching group with the purpose of supporting women that want to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What prepping for weight loss means.
  • Why prepping is helpful to our brains. 
  • The things you could be prepping to make weight loss easier for yourself.
  • 2 reasons most people are against the notion of prepping.
  • Our tips for prepping in a way that feels enjoyable to you. 
  • How we prep to make our experience of weight loss easier.


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Full Episode Transcript:

Maggie: Hi, I’m Maggie. I’ve lost a combined 90 pounds after having my two kids and struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. I teach you how to lose weight a different way, how to fix the thoughts in your head holding you back from finally taking weight loss off your to do list. Losing weight doesn’t need to be a struggle. And it’s my mission to help you love the process all the way down the scale. If you’re ready to lose weight a different way then let’s get it.

Maggie: Welcome to the podcast.

Ryan: How’s it going?

Maggie: Going good.

Ryan: I have coffee here.

Maggie: I know, I was just looking at it thinking that I wanted some.

Ryan: Does me good.

Maggie: What’s new, what’s going on?

Ryan: You know.

Maggie: Is there anything we need to update people on your weekends?

Ryan: Yeah, last weekend was good.

Maggie: It was one of the first successful weekends in a long time, right?

Ryan: Squeaky clean.

Maggie: And that, I think that’s important. I think it’s important to follow-up on stuff like that because we talk to you guys about what we would recommend. And we talk to you about what we think would work and what you could try. And a lot of the stuff comes from our own experience. We put it to the test. We go first and then we tell people about that experience. So, I think it is helpful because all Ryan really did was exactly what we talked about last time which was what? Structuring your time a little bit more. We decided to make the most glorious…

Ryan: It helped a lot.

Maggie: You can get into routines for a long time where you just keep doing the same stuff and you keep running up against walls, but you don’t change anything. You’re just like, “This is just how weekends go.” And it was kind of like with the date night, that was a change that we made that I’m like, “I love that change.” That’s my favorite change we made in all of 2021. But then this one was I had the thought that I could go to a grocery store, I could go to Trader Joe’s, that’s what I did on Saturday, all by myself.

And be like, “I’m going to be gone for two hours and then when I get back you can go do whatever you want for two hours.” And the amount of time that took up in the morning, we weren’t distracting ourselves from our hunger. We were just doing stuff. We just normally don’t have stuff planned. And so, everyone’s just sitting around getting annoyed with each other. And so, it worked so well. But then Sunday, Sunday I had a coaching call, and you still watched the kids and stuff, but we did still do tradeoffs. And we didn’t have a date night, so it was actually all of Sunday.

Ryan: Yeah, we didn’t have a babysitter so didn’t have to deal with restaurant eating drama in my mind.

Maggie: I think the lesson to pull out of this was that this was a big problem that he was facing without being able to problem solve it. And he tried one thing and that one thing was let’s just do tradeoffs. Let’s just, basically let’s give each other the gift of some alone time. Go do what you want to do. I don’t care what you do. You want to go work, go work. You want to work out, that’s fine. You want to go shopping, that’s fine. I’ll watch the kids, don’t worry about it.

Ryan: It was a home run. It was a home run.

Maggie: But it was so much juicier because listen, my weekend, I don’t have a huge problem with my weekends. But I got a huge gift out of Ryan wanting to problem solve for his weekends. It was the most glorious shopping trip ever. So, it just shows you, there wasn’t a huge change made. There wasn’t a drastic change made. There wasn’t a change that costed a lot of money. There wasn’t some big explosion mind blowing change. It was just a very simple change. Weekends are not structured. I need to structure my weekends aka I need to have something to do.

And being able to do something alone without a kid in tow, the same with shopping was a shift that for now is working and we’ll just keep doing that until it doesn’t work. And then when that happens we will find another shift. So, pay attention to that if you feel this is going to be so hard to figure out. How do we get to the bottom of weekends are hard? It doesn’t have to be so drama. It’s just, no, weekends are different than the weekdays. I don’t have as much structure. I need to do some stuff on the weekends, did that, problem solved, that’s it. It can be easy. That’s what I’m always saying.

And I feel like this is a good example of a time when one small shift made a 100% of the difference. There’s a 5% shift. So, I think that was good to update on. I was thinking for this episode I wanted to talk about prepping.

Ryan: Meal prep.

Maggie: Prepping.

Ryan: No, meal prep.

Maggie: But that’s what comes to your mind, right?

Ryan: When you use the phrase, meal prep I think about 57 Tupperware’s on the counter.

Maggie: Okay, we have the clear lids, they’re black, okay, and they’re long. And you just do beans, rice, chicken.

Ryan: Yeah, and the same exact meal.

Maggie: We’ve all been there.

Ryan: As if you want to eat the same shit every day.

Maggie: And it’s always the most boring shit. I’m not saying none of you guys make anything cool. I’m just saying my experience with meal prep, it was not a good one. It was, yeah, the food was good the next day, but it wasn’t good five days later. And I see my clients run into this too. They also have a connection to meal prep as I get bored of it, I get sick of it. And you know how much we talk about being excited about your plan. But I wanted to talk about prepping on a bigger scale. And first of all, why it’s helpful to the brain. And what do we mean by prepping first of all? It’s planning in advance.

I don’t know if that surprises anyone because it is a little bit of a recurring theme coming out of our mouths. But prepping is planning. Prepping is thinking in advance of what am I going to need to do. What’s coming up today? What’s going on? What would make this easier? What can I do now so that I don’t have to do it in the moment? And I noticed that although I’m not a meal prepper in the way that your brain wants to think about it. I am a prepper in the sense that I prep a lot of stuff.

But the reason why I do it is because I like to look into the future, and I don’t like doing stuff in the moment. And I believe the same way my daily plan works. It eliminates decision fatigue. You don’t have to – and we’ll get into the ways that I do prep but I first want to talk about most people’s connection to prepping and why they’re against it. Why do you think people feel like oh no, don’t make me do that?

Ryan: I think I’ve tried it in the past and I have just a few small problems with it. One, I don’t like eating – I’ve found very recently that eating the same thing every day for me is not good.

Maggie: You can do it.

Ryan: It simplifies things. There are some benefits.

Maggie: Pros and cons.

Ryan: There are pros and cons and it’s going to be different for everyone. Some people can do it. I thrive with variety. And I don’t even need that much variety.

Maggie: Show him three options. It’s like the same option seven days in a row and you’re like, “This is good but it’s the sixth day.”

Ryan: So, we have that and then we also have like if you’re trying to meal prep for an entire week, that shit is just sitting in the fridge, how good can it be on day six and seven?

Maggie: It’s nice and microwaved.

Ryan: There are pros and cons and it’s going to depend on the person really.

Maggie: Yeah. And for some people it’s going to be a gamechanger. It’s going to be super helpful.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean maybe there are ways that you could figure it out that I’m not thinking about because I haven’t tried it many times to have variety.

Maggie: Well, and this isn’t just specifically about meal prep. I think when it comes to planning and prepping because people have the same pushback with me as a coach with planning their food. Like prepping your meal plan for the day. I think some things that stand in people’s way is that they believe along with a lot of things related to weight loss that this is going to take a ton of my energy. I don’t have the energy for this. They just weigh out time versus value or energy versus reward and they’re just like, “I don’t know.”

And I think that’s a lie most of the time. A lot of the time the prepping that you choose to do, the prepping that you choose that you value, it doesn’t take as long as you think. And again, I’m not talking about meal prep. I will get into the ways that food is included in my prepping. But I don’t meal prep at all, so I just want to clear that up, but I haven’t got Tupperware’s full.

Ryan: I think these small prepping things that you’re about to talk about are small, tiny shifts that relieve some cognitive strain throughout the day.

Maggie: Yes, the decision making strain, yeah. And then the only other thing is that I think that people think it’s boring. It’s boring and predictable. Why are people so against predictability? It’s funny to me because everything we’re after is certainty. Yet when I give you tools to make your life more certain you’re like, “I want to be spontaneous.” No, that’s no fun. I want to live on the edge. I want to surprise myself. It’s, no, we actually thrive off routine, we thrive off of habits, we thrive off of certainty. We want to know what to expect.

That’s the reason most people don’t get started, because no one can guarantee them they’re going to get what they want. So, everyone’s so hesitant and they’re just like, “Don’t tell me what to do. This sounds boring.” So, I think those are the two things that I think stand in the way of most people, it’s this is going to take too much effort. Or it’s just going to make my life boring, and routine, and to be expected, and whatever. So, I wanted to first say, stop prepping shit that you hate, is a good starting point.

Stop meal prepping if you hate what you’re eating. What other things that people prep for? Stop planning to work out seven days a week if you don’t want to work out seven days a week. I’m talking about all those decisions you make in advance maybe on Sunday where we’re like, “Here’s what I’m going to do for the week.” And everything you have put on that plan you don’t actually want to do.

Ryan: Yeah. I had a conversation with one of my close friends recently and he was just talking to me about, he’s just kind of stuck where he was at, and he’s asked me for advice. And he asked me about cardio. I was like, “Do you like doing cardio?” I only do things that I like to do because you’re not going to stick to it.

Maggie: Yeah. And what’s super doing insanity for four weeks, what is the value of that in the long term?

Ryan: It’s even just like jogging. Do you like to jog?

Maggie: No. But I think that I have to because that’s how you lose weight. And it’s like that is just not true. That’s just not even factual. And we take action as if it is.

Ryan: I don’t know what this has to do with planning.

Maggie: A lot of people are planning shit that they hate. That is happening. And they’re doing that because they think it’s the only way that they can get what they want. I can only lose weight, I can only get stronger, I can only build my endurance if I’m doing this seven days a week, if I’m eating the exact same meal, no deviation, Monday through Friday, doesn’t matter if it’s old. Suffer for your dreams. That mentality is you need to stop planning stuff that you hate. You need to get way more comfortable planning stuff that you love and look forward to.

A lot of the things that I prep they’re things that I am really excited about doing.

Ryan: The purpose of planning here should be to make your life easier.

Maggie: Absolutely. And so if it’s causing you a ton of mental strain something’s off. And the thing is there’s always two options there. Is your thinking off? Or is what you’re doing off? Because sometimes it will just be you’re just thinking about it in a really, really shitty way. You’re making these choices, you’re choosing what you’re putting on this plan, and then you’re rebelling against you. Or you’re just planning way too aggressively and rebelling against that. So, what do we need to change?

That’s kind of a personal thing to dive into of am I thinking about this in a shitty way, or am I way overplanning a bunch of shit that I don’t want to do, that I hate?

Ryan: I have a really small example that I think is a good way to illustrate what we’re talking about with my pancakes. I often eat pancakes and it’s kind of a weird task to blend the batter together. It’s egg whites, oats, a protein scoop, and some baking powder blended together in a small blender. And it takes me probably four or five minutes to prep. But I’ve been doing it in the morning and then just putting it in the fridge.

Maggie: So, it’s batter?

Ryan: It’s just batter. So, when it’s time to eat there’s nothing I have to do.

Maggie: Because what you do have to do is get all of the ingredients, add them all, weigh them out because you’re getting certain amounts in it, and you’re measuring it all together. And then you have to blend it, and then you have to heat up the thing. And then you have to pour it, and then you have to wait, then you have to flip it. Whereas yes, that work is all getting done but it’s getting done in a way because you’re not saving any work. You’re going to do that work either way but the way that you have it set up is so that you can enjoy mealtime more by just pouring the pancake batter.

And using the time you have in the morning that’s kind of like we’re just kind of all dillydallying around the kitchen to be like I’m in the kitchen, I may as well get this prepped literally for my future self. The future self who’s like it’s ready, I’m ready to eat now. And now all I have to do is pour my batter.

Ryan: I’m saving zero time. I’m just doing it at a different time. But the way that changes it for me is when I’m ready to eat I’m eating much faster. I haven’t cooked the food but I’m making it so that cooking food is not drama.

Maggie: Yeah. So, you’re not like, I’m ready to eat. Okay, now I have to wait an extra 10 minutes longer or whatever. It doesn’t seem like it would make a big difference, but it totally does. It’s just setting yourself in a way that you make the experience more juicy, you make it more enjoyable. You make it where I’m in the kitchen, I don’t have anything to do right now. The kids are eating breakfast, we can’t leave for school yet. I’m literally standing here with nothing to do and if I can use this time where I have nothing to do, well, it’s no skin off my back. It’s a very un-stressful time to do it.

Now when I want to eat, everything’s prepped, I prepped ahead of time. I prepped for my future self who when he wants to eat, wants to eat, he doesn’t want to prep and eat. He just wants to get them done and eat.

Ryan: And you have to look for these small little instances to make your life easier. That’s just all I’ve done.

Maggie: Yeah. So, I have a couple things that I do. Weekly I prep my weekly dinner meals. So, I will go through my food list, that’s something that I teach my members in Vibe Club. But I’ll go through my food list. I’ll go through the fridge, whatever I bought from my groceries, and I’ll make a list of six different dinners, and I’ll just put them on a list because that’s going to make it easier for me when I’m making my plan in the morning. I don’t really have to do any forward thinking on my lunch stuff. So, I just do it for dinners.

And then every day I make my daily plan which we talk about extensively on this podcast. I plan everything that I’m going to eat for that day. And then I also prep my lunch every single day. I work from my house. There is no reason for me to prep my lunch. Like I said, I don’t meal prep. I don’t have 16 containers full of my food for the week. But I do prep my food for that day. And I love doing it and I love doing it in the morning because we get Mooch up, get her some yoghurt, she’s eating her food. I’m just sitting around. I cook my bacon. I do everything I need to do.

And I treat my job like a real job where I go down and I put my food in my little fridge, and I eat it whenever my body tells me it’s time to eat. Before I didn’t do that, and I would wait until noon because noon was when I was allowed to eat because that was the time that I ate. And I would come up and I would make my whole lunch and I’d be frustrated, and I’d be hungry, and I’d be annoyed because I want to eat now. And then I’d start eating some nuts because my lunch was cooking. And then I’d eat more. Do you see the problem that it solved?

Ryan: There’s something frustrating about having to prepare your food while you’re hungry.

Maggie: Yes, exactly. And I don’t want to prepare my food when I’m not hungry because then the chances of me eating that food when I’m not hungry, you know what I mean? Making food too early, I just like to know that it’s ready and I don’t have to do that for dinner. For dinner it works just fine. But for lunch I really trust my body these days. And sometimes I’m eating at 9:30 in the morning. A lot of the time I’m eating around 11:00.

Ryan: That’s breakfast.

Maggie: I’m never eating at noon. That was not a good plan for me. So, I prep my food. I walk my ass down to my basement to my office. I have my chips, I’ve got my ranch in a little container. I’ve got my drink, I’ve got my fork. Everything is prepped so that when I’m hungry I can just eat.

Ryan: The point here is that you have enough mind drama as it is.

Maggie: Yes. I do not like the days when I’m like should I cook? Should I eat a hot lunch, or should I eat a cold lunch? Should I prep, should I not prep? Am I in the mood for this? Is this ready? Is this prepped? Is this thawed? That’s what’s happening in your brain, and we have no idea how much of that is happening. And I see it when I don’t make a plan.

Ryan: Even outside of prepping stuff and planning, you’re going to have mind drama around urges and everything else that comes along with.

Maggie: You need that space for other stuff. You don’t want to use it for what do I choose for lunch.

Ryan: You think it’s not related but it is.

Maggie: Totally related.

Ryan: You only have so much energy in your brain.

Maggie: And that’s the thing, if you drain yourself with decisions about food all day long then when the urge shit kicks in, not a chance because you’ve already exhausted yourself because you didn’t know where you wanted to pick up your lunch from. And you spent all day trying to figure out, I don’t know, should I, should I eat that? Should I eat something that’s on my plan? Well, I’ve had a stressful day. Should I just have a chicken sandwich, or should I get a salad? It’s not just even decisions about what I want. It’s this decision of what should I choose based on how this day is going?

It’s been a shitty day therefore I just deserve a break, I’ll just go to McDonald’s or whatever. It’s like you want those decisions made. So that, when I say prep and also when I say making your plan juicy, I don’t just mean the food on your plan, the plan for your day. And the way that I plan for my day is these things that I’m telling you about, is doing my weekly meal plan, my daily food plan, prepping my lunch. And then the other thing that I do is I drink ketones every morning.

And if you follow my Instagram stories you know I’m up at four o’clock every morning. When I wake up at 4:00, I don’t want to hobble around my kitchen to fill up a water bottle. Every single night I prep a water bottle. Another thing that I do is I work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday, every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday as I’m getting ready for bed, taking my make-up off I go into my closet and I grab a bra, underwear, pants, socks, shoes, and a jacket. All of it is put on my counter and I don’t even think about it anymore.

It doesn’t matter that it’s not even a daily thing, it’s just tomorrow’s the gym. Do you know how much less likely I was to work out when I had to find all of that crap in the dark at 4:00am? Now it’s just like I’m dressed, I’m ready to go without even thinking about it.

Ryan: I’m going to start doing that.

Maggie: 10 out of 10 recommend.

Ryan: Because I am finding stuff in the dark.

Maggie: You’re fumbling around.

Ryan: Yeah. I’ve been waking up at 5:00am I don’t know if we’ve…

Maggie: We have not talked about this. Can we talk about it just super quick?

Ryan: Just a little side combo, yeah.

Maggie: Because it’s big, it’s really big. Ryan and I haven’t gone to bed at the same time together, have we ever? Maybe at the beginning of our relationship, did I stay up later?

Ryan: And that’s because you go to bed at 8:00.

Maggie: Okay, but now you do too.

Ryan: I know.

Maggie: So, it’s been a really long time and he’d always make fun of me and be like, “You go to bed so early.” And he’d always say I wake-up so early. But also, the thing about me is that I’m on fire in the morning. And it’s a good time for Ryan to be with me especially because we work together in this business. So, he decided when and why?

Ryan: I decided the end of last year that I was going to shift my schedule two hours earlier because between 8:00 and 10:00pm I used to be really productive during that time years ago. And I always clung onto like, okay, when everybody goes to bed I’m productive.

Maggie: That’s my me time too.

Ryan: But it just turned into this thing where I’m just too tired and I would just sit on the couch and watch something on TV.

Maggie: And be hungry.

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: And be hungry. He would just be sitting around, everyone would be asleep, but he’d be like, what the hell am I supposed to do?

Ryan: I would plan to eat something ready at 9:00pm.

Maggie: Yeah, because the hours between dinner and his bedtime, that was five hours or something, yeah.

Ryan: Yeah. So, I just decided I was going to wake up two hours earlier, go to bed two hours earlier and be productive as possible in the morning. That’s why I did it.

Maggie: And how did you do it?

Ryan: I started nudging my wake up time 15 minutes earlier for three days then I would nudge it 15 minutes earlier for three days, and then 15 minutes earlier for three days. And then our Christmas trip we had to wake up really early to fly out to California at 5:00 and then Mooch was waking up super early in California. So, I jumped it an hour because of that. It wasn’t on purpose.

Maggie: Yeah, it was forced for three days.

Ryan: But it was easy, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Maggie: It wasn’t an option either, yeah, it was just like, well, what are we supposed to do?

Ryan: And so, when I came home I just stuck to it, and I wake up at 5:00 and I go to bed at 8:00 now.

Maggie: It’s amazing. And we just have this – I’m telling you, something about the mornings is magical.

Ryan: It’s really not, I’ve always had this big brain drama about getting up so early. It ended up being a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Maggie: And do you enjoy that time?

Ryan: Yeah, it’s time before the kids wake up that I can wake up and get some caffeine flowing.

Maggie: Get some steps in.

Ryan: And get some steps in and get some work done really. I try to figure out what I’m going to do beforehand and be as productive as possible.

Maggie: The same volume of productivity is not the same between 8:00 and 10:00 at night and 5:00 to 7:00 in the morning. So, I thought that was cool and I mostly like it because of the way that he did it just being 15 minutes. Because most people would be like, “That’s not enough. That’s not fast enough. That’s wrong. I’ll just wake up two hours early and feel terrible.”

Ryan: I just knew if I had jumped two hours earlier right off the bat cold turkey I would have a few really miserable days and I just didn’t want that.

Maggie: Yeah. And what’s the rush? It was just something he wanted to do, and he did it in a way that was very sustainable to now it’s just what he does. And that’s the best way to make changes.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s really easy now, I just fall asleep, right at 8:00 or 8:30 I’m out.

Maggie: And that’s what’s up, the whole family is asleep by 8:30.

Ryan: Weird.

Maggie: So yeah, hopefully that helps you guys understand prepping and planning at a deeper level. I think the most remarkable thing about everything that I prep is none of it feels like a chore to me. Every bit of it feels like a gift to me and I think that’s the problem, that’s where people get it mixed up. This feels like a punishment, this feels like putting myself in a box. This feels like taking away all my spontaneity. I don’t see any of it that way. I’m like, “This is a gift to me, so I don’t have to be hungry and cook my food.

This is a gift to me, so I don’t have to scour the kitchen every night to figure out what we have for dinner. This is a gift for me because I don’t want to stumble in the dark trying to find all my gym clothes.” All of it is a gift to me. It’s a gift to my future self who wants to do these things and I want to make it as easy as possible on her. What will make it easier for her to do this? What will make it easier for me to get into the gym? Just putting my clothes right on, that I’m ready to go.

All of it has a higher purpose but it didn’t take a lot of stress and drama to get myself to prep these things. And I think one of the biggest reasons for that is because I see it as a gift.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean you’re here and your goal is here. And there’s friction in between from getting you to where you are to where you want to be.

Maggie: Into the gym to work out, yeah.

Ryan: Exactly. And if you can remove as much friction as possible you’re going to get there a lot easier.

Maggie: That’s one of the things that James Clear says. He says, “Make it as easy as possible.” I believe that prepping and all these different forms that we’ve talked about is the way that you make the creation of habits as easy as possible because you’re removing some of that friction. You’re removing, what makes it hard? Well, I wake up so early and I can’t find my clothes, and I don’t even know if my underwear, whatever. You have all these honestly just excuses.

You have all these excuses for why it’s hard to work out. And this is just one easy thing that just says, “We’re doing it, we already planned it, clothes are out. I’m dressed, let’s go.” Okay, see you guys next week.

Ryan: See you.

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