(See what I did there??)
1) Get comfortable eating leftovers! - A lot of people out there seem to have something against eating leftovers. I feel bad for these people! I've been a leftover king since I was a little kid...I love having real food ready to go in the fridge. It means that whenever I'm hungry, I have good food ready to go. This is a really important step, since the other steps hinge around it.
2) Plan ahead of time! - Most people know their weekly schedules ahead of time. Use that when you go to the grocery store. Have a plan for your meals, and buy your food accordingly. Think about how many meals you will be eating at home. Buy enough food to cover all of those. A lot of people go to the store and just buy what looks good...but it doesn't equal out to be a whole meal. Buying random veggies and fruits is a great start, but make sure it goes towards something!
3) Prepare your food at the beginning of the week! - Again, this step hinges on the others. If you're comfortable eating leftovers, this is easy. If you know your schedule ahead of time and can plan for it, then you're golden. Go to the market on Sunday, and get all your stuff. Spend an hour or so preparing and partitioning all your food. Tupperware containers are a miracle. You can literally cook and package every meal for the week in about 2 hours. Even easier? Get one (or 3) of those rotisserie chickens that every grocery store sells nowadays. They are delicious, fairly cheap and pretty healthy. I mean, it's a chicken. I get 2 meals out of one of those suckers.
4) Buy and cook in bulk! - This step has a dual reason, to be honest. For those of us who don't have money pits to dive into, it helps to keep the costs down. Family packs of beef or chicken are much cheaper than buying one steak at a time.
For those of you with excessive money, it makes preparation a breeze. You can cook it all at once, and spread it out throughout the week. Even if you don't want to eat the same thing for 5 dinners, you can cook enough for 2-3 meals, and make something else for the other nights. This works really with all of your macronutrients. Protein is easy to cook like this, as is rice/quinoa, and there are a lot of veggies you can cook well ahead of time. Personally, I tend to cook a lot of my veggies for that meal, but cut them up and partition them ahead of time. Sauteed spinach just tastes better when it's fresh cooked.
5) Bring your food with you! - Always have your food on hand. Bring your lunch to work with you (remember, Tupperware containers!) Have a snack in your backpack or purse. If you know you are going to be working late, pack a dinner too. If you have healthy food with you, you'll be much less inclined to say "well, it's late and I'm starving...time for a chicken parm sub!"
6) Give in once in a while! - Don't make anything forbidden! As soon as you say "I can never have ice cream", you're going to crave it more than anything else in this world. If you want to be able to maintain a healthy diet, you need to understand that it's ok for you to "cheat" every now and then. My tip for that? Make sure it's worth it. If you're going to go ahead and have some chocolate cake...make sure it's fucking amazing cake. One of my personal favorite cheats?
Now, go lift something heavy!