Cookin’ Up Confidence


Struggling with body image isn’t uncommon among teenagers. In fact, according to, one-fifth of adults struggle with body image even after their teenage years. Humans tend to have an ideal vision of themselves. This typically involves something they want to improve, whether it be weight, muscle mass, or cardiovascular health. These changes are usually slow and require physical and mental determination and consistency, but there is one common factor that prevents most people from achieving their goals.
Healthy eating habits are equally, if not more important than lifting, in the process of change. A common misconception is that the gym can bring quick, effective transformation.
I see people go for two-hour sessions to lose or gain weight, but what they don’t realize is that they’re accessing only 20% of their physical potential. This is why most people quit after only two or three weeks in the gym— because their progress is bottlenecked by their eating habits.
Going to the gym is great, as it’s an effective way to relieve stress while building muscle. Unfortunately, what most fail to understand is that when you push your body to its physical limit every workout, you must rest just as hard to allow for ample muscle growth.
It’s another reason people abandon their goals early on because their seven-day, three-hour workouts didn’t accomplish anything in a month.
By all means, go and enjoy your workout. Strive to complete the goals you’ve set. You will continue to make progress. However, real progress is made in the kitchen.
Around 80% of the change you will see is meal based. Consistently eating healthy and nutritious meals, limiting sugary and saturated fat snacks, and keeping track of your calories are all fantastic ways to confirm the change you’re seeking.
This doesn’t mean cutting out all of your favorite foods—by all means, continue eating what you love.
Just eat them in controlled portions if you want to see change.
WeightWatchers, MyFitnessPal, or a good old-fashioned calculator are excellent ways to keep track of what you’re putting in your body. These apps allow you to track meals, liquids, as well as exercise. WeightWatchers also provides mentors through the app who provide an outlet for tips and questions.
For those looking to gain weight, these apps also provide guidance on how to properly eat in a calorie surplus and ensure you’re consuming proper macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fats).
The method that has worked best for me is meal prepping. On Sunday nights, I cook dinners for the following week and portion them into five containers. That way, I don’t have to worry about overeating outside of my portion, and I know that I supplied myself with substantial food groups and proper nutrients.
This last Sunday, I prepared around 365 grams of chicken, seven cups of Jasmine Rice, and five heads of broccoli. With a friend, it took about an hour to prep.

Being healthy is important, and feeling confident in yourself as well as your body is equally crucial. Setting challenging goals—and sticking to them—takes a massive amount of effort. It’s the first step, and you’re doing more than most by setting these goals. Just make sure that the ones you’re setting for yourself are, in fact, realistic, achievable, and enjoyable.