5 Simple Rules For Successful Meal Prep
Most Athletes live by the laws of meal prep. Setting your meals at the beginning of the week is a start, but setting the day to truly prepare each and every meal on one day, really makes all the difference. Meal prep does not have to be the bane of your existence. In fact, it could save you time and money, setting you up for the much needed success you have been striving for.
Here are five simple rules to successfully plan and prep your meals.
Pick the Meal Prep day ahead of time.
The most popular holiday amongst the fitness community might very well be Meal Prep Sunday, maybe even more popular than international Chest day… Also known as Monday. Sunday just seems to be the perfect day to get this done, and its near enough to the beginning of the week to know your meals wont go bad by Thursday or Friday.
It is also good to note, that you do not have to prep on only the one day of the week, in fact doing a mini prep on Wednesday night might help. Whatever works for you, the important thing is you have a plan.
Know your intake.
Don’t even consider meal prepping until you know exactly how much Protein, Carbs, and fat you need to include in each meal, and exactly how many meals you plan on making. Some people find it sufficient to meal prep just their lunch for the entire week, and plan for the occasional meal to be cooked at home. It is important that if this is the route you choose to take that you plan those meals that you will be making at home ahead of time.
Keep it simple
When it comes to prepping, you want to stick to the staple food items. The more complicated the concoction, the longer your prep day is going to take. That being said, the more gourmet the concoction the less it will be likely to hold that delicious flavor throughout the week. If you know you are going to need something a little more flavorful, try adding a slow cooker meal to your repertoire, enjoy it for dinner, and plan for it to be included in the following days lunch. When bulk prepping, I like to stick to the staple meals, so choose from a combination of the following items:
Proteins: Lean Ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, chicken breast, lean lunch meat and low fat beef jerky.
Carbohydrates: Quinoa, brown rice, couscous, oats, wild rice whole grain tortillas and bread
Healthy Fats: Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Pistachios, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, coconut oil
When it comes to including fish, I try to save that for the meals I make fresh at home. I prep my rice and broccoli, and pick up a fresh cut of salmon and cook it when I get home from work.
Go to the grocery store right before you prep.
This one might seem obvious, but its important to consider when you are planning on meal prepping. Make your thorough list of everything you are going to need, and then go straight to the store to get everything you don’t have. It is very important that you do not make any substitutions, but that you make your list, fill your needs, and prep with a plan.
Invest in a cooler or insulated bag to hold your food.
A good friend of mine told me one of the best purchases she had ever made in her fitness routine was the cooler she now owns which fits almost 3 days full of meals. This gave her the chance to carry her meals with ease, instead of fumbling over 3 or more containers full of your days meals. It also made it easier for her to plan for when work took her out of town. She prepped several of her meals in order to stay on her diet plan while she was not in the comfort of her own home.
Just like with any set of rules... They're more like guidelines anyway... you take from it what you think will work for you, so I hope these tips make a difference on Sunday, when you celebrate with the rest of the Fitness world, or whatever day works for you.