Originally published January 21, 2016
Plan, plan, and plan some more. Have I mentioned that you should plan? When setting out to achieve your fitness goals, I have learned that it is key to plan, especially your meals. Keeping up with a diet or meal plan can be tough, especially if you don’t plan ahead. When you are crunched for time, it is so easy to stop by the nearest fast food restaurant to pick up a quick bite, ruining your diet for the day. We’ve all stopped by the “Golden Arches” a time or two when cooking a meal just wasn’t in the plan.
So, how do you create a fitness meal prep, a weight loss meal prep, or a meal prep in general? What should you cook? How far in advance should you cook/prep your meals? Many of these questions depend on you and your personal preferences.
One of the first things you will want to do is figure out your nutritional needs. An app such as my fitness pal can give you a general idea of your daily nutritional needs. If training for more specific goals, such as a competition, you should consult with a personal trainer to help you with your nutritional needs.
In a nutshell, meal prepping is preparing all/some of your meals ahead of time. It’s like creating your very own fast food meal. Once prepared, you just grab and go. Of course, it does take a little time and effort, but it’s definitely well worth it. I personally only prepare lunch and dinner meals. I tend to cook breakfast daily.
- Pick a day of the week that you have extra time to prepare meals. For myself, it’s typically on a Sunday.
- You should know ahead of time what you will prepare. Plan your grocery shopping accordingly.
- Try to choose foods that can be cooked at the same temperature. This will save you a little time. For example, I may cook chicken breast, fish, roasted asparagus, and sweet potatoes in the oven at the same time. They all cook at various times but utilize the same temperature setting.
- I typically prepare two proteins, usually chicken and fish. I’ll eat one for lunch and one for dinner. I prep about 3 days worth of meals. After 3 days I get tired of eating the same thing and my schedule permits the cooking of additional meals.
- If you don’t have time during the week to do additional cooking, you’ll want to prepare your entire week of meals in one day.
- Make sure you have plenty of containers for your meals.
Some of you may be thinking, “I have a family. What are they supposed to eat?” Great question! My response is simple. Encourage your family to transition into eating better and living a healthy lifestyle as well. Initially, it may be a difficult task. Be creative! Make eating healthy tasty and enjoyable!
Initially, it may be a difficult task. Be creative! Make eating healthy tasty and enjoyable! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Once your entire family is on board, you’ll find that having ready made meals is such a lifesaver!
If your days are anything like mine, you work, pick up the kid(s), ensure homework is completed, and then you’re hauling your children to their extracurricular activities. A ready made meal would sure come in handy! Give it a try and let me know what you think! Happy Prepping!