Before jumping right into the Meal Prep Strategies know this General Rule of Thumb: Meal Prep must be a Priority. In order to see any success in achieving your fitness goals. Meal prep should be set as a weekly priority. Below I will share with you what works for me and feel free to give it a try! Keep in mind, what may work for me, or someone else, may not exactly work for you and your schedule. Let’s figure out what can work best with you, I understand time is valuable, but I can promise, the time you spend on meal prep, WILL BE worth it!
Unfortunately, it’s not a “one and done” deal. If only we could take the time to “prepare food for life” HA. Yea, not an option, impossible. Let’s accept that meal prepping must be a part of life if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Living healthy doesn’t come from only performing physical activities we take part in, but more importantly, what we are eating and feeding out bodies. I like to say 70% of your fitness goals and results comes from your nutrition, and only 30% will come from your physical fitness. After realizing that, maybe that’s why you haven’t reached the goals you’ve set, or you haven’t achieved as much progress as you wanted. As the physical fitness is still a very important component to reach your goals, let’s try shifting more focus to achieve your goals through nutrition. In order to be on a healthy nutrition regime, you must be prepared; prepared meaning Meal Prep!
First things first,
- Get quality storage containers to store in fridge in which is also safe to pack/travel
- Build a menu- there are some great books out there, but also can be easily found online too *I suggest keeping it simple, but hey if you enjoy cooking and have more time to experiment then please, seek recipes and try different things!
- Grocery list- Write one out for yourself that you can tweak weekly if needed Or much easier—I’ve written on out for you! Go visit my site www.msfitriss.com and wait for the pop up to come up to drop your email to receive FREE grocery guide!
- Go Grocery Shopping—never hungry haha *My favorite time to go grocery shopping is Friday evenings. If you have more of a flexible schedule, first thing in the AM when they open is a great time to go. Sundays are the worst but are the most convenient days in our schedule to go. *I personally like to go grocery one day and then prep the following—I have a system down AND IT WORKS!
YOU ARE NOW READY TO BEGIN YOUR MEAL PREP
Like I said above, Try keeping things as simple as possible, at least until you get in the swing of everything: What day will you get your grocery shopping done? When is the best time for you to prepare your meals? How long does it take you to wash, cut, bake/cook, clean up?
*If you decide to make all these different receipts your first week of “Meal Prepping” you will get discouraged once the second week or time comes to have to meal prep. That brings on the next statement, deciding if you will be prepping 1x or 2x per week. This may depend on if your preparing for more than just yourself or how fresh you want your meals to be.
So, let’s pretend you have decided to prep for the next 3 days.
Choose 2 meats (protein), Choose 2 grains (carbs), Choose 2 vegetables.
This will be your cooking stage: Cook/Bake Chicken & Ground beef Bake Potatoes & Slow Cook Rice Prepare Asparagus & Green Beans
For the next 3 days keep it simple: You have 3 Meals with Chicken/ Potatoes/Asparagus You have 3 Meals with Beef/Rice/Green Beans
Feel free to switch around the vegetables, grains, or even the meat! Perhaps one day you add mustard to your chicken, and the next you add hot sauce. Maybe even throw in some banana peppers with your beef to spice it up. You see how you can eat the exact same meal 3 days in a row, but with slight changes it can switch up the entire meal?!
3 days is ALREADY over- yes it does come quick and yes you now have to meal prep AGAIN. However, this time you ran out beef and can’t buy more so TUNA Cans come to rescue.
This will be your cooking/prep stage: Prepare/Cook Chicken &Tuna Bake sweet potatoes & a convenient wrap in the fridge will have to do for these 3 days Prepare more greens but change it up: zucchini & cut up cucumbers/ peppers
For these next 3 days keep it simple: You have 3 meals (lunch) tuna, rice cakes, and vegetables cut up You have 3 meals (dinner) Chicken, sweet potatoes, zucchini
Now that you have prepared both lunches and dinners, don’t forget about the rest of the day. Fill the rest of the day up with healthy snacks, making sure every meal has protein in it.
Some good snacks include: Protein Bars, Protein Shakes, Oats/Protein Powder, Almonds/Seeds, Fruits, Rice cakes & Peanut butter
The gym is the fun part for most of us! Ok, maybe not all of us that’s why I said MOST! Some of us have better self-motivation than others in order to get up and get it done, others need accountability from a friend or even a trainer. Typically, those who are consistent with a workout regime, do focus on their nutrition because they understand how the two go hand and hand. Others may workout so they can eat however and whatever you want—if you are one of those; that’s fine! Just don’t expect to achieve all your fitness goals while only working out, without following any nutrition regime. Look at your gym time as part as living a healthy lifestyle but look toward nutrition as being the main concern.
6 days have gone by- 7 days in a week! 1 out of the 7 eat intuitively and moderately—No Plan, Enjoy!
I’m not going to lie; preparation is tedious and does take time. It’s one of the top things we can do to stay on our nutrition goals and one of the top things that stops us from reaching out goals. So, remember this Rule of Thumb: “Meal Prep needs to be set as a weekly priority, but keep it simple”.