It doesn’t matter how hard you train in the gym, if your diet is not on point you will be holding yourself back. If you’re serious about your training then meal prep could become an integral part of your regime.
Plan in Advance
Planning is extremely important if you want your training regime to work. Ideally, you should know how many times you’re going to the gym in the coming week and what you’re training. You need to then support this by knowing what you are going to eat each day. What you eat doesn’t need to be a last minute decision. Your diet is just as important as the physical training and therefore it’s a good idea to plan in advance.
The best method is to plan your meals for the week ahead. This ensures that you have the food you need available during the week and are not tempted by unhealthy convenience foods. Everyone has moments where they come home and the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. It is also difficult when you’re out and about to make sure you’re eating healthily. Preparing your meals in advance means this never has to be an issue, as your meals are already available. This means you will be less tempted to turn to more convenient foods, which are generally less healthy, such as ready meals, takeaways and fast food.
Try to set one day a week aside when you prepare your meals in bulk to last a number of days. The day you choose could be a Sunday, when you’re less likely to be busy, working or attending school. If you set a few hours aside you can prepare your meals for the week ahead simply by cooking large portions.
Tupperware then becomes your best friend, as you can split your large portion into a number of smaller portions and put your meals in containers. You can then either put these in the fridge or in the freezer if you want them to keep for longer.
Preparing your meals yourself gives you much greater control over the ingredients you’re using and the quantity. When meal prepping weighing scales will become essential, providing you with the ability to measure out how much of each ingredient you’re using to make sure you’re meeting your macros and supporting your training with the right nutrition.
For example, if you’re weight training regularly then you should be aiming to eat a minimum of 1.4g of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight. Do you know for certain how much protein you’re eating per day? You can easily work out how much you should be eating and then with good planning and by preparing your meals in advance you can make sure that you’re meeting your daily macronutrient goals to support your training.
If you’re currently not meal prepping and are finding yourself short on time and turning to ready meals then you will be surprised how much salt and fat these meals contain. Preparing your meals in advance will allow you to control more closely what you are putting in your body.
There isn’t much point meal prepping if what you cook isn’t healthy. Make sure you have a number of healthy go-to recipes using natural ingredients, which you can cook well. A good aim is to use a lean protein source, such as chicken or tuna, then healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potato and brown rice, alongside vegetables such as broccoli.
Meal prepping is a great way to make sure you stay on track and eat healthily during the week. However, you can only do this if you’re cooking the right foods. Make sure you keep mixing it up so your meal prep doesn’t become boring. Check out the recipes on The Core™ to find some inspiration.
You Don’t Need to Compromise on Taste
When you hear the words ‘meal prep’, it’s easy to imagine a bland tasting meal of chicken and rice, but just because a meal is healthy does not mean you have to compromise on taste. There are a number of ways to make healthy food taste great.
Ingredients such as mixed herbs, chilli and garlic all add flavour without racking up the calories. Have you tried Active Seasonings™? These seasonings contain no added salt or preservatives and are fantastic for adding great taste to your meals, with a number of delicious flavours available such as Garlic & Herb and Peri Peri.
Support your Training with the right nutrition
Make sure you’re not letting your training down by not eating the right foods and the right quantity. If you’re train regularly then you need to be supplying your body with the right nutrients to promote recovery and ensure you’re progressing. Failure to do so will only serve to hold you back.
About the Author
Alex Genzel is passionate about health and fitness having been involved in a number of competitive sports from an early age. He has been writing about sports nutrition and training for a number of years, alongside pursuing his passion for bodybuilding and desire to become a certified personal trainer. As well as writing for BULK POWDERS® Alex also has his own blog where he shares his training experiences and advice on supplements.