Meal Prepping for Beginners
There’s a million articles on the different “fad” diets out there; such as the Adkins diet, ketogenic diets, refeed days, fasted cardio, etc. But rarely do you find the article written from the entry level perspective that allows you to gear up for the meal prepping commitment.
Understand your goals
The first step in meal prepping isn’t related to the prep itself. First, you must understand why you decided to make the switch and what benefits it will bring to your life. Understanding the science behind nutritional planning is imperative if you expect to see your goals met. Why is mealprepping important to you? Is it the time saving? Are you wanting to control you dietary intake better? Are you comfortable with the downfalls of meal prepping? Do you have an understanding of the science behind carbs, proteins and fats? Understanding the science isn’t difficult to overcome, with a little help from google you’re a few swipes away.
Meal-prepping isn’t hard work
Meal prepping can make your life easier, not harder. By having your meals prepared and portioned, you have more time to handle your business, your gym time, and you will spend less time at home cooking or sitting in drive-thru’s. Recalling the benefits of meal prepping throughout the process is important and allows you to stay motivated to accomplish the tasks and goals you have set for yourself. For the basic chicken, rice, and veggie meals, your total prep and cook time for five days worth of food is only an hour or two. I set aside two hours on Wednesdays and Sundays to do my meal prepping. Find which days work best for your schedule and stick to them.
Tools of the trade
There are some tools of the trade that can help make meal prepping even easier.
- Crockpot’s allow you to “set-it and forget-it” overnight and wakeup to a beautiful turkey chili ready for portioning into your containers. You will need to ensure you have an oven and stove-top as well for different meals.
- Utensils are a must for obvious reasons. Make sure you have adequate stock of what you need before you become your own personal fitness chef!
- Fresh fruits / vegetables that are ready to prepare without constant trips to the grocery store allow you to always have snacks available in between meals. Carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cucumber slices all provide great nutritional value and can stave off hunger cravings like that Baconator at Wendy’s while on the go.
- Containers: You will need many of these. Depending on the meals you may want to purchase at least one set that has dividers. Your containers will need to be replaced regularly.
- Muffin Tins: These can be used to create easy on-the-go egg bakes for your breakfast every morning. That’s right, you can even meal prep your breakfast!
- Protein powder: Protein shakes are a great way to start your day if your lacking enough of the muscle building macro in your diet. The large 5+ pound jugs are quite affordable at bulk “club” stores ranging $30-60.
- Seasonings/Marinades: Your meals need to be switched up flavor-wise. Experiment with different meat marinades and seasonings to find what you like. Make sure to keep the sodium and sugars to a minimum.
Meal prepping is a lifestyle, and its something that many people attempt and fail because of improper planning and accountability. Making it a fun part of life is important in remaining on track towards your goals. Good luck and happy prepping!