A common adage is that body composition is 80% diet and 20% gym. The majority of results are attributable to diet, yet it is very challenging to consistently follow a nutritional program that leads to the results we want – especially while balancing a job or school and still having a social life! So how do you overcome this hurdle and finally achieve the results you want? It’s simple, by meal prepping and eating your way to your goal. This sounds doable, and quite fun, actually – right? Well then read on for some tips on meal prepping to meet your nutritional needs!
Step one; you’ll need to determine what your nutritional requirements are to help you reach your goal. This certainly isn’t always an easy task. Entire books are devoted to this topic so try to and capture it in one bullet point would be futile. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like assistance determining what nutritional requirements are for you! Or try referencing an online calculator for a ballpark estimate.
With that out of the way, let’s move onto some meal prepping tips.
1. Cooking Equipment
First, you’ll need the proper cooking equipment. While cooking isn’t absolutely necessary – you can use canned or pre-packaged foods – it most definitely is more affordable. Here is a list of some of the basic kitchen items that are helpful:
- Frying pan
- Rice cooker
- Weighing scale
- Sharp chopping knife
- Cutting board
With these items you can conveniently and easily cook a plethora of different foods in bulk. Some of these items are multi-functional, too. The steamer, for example, often has multiple layers so you can cook various food items at one time, and crock-pots are great for cooking entire meals at once!
You may be wondering why a rice cooker is listed too. While having easily made and ample amounts of rice on hand is great, it can also be used to cook others foods as well – there are entire cookbooks for rice cookers! And a scale is so crucial that I almost gave it its own category. You need to know how much you are eating to meet your nutritional program and a scale is the perfect tool for just that. And never underestimate the convenience of a good, sharp knife! It will save you time and frustration.
2. Plan Ahead
Second, you’ll need to plan ahead. It’s called meal prep. And preparation means the activity or process of becoming ready for something. So, if you’re like most people, your life is full or responsibility and obligations with little free time. The free time you do have, you don’t always want to be devoting it to food. What’s the solution you ask? Pick one day, buy everything you need for the upcoming week, cook it all at once, and portion it accordingly!
You have to have the right tools. What do I mean by tools? Well if you have all this food made and you need to carry it with you throughout the day, then you need a means to do so and a way to keep it from spoiling! Solution: meal management bags.
Companies (like Fitmark, for example) design sleek, practical, and multi-functional meal prep bags that store large quantities of food, keep them cold, and can be used for your everyday life, whether it’s school, work, or pleasure! Plus, they often come with pill cases for vitamins, a shaker cup, and other cool accessories!
4. Always Have a Backup Plan
Lastly, at some point in time something will inevitably go wrong. You forget something at the store, your dog steals a meal, you leave your meal prep bag somewhere, you mis-plan your meals, and the list goes on. If something goes wrong you need a backup plan. Solution: Quest bars, protein shakes, canned meats and veggies, dried fruits, and/or nuts.
Think of items that are able to last long and be easily transported. That way, if you don’t have access to your prepped meals or you’re ill-prepared, you can still stay on track! Store your backup meals in easily accessible places like your desk at work, your car, or your gym bag. But let’s say you are very unlucky and you can’t access your backup meal. Do not panic. Instead, be creative with the options you have around you. Convenience stores and gas stations have fresh fruit, meal replacement drinks, nuts, hard boiled eggs, and some have Quest bars.
There you have it: four tips to ensure that you are not roller-coaster dieting! Use these tips and make sure that your diet isn’t an excuse for why you aren’t obtaining your goals. Meal prep can be fast, fun, and made into a family or friend activity. Make it as convenient as possible by having the right cooking equipment and meal prep bag so that you don’t give up on your healthy eating lifestyle. So give it a try and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
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