Even if you are diligent about going to the gym and working out, you aren’t going to achieve your ideal fitness results if you aren’t putting in effort to manage your diet. For some people, eating healthy can feel even more overwhelming or stressful than going to the gym. There’s no doubt that meal prepping takes time and effort. But the results are worth it!
You need to be fueling your body with the right nutrients to support your workouts and promote fat loss. When you are prioritizing dietary choices, then it supercharges your fitness results and makes it easier to shape your body.
It’s tedious to cook a healthy meal three times a day. The simplest solution to stay on track with your dietary goals, and also save time and money, is to be consistent about meal prepping. Set aside one or two days a week when you prepare meals for the upcoming days. Then you can simply reheat and eat when hunger strikes.
Benefits of Meal Prepping
The benefits of meal prepping are undeniable. When you integrate this habit into your routine, you will notice many improvements, such as:
- Save money by preparing meals in advance to reduce the likelihood of eating out
- Save time because multiple meals are prepared simultaneously
- Improve weight loss efforts since you plan portions and ingredients in advance
- Boost overall nutrition by planning meals that include all the necessary vitamins and minerals that you need
- Simplify your routine since your meals are ready to go each day
- Reduce the stress of trying to figure out what to make for dinner every night
- Boost muscle growth by ensuring you are getting sufficient protein and calories each day
As you learn more about meal prepping and fitness, it’s easy to see that these dietary steps will have a measurable impact on your health and wellness goals. Healthy eating not only makes it easier to lose weight and gain muscle, but food choices also have an impact to reduce the risk of serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Tips for Effective Meal Planning
Are you ready to get started with meal planning? Whether this is your first time implementing meal planning, or you are looking for solutions to improve your current meal planning routine, these tips can help:
- Find Healthy Recipes: Look online and save your favorite healthy recipes. While it’s nice to have variety in your meals, most successful people choose a handful of recipes to rotate through as part of their meal planning. For example, save 10 – 15 of your favorite healthy recipes, then rotate through these meals.
- Freeze for the Future: One option is to cook too much food so you have extra to freeze. When the freezer is stocked, you always have backup options for a quick meal, even when you don’t have time to cook or prepare your meals for the week.
- Choose the Meals in Advance: Decide which meals you want to prepare. Consider your routine and the feasibility of your meal prepping. For example, many people start by planning lunch. It’s convenient to have a healthy meal on hand when you are on break at the office or running around with the kids during the day. Bringing a healthy meal to work reduces the risk of snacking in the breakroom or buying fast food on the go.
- Put Together a Grocery List: When you are getting ready to cook food for the week, be proactive about writing a grocery list. This step helps you save money while grocery shopping because you can focus on the ingredients that you need for the planned recipes, instead of being spontaneous about your purchases.
- Never Shop on an Empty Stomach: The biggest temptations set in when you are shopping on an empty stomach. If you walk into the grocery store when your stomach is growling, then there is a higher likelihood of impulse purchases and foods that don’t match your meal plan. So, make sure to have a healthy snack before going shopping. Or, head to the grocery store after you finish a big meal and your stomach is full
- Choose Meal Prepping Days: What days of the week do you have the most time to work on meal prepping? Weekends are often a time when people prepare for the coming week. For example, you might set aside a few hours on Sunday afternoon to cook and prep your meals. Be proactive about separating the food into containers so you can easily grab a meal on your way out the door during the week.
- Organize Your Pantry: It’s helpful to keep an inventory of what is already in the fridge and pantry. Then you can design your meal prepping menu to use what you already have on hand. Keeping staples on hand is essential so you know what needs to be added to the shopping list.
- Invest in Good Containers: The right food containers make all the difference to streamline your meal prepping system. Many people find it helpful to buy a new set of Tupperware so you have dedicated meal prepping containers. Consider buying containers that are designed for meal planning, with compartments or dividers. This layout makes it easy to include different foods in your meals, and is helpful for managing portion sizes. Glass containers are often preferred since they are microwave and dishwasher safe.
- Try Batch Cooking: Once you are skilled at making a recipe, try doubling or tripling the recipe for batch cooking. Certain types of foods, such as soup and casseroles, can be frozen and reheated. This batch cooking method offers the benefit of meal prepping for several weeks at a time.
Fitness + Meal Prepping: A Combo for Success
As you are improving your meal prepping at home, also be proactive about upgrading your fitness routines. Joining a gym is a great way to meet other like-minded fitness friends, plus it’s easier to stay motivated with your workouts when you have a nice facility to visit. If you want to upgrade your exercise routine, then join Fitness Nation today.