Meal Prep Tips
As a coach, one thing I see my lifters struggle with eating to support their lifting goals. Meal prep companies can be very costly (thought excellent if you can afford it!), and doing the prepping yourself can be daunting. I have broken down ten tips to expedite meal prepping for beginners.
1. Set aside one day each week to meal prep. I find having a designated meal prep day keeps me organized. It’s a day I have off of work, and it’s the same day each week—Sunday. That way, all of my meals are ready to go for the start of my work week. 2. Figure out how many meals you need prepped per week. Are you home by dinner can cook that each day? Or do you need to prep both lunch and dinner? Do you need to set out breakfast the night before? Look at your schedule and figure out how many meals you need to prep vs how many you can cook fresh. 3. Buy steam bags of veggies! These are normally more cost effective than fresh veggies, super convenient, and just as nutritionally dense as fresh. Frozen or fresh are generally considered better than canned, which contains a lot of sodium. 4. Buy your proteins in bulk. I check out sale ads for local grocery stores, or I make a Costco run to stock up on my protein. Once I have my protein home, I either cook it up and portion it out into my tupperwares, or I separate it raw into freezable bags/Tupperware to last longer. 5. Stick with low sodium seasonings vs using sauces. Sauces can make your food soggy and not hold up well later in the week. They also tend to be high in sodium and sugar. 6. Rotisserie chicken is excellent when you’re rushed. Just take the skin off and shred it up. 7. Have a good cooler and ice packs to keep your meals fresh. 8. Don’t forget snacks! I pre-portion healthy snacks like fruit and nuts. I try to never eat out of a bag or box because I won’t control my portions that way. 9. Invest in a food scale for accurate measurements.
10. If you don’t have time to set aside a day to prep, you can also make large dinners each night and use the extras as the next day’s lunch.
As far as WHAT you should be eating and HOW MUCH, there are many free nutritional aids available. There are apps like myfitnesspal that allow you to track your calorie intake. There are also programs you can pay for like RPStrength which break down your needed macros to hit your goals. Or if you are needing further guidance, seek the help of a trained nutritional coach or dietician.