Everyone wants to eat healthier meals nowadays, but if you’ve got a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to fit in making nutritious food around work or other commitments. The last thing you want to do when you get home from the gym is spend ages cooking! That’s where meal prep comes in handy.
What is it?
Meal prepping will be essential for any budding gym rat if you want to make sure that you’re getting all the essential macros you need for some epic gains. Regardless of your gym goal, you’ll want to be eating the right foods to help you with the bulking or the cutting and everything in between. By preparing as many meals as you can yourself, rather than opting for processed microwave meals, you’ll be doing your body the world of good.
How to meal prep effectively
It can be daunting thinking of all the meals you’ve got to prep. The best way to tackle it is to choose one day a week when you sit down and work out what you’ll be eating for the next few days. For most people the best day to get stuck in with your meal prep will be a Sunday – but if you have commitments that you can’t really miss, choose the day of the week that you know you’ll be free to give it your full attention.
Pick the right recipes for your needs; it can be tempting to go for some overly complicated meals, but sometimes the simpler the better. Especially if you’re a meal prep newbie, you’ll want to pick recipes that you know and love, and will be easy for you to batch cook.
It can be tempting to decide that your food for the week will just be chicken and rice to focus on your protein, but try to think about how you can shake things up a bit with those as the main ingredients. It may sound like a good idea to have the same thing each day, but come Wednesday you’ll probably be a bit fed up with your meals of choice.
Choose the right containers
The key behind great meal prep is choosing the right containers. Think about how you’re going to be eating your meals; are you going to need to reheat them? Eat them cold? Will you be freezing them to use later in the week? Plastic lunchboxes are a handy option, but some plastics may not be suitable to use in the microwave. Glassware is a good option, and allows you to easily reheat your food as you need to.
In the kitchen
Start small, and build your confidence before you go mad in the kitchen. If you’re new to meal prepping, it may be easier to prep for Monday to Wednesday just to get started, and then move on to creating a meal plan for your whole week once you feel more confident.
By multitasking and cooking lots of things at the same time, you’ll be cutting down on the time it takes to meal prep. Once you’ve decided what recipes you’ll be cooking, you bulk buy dry ingredients you’ll need to save having to repeatedly buy things each week.
Before you go…
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Lead image: wmaster890 via Getty images.