Meal Prep Hacks to Meet Your Goals

Whether your goals are gaining muscle, shredding fat, or improving overall athleticism, what ultimately determines the success you have in achieving your own goals boils down to what you eat on a daily basis. Yes, your workouts are important, but no matter how hard you train, it won’t matter if your diet isn’t in check.


When it comes to staying on track with your diet, planning and preparation is key. Don’t believe us? A recent study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine indicates that spending more time planning, preparing, and cooking your own food is associated with better overall dietary health -- greater consumption of fruits, vegetables, and protein and less reliance on fast food and dining out.[1]

 

Still not convinced meal prepping is your key to success?

 

Check out the various benefits you’ll get from just a little planning and preparation.

 

Benefits of Meal Preparation

 

- Easier to stay on track with your diet & nutrition goals

- Saves money

- No more wondering “what’s for dinner?”

- Better quality food -- you know what’s going into what you’re cooking

- Saves time

- Learn portion control -- less likely to overeat

- Expand culinary horizons by learning to cook and eat new foods

 

There’s plenty more we could list, but these are some of the most important in regards to meal prep.

Meal Prep 101

Now that we’ve convinced you on the benefits of meal prepping, where do you start and how do you do it? 

1. Plan your food for the week

This may seem obvious, but before you can start prepping anything, you have to know what you’re going to eat, and how many meals you want to prep ahead of time. Doing this allows you to make a grocery so you know what to get and how much at the store. You’ll save money and calories by not buying too much food or “impulse” buying things like candy, cookies, and chips.

2. Time

Grocery shopping, washing, cutting, and actually cooking your meals for the week will take time, there’s no two ways about it. Depending on how savvy you are in the kitchen will determine how long it takes you to meal prep.

If you’re used to cooking your own food all ready, meal prep could take a little as a few hours. If you are someone who doesn’t even know how to boil water, it may take the better part of an entire day.

Don’t worry, we’ve got some “hacks” coming your way to accelerate meal prep.

3. Cooking

Meal prep lends itself to big batch cooking, meaning if you’re cooking food for an entire week, you’ll be cooking A LOT of food at once. Things like baking a bunch of chicken breasts in the over, or making a big pot of stew in the crockpot are great ways to cook a lot of food without spending a lot of time actually “cooking” it yourself.

Most of the time, you can set the time and come back when it’s ready!

4. Divide and Store

Now that the food is cooked, it’s time to split it up your cooked food so your meals are all ready to go for when it’s time to eat. Then when you’re hungry, simply pull out the pre-portioned container and heat it up!

     

    Meal Prep Hacks

     

     

    Overnight Oats

    Need a filling quick breakfast that requires no cooking and is high protein? Overnight oats is your solution!

    Before you go to bed, put some rolled oats in a bowl, cover with your milk of choice, add in a scoop of protein powder, stir, and set in the fridge overnight. When you wake up in the morning, breakfast is ready! Either eat it cold or pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to heat it up!


    Double Duty Veggies


    When shopping select vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked (bell pepper, zucchini, squash, etc.). That way when you want a quick snack, you can simply grab and go without cooking, and you’ll also have the option to cook them later on for your subsequent meals.


    Bulk Cook Grains


    Instead of cooking a single serving of rice, pasta, quinoa etc for every meal, cook several servings at once, then portion into containers so you have it ready to go and can easily add to any meal requiring a carbohydrate-rich source.
    Invest in a Kitchen Scale

    They’re lightweight, cheap, and take up little to no counter space. Owning and using a kitchen scale will help you know how to evenly portion out your bulk cooked foods as well as allow you to accurately track how much you’re cooking and each foods caloric / macronutrient impact.


    Hard Boiled Eggs


    The ultimate ready to eat, satiating snack!

    Hard boil a dozen eggs at a time, then store them in the refrigerator for the week. Hard boiled eggs provide a quick, protein-rich snack or the ultimate easy to add protein to a salad or sandwich to complete the meal.

       

      Takeaway

      Meal prep doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, it just takes planning and commitment on your part -- a lot like your workouts! A little bit of effort on your part will pay huge dividends towards meeting your overall physique and performance goals.

      Use these tips and tricks above to conquer meal prep and never find yourself wondering “what’s for dinner” again!

       

      References


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