When I first seriously delved into the world of fitness, I used excessive exercise to make up for my lack of strict diet or any diet for that matter. This was the end of high school and the beginning of college, so the consistency of planning meals ahead was kind of a challenge at that point. Not only that, but I’d never really been introduced to the concept. I lived hand to mouth and let my metabolism and exercise do the rest. This may work for some, but it isn’t ideal for your stomach and fitness alike. Most people will need to take their nutrition to a different level if they want to reach elite physical shape or conditioning.
The primary concept behind preparing meals in advance is that it makes it easier to make a healthy choice when it comes time to eat. Otherwise, one may be tempted to eat “hand to mouth” or eat empty calories to satisfy their hunger. There are also many that use this system because they’re eating 5-6 small meals a day instead of calculating macros(even though its a good idea to calculate your macros either way). Either way, meal prep is simply more convenient that the alternative. I know people who beg to differ, but its kind of one of those getting the most bang for your buck kind of things. You can live with the convenience of knowing what your next meal will be at basically any time of the day or you can get hungry and have to look for and decide what you’re going to eat multiple times a day. This would also mean that you will spend more time hungry, whereas if your meal is prepped, you will just heat it up and enjoy. When your body is hungry it goes into starvation mode and eats your gainz to maintain and just isn’t ok.
What to do about this…
The first thing you need to do is go out and get yourself at least 15-20 pieces of tupperware. I suggest buying the sandwich sized Rubbermaid ones with the red lids. They last for a long time and seal really tight to prevent leakage.
The next thing you need to do(which is optional depending on your goals) is to calculate your macros. I mean figure out how many grams of carbs, protein, calories, etcetera are reasonable for you to be eating per day. Then figure out how many separate meals you want to eat per day based on how many macros you’re going to eat. I personally think five plus a protein shake is usually a good number. I’ve tried and continue to try make different variations based on my goals and schedule (You need to find a way that works with yours. You may not have enough time due to your job to eat as many time as you like).
Next, you need to find a recipe(or more likely a combination of foods) that fits your goals and also that you’re willing to eat multiple times throughout the week. You can do as many different recipes or food combos as you want, but it usually ends up being more time and cost effective to stick with one meal. Usually the best is a meat and veggies. If you’re looking to gain or maintain weight or cycle carbs adding in starch is another option. If you don’t want to come up with your own meals, theres many sites that provide ideas on the subject.
Then cook away and measure out your portions. 🙂