Meal prep is the key to any fitness campaign. The right nutrition enables your muscles to increase in mass, boosts mood and has anti-aging effects, while poor nutrition decreases muscle mass, decreases speed of recovery, slows brain function and can lead to obesity. If you want to be at your prime, you need to have great food to go with your workout.
That said here are 6 tips for creating great meals each day and week:
- Protein is the most important macronutrient for building muscle and fat loss.
- Fiber is essential to keeping your gut healthy, decreasing bloating, and preventing issues with carbs.
- Plan small meals throughout the day. If you are waiting until you feel famished, it's too late! This will most likely lead to overindulging as your hunger induced choices will undoubtedly contain more calories than if you were to eat on a schedule. Also, it will be difficult to say no to carb-craving.
- Plan snacks. If you are like most people, when you are hungry or bored, you go to the fridge, open it, and look in. If you do not have healthy snacks (protein bars, fruits, veggies) available, you will likely eat whatever unhealthy snacks are at your disposal. Buy snacks that have good macro-nutrient ratios and include protein, whole food (fruits, nuts, veggies), healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil), and are part of your general meal planning.
- Craft a mindless plan. "Hungry" is not the time to be thinking through whether you have the right nutrients. Plan ahead about what you will cook, and what you will snack on while you are cooking. Use a food scale to calculate the right calories and macro-nutrients needed in each meal and pack what you have cooked into containers for 2-3 days in advance.
- Increase diversity in your plan. A protein rich, low sugar, balanced diet is key to healthy living. As you craft your mindless meal plans for automatic, make certain that you change your meals according to your needs throughout the day and increase diversity in your week. Rotate through various protein sources including poultry, fish, and vegetable proteins.
These are some of the simple things to remember when you are planning your daily meals. For more information and assistance with meal prep, check out Nutrition Vault’s STACC program for integrated workout and meal planning using Nutrichef meals.