How many times did you come home after an amazing workout, ready to devour something delicious and tasty, hoping all of those sweet, sweet nutrients will go directly to your muscles, only to come across an empty fridge? The feeling sucks.
Now, it’s less important whether or not you got home from the office or the gym. Not having a meal or two prepared and waiting for you can be a problem regardless of your fitness life. You could’ve come home from work or simply woken up in the morning and thought “Damn, what I am going to eat!?”. Well, it’s about time that changed.
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Not thinking in advance when it comes to meal preparation can lead to several issues such as skipping meals, eating unhealthy snacks, having late dinner, and overspending. If you’re looking to change your body, gain muscle or lose weight, you will have to be conscious of your nutritional decision-making.
We’re here to provide you with some practical ideas you can implement into your everyday life in order to optimize your nutrition!
1. One day makes the week go away!
As the heading suggests, the “one-day” method got its name because you make all of your meals in one day and you don’t have to worry about the rest of the week! For example, you leave out Monday as your prep day and you make enough food until the weekend comes. Simple as that.
Make sure you got enough time during that one day because you will definitely need it. But, in the long run, it’s a real time-saver. There’s a catch when it comes to this prep plan. This method will leave you a bit dry when it comes to food choice since not a lot of foods can stay fresh and consumable for such a long time. Keep that in mind.
2. The three-day method
This method pretty much is the cream of the crop when it comes to prepping. You have to prepare food every third day of the week. You have a slightly wider range of foods to choose from and you don’t have to exhaust yourself as much when you start cooking since it’s not that many meals that you have to think of.
The last of the methods is probably the easiest one and the most popular. You prepare your meals one day in advance. It’s a great choice if you’re picky when it comes to your food and if you’ve got some free time on your hands. Although, it’s not so interesting for those who hate spending time in the kitchen every day.
There are three typical methods when it comes to preparation itself:
- Batch cooking – You make a huge batch of your favorite meal and then keep that in the fridge or freezer. Whenever you feel your stomach tingling you just open up the juicy cooking pot and have a dip of your delicious recipe.
- Individual meals – Every meal for itself. Pretty much ordinary meal preparation where you prepare your meal just like you would when you want to eat something for lunch or dinner and that have that stored in a container. All of your ingredients in one place, ready to go.
- Prepared ingredients – This one suggests you do a lot of cutting, chopping, slicing at one instant, and then later you just mix your favorite flavors up when you feel like it.
Foods to consider
Frozen fruits and vegetables: peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cherries, strawberries, pineapple…
Starchy vegetables: parsnip, cassava (yuca), potato, taro, parsnip, sweet potato, canned pumpkin
Stiff fresh vegetables: celery, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, radish
Sturdy greens: romaine, green leaf
Whole grains: oats, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, sorghum
Pulses: chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas.
Protein options: chicken, turkey, beef, pork, frozen or canned seafood (such as tuna), eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, tofu.
Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, plums, peaches, pears, any type of berries are always welcome.
Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax, pistachios.
It shows that the schedule, method, and foods that you opt for mostly depend on your personal timetable. Implement one of the techniques into your lifestyle according to your free time and taste. If you find it to be flexible and open, then try all of them and see what works best for you. You will never find yourself starving and at a loss of time just because you didn’t think a bit ahead. Be smart today so you don’t have to worry tomorrow.
Thank you for reading and bon appétit!