Those who prep their food ahead of time are the most successful when it comes to sticking to their diets. This not only makes food more accessible in a pinch, but it gives more control over what you eat. As you probably understand by now, your diet will make or break your fitness goals. And when I say diet, I don’t mean a diet as in paleo, or low-carb. I’m talking about the foods and drinks you eat normally.
On top of being among the most important aspects of fitness, diet is also the most difficult to change. This is usually due to our relationship with food. Most of the time it is just poor. We eat food for comfort, on social occasions, or for a reward.
Improving Your Diet…
One of the easiest ways to make sure you stick to eating healthy foods and get adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats is to prepare the food ahead of time. Food prep can save you time too! Instead of having to worry about going to the gym, and cooking dinner, you can finally just go to the gym and come back to a meal that’s ready to eat in 5-10 minutes.
Different Ways to Store Prepped Foods
There are a few simple staples in cooking that can be cut ahead of time like onions and peppers. Just wash, dry, cut, and place into freezer bags in the portions you wish. These are great because almost every recipe will call or onions and peppers. You don’t even have to wait for them to defrost, just toss them into a heated pan with olive oil and they’ll cook normally. Don’t forget to refreeze what you don’t use.
Herbs add fantastic flavor to food. Unfortunately, they sometimes are bought in bigger portions than you require. Do yourself a favor, strip the leaves, chop, place in ice cube trays, cover with olive oil, and place in the freezer. This works great for oregano, basil, parsley, sage, and garlic (among others). Just pop a cube and throw it on a pan!
Stews and chilies are great because you can make huge portions, eat for days, and freeze leftovers for another time.
Quick note on freezing – Be sure to squeeze as much air out of bags and containers as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Pre Portion Bulk items
Pre portion trail mixes, nuts, and other bulk items for convenience later on. Doing this one time will make it more accessible when you need it. You can use plastic containers, or zip bags. Whatever you have on hand should be fine.
Plastic storage containers
Pick one day a week and make all of your meals. Makes life easier and limits kitchen time. Store your meals in airtight plastic containers in the fridge. Toss it in the microwave when you’re ready to eat!
Keys to a Successful Diet
Eat the Same Foods
This is hard for some people. Eating the same foods will help with adherence. The more you have to think about something, the less likely you are to follow it. If you have a few food items that you know how to make and enjoy, cycle them and eat them regularly. This will make it easy to hit macro goals. Added bonus – grocery shopping becomes a breeze!
If you have the cash to spend use options like Muscle Maker Grill’s meal plan. Also, you can use services like Hello Fresh, and have ingredients and recipes delivered to your door. Or better yet, ASK US FOR HELP! We’re always ready and willing to lend a hand.
Meal prep should make your life easier not add to stress. Start small and prep one or two of your weekly meals. Over time increase the amount of meals you are prepping per week. Alternatively, you can pick two days instead of one and split your kitchen time.