Meal Prep is the abbreviated term for Meal Preparation.
When talking with new clients I ask them about their diet and the challenges they face when it comes to eating healthy choices. Time, portion sizes and general laziness are the main excuses I receive and it doesn’t surprise me.
Here’s a bombshell for you:
YOU CANNOT OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET
You cannot and you will not. Most new clients I see are so gung ho ready to train but are yet to consider the importance of getting things right in the kitchen.
Meal prepping isn’t as scary or as weird as it sounds. Yes, there are the stereotypical muscleheads that do it but let’s be honest, they got muscles from being organised with their food.
So why should you meal prep? Here are 5 reasons you cannot ignore!
1. SAVE MONEY
One of the most annoying responses I get when I ask clients about their food compliance during the week is that they didn’t do any food preparation because it they didn’t have the money and then when I ask about what they did have during the week they ate out 3-5 times for their lunch or dinner.
What the hell? So let me get this right – you couldn’t afford to buy actual food but you were able to have 3 large Big Mac Meals during the week? A large Big Mac Meal is like over $10. You spent over $30 on take away but you say you couldn’t afford to buy real food from the supermarket?
Buying your food and then cooking it up with enough servings to sustain you for days after is much cheaper. I recently made up 7 full meals for under $20 and those meals were healthy and delicious. Your Big Mac Meal is inferior and a waste.
2. TIME MANAGEMENT
Perhaps eating out the 3-5 times during the week is more about time management? Often it is. That’s one of the main reasons given. I don’t have enough time!!! Not enough time to handle all my day to day tasks, not enough time to exercise and not enough time to eat healthy. Again, things aren’t going to magically turn around now that you start exercising. You have to get your food intake sorted before you truly reap the rewards of the hard work you put in at the gym.
Meal prepping means that you will have quality, healthy meals at your finger tips and you won’t be spending excess cash on buying take away which saves you both time, money AND some important calories. If you get the management of your meals sorted, you will be surprised how much time you suddenly have available. For an extra 20min on a Sunday arvo cooking up meals for the week may save you hours for the days to come. No more of those mad dashes to the shops to get takeaway and then the even madder dash back to then inhale said poor yet expensive meal while being on the limited time that is your lunch break!
3. PORTION CONTROL
Often people blame portion control as one of the reasons they struggle with their weight. You just have to go the USA to agree with that. It isn’t limited to the states though.
By preparing your meals in bulk, it means you have control over the amount of calories (including understanding the carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios) you are putting in your tupperware containers.
It is uncommon for restaurants to include nutritional information for the meals and it will be a unlikely situation where you can work out exactly how much of a meal you can eat before you go over your protein/carb/fat requirements. This lack of precision is avoided if you cook up your meals in bulk and then do your divisions into the right sized portions and in turn, optimising your progress towards your ideal body!
4. STAY ON TARGET
Losing weight/gaining weight – it doesn’t matter. When you train at EPIC WIN PT, a plan is given to you regarding your frequency of meals and what they should include. By getting your meal prep sorted, you have been able to get your portion sizes right, the contents are in accordance to your goals and you are more likely to stay on track with eating right!
5. THE MENTAL GAME – HOW TO WIN IT
Changing your body isn’t just about lifting weights. As this article explains, getting your food right is actually more important. There is definitely a mental game that is underway when it comes to this and you need to be in the game and playing to win. And by playing to win, you need to be aware of your current positioning, attitude and direction you are headed. By spending an hour on a Sunday arvo/evening making your dinner and making enough to have meals for lunch throughout the week, you are mentally preparing yourself to succeed for the week ahead.
By being organised, it means you can focus your energy into your workouts and other day to day challenges and by having the right food at your now convenient disposal, you will feel better and be less tired!
These five reasons aren’t rocket science but I will be brutally honest, if you want results, some effort is required. Turning up to training week after week and training so hard is only a small part of this. You have to put the effort in the kitchen. You need to START.
I understand that when you get home you are tired and the last thing you want to do is cook. Not trying to one up you here but most days I start work at 5:15am and I work all the way through and don’t get home until after 8:30pm at night. I know the struggle. I don’t want to cook when I get home either. So I make sure I have meals made and ready so that I have my dinner sorted and also my lunches, snacks and breakfast too. I can survive the day because I have the right food at the right times. If I can manage it – you can too! 🙂
Jon is a Metabolic Precision Transformation Specialist working from his Studio EPIC WIN PT in Newmarket, Brisbane. Follow all the fun and adventures by liking the Facebook page here