If you have explored any bodybuilder page on social media, you have surely noticed that their lifestyle includes so much more than mere exercises. A healthy diet that consists of all important nutrients is another critical part. However, sometimes, eating healthy can prove to be an even bigger challenge than regular exercise. It is where meal prep comes into the equation.
Due to its importance, in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about it. We will not only discuss how you can benefit from it but also how you can easily incorporate it into your everyday life since most people find it to be strenuous.
Why is meal prepping vital?
The most beneficial advantage of meal prepping is that it enables you to have complete control over the food you need. Following a strict diet can be a challenge, especially nowadays when we live busy lives. If you have a full-time job, you are probably always tempted to go to the store and eat junk fund for lunch.
Nevertheless, this lifestyle won’t take you anywhere, and it most certainly won’t help you achieve your goals. However, when you adopt the habit of cooking for a week in advance, you won’t have to worry about where your next meal will come from if you are not at home.
The most common misconception people have is that they need to prepare all three meals in advance. Surely, this is an option, but it isn’t necessary. Depending on your job and other chores, maybe you only need to bring lunch with you if you have enough time in the morning to eat breakfast.
Besides avoiding temptations or starving yourself, meal prep will also allow you to plan your nutrition in great detail. Your diet needs to match your goals but also your health. In a nutshell, even if you can purchase healthy food while at work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right for you. Even though they won’t hurt your lifestyle, but they may make it harder to reach your fitness goals.
Now, we will give you tips on determining your nutrition and also on how to easily incorporate meal prep in your daily life. If upon reading this article, it still seems you cannot do it on your own, you should investigate the prepstartlifestyles website and contact professionals.
How to determine nutritional requirements?
As already mentioned, the whole point of meal prep is to eat food and dishes that meet your nutritional requirements completely. Determining these can be tricky, which is why you need to consider several things.
Firstly, you should begin with TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). This is an approximate estimation of the calories you burn every day based on your physique and activity. There are several online calculators you can use, so completing this initial task shouldn’t be too difficult.
Next, think about your fitness goal. Are you trying to lose fat or gain muscles? If the former is true, then your calorie intake needs to be lower than the TDEE. On the other hand, if you want to increase your muscle mass, you need to increase your calorie intake slightly.
Lastly, you need to calculate the exact amount of fat, protein, and carbs you need to eat to meet your goals. Once again, you can find an online calculator to help you with these, or you can follow a detailed step-by-step guide and figure it out on your own.
Meal prep tips
Now that we have provided you with some essential things you need to know regarding bodybuilding nutrition, we will give you a short guide on how to make the entire meal prep process easier. Truth be told, many people believe it to be the biggest challenge because they don’t really understand how it works. If you are one of them, here are some tips for you.
Make a list of meals
The very first thing you have to do is check your weekly schedule and figure out how many meals you will need. Depending on your job and activities, you may have to do this every week if the number changes regularly. Now that you have this information, it is time to consider the dish you will cook.
Most people immediately think of chicken and veggies, which is okay, but the trick is to make different dishes as often as possible. Otherwise, this food will become boring, and you will be tempted to go back to the no-so-healthy habits. Our advice is to cook a healthier version of dishes you order when eating out. In addition, you can find an abundance of recipes online.
Once you have a list of meals you will cook for the following week, it is time to shop for all the ingredients. The trick here is to make a detailed list of things you need, and it is vital you stick to it. If you still haven’t adopted the habit of healthy eating, you will probably be tempted to buy some additional items.
Another thing. You should plan different meals that require pretty much the same ingredients. For example, chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways. This way, you won’t spend much time cooking, and you will also save some money along the way.
Cook as soon as you get home
One of the most common mistakes people make is that they purchase all the food and then store it in the fridge and pantry when they get home. They usually procrastinate with meal prep, and in some cases, the food goes to waste.
To avoid this mistake, you should start cooking the moment you get home. The best way to ensure you will do this is to add it to your schedule. Plan a few hours every weekend for shopping and cooking.
Keep it simple
Finally, you should try to keep it as simple as possible in the beginning. We are not only talking about the dishes, but also the amount of food. You will need some time to figure out the exact portions. Also, when it comes to food, you should plan something that you can prepare quickly and easily, and also something you can bring with you.
For example, if you don’t have a microwave at work, you should avoid dishes that have to be heated. It may take you some time to understand all the ins and outs, but you will easily adopt this new habit once you do.