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Meal Prep for the WIN!!!

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Failing to plan is planning to fail, and the number one reason people become failures on the health front is due to lack of preparedness.  Sure, anyone can make healthy food choices and start a “diet,” but knowing how to sustain that pattern is key.

So, if you aren’t meal prepping…what are you even doing?!  Here are 5 reasons why you need to start preparing your meals NOW:

#1: Meal Prep Will Help You Stay On Track
Having your food prepared for the entire week is the best and easiest way to keep you on track with your nutrition goals.  Preparing your meals, dividing them into your specific portions, and storing them in easy, grab-and-go plastic containers ensures you will make the right decisions.

#2: Meal Prep Will Save You Money
Having already prepared meals will eliminate those take-out orders for lunch and delivery orders for dinner.  Dunkin’ Donuts sausage, egg, and cheese wraps every morning for breakfast and Wawa Italian subs for lunch, starts to add up quickly.  Sticking to your pre-planned meal prep keeps you losing weight, not the money in your wallet.

#3: Meal Prep Helps Regulate Portion Control
Preparing your meals allows you to control the portions of your food  so you can be precise in the amount of calories and/or macronutrients you are consuming within each meal.  It’s not always about what you are eating, but how much of it you are eating.

#4: Meal Prep Saves You Time
Sure, meal prep can be time consuming at first, but in the end, once you get the hang of it, it actually ends up saving you time.  And, we all complain about not having enough time in the day.  Having meals already prepared allows you to come home in the evening to nutrient packed meals ready to heat up, giving you time to do homework with the kids and catch up on laundry.

#5: Meal Prep Helps Improve Your Fitness Goals
Eat clean, burn clean…is how we feel in the gym.  If you’re fueling your body with nutritious, healthy meals, you’re going to feel more energized and in tune with your workouts.  You’ll notice a spark in your endurance, a weight increase in your barbell lifts, and more unbroken reps in your gymnastics movements…WIN!

OK, so, you’ve got the skinny on WHY you need to be meal prepping, but what about the HOW?  Here are 5 tips for making your meal prep a success:

#1: Pick Your Day
Choose a day of the week to dedicate to prepping your food.  Typically Sunday is the day most people chose to plan and prepare their meals for the start of the hectic week ahead.

#2: Know Your Numbers
Determine the number of meals and days you want to prep for.  Some people find it helpful to prepare every meal, while others may only find it necessary to prepare breakfast and lunch, since those meals are most likely the meals that are eaten “on-the-go.” Regardless of what your needs and expectations are, choose something that will set you up for weekly success.

#3: Keep it Simple
Variety is not always best when pre-planning and prepping your meals.  Some things don’t always stay fresh, or tasty, as the week goes on.  Save the “fancy” for fresh meals, and stick to the basics for the rest:
*PROTEIN: Chicken breast, ground turkey, ground chicken, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, lean cuts of red meat
*CARBOHYDRATES: Oats, quinoa, brown rice, white rice, whole-grain/wheat tortillas, bread, and pasta
*HEALTHY FATS: Nuts, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, and coconut oil
*VEGGIES: all-especially those greens

#4: Grocery Shop
Weekly or bi-weekly trips are necessary to make sure you have adequate amounts of food to get you through your meal prepping for the week.  Don’t get stuck having to drink your whey protein shake for dinner one night because you failed to buy and prep enough meat.

#5: Invest In An Insulated Meal Bag
Now that you have made all of those nicely stacked Tupperware containers of perfectly packed portions, how are going to transport them?  A large insulated tote, or even a cooler, is a great way to pack your food and water and keep it temperature regulated throughout the day.  And, if you pack correctly, you can even make room to squeeze in that post-workout protein shake…haha!

Meal prepping does not have to be something you dread, and hopefully these tips help you enjoy the process, or at least ease the pain…

Happy Prepping!
Christen