By: Matt Weik
When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, it’s extremely important to focus on meal planning. Not only will meal planning help keep you accountable, but it will also make following a solid nutrition plan more convenient and less stressful. Are you currently using a meal planning strategy? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Make Your Meals in Bulk
As they say, “prior planning prevents poor performance.” The same rings true for your meal planning. To simplify your life, I recommend taking one day out of your week to make meals in bulk to plan the week ahead – something like a Sunday. Grill your protein sources, steam or cut up your carbohydrates, etc. This will ultimately allow you to mix and match macros according to your tastes for a given day.
Some people like to put the full meals together in Tupperware containers while others put each source in its own container and put their meals together based on what they are hungry for. Either way will work.
We live our lives out of what seems like convenience these days. We shop online so we don’t need to go to the store. We go to restaurants when we don’t feel like cooking. We grab that bag of potato chips because it’s convenient to open and consume in a hurry. We use our smartphones to get information instantly. Meal planning is very similar. You get the convenience of having everything already prepared for you from the one day you cooked in bulk, so all you have to do is grab your food from the refrigerator and warm it up or grab it, toss it in your bag, and off you go to work.
Don’t overcomplicate things. With meal planning, you strategically place yourself in a position to stay focused on your diet and not allow the wheels to fall off due to temptation.
Consistency is the name of the game when striving to achieve your health and fitness goals - especially when it comes to weight loss. If you can consistently be consuming healthy and nutritious foods on a daily basis without “cheating” on your diet, you put yourself in a winning position. This is where meal planning can help keep you on track.
By planning out your meals, preparing them, and having them ready to go will help you stay consistent with your nutrition. You are less likely to go off the beaten path to find food when it’s already conveniently prepared and ready to go. This goes hand-in-hand with your exercise routine as well. The more consistent you are with your workouts the better and quicker the results will show.
4. Resist Unhealthy Snacking
Meal planning doesn’t need to be just about breakfast, lunch, and dinner – the big three. Meals are also considered consuming snacks or “smaller meals” throughout the day. The key is to have a plan in place to prevent yourself from giving into temptations. At work, 3pm comes rolling around and you watch people hitting up the vending machines because they are hungry. This is where your meal planning comes into play.
If you thought things through and were prepared, you would already have a backup plan at your desk ready to go. Plan ahead for situations like this where you have a container of healthy nuts or something like beef jerky. In fact, your desk drawer or briefcase is the perfect place to store some protein-packed Brotein Candy Fitness Jerky. When in need of a healthy snack to satisfy your craving, you can grab yourself a bag of Brotein Candy and you’re good to go. You also have the added convenience of being able to reseal the bag if you don’t eat it all at once.
Meal planning doesn’t need to be difficult. It’s meant to make your life easier while helping you move towards your goals. If you haven’t already been utilizing this healthy strategy in your routine, I’d highly recommend giving it a shot.