Today we’re going to talk about the how-to’s of meal prepping. Tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years of doing this that will hopefully help you be more successful in your meal prepping.
To start, I want to explain macros (or, macronutrients) as a lot of my posts that are geared towards nutrition will refer to them. Macronutrients are the essential pieces to your diet – fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
Carbohydrates are essential for life. Your body and brain require a constant supply of glucose to function the right way, and those come from carbohydrates. The best kind of carbs to ingest are the slow digesting, unprocessed, high fiber carbs (whole grains, starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes, vegetables) as these will provide your body with a constant energy source.
Fats are also an essential energy source (it’s actually the most energy dense macronutrient source), helps the balance of hormones, the development of the brain and nervous systems, and is the transportation method for your fat soluble vitamins. When looking at adding fats into your diet, you want them to be a healthy source of fat (natural nut butters, coconut oil, avocados, omega-3 and omega-6).
Proteins are essential for muscle growth, and muscle rebuilding. Generally speakinng, the leaner the source of protein, the better (ground beef, chicken, turkey, bison, venison).
(When it comes to carbs and fats, if you have a higher carb diet you will want lower fat and vice versa)
When setting up your macro split, there are many sites that will help determine where you should start – bodybuilding.com and iifym.com are the two that I would recommend. They may not be 100% precise, but they will get you close if you are interested in seeing where you should be without paying a macro coach. Every single person will require something different. It is dependent on your current weight, your body type, and your activity levels. Age does play a factor as well because as you get older, your body doesn’t process nutrients in the same manner as say a 25 year old would.
Okay, now down to the nitty-gritty. The meal planning and prepping. At this current moment, I have my macros set up so that I am at a slight deficit for my weight. After my NPC show, I rebounded more than I would have like to have, and am working to cut back down a bit for the summer. My split looks something like 1900 Calories – 142 grams of protein, 190 grams of carbs, and 63 grams of fat. In a typical day, my meals look something like this –
It seems like a lot of food, but it really isn’t. One key thing is vegetables, lots of them. They are high volume, and high fiber. They will keep you feeling more full, without taking away from your daily calories/macros. Something else to mention about my meal plans is that I will follow the same plan for weeks on end (eating the same foods every day doesn’t bother me) and I will have one cheat meal a week (usually for date night). This is also how I write my plans for my clients. If you need to write your plan for a full with different meals every day to be successful, then do that. Just realize that it will be more work for you when it comes to prepping these foods.
When it comes to preparing your food, you have to have a plan. I typically start with my meats as they take the longest to cook. While my meats are cooking, I start cooking and dispersing my rice and veggies into their individual containers for the week. A food scale is a MUST if you want to be successful with meal prepping and planning. Eyeballing portions can either cause you to 1) overeat or 2) under eat. The only thing I don’t precook is my breakfast (unless I have worked Kodiak Cakes into my plan for the week). Once your meat is done, portion it out and add it to your containers. Rule of thumb, weigh your meats cooked. Then you’re getting the true weight of the food.
Cooking for a full week at a time will ensure that you aren’t left scrambling mid-week for foods. It’s in the fridge, you can grab and go without having to stop your day to cook your foods.
I hope you found this helpful! As always, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or fill out the contact me form!