Dieters often shy away from meal prep as they associate it with spending hours in the kitchen cooking. However, your experience can be different once you know the right way to play your meals. By making smarter decisions you can save time, and set yourself up for a great and healthy week.
Planning your meals is important because:
- It helps you follow your weight-management program
- It’s efficient and saves time
- It’s ideal to compliment and help you achieve your fitness goals
Trade in your old habits for new ones by applying these three must-do rules for successful meal prep.
1. Plan Your Meals to Fit Your Workout Program
One of the biggest mistakes dieters make during meal prep is not making smart meal choices that are suited for their fitness program. If your fitness goal is to build muscle strength, then your meals should reflect the appropriate ratio of proteins to carbs for the day. Plan your meals to complement your fitness target. Research or consult with a fitness professional ahead of time. This step does take time and effort, but the results are more than worth it.
Fitness Tip: To get stronger, incorporate at least 10 to 15 minutes of isometric exercises (static training) into your daily exercise routine.
2. Your Oven Saves Time — Use it for Meal Prep
Use your oven to prepare a variety of dishes with less effort than on the stove top. A good working oven lets you stack and time your meals as you carry out your normal activities of the day.
Great options include:
- Baking casseroles
- Roasting vegetables and meats
- Broiling meats and seafood
- Grilling meats, seafood, and vegetables
- Steaming custards and puddings
Plan your meals the night before. Cook a large amount of meats and root vegetables, enough to last the week. In a baking pan, lay out your meats and vegetables for roasting, baking or broiling. Sprinkle on any spices you like.
Fitness Tip: Get toned while you wait. Do simple workouts like keeping your abdominals contracted while seated.
3. Divide Your Meals into Portion Sizes
A common misconception among dieters is that portion control is only important if you don’t exercise. Not true. To achieve weight loss, the calorie count is just as important as the type of workout you perform. Portion sizes should be established according to the amount of calories you need per day. This is an essential step in any weight loss plan.