Meal prep seems to be a social media craze. Everyone who starts getting into fitness loves to post images or statuses about their meal prep. Some find it irritating, others find it informative. For me, I enjoy seeing people stay on track - preparation is essential.
I'm sure we have all been in the situation where you're going about your day, then hunger strikes and you realise that you've been so busy you're behind on your meal times. You've not got anything with you... guess what comes next?
...and the diet takes a hit.
When I first turned professional at 19 I was embarking on journeys where I'd be away from home 3-5 days a week. The promoter that gave me this opportunity taught me a valid lesson in life (when I once forgot to pack part of my entrance attire)
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
As he put it "the 5 P's".
This rule can be applied to many things in life, but in the world of diet and nutrition it couldn't be more valuable. I hear people so many times say that preparing their meals is such a task to do every night - well, don't do it every night!
Do it one or two nights of the week to support your meal plan for the remaining week. Unless my schedule gets in the way, Monday evening is prep night. I put 10 chicken breasts in the oven, 10 cod fillets under the grill, two whole storks of broccoli on the boil, plus maybe a few pork steaks if I'm allowing it on my diet at the time. I then have the back bone of a good two or three of my meals per day. If I'm away I'll pack a steak meal and take a pot of quark with me also.
First thing in the morning whilst my breakfast is on the go I boil up two portions of white rice and a portion of brown pasta. The only meal I prepare at home each day (other than breakfast) is my steak meal, if I'm not travelling, as I prefer it fresh off the grill. Also due to how I like my steak, it's done in about three minutes. The jacket potato in about 7 minutes and then I throw a handful of spinach on the plate. Done. A great post workout meal ready in under ten minutes!
So, breakfast is done upon waking. Takes ten minutes to scramble eggs and make oats.
Meal 2 is ready in the fridge to either take with me or heat up.
Meal 3 the same.
Meal 4 is post workout which takes under ten minutes.
Meal 5 varies each night but my fiancée and I usually have either a meat or fish based carb-free stir fry which takes about ten minutes.
Then I have my pot of quark before bed - no prep needed.
Throw in a shake and a maybe a snack of a protein bar and fruit, which are also easy to pack with you meaning there is no way I am ‘cheating’ on my diet.
I have two solid meals, a good snack and a post workout shake to keep me ticking until I get home to a cooked meal. Easy. Simple.
All it takes is just one hour of a Monday evening and I am set for my weeks at home.
The take home message I suppose is plan how you prepare your food and then stick to that plan to save you the time and hassle for the rest of the week, just knowing it’s done is a huge weight off the mind which means you can use that mental energy for other things
On the road is different of course... but I'll save that for another time!