Taking the time to prep meals for bodybuilding can be time-consuming and downright arduous. But it’s one of those things that’s equally as important as weight training, if not more! Neglect your diet and you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
It doesn’t have to be that hard, though, as long as you have a tiny bit of discipline and are willing to do some extra work. It could really change the game for you if you get it right! If you need a little help, start using these meal prep tips and you won’t go wrong.
1. START WITH A PEN AND PAPER
A lot of people flat-out dread the thought of going to the store to buy food. You should actually be excited about this! And if you do it right, you can be in and out in no time, and the experience will be less painful.
The key is to get as ready as you can before even setting foot in the door. Spend a few minutes in a quiet place in your house, writing out your shopping list. Be specific about the amount of stuff you need. To go one step further and make it even easier for yourself, divide it into sections so that foods are easy to find when you get there.
For example: Produce, Meats, Frozen, Dairy, and Bulk can all be headings. Then write down specifically what you need under each one.
2. HIT THE MARKET!
Once you’ve got your list together, it’s time to hit the store. Since you have the sections outlined already, you can go straight to each area and get your stuff systematically.
And just for the record, with today’s technology, you can organise all this on your phone too. That will make your trip even easier.
Here’s one last tip about shopping before we move on. If you fear big crowds and long lines, go during off hours when it’s not busy. Not only will you be less stressed while inside, you’ll also likely be able to park right in front of the store. Perfect for a quick, efficient shop!
3. PLAN YOUR MENU
You’ve written a list, you’ve gone shopping, and now you have a kitchen filled with food. You can’t go wrong, right? Well, you can if you don’t have any idea what to make. All those groceries you’ve just unpacked won’t do you any good if you don’t know what to do with them.
Write a menu for five to seven days – or as long as you like, provided you have enough food to make all the dishes. If you’re following a frequent feeding plan, then this might take some work. But if you’re not opposed to duplicated meals, you can make the process easier.
Be as precise as possible and even go as far as scheduling out each meal, including the time at which you’ll be eating it. By creating this vision, it’ll make the actual preparation a hell of a lot easier.
4. PREP AHEAD
Chances are you don’t have several hours a night to prep meals. That’s why it is a good idea to plan ahead, think ahead and be ahead. Since you craftily went shopping and now have an abundance of food on hand, set aside a few hours one day a week to mass produce.
Bake a handful of yams, hard-boil a couple dozen eggs, cook up some chicken breasts and salmon steaks, and whip up some quinoa, brown rice, beans, and steamed vegetables. Store these individually in big containers so you can reach them easily when you get home from work.
Also, measure things out and put full meals into sealable containers that you can take with you to work or out on the road. If you have no way of keeping them cold when you’re out and about, put them in the freezer and they’ll stay chilled for a good long time.
5. GET YOURSELF SOME GOOD BARS AND SHAKES
Do you know how much prep is needed to eat a bar or drink a shake? Practically none unless you blend up a shake in a blender. Even then it’s a pretty short prep time. And if you get ready-to-drink shakes in bottles or Tetra Paks, all you need to do is take off a cap or tear off a strip and start drinking.
Choose your bars and shakes wisely, though. A lot of them have artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors, as well as hormones and antibiotics. These can sometimes cause allergic reactions, so pay strict attention to how your body reacts to them.
Set yourself up for the win by following the tips above. You may struggle in the beginning, but life isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are times where you have to go the extra mile to get a competitive advantage. Don’t neglect your diet because of laziness.
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