• Ethan Benge

Healthy Fitness Meal Prep: Learn the Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Whether you are going to the gym and working out to gain muscle mass or pushing through cardio every day to lose weight, the main key to health and fitness is through your diet. The U.S. The National Library of Medicine says that good nutrition enhances athletic performance and is the best way to stay healthy. The food that we put into our bodies has a huge impact on how we look and feel every single day. Without a healthy diet, fitness alone will not be enough for you to achieve your fitness goals.

The secret to eating healthy and not having to cook for several hours every day or spending a lot of eating out all the time, is through meal prep, the process of planning and preparing meals. This will ensure that you stick to a healthy diet and save you time and money every week!

However, most of us have no meal prep experience and have no idea where to even start - no worries! We’ve put together healthy meal prep basics with tips and tricks. After reading this article you’ll be meal prepping and eating healthy in no time!

1. Planning

The first step in good meal prep is having a good plan:

  • How many meals do I want to prepare for the week?

Technically for a whole week's worth of food, you would need to make around 15 or 16 meals. However, for several obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend starting out making that many. Start with 7 meals for the week (1 for every day)

  • What meal do you want to prep for?

The best way to decide which meals of the day you want to prepare for is to figure out what time of day you are most likely to skip a meal or to eat out. This will help you avoid doing either of those and helping you in the long run.

  • Buy a good set of meal prep containers!

This will just make things run smoother and keep you organized. Here you can check out the best meal prep containers. 

  • Day and time.

It’s important to figure out a day and time to prepare your food. We generally recommend setting aside 1 to 2 hours on your day off for your first couple of times till you figure out how long it will take you every week for your individual planning.

2. Fitness Goals

Depending on what your fitness goals are, whether it is weight loss or gaining muscle mass, your meal prep should be different. It’s important to pick meals that will help you achieve those goals - below are a few lists of recipes that will help you accomplish this!

  • Muscle mass.

For those looking to put on weight and add muscle mass Meal Prep On Fleek has a delicious list of high protein meals that are perfect for meal prep. Supplements are also a great way to help add muscle mass and improve your workout!

  • Weight loss.

Anyone that is looking to lose weight and get into shape: Eating Well created a list of amazing weight loss meals that are easy to cook and only contain 1,200 calories. 

  • Healthy diet.

Meals that will improve your overall health: Healthy Fitness Meals has an extensive list of recipes that are full of health benefits and allows you to search by the type of diet you want ie: low carb, vegan, gluten-free, etc.

3.  Keep it Simple and Smart

Don’t try to over complicate your meals! In the beginning, too many ingredients can take up a lot of time and if you're not used to cooking can make things more difficult. 

If you’re looking to keep things simple, rather than following a recipe or choosing to make 7 different meals, all you need for a good healthy meal is a protein, veggie, starch, and sauce:

  • Protein: Choose a good protein-packed base such as chicken or eggs that can easily be added over starches.

  • Veggie: Fresh veggies are always better, but frozen veggies are still great for you as well and very convenient for meal prep. 

  • Starch: Think quinoa, sweet potatoes, beans, these will get you the carbs that you need to stay energized for the day. 

  • Sauce: This is important to add flavor to your food but especially important after your food starts to become dry after a few days in the fridge. Consider making a tomato sauce, tikka masala or something simple with a lemon base, but watch that sugar!

Meal prep is a great way to save you time in the long run, stay healthy, and achieve your fitness goals. Reading this article has set you up for success, now all you have to do is start cooking!

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