March 21, 2016AllPro Sports Performance

Nutrition’s Elite 8: #6 – Meal Prepping: A Plan for Every Day

So with this tip, I don’t actually have any research support to back it up. There’s really not a ton of research out there anyways but most of what I will talk about will come from personal experience. I think that’s what a blog is supposed to be about, right?

Meal prepping ties in directly with tip #1: eating less, more often. It will be hard to succeed at tip #1 if you don’t meal prep accordingly. Most people either don’t want to take the time on one day to meal prep. Others hate having reheated food. While others simply have no clue that’s a popular phenomenon.

Let’s walk through an example day. Meal-Prep Mike wakes up at 6:45am, hops in the shower, gets dressed, starts his Keurig and packs up the lunch bag while his travel mug fills. 7:30 he’s out the door and at work by 8:00am. Cavalier Chris rolls out of bed at 6:45am as well, hits the shower, dressed, out the door at 7:15. He waits in line at Panera and gets a pretty wholesome breakfast/coffee, also at work at 8:00.

At work, Mike opens up a bagel with his small cream cheese packet and mid morning, he reaches into his lunch bag and grabs the granola bar and banana and keeps chugging along.

When lunch time comes,  Mike goes to the company kitchen and grabs his chicken breast/spinach salad lunch while Chris starts sticking his head into cubicles to see “who’s going to ‘doba’?”

Afternoon: Mike is having some veggies and dip along with some chocolate covered almonds; Chris goes for the vending machine Coke to get through the 3pm drag. At 5pm both men adjourn to their nightly routines, making dinner, cleaning up and watching some TV (or hopefully exercise).

This is just a typical day with some quick food examples that I hope can illustrate my point: when you meal prep, you can not only save money but your eating habits tend to get a little healthier. In my example, Mike eats pretty regularly throughout the day so each of his meals are a little lighter.

I believe in the power of this and have been meal prepping for about 4 weeks now. I cook a ton of food Sunday and then divvy it up to Tupperware containers. After that you just grab what you need in the morning and roll out the door.

Meal prepping saves time. You invest an hour cooking on Sunday and after that, it’s simply dish, pack, and out the door each morning. Also, you only have to clean your kitchen ware once for all your lunch preps. Again, you will save time at work when you don’t have to run out to grab food. Higher productivity might get you closer to that raise, who knows?

Here’s the number one tip I have picked up from an experienced meal-prepper: don’t try to change everything at once. Try to prep 2-3 meals on your first go at it and gradually build from there. Test out the waters and see what works for you over time. Additionally, not everything you’ll eat is for taste. Something that might taste great and fresh that Sunday is just ‘ok’ on Thursday.

Bonus tip: crock pots are your best friend.

There’s a ton of online resources to personalize how you approach meal prepping. Obviously your own taste is going to dictate what you do so I can’t make my recommendations very specific. I hope that you can branch out and give this a try; I’ve found it very useful over the past month. Look out for tip #7 coming soon!

Thanks, Alex

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The Tips

  1. Eat Less, More Often.
  2. Snacking Stay Power.
  3. Swap Fat for Fat.
  4. Water, Drink It.
  5. Activate Once Every Hour.
  6. Meal Prep, A Plan for Every Day.
  7. Sleep, an Underrated Rockstar.
  8. Indulge