Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
When it comes to achieving maximum gains in the gym – whether you are looking to lose weight, reach peak fitness, or build muscle mass – so much Is dependant on nutrition. However, it can be difficult to make sure you are always eating the right food, that is not only healthy but contains the right nutrients that will provide you with the adequate fuel to see you through your workout. If you don't manage to stick to the right diet, your progress in the gym could begin to plateau, or completely stall altogether.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to eat well-balanced and healthy meals all the time. When you have had a busy day, the last thing you feel like doing is making yourself a healthy dinner, so you go for the easy option, a heavily processed ready meal or fast food. Whilst once in a while is probably not a big deal, if this happens all the time, it will be really detrimental to your gains. So, how do you stick to a healthy eating programme? The key is Meal Prep.
Meal Prep for Beginners
You will probably want to prep 2-3 days worth of food at a time, cooked meat will not last any longer than that. So, make sure you have food containers or Tupperware boxes that will cover your meals for a few days.
The Three Main Food Groups
Each of the meals you prep should contain the three essential food groups: protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates.
- Protein – When selecting your protein, keep a varied choice to keep your meals interesting – chicken, turkey, lean red meat, and fish are all great choices. As long as you are not using excess oil to cook, you can grill, bake, BBQ, or broil your meats to vary the flavour and texture.
- Vegetables – High in essential nutrients, there is such a wide selection of vegetables that can add flavour and texture to any prepared meal. The best way to cook vegetables is to steam, as they will retain their flavour and most of their nutrients. Furthermore, steer clear seasoning with salt, instead choose herbs, spices, or crushed garlic etc.
- Carbohydrates – Avoid the likes of white rice, potatoes or pasta as they provide little nutritional value, but can be quite high in calories. Instead choose more nutrient rich carbohydrates, such as quinoa, brown rice or pasta, and sweet potatoes.
Benefits of Meal Prep
There are so many benefits to meal prep, that will contribute to your overall health, whilst also helping you to achieve your ultimate goals in the gym. Advantages to preparing your meals in advance include:
- Ingredient, calorie, and portion control
- Removes the temptation to eat processed foods, as meals are already prepared.
- Avoid hunger to prevent you from going for the unhealthy snacks, as a meal simply needs to be warmed up.
- Saves both time and money.
There are hundreds of resources online where you can find simple and easy meal prep ideas, so you will never have to eat too much of the same thing. There really are so many exciting flavour combinations, that are healthy and will provide you with the necessary fuel for your fitness regime. Get into the rhythm of taking an hour twice a week of preparing meals for the next few days, and you will soon find it comes as second nature. If you want to amplify the effects of a good diet and fitness regime, choose a cutting-edge sports supplement from ADV-RESEARCH. There are supplements available, which are targeted to different goals, whether it be building muscle, weight loss, or general health and well being.