The efforts you put in the gym are rewarded only when you have the right kind of nutrition. As they say “Great physiques are not made in the gym but by what you do outside of it”. For any successful athlete or a fitness enthusiast his nutritional intake is what matters a lot. Apart from discipline and dedication your meal planning is of great importance if you want to achieve your fitness goals.
Here are a few simple yet effective tips to help you plan your meals better:
1. Know your counts: When you know how much calories you need and from what macro do you intend to take them, meal prep becomes a bit more simpler. When you are on a low carb high fat diets your calories are majorly going to come from fats and not carbs hence it is important to then make adjustments with your grocery list accordingly. This will also help you buy the groceries as per your need avoiding wastage.
2. Available options: This is a very important part of the meal prep where you note down all the possible available options within each macro. Sometimes when you consult a dietitian for a diet, he or she has a preferred source of food for that particular macro but you should be aware about its availability and also if it fits your pocket. So as a practice before beginning any diet make sure you note down all the possible options within each macro and also vitamins, fibre etc so that you have a clear idea of what you are buying and why.
3. Supplements: Supplements act as a great way to enhance any meal plan given their convenience in consumption. Whey protein is one such example. But you have to be aware about the quantities you will require basis the meal plan suggested. Make sure you have enough gathered before you start a plan. Also make a note of other added supplements like fish oils, glutamine, creatine etc which can be bought before time.
4. Preferred options: We all have a peculiar taste bud that makes us like certain things and dislike some. A good meal prep is one that makes you love food and not the one that feels like a chore. Make sure you note down preferred foods for each macro so that you can use those food items more often in your week and use the ones that you don’t like on a fewer days. This will also help in planning your grocery list well so as to manage the quantities well and you do not fall short during the week.
5. Cook more: When 24 hours in a day seem too less you have to smartly manage the time. When preparing meals make sure you cook for an extra day just in case you know that making time the next day will be tough. This also helps you get an extra day to execute other things if need be.
6. Good containers: This is as important as making meals because a good container will ensure that the food remains fresh and intact with nutrients whenever you intend to have it. Good containers also help store food properly without avoiding wastage due to spillage.