HOW TO MEAL PREP 101
People often look for the easiest way to do things. However, just because something is the “easiest way” doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy. Below you will find an example of one of those situations where the “easiest way” to most people seems like the hardest. The vast majority of people have one goal in mind when it comes to health, nutrition, and/or fitness and that is to look better naked. Working out doesn’t start and end in the gym. It starts and ends in the kitchen. You can’t out train a shitty diet no matter how hard you try. Below is our first guest blog post. Andy has great tips on how to get started, make it easy and limit your stress.
I never thought I would be writing a guest blog post for Geoff at GPS Human Performance, let alone writing about my experience meal prepping. I’ve know Geoff for over 10+ years and was excited when he asked me to write about this. I’m by no means an expert. I am a normal person that embarked on this experience by accident, purely as a product of my life’s circumstances. Take what I write with a grain a salt, ask questions and think about what parts of this may work for your life and routine.
AND SO IT BEGINS…
My meal prepping experience began just over 12 months ago, when my newborn son arrived. I found myself with little free time to prepare a meal from start to finish. Beginning to prep was born out of necessity and with a feeling that if I didn’t have some type of plan with food at the ready, neither my wife nor I was going to eat. What started as a late night, hectic use of every pot, pan, and Tupperware in the house, has evolved into a slightly less hectic use of every pot and pan, with just enough Tupperware to get the job done. Good luck!
CREATE A PLAN
I create a menu each week, deciding what meals I would like to eat. From there I like to break down my menu into veggies vs. protein vs. carbs. This makes macro tracking fairly easy for me and if you jump down that rabbit hole too I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Favorites include, burrito bowls, Mediterranean plates, sloppy joes, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, etc.
CREATE A SHOPPING LIST
It sounds simple enough. I will jot down how many of each meal I need to prepare and this helps inform me of how much of the key ingredients I need to buy. Nothing sucks more than starting your prep and realizing you only have half the grilled chicken you need for the week. Based on the menu numbers, I’ll build a shopping list going through each meal individually so I don’t miss anything (don’t worry, I always miss something, we’re all human).
PLAN MY PREP, PREP MY PLAN
I always take 5-10 minutes to plan my prep. I love ticking boxes so I write the big components that need to happen. (ex. cook rice, grill chicken, prep veggies) I place these in order and run down my list, so that as I am cooking there are minimal decisions to make and I can enjoy a Podcast or Pandora. Plus I get to tick each box off as I go. This builds momentum to push through and finish.
PREP BASED ON YOUR MOOD
I prep one of two ways. First, I’ll take one night, as late as it takes, prep all the food and do all the dishes. I like that one because no matter what, I know it’s all done. The second method entails prepping piece by piece over the course of several days. I might take 10 minutes one night and do all the veggies. Then cook the rice or pasta on the stove together the next morning. And maybe grill my protein at the same time. Occasionally I will do it in short bursts throughout the weekend. This frees up blocks of time in-between. Plus I like it for weekends when I don’t have many plans and I can get other chores done.
START SMALL (NO SERIOUSLY!)
Finally, do as much or as little as you want, but be smart. Prep only your lunch, or attack 5 meals a day everyday. I never dreamed I would be a guy who cracks his eggs ahead of time to save minutes in the morning, but I find it works for me right now. But with all that said, I jumped in like a crazy person right out the gate thinking I could do it without having to think about it. I learned my lesson quickly. So I started by just prepping our lunches. Then once that was on autopilot after 2 weeks I moved into breakfast and so on.
I can honestly say, I now eat better, I eat more consistently and I am doing this all while saving time and money. Oh yeah, and my wife and I are both losing weight. That’s also super motivating to keep meal prepping.
If you have any questions, comments, recipe request or hateful remarks please just let us know at email@example.com and we will relay them on to Andy. If you’re interested in learning more about GPS Nutrition Coaching CLICK HERE