Part Two: Meal Planning Basics
In Part One of our meal planning series, we talked about your training GPA – knowing your Goals, outlining your Plan, and creating Accountability. Today, we share with you meal planning basics to be successful. Remember – Failing to plan is planning to fail.
As a Physiques Gym Member, your meal plan has been custom designed just for you. To ensure your success and to help your coach continue to tailor your plan, it is vital to adopt a mindset of complete compliance. Eat all your food, don’t add anything to the plan, and don’t skip anything on the plan!
Meal planning basics will be very helpful if you are new to meal planning. Maybe you’ve never cooked a thing in your life. You’ve likely relied on fast food and convenience foods most of your adult life. Unless you’re a mom, even shopping can be a foreign experience.
Here are 5 tips for successful meal planning and prepping – now you have no excuses!
- Make a list and stick to it
- Buy in bulk those items you eat the most (grains, veggies)
- Frozen fruits and veggies make for easy shortcuts, just make sure nothing has been added
- Take advantage of pre-cut fresh foods like broccoli, especially in the beginning (pretty soon you’ll be a pro)
- Don’t forget to stock up on approved seasonings and spices, herbal teas, etc.
- Read every label for hidden ingredients like sugar, salt, and fat
- Batch Cooking
Pick the one or two least busy days of your week to cook ahead. Measure out each portion and store in individual containers. Label them if needed. If you don’t like reheating food that was cooked 6-7 days ago, pick one weekend day and then one mid-week day to cook those foods you prefer fresher. While cooking dinner, I would make my egg white omelet for the next morning. Slightly undercook it, then it’s perfect when you reheat it in the morning
- Grab and Go
Pre-measure or pre-weigh foods that don’t require cooking ahead. Portion out your berries for the oatmeal or your almonds for snack time. Make several baggies of measured out protein powder for when you’re crunched for time.
Purchase convenient and easy to carry containers that fit just what you need to store to help save space. Invest in an insulated bag. Freeze your shakes to double as ice packs, heat your next meal before leaving the house and eat it when you get to where you’re going. Plan for times when a microwave may not be available.
- Gadgets for Gym Rats
A food scale is your best friend. Without it, you’re just guessing and we humans are very skilled at both over and under estimating things! Here are some other useful kitchen gadgets that many in your shoes have found useful – https://greatist.com/eat/meal-prep-kitchen-tools.
A good bag to carry your meal containers in is extremely valuable. I carry my food with me everywhere I go to ensure that I am never caught out without it. There are many options that range in price. Just type in Meal Prep Bag in Amazon and you will be overwhelmed with options.
Following these meal planning basics you will set yourself up for success. Always be prepared or your plan could quickly fall apart, derailing your success. This is so important, I’m going to say it again. ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR MEAL PLAN. It really is a game of one meal at a time until it becomes second nature.
In Part Three, we will share tips from the pro’s on keeping it real – from avoiding “food boredom” to navigating social events and nay-sayers.