Hello Everyone! I am very excited to be writing my first article for HardCore Physique! I love having the opportunity to share with you my fitness lifestyle and the knowledge and information I’ve gained through my experience. I am learning and progressing everyday, and hope I can help and inspire others on their own journey! Nutrition is a very important component to overall health and fitness and I’d like to share my view on the importance of meal planning and preparation.
When I first began learning about the fitness lifestyle and the world of competing, I remember reading about how many of the fitness names I admired pre-made their food. This concept was completely foreign to me…I had never even though about making food days ahead of time or even freezing it for use weeks later, and I’ll admit, I was turned off to the idea. I was weight training and doing cardio consistently, but seeing menial changes in my body. No surprise…I was eating whatever and whenever, and it was not until I gave meal planning a shot that I began seeing the progress I wanted.
So now, every Sunday my husband and I spend the morning preparing our meals for the week. It takes about three hours for us to get everything cooked and packaged, which is not too bad considering we make about 50-60 meals. Everything gets weighed or measured and placed into Ziploc baggies and put in the freezer. I pull out a day’s worth of my frozen food the night before I need it and let it thaw in the refrigerator. I have found this method to be simple and easy, and I don’t have to worry about making food 5 times per day!
Because I prefer basic, staple foods, the meals I cook typically consist of chicken, ground beef and turkey, steak, sweep potatoes, brown rice, broccoli, green beans and peas. I have also found that keeping my diet simple makes food prep easier and cheaper! More often than not, I eat every 2-3 hours, which helps keep me feeling full aside from keeping my blood sugars stabilized.
Aside from food prep being time effective, the prior planning helps keep me on track when it comes to eating the foods I need to be eating. I can take my meals with me anywhere to avoid making an unhealthy choice. Coolers are a great way to carry your food, and if you don’t have a microwave, well, you can always eat it cold J
But most importantly, the effort put in to preparing food in advance had been the key factor in helping to change my physique. Proper nutrition and consistency in diet is the absolute most important factor of my “trifecta” of fitness; weight training, cardio and nutrition. Sure, there are times when I don’t get all my meals in, and I definitely have “cheat” meals weekly, but keeping just 80% on track can bring your progress to the next level.
If you don’t already, I encourage you to give this a chance to see what it can do for you in reaching your fitness goals! Thanks for reading!