Many lifters and gym goers invest countless hours and dollars into their fitness. They spend their hard earned money on gym memberships, equipment and supplements in hopes of building size, strength or dropping body fat. Day in and day out they will put in time at the gym necessary as well as research the best supplements and gear on the market in order to reach their goals. While these are all vital things to do in order to succeed, there is one major piece to the equation that gets overlooked by many people. When it comes to health and fitness, diet/meal prep is hands down the most important factor, in my opinion. For whatever reason, food intake is constantly being under prioritized in favor of supplements and training gear. Many people put in work at the gym and don’t get the results they desire, and the most common reason for this is the diet. To avoid this, it is important to know how many calories you need to eat every day to reach your goals. Once you know this, it is important to execute a plan for you to be able to get these calories in every day. That is where meal prep becomes a vital piece of the puzzle.

Why is Meal Prepping So Important?

Meal PrepEating a proper, well rounded diet as well as taking in enough calories for your specific goals can be a challenge. Many of us are in school or work full time, as well as have relationships to attend to, families to take care of, bills to pay, home and car maintenance, as well as our workouts to worry about. It is very easy to get burnt out by all of the responsibilities we have. Eating healthy meals as well as having adequate time in between meals to keep your metabolism optimal can only add to the stress of everyday life. Meal prepping can help reduce some of the stress of eating throughout the day by having all of your food for the day ready to go whenever you are ready to eat. This gives you more flexibility and control over what and when you eat. It also saves time to be able to have your food cooked all at once, rather than cooking each meal before you eat it. This is important for everyone who works out, but even more so for hardcore bodybuilders and powerlifters who require insane amounts of calories in order to build size and strength.

The Basics on How to Meal Prep

Meal prepping in itself is not difficult to do. In short, all meal prepping consists of is making all of your food for the week then separating it all into containers, having each container represent one “meal”. Unless you have the luxury of paying a meal prep service, or having a significant other that likes you enough to do your prep for you, then most likely you’re going to be on your own for the entire process. There are several different ways you can get your meal prep done, so I will share with you the way I prefer to meal prep.

My meal prep starts each week on every Sunday. I usually do all of my grocery shopping for the next week (or next two weeks) as well as make my food for the week on Sunday. The amount of calories you need per day will dictate the amount of groceries you need to buy. It is very helpful to plan out your meals and the amount of food in each meal before you grocery shop. Once I’m done grocery shopping, I begin the prep. I like to cook all of the food I will need for the week, and store it all in huge plastic containers. Some people like to skip the big storage containers and prep each meal for the week individually, however I don’t have enough tupperware containers to do this. In addition to this, sometimes your food can become soggy if it sits while mixed with other foods for too long.

Once all of my food is cooked, it is ready to be distributed out in each of my meals. Before bed at night, I simply make my meals with whatever food I need for the next day. Having all the food cooked and ready makes this significantly faster.

How Should I Store and Carry All of My Food With Me?

To carry all of your meals with you, you will need a cooler of some kind. A generic cooler will work as long as you can fit all of your meals inside. In my opinion however, I think spending the money for a nice cooler is well worth it. This is because it is something you are going to be bringing with you just about everywhere you go. It is nice to have a cooler with high enough quality to feel comfortable around your shoulder. In addition to this, many nicer coolers have a specified space for your keys, wallet, and other belongings so you only have to carry one bag with you instead of two or three.

My product recommendation for a high quality cooler is anything from the 6 Pack Fitness company. 6 Pack Fitness makes many different models of coolers specifically designed for gym goers of all types. They have models that include coolers, backpacks, duffle bags, briefcases and even women’s purses. I purchased the Innovator 500 model several weeks ago, and so far I have been extremely happy with my purchase. It holds five out of my six meals that I eat per day, as well as room left over for water bottles, supplements, silverware and my keys and wallet as well. The bag has a pad on the shoulder strap, so it is extremely comfortable to carry. The bag also comes with containers for your meals as well as ice packs for inside the cooler. At first, I was nervous that the meal containers would be too small for the amount of food that I eat, but they turned out to be able to fit all of my food perfectly. There were also some reviews that I saw claiming that the ice packs broke on them, but so far mine have been perfectly fine.

If you would like to check out the 6 Pack Bag that I use, click the product link below!

The Most Important Factor

All of this information is vital to have if you want to begin meal prepping. It is very helpful to plan ahead and be organized in your eating if you want to be able to reach your goals. It is important to remember that meal prepping takes discipline and a good work ethic. There are no short cuts whatsoever. If you are willing to put in the work, then you will reap the results you seek!

If you have any comments about meal prep, or if you have a different way you prefer to meal prep, feel free to leave a comment below!

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12 comments on “Meal Prep
  1. Erin says:

    Hello,

    I think this is a nice article. Meal prepping can definitely help us avoid the pitfalls of eating out (which usually isn’t as healthy as cooking yourself). Concerning the bag you recommended, could you post some better pictures? The little amazon icon just doesn’t give much of a visual.

    The biggest problem I see is that it left me wanting more. Particularly, could you give some examples of what you would make on Sunday to last you the week? I think you could do multiple posts for meal ideas. If your meal ideas last you a week, that would be so unique and possibly great for families too.

    Also, do you ever miss healthy foods because they aren’t great left over? My first thought was fish. I love all kinds of white fish and salmon, but these are just two foods that for some reason I just think taste terrible in the microwave.

    Good work!
    Erin

    • Lucas Maki says:

      Hey Erin,

      The foods I make will be different than what other people will make, because everybody has different goals and calorie needs. Right now I am working with meals like chicken, rice and broccoli with sweet and sour sauce, and then beef and pasta with red sauce and a little parmesan cheese. I also make smoothies and bring those with me as well. Maybe I should do an article of meal ideas, that may be a good idea.

      If you click the link it will take you to the Amazon page, there will be plenty of pictures on there!

      Thanks for the comment,

      Lucas

  2. Jonathan says:

    Wow thanks so much for the advice. I think prepping my meals for the week is so beneficial for a couple reasons. Like you said, I will save a lot of time and stress thinking of what to eat. This will help me make better choices. Especially when you don’t feel like cooking for the day and being tempted to eat fast food or take-out. I would totally recommend this to others. That bag you have is awesome, where exactly do you bring it too?

    • Lucas Maki says:

      Hey Jonathan,

      I have no shame, so I will bring my cooler with me wherever I go! Typically work and the gym are my usual places though. Thanks for the comment!

      Lucas

  3. Alex says:

    Great article. A-lot of people don’t understand that 80% of fitness is in the kitchen. I knew this but never took in into consideration planning my meals ahead of time to avoid eating out or getting lazy. Everything I learned till now about fitness finally clicked because of this article. Thanks for the great post. Keep them coming !

  4. Sammy says:

    Great advice.I hate grocery shopping but sometimes after working then going to work out,I end up going to some fast food restaurant.LOL.If I was to do what you said here I most likely end upeating healthier.

    One thing I would need advise on is gaining good weight.What I mean is I want to gain weight but dont want it to be bad weight.I am 5’8 175 and would like to be 185 solid.Seems like every were is easy to tone but my stomach.
    What foods do you recommend I try to accomplish this goal of mine.

    • Eric Radcliffe says:

      If you want to gain weight, you simply need to take in more calories than you consume. As long as you have a solid weight training program in place, it will mostly be muscle.

  5. Dredd De Jesus says:

    I don’t do deadlifting but I can totally see that importance of meal prepping. This is one of the things that I always tend to forget. Every morning, I eat a small amount of pre-workout food, then workout. The problem is, I tend to plan what I eat at the spur of the moment so I’m not really taking advantage of my recovery time. Any suggestions when it comes to recovery foods maybe?

    • Eric Radcliffe says:

      eating enough protein will help with recovery. try getting in some protein right after the workout, then have a full meal with plenty of protein about an hour after.

  6. Ali says:

    Great site. Clear and concise. Very well laid out and highly informative. Good use of media too. My brother is a personal trainer so i’ll go get a second opinion from him. Your instructions are clear and not confusing at all. Many sites I’ve seen are a little overpopulated but this is not one of them. Excellent work and good luck moving forwards.

  7. billy says:

    Great read DLP.
    I am not a body builder, but I have been on my weight loss journey for almost 2 years. I look good in clothes, but I want to look good without, if you know what I mean, that being said, I think meal prepping is what can help me get there. I have lost 100 pounds in a year and have been able to maintain it this past year, but have been working on bulking up now to help get rid of the fat. It’s true that it takes time and consistency to accomplish weight loss goals. I would love to see what you eat in a day. Any chance you will put that on your site?

    • Lucas Maki says:

      Billy,

      Sorry for the late reply. We will be doing something similar to that very soon. Stay tuned.

      Lucas

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