If you’re trying to build muscle, lose fat or get in shape for that upcoming 5K or half marathon, you already know that you need to spend some quality time at the gym. However, you can also make a lot of progress towards your goals right in your own kitchen. Nutrition is a vital part of getting the body you want and it all starts with making the right choices about food. The better fuel you give your body, the easier it’s going to be to achieve your goals – these five simple meal prep tips will help get you started.
A big part of eating right is thinking ahead. You should come up with a schedule for meals and stick to it. This keeps you from skipping meals or grabbing something unhealthy because you didn’t plan ahead. The more carefully you plan your meals, the healthier you’re going to eat. It can be tough to stick to a meal routine at first, but the benefits are worth it. Try eating a small serving of protein combined with a serving of healthy carbohydrates (like fruits or vegetables) or a small serving of protein combined with a serving of healthy fats every 3 – 4 hours.
Make a grocery list (and use it)
It’s a lot easier to plan your meals when you have the healthy ingredients you need on hand. Write out your grocery list ahead of time and don’t stray from it. If you know what you need in advance, you won’t stray into the wrong aisles at the grocery store and won’t be tempted by unhealthy choices.
Cook ahead of time
We all have busy lives and even more so if you’re fitting regular workouts into your daily routine. You may not have time to cook something healthy every day, so think ahead and when you have time to cook, make large batches and refrigerate or freeze leftovers in single-serving containers. Keep your refrigerator organized and these ready to eat meals right where you can see them and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to eat right.
Bring food along
When people stray from a healthy diet, it’s often because they’re hungry and there are no good choices available. They end up going through a drive through or grabbing a quick but unhealthy snack. It doesn’t have to happen to you. If you’re not going to be home during a scheduled mealtime, bring your meal along with you. You won’t have to be tempted by bad dietary choices – you’ll have what you need close at hand and ready to go.