Meal prep makes managing your diet simple, tracking your macronutrient goals easy, and saves you time and effort throughout the week.
But how do you become a meal prep master?
Ten of our successful body transformation clients at Ultimate Performance share their best advice on meal prep and the tips and tricks that made the process simple.
I personally found meals that I enjoyed and prepped the same ones each week so that it minimised the amount of time I spent figuring out the necessary macronutrient or calorie counts.
The first week, maybe two, takes the longest because you have to find what works, but once you have a plan you can follow that easily. I prepped on Sundays and Thursdays and having that schedule worked easily for me.
Pick a day to plan your meals for the week (Saturday is my day as Sunday is a day of rest!), think about what you want to eat, get everything food wise (and I mean everything!) you need in so you don’t have to pop to the shops for odd items.
Online grocery shopping saves supermarket temptations, so go for this option if you can.
When you have your shopping prep up as much as you can in advance (peel and weigh sweet potatoes, boil eggs, weigh and portion meats, nuts, seeds) so you can just grab and cook or grab and eat when you get back from work or the gym.
Spices and herbs are your friends – use them to make things taste awesome! Prep meals don’t need to be boring! Get some decent stackable plastic food storage boxes – your fridge will look like Tetris.
Put in the effort to begin with – pick a selection of meals you enjoy and that fit your macros, weigh them and record the macronutrients in a nutrition tracker.
Then you can use the preloaded meal time and time again – most people eat the things they like on repeat anyway!
I must admit, I’m not the best at cooking. It’s definitely not my strength, but my wife and additional help we have at home understood exactly my needs and followed the plan designed by U.P.
We learned that measuring quantities of food is critical for success and how a little extra of any ingredient could impact my weekly results.
We got all the meat (chicken, turkey, fish, steak, etc.) cut from the supermarket in 200g pieces and kept it frozen. Boiling vegetables was easier and fast.
We mainly cooked at night and had prepared three meals ready for next day.
Cook a mix of veggies, lentils, or whatever is allowed based on the diet you are following, and have it stacked away in the refrigerator. It is not always possible to cook daily and then the temptation is to cook or order something quick and fast, which usually ends up being unhealthy food options.
Instead, use the weekends, and cook for the week ahead, and use healthier oil options like olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
Buy in bulk and freeze any ingredients you aren’t going to use, this makes the initial spend cheaper. Put aside two hours of a day to prep your food and freeze where possible. I would make three days’ worth and keep in the fridge rather than freezing and then start the process again.
It depends how much freezer space you have and your preference on eating from fresh (albeit, microwaved) or frozen.
Get a lot of Tupperware. Buy fresh meat, fish and vegetables. Buy for the week and take a couple of hours at the weekend preparing your meals for the week.
Once you’ve done it a couple of times it will be easy and quick. Freeze the meals and get them out as and when you need them.
I am extremely lucky in that my wife likes cooking and she prepares my meals for me. Win-win! I hasten to add, it’s because she chooses to not because I choose!
For me, the key thing to meal prep is finding food that you really enjoy and tastes good. It’s so much easier prepping food that you enjoy and are looking forward to.
I freeze my protein in sections. So, three days’ worth in one bag – then I defrost it and make it for the next three days. I do the same with the veg.
I currently have 15 days’ worth of food prep in the freezer and three days in the fridge.
Put aside an hour or two on the weekend to plan your food for the week ahead. I plan my meals for Monday to Wednesday and then cook the meat or fish I need on the Sunday and just steam any greens I need each night so they’re fresher. This also only takes about 10 minutes!
Every night I give myself 20 minutes to get my food together for the following day, including my snacks and protein shake, then in the morning all I need to do is grab my prepped meals from the fridge, easy!
Prepping my food was and is still key in getting the best results. Yes, at first it is SO tedious and there’s a million and one other things you’d rather be doing than waiting for chicken to grill, BUT once you have it down, it’s easy as pie (or chicken and veg).
Set aside an amount of time either in the morning before you start your day, or an evening, leave your phone in another room and get on with it. Master your cooking times and choose things that can all be thrown in together.
I like to grill my veg so I can chuck it all in at the same time as my chicken. Leaving distractions in the other room, means I can have my food done for the week in half an hour.
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!