DO YOU REALLY NEED TO MEAL PREP?
We’ve all heard it before. Structure helps us be successful. So when you Meal Prep – you are being structured right? However I have lived both ends of the spectrum. I have been on a strict meal prep plan & no meal prep plan. I have done meal prep in advanced as far out as 5-7 day’s worth of meals.
So today I wanted to really show you if Meal Prep is Important to your success or if it just some over played antic that’s been stigmatized.
THE UGLY SIDE OF MEAL PREP
Now before I start raving about all the reason’s you should meal prep, I want to get to the ugly side of it first. No matter how essential my coaches and trainers have told me meal prep is – these are some of the things I just could not get over.
1.) Not Fresh Meals
If you are meal prepping that means the meal you will eat – when it is time to eat it is most likely not FRESH. Now I am not trying to sound spoiled, but there is a big difference between fresh cooked food & a heated microwave bowl ( The container is usually more hot than the food.)
2.) You Got To Carry The Meals
There’s been a whole industry of products that have been created because of this. For example the infamous “6 Pack Bag”. No matter how fancy or basic – this is the next reason why meal prep is not the greatest. Who the heck want’s to carry food around? I remember seeing massive bodybuilders always carrying food around & I was like who would want to do that. They would pull out of their bag their little prepped meals & eat. I mean we already have a hectic life and so much baggage to move around – why would I add another.
3.) Possibility Of Meals Going Bad
The next thing I did not like is the possibility of my hard work cooking skills going to waste. Once you cook your food, the timer begins & it’s only a matter of time before that food is no longer good. So what did I find myself doing? I would throw out a ton of food. This was the case the more day’s I prepped in advance.
So no matter how much negativity I can find in meal prep, there is one thing that I always remember. That is you can find negativity in almost anything. Also you can make excuses for anything. However when you have a goal in mind – you will sacrifice and do what you have too.
When Should You Prep?
So do you always have to consider meal prepping? I wouldn’t say always. It really boils down to your goals and most importantly your lifestyle. I usually break it down with these questions to evaluate if you should meal prep:
- What is my work schedule?
- How many times can I cook in a day?
- Do I want to cook every meal or once for all my meals?
- Will I eat bad if you don’t prepare your meals?
Ask yourself those questions, and you should have a pretty good idea if you should meal prep. If you are okay with cooking your meals and have enough time to cook your meals – I’d definitely would chose that route. However if you have a busy schedule & you don’t have much time – meal prep option is for you.
Why Meal Prep Is Important
Now after talking negative & looking at all the reasons why meal prep is not so fun – let’s get to why Meal Prep Is Important. I can find many reasons why meal prep is essential for your success if you have to do it. The following reasons I will go over are ordered from most important to least (IN MY OPINION) when considering the facts.
1.) Nutrition & Meal Plan Structure
I mentioned this in the beginning of the article. Structure is the key ingredient in bodybuilding & when you are trying to reach your fitness goals. The thing that makes structure so important is that structure can turn into routine. Once you have a routine – it becomes second nature.
Structure is also important for the sake of feeding your body & muscles. When you have your meals planned you ensure you are getting the sufficient and correct nutrients your body needs to be successful in the goals you are pursuing. You can have your six meals ready, and eat them every 2 hours. That is beautiful structure.
2.) Fight Off Bad Habits & Cravings
The other great thing about meal prep is that it helps you stay on track with your nutrition and helps you keep those cravings far away. When you have your meals prepped you are ensuring that your next meal is ready. You won’t go wondering into the abyss of food places around you and make a horrible mistake you are going to regret later. You will be glad you consumed that pre-cooked Tupperware meal, as weird as that sounds.
One of the biggest challenges people face is fighting their cravings and bad habits to eat out. Knowing you spent money on the groceries, time cooking it and preparing it, you’re most likely to not swerve off and cheat.
3.) Track Your Macros
The great thing about meal prep is this. You can track your macros SO MUCH EASIER. Every meal is served to the exact serving that you need for your plan or goal. So every mea you eat – you know you are eating what you need and how much you need to. It also helps that you cooked it yourself and no one touched or played with your food. If your coach gives you a plan with 4 meals – you can break the meals down to the exact requirements that he laid out for you. This is number 3 in my list, but really it might be one of the most important.
Now You Decide If You Need To Prep
Now that I have gone over the facts (good & bad) it is your time to evaluate if you should or should not meal prep. I put a series of questions you can ask yourself, reasons why meal prep sucks & reasons why it is essential.
I tried to give you a great variety of facts and personal input from my experience. I been doing this for over 10+ years & trust me – i’ve tried it all pretty much. Nutrition and your meal plan is the best way to target that extra fat you want to get rid off. I go over it in detail in my Get Shredded Article.
Do you think you should meal prep? Why do you like or hate meal prepping? Let’s discuss it on the comments!