I know… yea i know.. You have went to the grocery store, got all of the approved foods and hit up every youtube channel known to man to feed your excitement to start getting this whole nutrition thing down!!! Maybe yes??? Lol maybe that was just me, but in this third installment of “The Power of The Knife & Fork” we will discuss the top 5 most pertinent mistakes people make in the meal preparation process. Before I divulge this precious info lol.. let me remind you that there are companies that market “healthy foods” that are not healthy for you at all and will sabotage your progress to become a high performer. So if you are reading this while drinking a special K Protein shake….. I’ve just slapped it out of your hand.
Although I primarily work with athletes who have no problem taking coaching and following a proven program for results, for the regular person the thought of preparing meals for an entire week feels foreign and the process daunting. Well here at Swxller we believe in putting your big boy pull ups on and sucking that up: IT DOES NOT MATTER YOUR TRAINING PLAN!! IF YOU PUT CRAP FOOD IN YOUR SYSTEM YOU WILL GET CRAP RESULTS PERIOD. If you want to COMPLETELY speed up your training progress and achieve and incredible physique you MUST control what you stuff into your face. This leads me to my 1st mistake…
Mistake # 1- I’m gonna make these 4 little meals and my body we be on point!!
1. MEAL PREP IS NOT A QUICK FIX IT MUST BECOME A LIFESTYLE
DO NOT become one of those people who get all excited just to prep their meals for one week, only eat half the meals, then go out on Friday and throw all of their hard efforts away because “you just had to go to 5 guys”. Regimenting what you eat may seem like a laborious task but consistency will greatly reduce the time it takes you to prepare your meals. We have stated before that we do not believe in diets. A diet is not sustainable and depending on what diet you may be on, very dangerous to your health. Get in the habit of prepping each week and EARN that special meal where you eat whatever you want. Your dedication of proper meal prepping will also give you the tools needed to be able to go out with your friends and order the food that will keep you on track.
Key: Dedicated yourself to prep your meals each week. It will save you a ton of money in the long run and your body (and spouse… hell IG page for that matter) will thank you in the long run.
Mistake # 2 – Why even bother prepping?DO you know how much money this S$%^ is gonna cost?!
2. SHOP LIKE THE CANDY LADY
NO.. you cannot eat candy lol… but we say shop like the candy lady meaning to buy your food IN BULK. Utilizing places like Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s etc, will not only save you a lot of money but allow you to buy a lot of food at once. Buying larger containers of peanut butter, for example, will also save you trips to the grocery store. True you can go to your local sure market each week but more times than none you will spend WAY more money for less food.
When you buy in bulk remember to buy high quality FRESH products (which we talk about in Part 2 of this series). Although this process isn’t complicated if you are still working with processed foods its gonna strain your progress and hurt your pockets.
In regards to meat NEVER buy small cuts. Now is the time to get creative and buy a whole chicken instead of a pack of chicken breasts and learn to COOK all parts to save money. Remember to be smart with your choices that you buy.
Mistake #3- Man it takes way too long to cook all this food!!
3. NEVER COOK 1 WHEN YOU CAN COOK 3
Now that you are in the meal prep gang lol, there are a few essentials that you will need in your kitchen to help save time when preparing your meals.
Disposable Aluminum Trays & Aluminum Foil– Why waste all that time cleaning up dishes when you can prepare meals in catering pans? This method helps to save time and allows you to cook a lot of food at one time in the oven
Slow Cooker– When budgets are light and you are still a novice in the kitchen, a slow cooker is the perfect appliance to cook a lot of meat at one time and ensure that it is TENDER (young tenderoni lol) and ready to me used for your weekly meal prep. This “set it and forget it” appliance also will help to free up time to cook more items simultaneously in your kitchen.
Rice Cooker– Let’s face it… INSTANT RICE SUCKS. Remember we want to buy quality products. By having a rice cooker you can by good quality rice and ensure that it is fluffy and light and good to your tummy. If you’re on “Grandma” status in the kitchen you could still use the stove but we believe in efficiency.
Spray Oil- Spray oil is a wonderful solution and cost-effective option to cooking in bulk. Keeping in mind that you want to watch your fat intake,, spray oil will greatly reduce the amount that you use when you are cooking. You only need enough oil to grease your pan and pots while cooking. The oil that you need and ONLY NEED IS
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
We will keep it simple- use those two.. don’t debate we don’t wanna hear it. If you are allergic to one use the other one.
Mistake 4- ” I bought all this food and I only have enough for 3 days.. smh this meal prep thing doesn’t work
4. WHERE IS YOUR FOOD SCALE? MEASURE YOUR FOOD
Food scales and measuring cups are imperative when meal prepping. Each person is different and there is no cookie cutter approach to the amount of protein, carbs, and fats you should eat with each meal. That number will depend on your current training goal and apps such as MyFitnessPal are great tools to help you figure out how much YOU need to eat to get the ideal physique. Once you have that specific number you want to use your food scale and measuring cups to ACCURATELY proportion all of your meals so that you are taking in the proper amount of nutrients at each fueling session throughout the day.
Food scales are relatively cheap, less than $25 dollars and can be bought at places such as Walmart and you can get food measuring cups for next to nothing at the grocery store. When you are equipped with these tools you can portion each meal to the ounce!! Although nutrition isn’t an exact science weighing your meals is as close to perfect as you can get to optimum nutrition.
And we bring it to number 5 which is
Containers matter.. point blank period. To preserve freshness, create uniformity in your fridge (to save space), and keep you on track the TYPE of container that you put your food in makes all the difference. VERSATAINER is a brand that you can buy off of amazon and you can get 150 containers for less than $50 dollars! Although you can get the simple containers from the grocery store, you want to meal prep to your best ability. Containers such as versatainer will ensure that you can get all of your portioned food inside the container and save food to freeze that you do not use right away.
We hope that these solutions help you in your meal preparation and remember that trail, error and experience will be your best teacher during your meal prep journey