Many beginners start their fitness journeys wide-eyed and full of optimism, only to fail after a few weeks due to lack of preparation.
As with all things, good prep is essential to get the best out of anything, and this is especially true when it comes to the gym and fitness.
Sticking to a diet plan becomes much easier on you physically, mentally, and financially when you start to begin prepping your meals.
On the physical and mental part, you’re able to beat cravings that would ordinarily derail you if you didn’t prep your meals.
The desire to order a pizza or a Big Mac becomes almost insurmountable after you’ve had a long day and have nothing at hand to eat.
By prepping your meals, you’re able to maintain mental discipline while ensuring you stay on course by eating healthy meals that improve your physical wellbeing.
On the financial aspect, prepping your meals in advances saves you money as you bulk-buy your food.
Don’t underestimate how much money you can save off takeaways… tips included.
Now we’ve revealed the main benefits of meal prep (more will follow!) let's get down to the business of listing and explaining tips that will improve your chances of following your diet successfully.
Tip #5: Get Home Cooking Appliances
Admittedly, these can put a strain on your wallet, but the truth is their importance to meal prepping can’t be stressed enough.
Appliances like rice cookers, air-fryers, steamers, blenders, and microwaves go a long way in making your meal prep so much easier and more efficient.
Rice cookers will help you cook perfect rice in 20-25 minutes, and blenders can be used to quickly make smoothies and post-workout snacks.
Cooking appliances also make home-cooking easier and stress-free. Quality appliances are programmed to switch off when the food is ready, which reduces the risk of burning foods.
With appliances, your meal prep game is faster, more efficient, and a whole lot less messy.
Bonus tip: If you don’t want your pockets to hit the lint after buying your appliances, visit E-bay or Amazon where you can often get a great deal.
Tip #4: Add Variety To Your Meal Preps
Variety is the spice of life.
Meal preps tend to become exhausting and repetitive over time and can make you crave junk food more often.
The simple solution to this is?
Add more variety.
Variety in meal preps can come in the form of vegetables, herbs, spices, and meats.
Certain veggies like onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers take your healthy foods up a notch by helping them look– and taste good.
Veggies are the ultimate option for a healthy diet by being delicious, low-calorie, and inexpensive.
As for meats, don’t just stick to common meat options on the market like beef or chicken.
A lot of delicious, healthy animal meats exist that can help you re-shape your taste buds.
Most times, depending on your location, these meats may be less expensive than your conventional beef and chicken.
Wonder what healthy, delicious meats you can add to your meal preps?
Duck is a delicacy in several parts of the world, including the Southern part of the USA.
But what makes this aquatic poultry meat a rival to its more popular cousin, the chicken?
- It's A Rich Source Of Protein: Duck is denser meat, containing 52% of water; 8% less than chicken at 60.
As for being a protein source, about 75g of duck meat is enough to provide you with more than 25% of your body’s daily protein requirement.
Duck meat also has a higher fat content than chicken.
How to bypass this problem?
It’s easy; just take the skin off your duck meat and you can cut down a considerable amount of fats and enjoy your meal.
- Richer In Vitamins: Duck meat is richer in vitamins when compared to chicken meat.
Vit C: 0%
Vit B12: 38%
Vit A: 13%
Vit E: 14%
Vit D: 3%
Vit B1: 44%
Vit B2: 63%
Vit B3: 91%
Vit B5: 66%
Vit B6: 42%
As you can see from the table above, duck meat far surpasses chicken in terms of vitamin count/percentage by a ratio of 7:2.
- Taste & Preparation: In the right hands, duck meat can be an absolute blessing to anyone’s taste buds.
Be it baked, roasted, or grilled, when properly prepared, duck meat can be a sweet-yet-healthy choice for you to switch to when you get tired of eating lean chicken breasts.
- Rabbit Meat: While this may sound odd to people living in the United States, especially those in the cities, the fact is there’s an abundance of healthy meats like rabbit that make up an important part of the cuisine of different parts of the world.
That cute, fluffy hopper is a very rich source of lean protein.
Rabbit meat is considered to be one of the leading sources of lean proteins available in the world.
In fact, back in the 1940s and 1950s rabbit meat helped a lot of malnourished and impoverished families maintain a healthy protein intake during the Great Depression and was as common for dinner as chicken is today.
To quote research carried out in 2015 on the potential of rabbit meat being used as an alternative to other meats such as beef and chicken:
This meat contains 20–21% of proteins, unsaturated fatty acids (oleic and linoleic; 60% of all fatty acids), potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, it has low concentrations of fat, cholesterol, and sodium .
That is why the rabbit meat is better digested as compared to other kinds of meat (beef, lamb, or pork; Enser et al.  and is recommended for consumption, e.g. for persons with cardiovascular illnesses.”
|Meat from forelegs
20.2% of protein, 7.4% of fat and 71.2% of moisture.
Meat from thoracic cage meat
18.7%, 12.8% and 66.9%.
Meat from LD muscle
|22.1%, 1.2% and 75.6%
|Meat from abdominal walls
|20.9%, 7.6% and 70.1%
|Meat from hind legs
|21.2%, 3.0% and 74.7%
|Meat from the entire carcass
|20.8%, 7.1% and 71.2%
If you’re able to get over the feeling of eating a cute, fluffy, animal that’s domesticated primarily in this part of the world, then go for it.
Rabbit meat is super delicious, super proteinous, and lean, and can add a lot of variety to your meals.
Remember, it’s all preference; foods you consider to be inedible for one reason or the other are celebrated delicacies in other parts of the world.
So try not to limit yourself to foods you’ve been eating all your life and pick up the pace and try something different for a change.
Another delicacy in parts of the world like the Middle East. The meat from this large bird is:
- Extremely low in cholesterol: With only 0.063g of cholesterol per 100g of meat, ostrich meat is extremely lean.
- Rich in iron
- Low-calorie content per portion: 145 cal/100g vs Chicken: 239cal/100g & Duck meat: 337cal/100g
- Rich in protein: With 20.6 percent of protein per 100 gram of meat.
Tip #3: Buy In Bulk
Bulk buying your raw ingredients saves you a lot of money when it comes to meal preps.
Also, there’s always something healthy in the fridge for you to whip up on short notice. and it’s super convenient and saves you a lot of time, energy, and again, gas or bus money you’d usually spend on regular trips to the store.
Tip #2: Find Time To Read Cookbooks & Recipes.
No one has a monopoly on knowledge, especially when it comes to cooking.
To avoid your meal preps from becoming bland and repetitive, take time to read cookbooks and recipes online. Not, and not just for those indigenous to your country or hometown, but around the world.
This way you get to explore so many tasty, super healthy spices, herbs, and dishes you may not even know exist.
You can always contact the NSP team on firstname.lastname@example.org to reach out to our in-house personal trainer, and IFBB Bodybuilding champion Arman Eckelbarger for nutritional tips, as well as healthy recipes.
Tip #1: Stay Positive
“Meal prep is so darn hard!”
Visit any online fitness forum and you’re bound to find comments like this made by millions of frustrated folk who by their outbursts have most likely given up dieting and meal prep.
Sure, prepping your meals requires effort, time, and dedication…
But isn’t that what bodybuilding and fitness are all about?
Carefully sculpting, feeding, and maintaining your body into the ultimate work of art that would make you the awe of everyone you know?
Also, when you take care of your body, it rewards you.
You’ll find out that your movements become smoother, your body feels lighter, your mind becomes sharper, and you just enjoy being alive in general.
Nothing good comes easy, and meal prepping and dieting take character and dedication.
But the results are more than worth it in the end.
So stay away from negative forums and self-declarations as they can push you to the edge and make you quit before you even start to see the benefits.
These are 5 tips for you to start meal prepping as a beginner. As, but as you gain more experience prepping your meals, you’ll begin to develop more tips and techniques that will make your prep that much easier as time goes on.
So consider these tips as guidelines, and make sure to take note of your techniques and innovations as they’re guaranteed to help you even further.