My name is Jonny and I’m an Instructor at Fitness Squad UK. I joined the British Army at 17 years old, so physical fitness has always been an important part of my day to day life. Nutrition also plays a big part and I’m always researching and trying new things.
One thing that is so important is meal prep and as I finish a couple of days worth of meal prep, it got me wondering how many of you actually do it or understand the benefits of preparing your meals.
To quote the British Army, Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance, the 7 P’s. Meal prep requires planning and preparation, have a plan for the week i.e when you are training, going out and work your meals around that. Making and preparing the meals can take a few hours of your weekend but as you get use to it, it will get easier and quicker.
So here’s 3 reasons why I think it’s beneficial.
1) Staying on track
Preparing your meals helps you to stay on track and remain focused, if you’ve already prepared your meals and already spent money on good food, why would you waste it? It’s there, it’s done, you know it’s what you need so just eat it!
If you’re not prepared and you’re out and about you’re more likely to go buy rubbish food to fix your hunger. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
2) Improves time management
I always hear “I don’t have time” whether that’s to train or cook good decent meals. If I’m honest I think that’s rubbish, if you really want something you’ll make sacrifices to get what you want, if you have to stay up later or get up earlier, make just 1 hour to prepare 3 days worth of meals, that 1 hour saves 2 hours over those 3 days, that’s 2 hours worth of extra unnecessary cooking and washing up. Those hours saved means more hours training, and there you go, you’ve hit 2 birds with one stone, more training time and less cooking time.
3) Portion control
If you’re prepping your meals you’re more likely to have the same portions daily. This helps you to regulate how much you’re actually eating as well as what you’re eating. You may be eating the right things but sometimes you maybe eating too much of it, being consistent daily allows you to keep close track and allow for alterations if needed. If for example you want to lose weight and you know you’re eating the correct things, you’ve been training hard but still not noticing a difference, drop down your portion size slightly until the results start coming. Remember, more food=more calories.
I like to keep things simple so chicken, green veg and rice is a winner for me but if you want to try something more adventures I’ve included a great recipes from Joe Wicks, The Body Coach.
Sweet potato with chilli
Credit: Joe Wicks, The Body Coach Lean in 15
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 250g reduced-fat (about 5%) beef mince
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 175g tinned kidney beans, drained and rinsed#
- 100ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp full-fat Greek yoghurt
Prick the sweet potato a couple of times with a fork, then blast it in the microwave at 900w for 5 minutes. Leave it to rest for 30 seconds and then blast it for further 3-4 minutes. Set aside, loosely covered in foil, until needed.
Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Stir in the spring onions and beef and stir-fry for about 4 minutes, breaking up any chunks of mince as you go. When the meat is browned, sprinkle in the cumin and paprika and cook for 30 seconds before squeezing in the tomato puree. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then add the kidney beans and beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute.
Split open the sweet potato and serve with the quick chilli – and some cooling yoghurt.
Serve with a big portion of your favourite greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, mange tout or green beans.
This recipes serves 1, so double or triple the chilli ingredients and have with rice and greens on different days. Quick, easy and very tasty.
Good luck and don’t forget to ask your Instructor about any questions you may have regarding meal prep and how this is part of your journey.