Published July 14, 2016

Meal Prep Tips from the Pros

 

Chicken Meal Prep

Move over Seamless and GrubHub! This year has seen a drastic increase of prepared meal services. From fully cooked, portioned, ready-to-eat meals to services like Plated that deliver packages of ingredients and recipes, it seems like more and more people are trying to cut down on their time in the kitchen or walking the aisles of grocery stores. We all know exercise is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but there’s no denying that diet is another crucial component. No matter how hard you HIT it, a fifty-minute fix can’t make up for a poor diet. No matter what your health and fitness goals are, there’s a meal prep plan out there for you.

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Your first option is to prepare your meals at home in advance. Many people take a day out of the week, usually Sunday, to prepare most of their meals at once. This can also be done twice a week, maybe a Sunday and Wednesday, to ensure your meals are fresh and have some variety. When preparing your own meals at home, most people cook a large portion of one meal and divvy it up into separate portions for meals throughout the week. Eating the same meals everyday might seem boring to some; however, consistency is the secret ingredient to any successful health and fitness plan. If you have a favorite meal or favorite vegetable, incorporate it into the meals you prepare for the week.

One major benefit of cooking and preparing your own meals in advance is that you have total control over the ingredients used and can ensure that you are actually going to enjoy the meal you made for yourself. If it doesn’t taste good, chances are you won’t want to eat it when the time comes, and some meal prep delivery services don’t allow you to choose or sample every meal you order. If you prep your meals at home, you can test them beforehand or only cook foods you like.

Meal delivery services save you the most time since you don’t have to cook them yourself. Having prepared meals with you at all times can keep you from getting ‘hangry’ and making bad food decisions you will later regret. FHITpro, Dara Theodore orders two meals from a service every week, and she uses those as a template for the rest of the meals she cooks for herself and her family. You can scale your own meal prep to best fit your lifestyle.

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With many of these services, you could order a different meal for each day of the week as opposed to eating the same meal five days in a row. These services keep you accountable to your diet and fitness goals. Most of us eat what is easily available and with these already prepared meals, that’s one less decision you need to make. There are so many meal prep services available, but you should pick one based on the goals you’re trying to accomplish. Some programs tell you when to eat your meals during the day, depending on your workout routine. Some cater the portion sizes of each component of the dish, depending on your level of physical activity. Instructor, Farouk Houssein uses R.P. Strength, a personalized program that doesn’t give you cooked meals but specific recipes and a workout plan with designated meal times for the best nutrient absorption to compliment his training.

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Every person requires a different ratio of macronutrients. Runners or endurance athletes might need more carbs, and people who want to build up their strength may need more protein. Ideally, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting a new diet program to learn how much of each macronutrient is best for your body. With that in mind, meal prep can be used for those trying to gain muscle or for others trying to shred or slim down. Planning meals is ideal for portion control. It can also be combined with protein shakes for athletes who are not necessarily trying to slim down. In between his prepped meals from Deliciously Fit Grill, FHITpro, Daury Dross drinks his favorite protein and recovery shakes for muscle development and gains. Now, after two and a half months on his new meal prep program, he is at the FHITtest, lowest weight he’s been in years!

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Our FHIT Founder, Kari Saitowitz was recently introduced to Plated, a meal prep delivery service by frequent FHIXer and Plated’s Co-Founder, Nick. Since discovering Plated, Kari has used it to meal prep her dinners a few times a week. She loves it because she knows that the meals will be fresh, wholesome and delicious. One of Kari’s first meals using Plated was seared pork with tomato jam and sugar snap peas (picture below).

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Want to give Plated a try? Click here and when you make your first purchase, you will get a free dinner for two.

There are meal prep options for everyone. Find the perfect one for you based on your health goals and what works best for your lifestyle. For those of us who can’t be trusted alone in the kitchen without a working fire extinguisher, there are healthy and delicious meal delivery programs. Otherwise, carve out some time on the weekend and break out the pots and pans. You’ll be thankful when you’re feeling ravenous after your next FHIX!

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