- Meal prepping is the key to weight loss success
- It doesn’t need to be the same meal or hard at all
- Your meal prep needs to be less friction than getting take out
When my dad retired from being an electrician he asked me if I needed any tools.
Looking through the mounds of tools, 99% of which I could not name, I asked him why he had so much.
I never want to be caught with my pants down. When you’re on a job there is nothing more of a pain in the ass than not having a tool, stopping what you are doing, and having to go get it.
Sage words my friend. Sage words.
With most new members of the Aesthetic Physiques Online Coaching program I see what my dad was trying to avoid.
They “wing it”.
They start a diet, get caught with their pants down by not having food prepped and they struggle for weeks before calling it quits.
When it comes to weight loss, having meals prepped is the ultimate sign you’ll be successful.
Constantly trying to figure out what to eat when your stomach is growling is a surefire way to be inconsistent and make things 100x harder than they should be.
I know planning and cooking might be hard for some people because you’ve never done it or you just suck at it.
So meal prep becomes this Mount Everest in the way of you becoming successful. Consider this article your escalator to the top of Everest.
With minimal effort and a pinch of planning, even if you fuck up making toast you will be able to prepare healthy meals that will help making losing fat 100x easier on yourself with this article.
Is Meal Prepping Good For Weight Loss?
When it comes to weight loss, consistency in hitting your calorie and protein targets are essential.
A lack of consistency kills results and in turn motivation.
A lot of people look at the old Bro way of prepping. Spending hours on a Sunday making the same meal for the entire week.
This puts a lot of friction between you and your results.
The less friction option always wins.
Think about how you’ve attacked diets in the past.
You’re busy so what’s the route of least friction; spending time cooking a meal or grabbing takeout?
To be successful you need a way to have even less friction than takeout.
If you do that, you win. And that is what I’m going to show you.
The Timeless Art of Meal Prep
Within meal prepping there’s a few steps you’ll need to accomplish:
- Planning your Meals
- Shopping for Food
- Cooking said Food
The most important step is planning your meals. Without a plan you’re flying by the seat of your pants which often leads to you making decisions based on your stomach (cause you’re hungry) then with your brain.
Hungry decisions are shitty decisions. When you’re hungry you tend to favor highly palatable food which often isn’t going to make hitting your calorie and protein targets easier.
With all new members of the Aesthetic Physiques Online Coaching Program I always have them plan what they are going to eat the next day.
This takes hunger out of the equations so better choices are made. Now the following day all you have to do is execute what you put in there and the weight comes off.
No more mental gymnastics of figuring out what you need to eat in between meetings. Execute the plan and you’re making progress to the results you want.
Yuge reduction in friction.
For good meal prep planning, each meal should incorporate your calorie and macro goals.
Note: go here for a meal planning template
Each meal should have a protein source, a carb and maybe a veggie.
Pick one from each category when you’re planning your meals for the following day.
When you start planning this also gives you an idea of what to shop for so constant trips to the supermarket aren’t needed. Again, less friction = better chance of success.
For me, eggs, protein powder, chicken breast, ground beef, ground chicken and ground turkey are my go-to protein sources.
For carbs it’s oats, cereal, air popped popcorn, lettuce, frozen veggies and rice.
Over time you’ll find your staples and food shopping becomes a breeze.
Multiple Ways to Skin the Meal Prep Cat
You and I know meal prepping is like a bro’s right of passage. Mounds of Tupperware taking up valuable beer real estate in your fridge with the same meal day in and day out.
Back before my son was born I was all about that life.
I’d spend an hour on Sunday before football cooking up a week’s worth of chicken and separating it out into nice 8 oz portions.
Now, I’d be lucky to take a 10 min nap.
So here are a few different meal prep strategies depending on how much you value variety and your time.
If you don’t value variety and have the time…
The Bro Prep
Like me pre-kid, spending some time on a Sunday or Monday cooking a whole package of chicken breast and a carb/veggie option.
Grab 5-6 containers and partition the food out. When it comes to meal time, pop in the microwave and enjoy.
Time to Prep: Depending on if you cut it up or not. About 1-2 hours. Most of which is the chicken cooking.
If you value variety and don’t have the time these are some better options…
Make 1-2 serving more each night for dinner. Take the leftovers for lunch the next day.
There’s no extra time needed for prepping and you aren’t eating the same shit each day.
Cook 2 cups of rice instead of 1.
Cook 3 chicken breasts instead of 2.
Time to Prep: If you are cooking dinner already, this adds no extra time.
Use and Abuse Your Crock Pot
Grab some meat, throw in some spices and let it sit for hours. Frozen or thawed meat, doesn’t matter. If you are using frozen either increase the heat or increase the cooking time.
Time to Prep: Five minutes.
And for if you HATE throwing food away…
Doesn’t matter how much food is left, keep it. Worst case scenario you can combine different things to create a Frankenstein meal.
What you are looking at is three different kinds of meat (Pulled BBQ chicken breast, ground turkey with some weird seasoning on it and some Balsamic chicken breast tucked in the middle there), two different kinds of vegetables (Asian vegetable mix and green beans) and finally something I have in spades at my house, white rice.
Is it elegant? Nope.
Does it allow me to hit my calories and macros? Yep.
Time Required to Prep: However long you need to microwave the food.
Whether you 1-2x your meals or abuse your crock pot and turn your leftovers into a Frankenstein meal your meal prep becomes a loop of never ending meals.
How Long To Store Food Safely
Dying from a foodborne illness or getting the runs is something you want to avoid like herpes.
According to FoodSafety.gov here are some important timelines to keep in mind when storing food:
Cooked Meat – 3-4 days
Cooked Rice – 3-4 days
Cooked Veggies- 3-7 days
Regardless if you are in the windows above and the food smells or looks weird; toss it.
The weight loss you’d get from a day of vomiting from food poisoning bounces back once you start eating (and keeping food down) again.
My Go-To Quick Meals For People That Burn Toast
Meal prepping can be as easy or complex as you want to make it.
I prefer easy. I got shit to do.
I’m a great cook in a room of people that can’t cook. I rely on grilling spice packets from McCormick, marinade mixes, and taco seasoning.
Spices or spice mixes tend to be zero calories or 10 calories per serving. Neither will derail your progress. If it involves creams, sauces or oil you’re adding 50+ calories per serving and in my experience it can be a slippery slope.
I’ll also skip the oil some spice packets call for to keep calories low. I haven’t noticed a difference in taste with or without the oil.
I use my crock pot 3-4 times per week.
After doing my meal planning for the day in MyFitnessPal, I’ll usually grab a spice packet, whatever other ingredients the spice packet calls for and 2 frozen chicken breasts.
Set the crockpot to high and let it sit for 4-6 hours if I’m home or put it on low for 6+ hours if I’ll be at the office.
In 5 mins I prepared a great lean protein source that has flavor for 2-3 meals.
Once I’m ready to eat I’ll grab a bag of lettuce or steam a bag of frozen veggies. Both of which takes less than 5 mins to prep.
Outside of having a personal chef, I can’t think of an easier and cheaper way to prep healthy meals that will bring you closer to your fat loss goal.
Best of all you literally need ZERO skill to get this done. If you graduated from kindergarten you’ll have the only skill you need…using a pair of scissors to cut the spice packet.
If I’m not feeling chicken breast, I do the same with ground chicken, beef or turkey.