In my 20+ years as a coach who has had the good fortune of guiding hundreds of people to discovering a more fulfilling, generally happier life by way of their physical and mental health, I am often faced with the question of what makes some succeed with apparent ease, while others start strong, but soon meet their demise, returning to old habits, ultimately giving up on the goals they were once so invigorated to achieve. While there are a number of factors that, when combined all but ensure success, one stands above the rest: Meal Prep.
When faced with the oft-daunting task of consuming 5 or even 6 meals a day, the initial reaction is commonly one of, “How will I eat all that food? Won’t I get fat? How am I going to cook all of that?” These concerns are all valid until we take a step back, and approach the task with a rational mind, and together work through the process of how we can make this possible, if not even enjoyable and rewarding.
I’ve worked with everyone from jet-setting CEOs to professional athletes, to stay home moms with what seems to be not a minute of free time between tending their family’s needs, to general contractors spending entire days on job sites. Although some pose more of a challenge than others, we are always able to find a way to make it work and achieve 85-90% adherence to the dietary guidelines they are provided, relative to the goals they seek to achieve through our work together.
In a world where convenience and immediacy have come to be expected the fitness and nutrition world hasn’t been left behind. What was once a logistical impossibility has morphed into an industry in which custom-made meals can be ordered and scheduled to arrive at your doorstep within a couple of stays, and in some cases, even less. Locally here at Impact Fitness, we have seen the popularity of their Nutre Meal offerings grow exponentially as members quickly see the value found in the convenience of having even 1-2 of their daily meals prepared for them.
Utilizing these meals at the times they know they are most susceptible to falling off the diet has been the determining factor for numerous clients managing to stay within their day’s macro totals, or even better, avoiding what may have otherwise resulted in a binge that can have lasting effects, mental and physical, leading to a setback that can be the catalyst for a degree of discouragement that has one “throw in the towel,” or revert back to the common, “I just can’t do this attitude” that will almost surely result in failure.
4 Benefits of Prepping Meals
Although there are innumerable benefits to meal prepping, let’s review what I consider to be the most impactful for most.
- You’ll save time. Instead of wasting time (while growing more hangry) looking for the “right” foods to meet your macros, you will be able to simply grab what is already prepared, and sit down and enjoy it. In most cases, little more than a quick reheat will be needed.
- You’ll save money. Prepping meals ahead of time saves money by allowing you to buy ingredients in bulk, freeze extra for later, and most importantly, often drastically decrease the amount of money spent on eating out.
- You can better manage portion sizes. When providing a diet for a client, they are instructed to measure a portion of protein, carbohydrate, or fat source depending on the amount called for at a respective meal. By measuring portion sizes, we are able to minimize the chances of overeating, and in time, grow used to what amount of food provides us the best combination of satiety and satisfaction. Before long, those days of feeling bloated will be behind us.
- Create a better relationship with food. Flex Level Fitness and Nutrition stresses the importance of the education we provide regarding nutrition and training. The greater your understanding of these two elements the more efficient your efforts in and out of the gym become. Having a thorough understanding of nutrition labels is the first step in gaining a functional knowledge of food, and specifically, which foods are best for us relative to our goals. Meal prep makes this all but a requirement if we are to do it properly.
For those of you that legitimately need some assistance with meal prep, and are looking to move toward taking on the meal prep aspect in time, there are some great options to help you in the early phases, and if necessary, even beyond.
First, for those of you seeking an A-Z service that can provide meals that cover all macronutrient needs (Protein, carbs, and fat) for a portion of your meals throughout the week, Impact Fitness has a deal offered exclusively to its members. For your convenience, the 4 step process is listed below. Of course, prior to ordering meals, I strongly encourage you to sit with a Certified Nutrition Consultant (available via Flex Level Nutrition/Impact Fitness) to determine your caloric needs for the day, and how to most effectively break them up throughout the day.
Ordering Nutre Meal at Impact Fitness in Auburn, MA
|How to order (each week a new menu will be sent out):|
Step 1: Fill out the Nutre Meal Order Form with your food options.
Step 2: Screenshot the form or save it as a PDF file
Step 3: E-mail the screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “NUTREMEAL ORDER” ***Orders must be submitted by WEDNESDAY at 12 PM NOON***
Step 4: Pick up your order every “MONDAY”
*For payment we will use your billing on file so please ensure the information is up to date*
Phone Number: (774) 321-6555
Our mailing address is:
314 Washington St
Auburn, Massachusetts 01501
Protein Solution: The Chicken Pound
For those of you that find simplicity in preparing carbohydrate sources such as rice, potatoes, oatmeal, as well as fat sources such as oil, avocado, peanut butter, then there also exists a great option to obtain strictly the protein source for your meal prep. My personal favorite, as well as that of my clients, is The Chicken Pound, which provides fully cooked, flavored, and frozen chicken that arrives at your residence within 2 days, and will remove all the guesswork from choosing a protein source for your meals, which is most often the most difficult part of meal prep.
I encourage you to visit The Chicken Pound to view the numerous flavor options, as well as receive a 10% discount for ordering via this affiliate link. For questions specific to allergies, preparation, or otherwise, The Chicken Pound and owner Carlos provide among the best customer service I have encountered.
As we enter the summer, now is a great time to learn the routine of meal prep. Aside from your mindset, nothing will be more influential to your success or failure than meal prep.
As always, free free to see me, Adam Sjogren, NASM Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant and NASM Behavior Change Specialist, for specific meal plans. If you’re local to Massachusetts, the Impact Fitness Staff is great for general health and fitness questions. The entire Impact Fitness Community is here to help you become the best you that you can be.
Happy Fourth of July! Be safe, and enjoy the start of what we all hope will be a great summer!