Importance of Meal Planning

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Everyone’s lives are so busy these days, sometimes it’s hard enough just to get workouts in without having to figure out what to eat when you drag yourself home at night.

When things get hectic, meals are usually the first thing to suffer. We stop and pick up fast food, hit the vending machine at work or school, and even skip meals sometimes. All of these are habits that should be avoided. Eating the wrong kinds of food at the wrong times can wreak havoc on how you feel—and how you feel affects how well your body functions. If you want to meet your full potential in the gym, you are going to have to eat right.

In order to keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism at its highest, you should try to eat small meals every 3 hours throughout the day. But it can be a challenge to come up with 5-6 small meals a day. Which, in turn, makes it harder to stick to the nutritious diet your body needs to perform at its best.

When we are super busy, we tend to eat whatever is in front of us—even if that food isn’t good for us. So if you can plan your meals and have them readily accessible throughout the day, you will have a greater chance of success in meeting your diet and exercise goals.

Here are some helpful meal preparation strategies:

Make a plan—It is important to look at your food and drink intake over the course of the entire day and plan ahead for it. If you know ahead of time that you will be eating out at a restaurant or a friend’s house, you can plan around some not-so-good items you know you will indulge in later. Even a quick plan made in the morning or before you go to bed at night will save you time and frustration later when you are hungry, but aren’t sure what to grab.
Cook in batches—Whenever you find the time to cook, make enough for several days. Separate the food into smaller portions and store in the fridge or freezer. That way it will be ready to be packed up whenever you need it.
Investin a cooler—If you are going to be away from home all day, pack all 4-5 meals and take them with you in a cooler or hot/cold lunch bag. This practice will save you headaches later on and may even save you money because you aren’t eating out.
Try for balance–Make sure that each meal is a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins so that your body’s energy stays balanced as well. Eating all the proteins for your entire day in one sitting is not a balanced approach.

Readily accessible meals will help you stay on the right track to meeting your fitness goals. You will be less hungry, more energetic, and probably have a more positive outlook on things. So plan for and prepare your meals ahead of time and you are sure to start feeling and looking great.