What's in Your Meal Prep?

One day people are talking about a Mediterranean diet, the next day they are talking about an all protein diet where all you eat is steak. Then there's the always popular no carb diet. It's always one extreme or the next, so it can be tough to navigate how to eat healthy let alone the best place for you to start. Influencers will have you thinking they eat pasta and pancakes every day and keep amazing bodies but what they don't tell you is that they workout 2.5 hours per day, 6 days per week to maintain OR they aren't eating the things they post OR they just had surgery and didn't tell you!  The point is, the details matter. 

Choosing what type of meal prep to get can be simple if you focus on yourself and forget everything you see on social media. Here are a few things you should figure out before you make a decision.

Are you trying to simply lose weight or are you getting in shape for a sport?

Eating to lose weight and eating to keep your body in physical shape for a particular sport are two totally different things. There are different reasons why people need to lose weight. Some eat too much in general, some don't eat enough, some just eat the wrong things overall. Your meal prep should be based on your particular problem. If you've been overeating, your meals should have less calories. If you're not eating enough, you should focus on building the habit of eating small meals throughout the day. If you're eating the wrong things, then you should clean up your diet with fresh proteins and vegetables as opposed to fast food. 

When eating to support the body for sports, it may mean that you need to eat more calories than usual depending on what you were doing before. Regularly participating in vigorous workouts requires proper meal planning to fuel the body to maintain a high level of performance.  Before deciding how to build your meal prep, talk to your coaches. Make sure you have a clear vision of what your goals are and then build your meal prep plan.

Where are you in your weight loss journey?

Are you just starting and need to create better habits?  That could entail anything from learning not to overeat to not eating fast food every day. Are you close to your goal weight and trying to lose the last few pounds? Meal prep for this scenario would be very strict with very little variety and incorporated with a specific workout routine. These are two completely different ends of the spectrum. As you could imagine, jumping in to a strict routine trying to start from scratch could do more damage than good, especially with no guidance. There are many different ways to go about meal prepping for each scenario, but the two meal preps are very different. Consulting a trainer and/or nutritionist would be the best way to ensure that you don't get lost in the details.

What problem are you trying to solve?

In order to solve a problem, you have to first admit you have a problem, then diagnose what it is. The fact is, there are many different ways people gain weight. Some people have overeaten for years based on how they were raised.  Others were athletes, stopped working out and the metabolism that carried them through sports faded away over the years. Others just fall off the wagon, life gets in the way, and they simply never go back. Whatever the reasons are, it's important to be honest about what they are so you can begin to take steps to fix them.

The takeaway:

Seeing someone eat what looks like home-cooked meals and seeing someone eat fish and asparagus for meal prep can both be okay, depending on the person and their goals. Building a meal plan based on what you see someone do on social media can be dangerous and even counter productive if you don't know the full story and they rarely tell the full story on social media. If you don't know where to start, talk to a professional to get some direction and build your prep from there. Take small steps in the right direction every day and strive for consistency. 

I'm India, a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and most importantly, an actual person who enjoys eating like everyone else! I'm here to help make your fitness journey more efficient for YOUR lifestyle...

Let's chat!