As the old saying goes, “…fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. This rings true in so many different areas of life, and definitely applies in the world of health and fitness. Working out is a central part of the lives of so many, and good preparation is paramount. Preparing for a workout with a good stretching plan can ensure an injury-free session, and even planning a concrete workout schedule can allow for great weight-loss results over time. But what about meal prep? Can this also be a potentially vital component in your weight-loss crusade? Apart from saving time and the inevitable stacks of tupperware, meal prep can really supercharge your weight loss results.
What is meal prep?
By now you should all be relatively familiar with the concept of meal prep. However for those living under a rock, it’s the process of cooking multiple meals all in one go to have food readily available to you throughout the week. It is no doubt something which is very popular amongst individuals within the health and fitness realm, and for various reasons – both health wise and for practical reasons.
On the clock
Zeroing in further, how can the benefits of pre-preparing meals contribute to weight-loss and positive workout results? What if I told you there was an ideal time in which to fit your post-workout nutrition? According to Instagram personal trainer Greer Rothemel, this is known as the two-hour ‘post workout window of opportunity’. The ideal time for you to get the necessary nutrients in your body to maximise your workout. It is so important to do this! Once your muscles start to go into recovery mode, get the right nutrients in and set recovery in motion.
Meal prep for the win
Here’s where meal prep comes in. Having a small pre-prepared meal or snack in your gym bag means that in that two-hour window, you’ve got quick access to the nutrients you need. Start your weight loss as soon as you walk out of the gym! Use meal prep to benefit you whichever way you train – whether it be a spin class, uphill run, yoga or resistance training. Take a day to prepare your meals for a week to ensure that you have your post-workout nutrition to hand.
Exactly why is it so important to get those nutrients in as soon as you can after your workout? Your body is crying out for them! Rothermel’s desire for you to get that fuel in post-workout is because our bodies need it to reverse the “damage” of working out – those glycogen stores need to be replaced!
So, what to eat you ask? Livestrong suggests a combination of protein and carbohydrates for your post-workout dish for that boost of sustainable energy. A combination of brown rice, vegetables and lean meats (or tofu for all my fellow vegans out there) will provide your body with all the tools it needs. Prep these early and throw them in your gym bag to put your mind at rest, and drive your weight-loss on!
Meal prep has many a positive benefit – from saving money, time, and consistently eating nutritious food. For your workouts and weight-loss? It’s a game-changer. Follow in Greer Rothemel’s slipstream and focus on that two-hour window of nutrition post-workout, and use your meal-prep skills to fire up your weight-loss mission. Cooking in bulk can be tiresome, but you better believe it will be worth it.