Meal Prep Keeps You on Track

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Prepping meals on Sunday can help you maintain your low carb, high protein diet. During the workweek, when you’re in a rush, grabbing something quick from a supermarket shelf or takeout restaurant will likely get you a high-carb, high-fat food, low in protein, in oversized portions. Sunday meal prep can prevent this. By prepping a week’s worth of nutritional and convenient foods on Sunday, you make meeting your daily diet and personal fitness goals a breeze.

When you plan and prep your week’s meals on Sunday, you clear two major hurdles of the workweek: the search for a nutritious lunch while you’re at work and the impulsive cravings that attack when you’re trying to make dinner.

With your prepped and packed lunch in hand, you’ll never have to worry about trying to meet your nutritional needs using the vending machine or the takeout place across the street. And when you get home from work, hungry and rushed, the delicious high-protein, low-carb dinner you prepped on Sunday can be heated and eaten in a flash—before you give in to the impulse to snack while you’re trying to figure out what to make for dinner. By prepping your meals ahead of time, you make sure the meals you actually eat have the right number of calories, with the just balance of fats, carbs, and proteins you need.

But consistency and nutritional balance aren’t the only benefits of meal prepping. If you plan and prepare your week’s meals, you’ll eat foods you like, in the amounts you want. When you’re striving to meet your nutritional goals and keep within your caloric targets, few things are more rewarding than maintaining your diet while eating foods you actually enjoy. At the end of each meal, you’ll know you’ve hit your nutritional goals head-on and enjoyed every bite.

Meal prepping also supports proper nutrition, which is the cornerstone of a successful fitness training program. When you eat healthy, nutritionally-balanced meals, you have more energy during your workouts and enjoy better results. Controlling caloric intake helps decrease body fat and lets you give your growing muscles the nutrients they need. All these benefits—a low carb, high protein diet supporting fat burning fitness training—flow from Sunday afternoon, when you plan your week’s meals, cook up your favorite foods, and divide them up into well-measured portions.

So how do you do it? If you don’t have some already, get a set of storage containers in sizes that work for individual portions—enough containers to store all the meals you plan to make ahead of time. Then, using the personalized nutritional plan you’ve worked out with your fitness trainer, decide what meals you’re going to eat throughout the week to meet the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbs, without exceeding your caloric thresholds.

After you’ve got your plan in hand, cook up the meals and dishes you’ve selected, and apportion the meals into single, measured servings. If you’ve got a favorite dish that you like to eat often, you can make it in bulk, and divvy it up into single servings and decide when you’ll eat each serving. Or, if you like more variety, you can prepare more dishes, in smaller amounts. The key is to make sure you’ve planned your week and apportioned your meals into measured servings, so you know exactly what you’re eating in each portion.

Then, with your individual meals prepped and ready to go, and your week’s meal plan in hand, you’ll be able to select the portions you need each day and take them with you when you head out to work. When you sit down for lunch, you’ll know you’re eating something you love, in just the serving size you need.

(Of course, sometimes your friends will want you to go out for lunch. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a skip day.” Just leave your prepped meal behind and check out my tips on eating out.)

And when you get home from work, your specially selected and prepared dinner will be waiting for you (and your special someone), ready to eat with little fuss and bother. Your properly balanced, nutritious meals will keep you energized for your exercise regimen, and help you burn fat and build muscle.

That’s the power of Sunday meal prep.

Why Sunday? Simple. On your day off, you can plan your nutritional week mindfully. You can focus on what you’re going to do, where you’re going to be, and what you’re going to eat, deliberately and calmly, without the pressures or cravings of a rushed workday. If Sunday isn’t your day off, just think of your break day—whatever it is—as Sunday. Use the calm at the eye of the storm to make sure you’ve prepared the foods you need to make the workweek a nutritional success.

Your fitness training program will love you for it.

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