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January 07, 2023 3 translation missing: en.blogs.article.read_time

When it comes to fitness, the old adage holds true: failing to plan is planning to fail. Whether you’re looking to join a gym in 2023, grow bigger, lose weight or simply stay in shape, planning is essential to your success. It’s not just your workouts and rest days that should be plotted in advance – your training gear and meal planning are equally important. For optimum results, you need to know exactly what, when and how much to eat. This way you will smash your goals, feel better and build a better body in less time. 

Follow these steps to plan your meals like a pro.

Write everything down

The first step towards eating better is creating a menu based on your daily macros or calorie target. Write down how much protein, fat and carbs you need each day before drawing up a list of meals that fit your macros. If your goal is to eat healthier, make a list of foods to include in your diet such as sweet potato, chicken breast, meat substitutes or leafy greens. You can plan your meals around these foods. 

Make a shopping list

After assessing your budget, decide what foods you can afford to buy for the coming week. Create a shopping list that includes options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be sure to include some healthy snack options. Incorporate a range of high protein sources such as tuna or chicken breast alongside nuts, whole grains and green vegetables. You might want to include such healthy staples as eggs, veggies, fatty fish, avocado and cottage cheese. Now it’s time to go shopping.

Cook in advance

With the cupboards full, it’s time to cook. Many high-performance athletes will pick a day to prepare their meals for the next week. After being steamed or grilled, meat can be stored for up to five days, while salads can be made daily. You can also cook and freeze vegetables to save time. For meal inspiration, check out social media, cookbooks and recipe blogs. Cook what you buy, and don’t let anything go to waste; leftovers can be used in a stir fry, casseroles and soups. By prepping your meals in advance it will also be easier to regulate portion sizes.

Mix it up

Healthy eating shouldn’t be boring. With so many delicious yet nutritious recipes out there you can savour a new meal every day. Try high-protein pancakes, grilled salmon with broccoli and quinoa, slow-cooked turkey with veggies and much more. If you encounter a mouth-watering recipe that isn’t too healthy, use alternative ingredients to reduce the sugar and fat. For instance, in many desserts, white flour can be replaced by protein. 

 

Stick to the basics

Unless you’re a budding chef, you’re best advised to keep things simple in the kitchen. Freeze chicken breasts and use them in omelettes, salads and rice dishes. Make healthy snacks in larger batches to save time. Throw some meat in the slow cooker before going to work. Roast vegetables and reheat them later. With a bit of planning, you can create up to a week’s worth of healthy meals in advance. Each nutritious dish will fuel your body and bring you one step closer to achieving your fitness goals.

 


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