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Meal prep entails planning out future meals well in advance and organizing them to serve a specific pattern. This can include laying out a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals while ensuring everything fits your nutritional needs.
In general, the average person is going to have personal goals with regard to their physique. Some will want to put on muscle mass by bulking (i.e., eating additional calories), while others will aim to shed excess fat.
This is why meal prep is all about knowing your goals and appropriately making changes to your diet.
How To Meal Prep For Fat Loss
1) Plan Out Nutrient Partitioning
Let’s begin with nutrient partitioning because it’s just as important as calorie counting. The average person will look at each meal with an eye toward calories. Yes, calories have a major role to play, but a lot more goes into shedding fat.
Otherwise, you’re going to hit a plateau, and the body will start eating away at your muscles even if the calories are kept down.
To overcome this hurdle, you need to look at the following nutrients:
Each ingredient in your meal prep for fat loss is going to have these nutrients. You want to pay attention to what’s going into your body after each meal. In general, your nutrient partitioning should be done with the entire day in mind.
For example, the average person should be eating at least 80% of their body weight in protein (grams). So, if you weigh 200 lbs, eating at least 160 grams of protein in a 24-hour cycle is important.
Sometimes, they may seem like a lot, but maximizing each calorie is important, so you’re on the right path toward a well-defined body.
Ignoring this or assuming you’ll be okay is one of the worst mindsets to have during meal prep. In fact, this is one of the reasons so many people end up failing as soon as they begin!
You want to be stubborn and committed with regard to nutrient partitioning because it’ll help you stay on the right path as you hope to slim down.
2) Pinpoint “Weak Spots” In Your Daily Routine
Are there weak spots in your meal prep for weight loss? Even the most experienced professionals have issues with weak spots that catch up to them during a 24-hour period.
An example of this would be the hours before going to bed. You may have a habit where you tend to munch on potato chips/snacks as a way to relax in the evening.
Having these feelings is okay, but your meal planning needs to account for your personal habits. This is where a customized meal prep plan goes a long way because it’s designed to suit your needs.
Don’t always think about the foods in your clean eating meal prep ideas but also the timing at which they’re consumed.
So, if you were looking to deal with such cravings, it’s important to plan ahead and have a high-quality meal ready to go for that specific moment.
By doing this, you can easily reach over and grab a low-calorie snack without missing a beat. As a result, you will be able to eat what you want to at that point of the day while still remaining on track. This alone can go a long way in improving your results.
3) Include Vegetables in 2+ Meals
Vegetables are a wonderful source of nutrients but also fill up the stomach quickly. This makes them an ideal fit for your meal prep. Consuming a good amount of vegetables makes it easier to suppress the appetite and ensure you don’t end up overeating.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to start stuffing vegetables into every meal and avoid everything else! Your approach has to be moderation, which goes for almost anything.
While prepping, you want to sit down and create smaller portions that will include vegetables. There’s no need to include vegetables with every meal, and sometimes it’s okay to eat 1-2 small meals with vegetables.
Some people prefer a more generalized approach meaning they take a large bowl of salad to eat for lunch and then don’t touch veggies again.
You have to be on top of this from day one so your diet works out for the better. Otherwise, it will come to the point where the diet is going to be a complete failure!
The best approach is to include veggies here and there while spreading your wings into other food groups for diversification purposes.
4) Use Smaller Portions
Your portions will often play a role in how much food is consumed throughout the day.The body tends to crave food at various points in the day, and it’s these cravings that lead to overconsumption.
However, you can also overcome this hurdle with smaller portions. If you’re always munching on something, whether it’s a salad or salmon, the body isn’t going to hit that “hunger” stage as often.
In essence, you will want to get out in front of your growling stomach by consuming small portions every 3-4 hours. While this will take a bit of time to plan out, the value you’ll gain from smaller portions will be worth it.
You will notice how easy it is to get through the day when smaller portions are involved in the process. A lot of your weight loss journey will depend on the brain and its ability to fight off hunger.
If you use smaller portions, those hunger waves will disappear as time goes on.
5) Don’t Ignore Your Cravings
Your cravings will start to pop up throughout the 24-hour cycle, and that’s normal. It’s okay to be hungry, but that’s why it’s important to meal prep.
You want to be ready for those cravings, which can be done in several ways.
One of the strategies is to make use of smaller portions, as mentioned above. However, you can also use another trick by simply eating a low-calorie snack during those periods when cravings pop up.
You don’t have to give in to those cravings, but a low-calorie snack such as a small bowl of salad will help big time.
It’s going to be a great way to trick the brain into assuming you have satisfied its needs.In certain situations, you should be willing to indulge a bit. Yes, having a piece of chocolate or perhaps a small bowl of potato chips is okay.
This is all about your ability to stay strong even while you’re indulging. As long as it’s controlled to once a week, you will be more than okay.
It is not going to get to the point where your meal prep falls apart. The right approach to cravings can make life a lot easier, even on a diet.
6) Use “Easy to Prepare” Ingredients
What ingredients are being used during the meal prep?
The best approach to take involves using easy-to-prepare ingredients. For example, there’s never a bad idea to go with a simple piece of salmon that will take a few minutes to set up.
The same applies to a bowl of almonds or perhaps something as simple as a boiled egg. You shouldn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals because that gets tiresome after a few weeks.
If you don’t have a passion for cooking, then it’s smart to keep things as simple as possible. When people are willing to find shortcuts in the form of specific ingredients, they can do much more with their meal prep than others.
You will not feel overwhelmed, which is often half the battle in these situations.
7) Load Up On Protein
You have to load up on protein to make up most of your calories while losing weight. The reason to eat a good amount of protein (80% of your body weight in grams) has to do with muscle retention.
Your body will start eating away at the muscle (gradually) if you don’t consume enough protein even while eating fewer calories.
It needs energy from somewhere, and you want to ensure that source is your body’s fat.
8) Follow a Pattern
There needs to be a pattern in terms of what you’re doing on a daily basis. This is what meal prepping is all about.You need to follow a pattern that can include different recipes at the same time of the day.
The reason for having a set pattern has to do with knowing what you’re getting into before going on a diet.If you don’t follow a set routine, it is going to become impossible to manage, even if the meals are ready to go.
This is where people get stuck, assuming they’ll be okay with a week’s worth of meals.Yes, those meals are great but make sure to follow a routine that’s manageable!
9) Drink Your Water
Water is your best friend and has to be included in your meal prep. A lot of empty calories are consumed in the form of sugary beverages, and those are awful for the body.
Not only are you harming the body, but it’s also going to get to the point where you may end up spinning your wheels. The best approach for people heading down this path is to befriend water as their ultimate beverage.
This means carrying around a water bottle and drinking from it throughout the day. By doing this, you are going to get rid of those pesky cravings while avoiding sugary beverages at the same time.
It’s a win-win, and the body is going to love the additional water that’s being consumed. Remember, water is good for you and offers a lot more than weight loss. It’s also able to flush out bad toxins, improve your immune system, and ensure the body is in top condition year-round.
With so many advantages, it doesn’t make sense to avoid carrying a water bottle from morning to night. Sometimes, the smaller changes go a long way as you dabble away at different recipes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
10) Take Your Time
Your time is one of the most important assets on this weight loss journey, especially while prepping.
The reason you want to make the most of your time has to do with research. You want to be aware of what’s going into your body, whether this involves specific ingredients, nutrients, or the number of calories.
With all of this information, you can put together a solution that will be easy to follow. In some cases, people rush through this process, assuming a few veggies will be enough to get the job done when that is not the case!
You have to be willing to put in the hard work, which will include spending time in the supermarket learning about various ingredients. If you aren’t willing to do this, the process will get ten times harder before you even get started.
This is what meal prep for fat loss is all about!
Yes, it’s going to take a bit of planning, shopping, and dedication, but a well-designed meal prep will go a long way. You will start to notice a change in your body within weeks as long as the diet is in tune with your overall vision.
Too many people aimlessly go through the week eating as they please. This may work at times, but most people end up overeating! This is why it’s best to stay focused, set up individual meals, and follow a set vision.