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How to Meal Prep Like A Pro

Trying to get your diet on track but don’t know where to start? Consider this your step-by-step guide to Meal Prep

Meal Prep
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There’s no one way to meal prep. Your best bet is to find a routine that works best for your schedule. If you don’t have much time during the week to prep, you may want to make extra-large batches on Sundays. If your schedule is a little more free, you can get away with prepping your food on Sundays and Wednesdays. I also prep day-to-day by bringing mostly quick, easy meals to work. Here’s how you can start:

1. Large Batch Prep Your Protein

Your proteins will generally take the longest amount of time to prep so you might as well start by getting that out of the way as soon as possible. Use a crock pot and cook several pounds of meat in it for several hours, then separate each portion in tupperware. This is an easy, hands-off approach and requires very little attention. You can also bake or grill several pounds at a time which works just as well, it just requires a little more attention.

2. Large Batch Prep Your Carbs

Carbs are generally easier to prep. Oatmeal only takes a few minutes, you can buy steamable potatoes, rice, and bread requires almost no attention at all. Cook several cups at a time of your carbohydrates of choice and separate them into tupperware, or pair them with the proteins you’ve already prepped.

3 Mistakes People Make When Cutting Carbs

3. Keep an eye on fats

Prepping fat takes almost no energy whatsoever. If you’re using oil, just use a teaspoon or tablespoon and add it to your pre-prepped protein/carbs. Nuts can be portioned and stored in separate plastic bags, containers or in the same tupperware as your protein & carbs. Butters should be portioned using a teaspoon or tablespoon and added to each dish. Avocado is really the only fat that should wait until the very last minute before prepping because they spoil quickly.

4. Only prep the hard stuff (if you’re in a crunch for time)

I love cooking, but maybe you don’t. My advice is to only prep the “hard stuff” like meats, (lots of) vegetables, potatoes, etc. You can always pack some whey protein, a sandwich, Greek yogurt parfait, and quick, healthy snacks the night before you get up for work.

I personally prep the night before I go to work, about 4-5 nights/week and have a few large batch prepared meals ready. I usually bring 3-4 meals to work with me and most of them only take minutes to prep. Here’s an example:

Greek yogurt Parfait
Prepped the night before: Greek yogurt portioned in a tupperware container, high protein granola portioned in a zip-lock bag, 1 whole banana stored in my bag.

AB & J on Double Protein Bread, Protein Shake
Prepped the night before: Spread 1 tbsp. of almond butter and 1 tbsp. of preserves on 2 slices of double protein bread and place in a tupperware container or zip-lock bag. Store 1 scoop of whey protein in a small container.

Chicken, Veggies & Rice
Prepared a few nights before: Store 4-6 oz. of chicken, 1 cup of veggies, and 1 cup of rice in a tupperware container and place in the fridge or freezer until the morning before work. Then, I put the tupperware in my 6 Pack Bag and bring it to work.

All of these meals are stored in the fridge the night before I go to work. The morning of, I put all of them in my 6 Pack Bag (Expedition 300) and bring them to work. Now I have 3-4 meals when I need them at work. I hope this helps you as you learn to meal prep like a pro. Once you start you’ll immediately see the advantages and understand why so many fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and athletes meal prep.

5 Reasons to Meal Prep

There are 5 important reasons you should start to meal prep.

 

5 reasons to meal prep

If you want to save money, get better fitness results, eat better meals, never get “hangry”, and have fresh food “on tap” then read on. Making your meals in advance, whether that be 1 day, 3 days, or 5 days in advance, can have enormous benefits on your health and on your wallet. Here’s why:

1. Save Money

Bringing home-cooked meals to work can cost you as little as $2-3 for that meal. Compare that with closer to the average $10 that people generally spend on lunch and you can see how those savings can add up over time.

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Thousands

2. Get better fitness results.

Meal prep means you have more control over the exact amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fruit, and vegetables you’re eating. This puts you in the driver seat on the road to fat loss and muscle building.

3. Eat better meals.

When you meal prep you put yourself in charge of how the meals come out. You don’t have to be a great cook to make great meals. My recipes are easy to make (with the exception of some of the more extravagant ones) and take very little time. No disrespect to the classic bagel & cream cheese, but you could have a protein packed Greek yogurt parfait instead and be full way longer.

Cinnamon Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfait (Recipe)

4. Never get “hangry”.

Like the Snicker’s commercial, are you not yourself when you’re hungry? Are you more irritable, sleepy, or light headed? When you meal prep you have access to high quality food every 3 hours which means just as you’re really starting to get hungry again you have a meal waiting.

5.Have fresh food on tap.

Piggy-backing off of #4, when you meal prep you have fresh food on tap. Being able to make your diet at least 80% whole food means you can eat high quality, nutrition dense food when you eat, instead of eating greasy pizza and calling that a meal.

High Protein, Low Carb Seafood Zoodles (Recipe)

I highly recommend checking out 6 Pack Fitness if you plan on getting into meal prepping. They make several lines of meal management bags ranging from backpacks and totes, to purses and briefcases.