By: Anthony Campo
• Meal Prep
The idea of meal preparation has been around about as long as people have been training. For most individuals training and eating right involves scheduling and planning in order to maximize their chance at success. Without meal prep and planning many individuals would not be able to juggle training and nutrition with the rest of their lives.
Just recently many fad diet plans and workout DVDs have included meal prep tools and education. There are many different types of meal prep out there including having whole meals prepared and sent to your house to kits that include special glorified tuber ware containers to measure out and pack your food in for the day or week.
As previously stated meal preparation is a very valuable tool to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Thought and reasoning should go into every meal, and preparing and organizing ahead of time is a great way to accomplish this while minimizing the opportunity for bad food choices. With this being said a number of individuals have now jumped aboard the meal prep train without the proper base of nutrition knowledge, and are turning it into a joke.
First off, many of these fad meal prep plans take a page right out of the old crappy weight watchers handbook, and place way too much emphasis on food quantity, instead of food quality. I have recently seen a meal prep kit that included a bunch of micro sized containers. The problem is they are being filled with the same poor food choices placing no emphasis on macro nutrients or nutrient timing (Which is the proper way to improve your body chemistry and achieve true success.)
Your body, in a way, becomes a version of the breakdown of foods you are eating. Let’s say you are 250 lbs. at 30 percent body fat. You want to lose fat and get leaner which means the goal is to improve body composition. If you simply just eat less of the same crap you have been eating then yes you probably will lose some weight short term. The problem is that if it is still the same macro nutrient breakdown and poor nutrient timing as before then you will just become a smaller version of the same body composition. There is no benefit from going from 250 lbs. at 30 percent body fat, to 220 lbs. at 30 percent body fat. That means you have lost just as much muscle as fat, and have continued to damage your body chemistry.
For example, the goal for this person should be to go from 250 lbs. and 30 percent body fat to 220 lbs. at 20-25 percent body fat. That would mean that the person actually has made some progress and improved their body chemistry. The secret to doing this is learning proper macro nutrient breakdowns and timing, not filling mini-containers with the same crap that caused the problem to begin with.
This parallels the same problem that is going on with the various bariatric surgeries out there. Individuals are not learning the proper way to eat, and instead just getting invasive surgery that makes them eat less for a period of time. Without proper education about nutrition and fitness many of these individuals again just becomes smaller versions of the same person, not improving their body composition or body chemistry.
To reiterate many fads can be valuable tools when used properly, and when added to a more comprehensive plan can help many individuals achieve success. If you are like most people and time efficiency is a vital component to your success, then preparing and planning your meals that adhere to proper macro nutrient breakdowns and timing to match your goals ahead of time can be an extremely valuable tool for success. The key is to combine meal planning with the proper macro nutrient breakdown and timing that will improve your body chemistry and match your goals.