3 Workout Meal Prep Tips for a Smooth Week
When it comes to pursuing a healthy lifestyle, setting up your workout routine is only half the battle. But once you commit to a schedule and fitness regime that works for you, there are other components to your health to focus on. The main one? Nutrition.
But with the busy bustle of work-life balance between career and family, adding one more thing to think about, like workout meal prep, can be exhausting. Can’t working out just be enough? According to science
, while fitness without proper nutrition will still give you some benefits, it makes achieving your goals for overall wellness harder to attain. Combining exercise with a balanced diet can really amp up the benefits you’re looking for.
Fortunately, nutrition doesn’t have to be a burden. There are several ways that workout meal prep will not only help your overall health but they’ll make your schedule smoother too. Here are our tips for less stress when it comes to improving your overall workout meal plan.
1. Make a Plan
It may seem like a silly suggestion for workout meal prep, but sitting down and deciding what you want out of your meal plan is the key to success.
Maybe you only need to meal prep breakfast because you’re on the go after trying to squeeze in your morning workout before your day job begins. Perhaps you want to plan out every single meal to make sure you’re hitting your macros to get the most out of your fitness and nutrition combined.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, write it down. Outline what meals you want to prep and if you need to include snacks. Then organize your list in a way that makes the most sense. “Having a set of go-to recipes that you love can make meal planning much easier, especially on the weeks you’re feeling uninspired,” McKel Hill, MS, RD, wrote in an article for Healthline.com.
“The key is to not let the process exhaust you; otherwise, it’ll be too easy to fall off the bandwagon!”
Here are some easy options to get your brainstorming started:
- Smoothies (in a glass or a bowl!)
- Oatmeal variations (hot or cold overnight)
- Grain bowls
Having certain easy-to-make recipes can be the key to smooth sailing through your week, according to Hill. She suggests focusing on things like an easy smoothie recipe you can quickly make daily. If you make the same smoothie every day, you can save money on ingredients (ever buy too much fruit with great intentions only for it to go bad in your fridge? We feel you).
Like variety and can’t deal with the same smoothie every day? Find ways to keep the base the same (banana and almond milk, for example) and switch out certain ingredients (blueberry vs. strawberry). Also, a hot tip: investing in frozen fruit reduces potential food waste, making your workout meal prep easy and cost-effective.
According to Hill, focusing on soups and grain bowls can make workout meal prep easy for many reasons, though most notably, time-saving. One pot of turkey chili could feed you for a week, and if you get creative, it won’t just be with a spoon and bowl — the possibilities are endless and all with one day of batch cooking.
So sit down, grab some paper, and start outlining your plan. First, decide on what meals you want to prep, and then brainstorm what options are the easiest (and tastiest) for you to execute.
2. Don’t Forget Snacks
Snacking has often gotten a bad reputation when it comes to nutrition. But if you plan ahead, it can actually be a valuable tool to your overall workout routine. Especially when you’re working out on something that gives you that intense full body fitness like on your MaxiClimber
, you need to focus on refueling your body with an after-workout snack.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
“research suggests that eating foods high in protein after your workout (within 15 minutes) provides essential amino acids that build and repair muscles. This may also increase the energy your body puts into storage to draw from in the future.”
“You don’t need to eat a ton after your workout, but it’s a mistake to avoid eating,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Leslie Bonci in an interview with Forbes.com
. “You want to think about fueling up while you’re cooling down—that’s the purpose of a post-exercise snack.”
When looking for the ideal workout meal plan, the main thing to focus on is snacks that will work in tandem with your workout. In the case of your MaxiClimber
workout routine, you’ll want to seek out the best foods for muscle recovery.
Having an after-workout snack high in lean protein will not only give you energy, but it will build and repair muscle tissue that can be broken down during your workout. It’ll also aid in the growth of new muscles to make you stronger. A high-protein after-workout snack will even repair the micro-tears your muscles experience during intense workouts.
Bonci also said in her interview that skipping the after-workout snack can increase your level of fatigue, overall inhibiting your body’s post-workout recovery process and possibly decrease your performance next time. So, your after-workout snack could literally be the difference between meeting your goals or causing you to fall behind.
3. Prep Ingredients Rather Than Assemble Meals
Take a tour on MaxiClimber’s app for workout meal plan inspiration, and you’ll likely see rows and rows of perfectly portioned containers for each and every meal. While prepping for the week on a Sunday can work for some, it is definitely not doable for all. Not only does it run the risk of being boring to your palate, but portioning out every single meal can be very time-consuming. If the point of your workout meal prep is to save your time during the week, sacrificing your entire weekend to make it happen seems counterintuitive.
That’s why nutritionist Hill goes on to write about a different approach to your workout meal plan: prepping the ingredients and not necessarily the entire meal.
“Preparing ingredients to assemble meals during the week takes the most time, so I recommend setting aside a couple of hours one day a week that works for you to prep and cook meal components, such as quinoa, hard-boiled eggs, and greens for salads, to assemble later on,” she wrote on Healthline.
The best part of this approach is how it opens you up to more variety. Maybe you prep enough quinoa to get you through the week. One day you could serve it cold with a mixed green salad and lively vinaigrette, while at dinner, you could serve it up hot with some steamed veggies, chicken, and low-fat feta cheese. It doesn’t take all the effort out of cooking, but it simplifies the process by taking the most time-consuming component and cooking it ahead of time in bulk.
If you hard boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week, you have a ton of options for quick-grab snacks and meals without having to think too hard about it.
- Eat the egg whole with salt and pepper for a quick snack or breakfast on-the-go
- Slice it up for lunch for a quick cobb salad
- Put it on top of some avocado toast for an extra boost of protein
- Turn it into egg salad for something a bit different
Whatever you love, get creative and keep it simple. Your schedule (and stomach) will thank you.
Maximize Your Workout with Proper Nutrition and your MaxiClimber
When you’re maximizing your schedule and your health, it’s important to focus on the components that give you the best results. Your workout meal prep will go a long way in achieving proper nutrition that will affect your whole body and long-term health, but finding a workout routine that will also maximize your efforts while saving time is key to the perfect schedule.
consistently achieves the fastest results with our full-body workout machine that targets all areas of the body while burning fat faster than traditional cardio equipment.
Find out more about how MaxiClimber can complete your overall wellness plan today.