Plan out a bodybuilding meal prep guide filled with one’s nutritional needs to reach fitness and health goals.
Bodybuilding Meal Prep | Proper Approach and Nourishment
The Importance of Bodybuilding Food Prep
Bodybuilding meal prep is an essential part of transforming one’s physique. There’s no better time to establish a solid diet plan than the early stages of muscle building.
A bodybuilder needs the right nutrients for gaining strength as the workout routine becomes more challenging. A well-rounded diet plan will get one closer to his/her goal faster with the correct approach and diligence.
Learning what to do when meal prepping should be an integral part of anyone’s journey towards fitness.
How Fitness Meal Prepping Improves Workouts
It can be hard reaching bodybuilding goals if one doesn’t follow a well-balanced diet. This can be stressful, especially if someone wants to eat healthily and follow a strict plan such as the paleo, keto, or high-protein diet.
Meal prepping lessens the stress that comes with food restrictions. One won’t be tempted to break his/her diet or fall off the wagon as easily if one has prepared his/her nutrition-packed meals beforehand.
As one researches meal prep ideas and recipes, this person gains total control of the food items and the portion sizes included in the meals for the week.
This means one can add more lean protein if his/her workout routine involves strength training. One can also be assured of the ingredients used in the meals.
After all, most pre-made meals, such as canned goods, may contain preservatives.
Preparing one’s own meals and making sure one gets the nutrition he/she needs will help provide the energy need for his/her workout routines.
Tips on Making Bodybuilding Meal Preps
1. Set Priorities
Calorie intake is very important for building muscle mass. If the numbers on the scale aren’t budging, it means one’s calorie intake isn’t where it needs to be.
To build muscle, a person needs to consume more calories than how much the body is burning each day. The generally recommended guideline is to consume 15-20% more calories than what a person normally does.
This means one may need to add more lean protein like egg whites and grass-fed beef or add a protein shake in the daily meal plan to increase protein intake.
2. Muscle-Building Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even for bodybuilders.
There are a lot of options for bodybuilding breakfast recipes. The old standby of oatmeal, skim milk, and eggs is still a viable choice for many.
If this is a little bit too bland, then feel free to spice things up. Throw in some cinnamon and vanilla to make the meal tastier!
Try prepping a smoothie bowl filled with energy-rich fruits and grains for a bodybuilding breakfast meal prep. Add chia seeds, peanut butter, and berries for fiber and protein.
3. More Calories for Lunch
A healthy lunch for bodybuilders is a good mix of protein and calories. Most people are probably at work during lunchtime, so preparations can be done at home a few hours prior or even the night before.
Some vegetables roasted in olive oil paired with salmon is a good meal. One could also have a few slices of ham with lots of salad and a preferred fruit.
If on a vegan diet, add protein-rich plant-based foods like a chickpea salad, roasted Brussel sprouts, or a kale salad with nuts and corn.
4. After-Workout Dinner
Get an equal allocation of vegetables, protein, and carbs for dinner.
Healthy options rich in good carbohydrates are quinoa, pasta, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes. On the other hand, take a pick among protein-rich edibles in fish, chicken, turkey, and beef or pork.
Lastly, eat as many vegetables, whether fresh or roasted, to end the day on a nutritious note. Make sure to eat clean for dinner to improve digestion at night.
5. Protein Needed for Each Meal
A lot of people think about optimizing their daily protein needs. Actually, it’s more important to know how much protein one needs for each individual meal.
An average guy weighing 180 pounds probably needs 40 grams of protein daily to optimize his muscle-building response. With this, one can estimate how much protein per meal a bigger guy should consume.
Don’t assume a person needs a ton of protein when he or she is trying to build muscle mass. Every person’s nutritional needs are different depending on their size, age, and caloric needs.
A bodybuilder meal prep needs to follow a particular person’s nutritional needs. Another person’s needs may not be the same as someone else’s. Determining one’s nutritional needs will need guidance from a fitness trainer or nutritionist.
6. Protein Shakes
It’s a good idea to consume protein shakes before or after a workout. Since we’re talking meal prep, drinking protein shakes is a fast and convenient way to get one’s protein needs.
Ideally, one can get protein from the usual meals but when pressed for time, a serving of protein shake is all one needs. Remember, protein helps repair torn muscle fibers from grueling workouts.
If one also needs to increase protein intake, protein shakes provide the protein one’s body needs for bulking up. Since there are various types of protein powders in the market right now, look for the those that suit one’s body the best like whey protein shakes.
For those who are lactose intolerant, look for vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free protein powders.
7. Lessen Intake of Processed Foods
Processed foods are anything which has been altered from its original state. Think of how many food items have salt or sugar added, packaged, and canned in preservatives.
It’s almost impossible not to eat processed food these days. Most items in grocery stores are packed with preservatives dangerous to our bodies.
If there’s a way to eat only fresh whole foods, always go for it. Nothing compares to the nutrients one can get from fresh meat, fruits, and veggies.
8. Smart Carbs
A person into bodybuilding and dieting at the same time is going to be hungrier. In this case, choose the type of food that will keep one full longer and also fuel a workout session.
That’s why foods such as oatmeal and sweet potatoes are great due to their moderate glycemic carbohydrates. It’s okay to have a little bit of fat in the meal as long as the carbohydrate intake is more fibrous in nature.
Moderate Glycemic Carbohydrates Definition: These types of carbohydrates do not break down easily, which means they do not spike blood sugar suddenly.
Complex carbs give one the energy needed without the extra sugar and saturated fat.
9. Hydration in Bodybuilding
People often forget about the importance of hydration. Not properly hydrating can slow the progress of great workouts.
Performance decreases when a person is dehydrated, so this has to be taken seriously in muscle building. The workout is going to feel more difficult and strength will decrease.
This is how important hydration is, so always keep in mind to drink more water throughout the day.
Watch this video of an easy high protein bodybuilding breakfast by Brandon Campbell Diamond:
This bodybuilding meal prep guide will make the journey to bodybuilding easier. Following this guide can give a better result not only in bodybuilding but most especially in one’s overall health.
The simplest things the body needs can’t be opted out, like hydration. Dehydration makes a person dizzy and weak so make sure to drink a lot of water.
These bodybuilding meal prep plans are helpful for bodybuilders and for people who keep an eye on their health!
Do you have more bodybuilding meal prep and best practices to add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 5, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.