Next to sleep and training, diet is the main item that will skyrocket your workouts. A good diet is the one thing that separates a 6 pack and a flabby dad bod stomach.
Knowing what to eat is as important as when to eat.
Finding enough time to actually drag your ass to the gym can be challenging enough, but now you want to eat well at the same time? You have a haircut the same afternoon and you haven’t gone grocery shopping. Where did your day go?
One of the easiest way to stay on top of your food is meal preparation. If you can make a few days worth of meals and stick it in your fridge or freezer, it’ll make sticking to a regimented diet much easier. You’ll be a lot less inclined to eat garbage or order takeout if you have a meal in the fridge for you.
Having said that, what I love are having meal prep containers ready to be used. They are uniform in shape and stack well in the fridge or freezer. The ones that I use have a divider between your protein, carbs and vegetables. It’s super easy to adjust depending if you’re bulking or cutting, so you can add or subtract your carbs for example.
Dishwasher and microwave safe so there’s nothing to worry about. They’re also leak resistant so I’ll stick a meal in my messenger bag if I’m going out and can’t get an easy meal. Check them out on Amazon, there’s 15 in a pack which should last you for a while.
They’re built well and I highly recommend them.
Literally your diet will either synergize with your training and take you to the next level or lead you down a path of misery and disappointment. I know for myself when I actually took the time to prep my meals and eat well consistently, my strength in the gym went up. Your workouts are changed when you body actually has the energy it needs to perform.
Let’s jump right into 4 ways to nail your meal prep with easy bodybuilding meals!
This is the literally the easiest way to save time when making your own food. You just make more. One chicken breast? Make that 5. Who doesn’t love left overs? If you don’t, you’re going to love left overs soon enough. You’re cooking already, just increase the portion size. You don’t go to the grocery store for one egg, why cook for only one meal?
It’s not much extra work and you’re going to save yourself so much time in the future. Just pop a meal in the microwave before the gym and you’re good to go. What I’ll do is cook my protein in one batch, let’s say baked salmon, and change up my carbs. So one day I’ll have oven roasted potatoes with salmon, and the next day I’ll use brown rice instead. It’s a lot less depressing when you don’t eat the same thing, day in day out.
Burritos are so versatile, you can have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of my favourite go to breakfast food is an egg, mushroom and green bell pepper burrito. Seriously not much work, and the best part is that it’s low carb, especially handy if you’re cutting.
Ditch your plain chicken breast and white rice lunch and opt for a veggie chicken wrap instead. It’ll help you get out of the slump of eating the same goddamn food everyday.
The best part about meal prepping burritos is that you can freeze them. Novel idea, I know. This makes meal prepping even easier. Make an entire month’s worth at a time and never worry about missing a meal. It’ll feel like an assembly line after a bit, but wrap them in tinfoil instead of plastic cling wrap. If you use tin foil, you can stick the burrito in the oven and bake it. When you use cling wrap and microwave it, it’ll make the tortilla shell gross and soggy.
This is an easy way to change your food without really changing the nutrients. How many times have you gotten sick of eating scrambled eggs in the morning? Presentation holds a much larger role when you’re consistently eating the same food. A much better presentation and you’ll be more inclined to actually eat and enjoy the food.
This should be your go to cooking method if you have no time to dedicate to cooking. The slow cooker is such a versatile cooking appliance that it’s must have for any gym goer.
Prep your meal the night before with your favourite protein and vegetables and turn it on before you leave for work or school in the morning. By the time you get home, you have a delicious ready to eat meal.
One of my favourite recipes is a beef roast with potatoes and root vegetables in the slow cooker (see top left picture). As you can see, that’s mostly what I like to make since it’s delicious and you can’t mess it up.
Check out my recipe below:
- 1kg sirloin beef roast
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 cup of white or brown mushrooms
- 1 cup of green peas
- 1 medium white onion
- 1-8 cloves of garlic (I love garlic so I use 8)
- 900ml beef broth (usually one large container)
Season the beef roast to taste, I just like to use salt and pepper. I’ve use seasoning salt as well as cayenne pepper powder, both are a great combination.
- Heat up a skillet on medium-high with some vegetable oil and brown each side of the roast. We sear the meat so it caramalizes the outside, resulting in a much fuller taste. It also adds a nice colour to the roast.
- Turn off the heat and deglaze the skillet with some of the beef broth (If you don’t know what that is, deglazing is a fancy word for adding cold liquid to a hot pan to get all of the food sticking to the pan).
- Place the roast in the pan, pouring in the drippings from the pan.
- Chop up your carrots, onion, celery, potatoes and mushrooms to bite size pieces and add into the crock pot.
- Add in your garlic using a garlic crusher.
- Finish with whatever spices you like. For a beef slow cooker meal, I like to add a teaspoon of fresh thyme and a pinch of rosemary if you have it available.
- Pour in the rest of the beef broth and turn your slow cooker.
In my experience, setting it to Low will take about 6-8 hours while setting it to High will take about 3-4 hours.
Here’s the result after 7 hours. The meat is so juicy and tender and just falls apart on your fork. Easy to refrigerate too.
From salmon to beef tenderloin, the slow cooker will do it all. Most slow cookers hold a few litres, so take my advice from this post and just make more.
I’m not a huge fan of shakes because I’d much rather eat the food but they’re definitely a helpful additive to your diet. Whey protein is a great way to increase your daily protein intake. Most whey protein servings are 20-30g of protein with usually less than 200 calories.
Other than plain protein shakes, a vegetable shakes is another great source of nutrients if you’re too busy to get a meal in. A popular and delicious mix is banana, kale, oats and whey protein. You’ll get fibre from the kale, potassium from the banana, carbohydrates from the oats to fuel your workout and whey protein as the building block of muscle.
Rely on shakes as a shortcut, not a meal. Depending what you fit in to your shake, if it’s low in fiber it’s going to go out as fast as it came in. Fit it in between meals if you’re feeling like a snack.
Now you literally have no excuse to miss a meal. One of the most important aspects of the bodybuilding lifestyle is a proper and well balanced diet.
Sometimes what happens is that you get bored of the food that you eat, which can result in eating take out food or not sticking to a meal plan. Especially if you’re bulking you’re going to be eating a lot of food. You don’t have to spend every penny you have on organic, 100% grain fed, free range BS to get gains. Eating like a bodybuilder doesn’t have to be expensive, read my other post on Cheap Bodybuilding Bulking Recipes if you’re out of ideas.
You need that high quality protein to build muscle, and whole carbohydrates for sustained energy in the gym.
If you skimp on your diet, you’re going to skimp on your workout. Nothing is stopping you now, you have the fuel to hit that new personal record!