The biggest secret to success for a top performing world athlete is dietary planning and meal preparation.
You’ve probably heard the old saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ a million times. When it comes to diet and nutrition, this cliché is bang on. You can train as hard, or as often, as you want, but if it’s not underpinned by an effective and consistent diet, don’t expect to achieve the results you want. Having a structured and well-planned diet is critical to success, whatever your fitness goals, be it strength and performance gains to compete in the Olympics, or optimal body composition to look good on the beach.
Buffboxmeals knows this more than anyone. We have worked with top athletes across the sports spectrum – from rowers and weightlifters to UFC fighters and CrossFit athletes – with exceptional results.
Our athletes and clients have one thing in common – every meal they eat is prepared and planned. Every calorie is counted, every macronutrient timed for maximum results. All the ingredients are of the highest quality to fuel bodies for optimal performance.
However, meal prep isn’t just for athletes and Olympians – it’s the cornerstone of success for anyone who trains to be faster, fitter, stronger, and in better shape than ever. If there is one thing that will guarantee results, it’s a structured diet that meets your goals. This always starts with prepping meals efficiently and effectively.
What is meal prep?
Meal prep is exactly what it says on the tin – preparing your meals for the day or week ahead to enable you to consistently meet your fitness and performance goals.
So how do you do this and where do you start?
Everything begins with a plan.The key thing with meal prep is understanding your numbers. This means calculating how many calories you should be eating on a daily basis to support your goals – whether that’s fat loss, muscle building, strength or performance. There are so many websites available where you can work out your daily calorie requirements, which takes into account your age, sex, height and weekly training sessions. Once you know your daily calorie total, you can break this down into macronutrients – so the proportions of carbohydrate, protein and fat you need in your diet to hit this daily calorie goal.
So that could be 300g of carbs, 180g of protein and 60g of fat for someone with a daily requirement of X amount of calories.
This is then where the art of meal prep comes in.
Now it’s all about planning your three, four or five meals a day, along with snacks and post-workout nutrition, to hit your macronutrient targets. So this means taking your 300g of carbs, 180g of protein and 60g of fat and dividing it between all your daily meals – ensuring that you’re getting a steady supply of quality protein throughout the day from your meals, while utilising your carbohydrate and fat intake at the right times for maximum impact. Meal prep in its most essential form is consistently preparing every meal, with the right amounts of macronutrients to ensure your food is there exactly when you need it - boxed up and ready to go. This prevents you from straying off course with sub-optimal convenience food, and keeps you on track to meet your fitness goals.
Why is meal prep so important?
Remember the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’? We meant it.
Ultimately, prepping your meals brings consistency. If every meal is pre-planned, has the exact macros your body needs, and is ready to go whenever you need it, you will steadily progress towards your goals.
Meal prep stops you veering off course and prevents you from falling back on convenience food or eating to satiate hunger and cravings, which can easily make you overshoot your calorie targets and dent your progress. You’ll get enough protein to support muscle growth and tissue repair, and the right amount of carbohydrate to support performance and replenish muscle glycogen.
A properly planned diet can also keep your metabolic hormones and blood sugar levels balanced and stable – so no more spikes and crashes, just constant energy to help you perform at your best in the gym and be at your most productive and creative at work.
Pro tips for food prep
You want to cook and cool your meat as quickly as possible to minimise the effect of amino acid breakdown from cooking. One trick for doing this is creating a bigger surface area to cook your meat. Slicing open your chicken breast before cooking is a good method of doing this.
If you’re going to batch cook your chicken for several days worth of meals, cut all the breasts in half, put the chicken in the oven with some hot water, then it takes only 5-10 mins to cook, so you’re essentially poaching it. Then stick them in the freezer to cool quickly for a few minutes to bring it under that magic 71 degrees and stop it breaking down.
Steam vegetables. Boiling can lose over 50% of the nutrients, and it destroys any beneficial enzymes. Steaming preserves the most nutrients in food during the cooking process.
If you don’t have a proper steamer, try putting a colander over a pan of boiling water. Add your vegetables, chicken or fish and then cover with a tea towel, and they will be ready in a matter of minutes.
If you want the maximum nutritional benefit from some vegetables, try eating them raw. Raw broccoli can be really crunchy and nice if you do it right.
Broths are awesome. Cooking food in a slow cooker you’re not taking food to a temperature where it’s going to be uncomfortable. You’re cooking it slowly at a low heat, and not breaking down the food.
Making overnight oats in the evening is a brilliant way to prepare several days worth of quality breakfast. Just put oats, berries, nuts, flavourings and adding in some milk. It’s easy and convenient.
What can Buff Box do for you?
Meal prep is essential in achieving your fitness goals and for many people – whether they’re a professional athlete or a business exec with a hectic work schedule – planning the optimal diet, and then executing it every day, can seem like a herculean task. Most people simply don’t have time to consistently calculating their macros, plan their diet, source the best ingredients and then prep every meal to get the results they want, while keeping their diet enjoyable, varied and therefore sustainable.
That’s where Buff Box comes in.
Our prime ingredients are cooked in a super steamer and cooled in a blast chiller within 20 mins to lock in the most nutrients possible. Free yourself from shopping, cooking and planning your diet, while knowing you’re getting exactly the right nutrients you need to get the fitness outcomes you want. See how Buff Box can revolutionise the way you eat, live and train by clicking on our website and ordering from the menu straight to your gym or office.
What should people be eating?
Squash is awesome
Celery is a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Lime – great in drinks instead of coffee
5 Lower glycemic carb sources