I think I’m quite possibly the worst bodybuilder you know. Not because I don’t put the time in the gym, I can’t get enough of the gym. But I just am terrible at remembering to meal prep. No Sunday nights grilling chicken, boiling rice and steaming broccoli for me. No carefully arranged containers ready for an Insta-worthy #mealpreponfleek moment. The intention is there. It really is. But my weekends are busy with gym, blogging, studying and just generally trying to hold together some semblance of a life. All excuses I know, but I struggle to make dedicated meal prep a priority, so come Monday morning when I’m hastily throwing 60g of carefully weighed oats into a small Tupperware I realise that once again I haven’t set myself up for success for the week.
So what is my solution? Well it’s not just going fuck it and eating Wasabi out of sushi and noodle soup, as I tended to do pre-goal. It’s about making considered, sensible choices. So here’s my handy, quick-build lunch for forgetful meal preppers like me to stay on track…
Get Some Greens
So you might think that cooking up some greens in the office is a bit of a stretch. But as long as you have a microwave it’s really not that difficult. My go to is M&S for their little individual sachets of micro-zappable vegetables. They often have deals on too so you can pick up two or three 80g packets of a variety of greens. My go to’s are the broccoli, beans and then the greens and squash mix, and more often than not some spinach too. I’m a volume eater when it comes to my veg so I always get quite a lot – when you’re dieting loading up on the veggies is the perfect way to help you feel full (thanks fibre) without blowing your calorie allotment.
My other favourite is to get a big bowl of leafy green salad to chow down on. You know those ones in Tesco and M&S that are advertised as being for two people? Yeah I want it all to myself. These are great on days where I really want to eat more carbs, because even when you eat the whole salad bowl you’re maxing out at about 75 calories, leaving loads of calories to play with for all those yummy additions. I find the thing with salads too is that people tend to just buy a small bowl, and then come 3pm wonder why they’re reaching for the snacks. A little side salad or pre-prepared salads from the likes of Pret are just not filling. They are small and they make you hangry. Eat a bigger salad and stop torturing yourself!
Yummy Delicious Carbs
I always thought that I was a major carb devourer. But since working with my coach I’ve realised that actually my idea of lots of carbs is very different to hers. Aiming to reach 220g of carbohydrates on workout days is often a struggle, and this really is where I have to pay a lot of attention when building lunch. The trouble with a lot of carby foods available in the supermarket is that the fat content is also quite high. And in order to keep my carbs and protein up, fats have to come down. It’s a balancing act. My favourites are the little pots of couscous, pasta and bulgar wheat/quinoa that M&S do as part of their food to go. Again often advertised as being enough for two portions, I just chuck the whole lot onto my salad or veggies. The great thing with these is that they often have dressing or vinegraite in them, so it adds that instant hit of flavour to your salad bowl without you having to add extra salad dressing which can be a real fat and calorie bomb. Then of course, if my fat macro is really tight thanks to dinner plans the other option is micro-rice. This is great too because half a pack gets me well on the way to hitting my daily carb target, and I have leftovers for the next day. Who doesn’t love being thrifty!
Protein For De Gainz
Ok, I know I’m being more than a little tongue-in-cheek now, but in all seriousness when you’re trying to be a bodybuilder your life revolves around protein. My goal for the day, work out day or not, is just over 120g. Considering most people don’t hit the national recommended 60g of protein a day just think about how much I’m trying to pack in! Loving a multi-saver deal yet again, M&S and Tesco often do deals on their ready-to-eat chicken chunks or mini-fillets. Ready-to-eat salmon and prawns are always a good option too – salmon particularly on a higher fat content day. Whack a packet of that on top of your veg or salad and suddenly you’re well on your way to hitting 30-40g of protein just over lunch. The best thing about high protein is that it’s really filling too, so you’re less likely to cave and snack to get through the 3pm slump.
And there you have it. An easy solution for us forgetful meal-preppers that is balanced in carbs, fat and protein and super quick to throw together. Buying in multi-saver deals means that often I have enough protein and carbs for three lunches, so the only things I need to top up each day are the salads and vegetables. It’s pretty cost effective too; normally the initial buy comes to about £8, then topping up by a couple of pounds each day means that three lunches comes to roughly £4 a day. Far cheaper than raiding Wasabi! And of course, most importantly, far more aligned with my goals.
Let me know if you give this a try! Would love to hear the combinations you come up with.