You want to increase your muscle mass, while calibrating your daily protein intake? I suggest meal prepping. This is a very popular practice in the United States, which consists of preparing your meals for the week in advance. It can be quite simple, since all you need is a meal plan and a shopping list. Plus, it keeps you from buying too much food in a “hunger pangs” mindset! Here, I give you all the secrets of meal prepping in a complete guide!

What is meal prepping?

Meal prepping is a method that allows you to prepare meals in advance, and to pack them. It is a method that allows you to save a lot of time and money since all your meals are already ready to be eaten. In addition, it allows you to cook a large number of portions at a time, which avoids having to cook them later. It’s a convenient and efficient way to spend less time in the kitchen!

But also, if you want to set up a diet program to gain muscle mass, meal prepping is a great way to schedule your weekly meals. On the one hand to save time, and on the other hand, to always have precisely the right dosage of nutrients for each of your meals, which you could take everywhere in a cardboard box for example!

In order to better coordinate yourself, I advise you to make a precise list of your nutritional needs according to the intensity of your bodybuilding sessions. Don’t forget the drinks and protein snacks you need to get back into shape. This way, you also have a good overview of your caloric intake as well as your nutritional gaps to fill.

meal prepping definition

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Choosing your food better thanks to meal prepping

Meal prepping consists of preparing all your meals for the week in one go. This allows you to avoid spending several evenings cooking! With the great advantage of being able to precisely choose each of your foods for healthier and highly nutritious meals.

When you decide to follow a mass gain program, your caloric expenditure will increase. This is why your meals should contain a minimum of 3,000 calories per day. This is essentially the macronutrient intake.

The second rule is to provide your body with more protein to promote muscle cell renewal. To know the ideal intake, here is a simple calculation that I recommend: 3 g of protein per kilo of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 75 kg, the ideal is to spread your protein intake over the 3 meals at a rate of 225 g per day.

Lastly, carbohydrates, i.e. carbohydrates, are preferably low GI (low glycemic index). They are essential for energy intake. Here again, the calculation is simple: 4 g of low GI carbohydrates per kilo of body weight.

What foods should you choose for your meal prep?

Proteins: the basis of a mass gain program

Muscle cells regenerate thanks to the peptide chains that make up proteins. I advise you to choose them carefully in your meal prep program.

For a good mass gain, the most suitable meats are :

  • white meat: chicken, turkey, veal, prepared without fat, ideally grilled or steamed
  • lean red meat: beef, game, particularly rich in creatine and iron
  • fish: cod, salmon, mackerel, tuna, hake, etc. fish: very rich in omega 3 which plays an important role in the regulation of insulin

You can also vary the pleasures with eggs for their richness in vitamins A, B9, B12, and by choosing them of organic origin preferably! And don’t forget the vegetable proteins found in walnuts, almonds, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.

Carbohydrates: an essential energy source for building muscle

Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are the most effective in your muscle mass building program. The best sources are cereals such as brown rice, quinoa or corn.

What about fat? Which fat to choose to gain mass?

The best fat is the one coming from an absolutely virgin vegetable oil. Olive oil can be used to season your salads, vegetables or fish. Rapeseed or linseed oil is best used for cooking meat, with a maximum of one tablespoon per preparation.

Meal storage: the secrets of meal prepping

Since the principle of meal prepping is to prepare your meals for the week, you will have to freeze them and store them properly.

In order to ensure that each of your meals preserves all their nutritional benefits, I advise you to watch the temperature of your equipment:

  • The temperature inside the refrigerator should be between 1°C and 5°C maximum
  • The temperature inside the freezer should be between -18°C and -24°C
  • Also, take care to pack your meals well in order to preserve all their gustative values
  • In perfectly sealed boxes or cardboard boxes if you are eating the same day
  • In freezer bags, ideally single-use in order to avoid bacterial proliferation
  • In glass containers that can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher
  • By using a vacuum sealer

How to properly reheat meals? To avoid drying out your meat preparations, you can place a glass of water in the microwave or use a special bell jar. In the oven, simply place your dishes in a casserole dish with a lid. This way, you can keep all the flavor of your preparations!

Bottom line

Meal prepping is a true art of living! Economical and practical, this habit of preparing all your meals in advance allows you to better control your nutritional intake. But also to choose your food in a more qualitative way! And, by perfectly balancing your nutritional intake, you are sure to succeed in your muscle mass gain program!

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