Bodybuilding – loved by millions; Cause of immense joy, personal satisfaction, pride, self-confidence, and a whole LOAD of stress! Well, that last one is sometimes true, it’s all about the way you go about things. There are many, many ways to bulk, cut, maintain and generally walk down the bodybuilding path. These various avenues to success ultimately lead to many forks in the road, and you’ll have to decide which direction to take in order to achieve your desired goal.
Whilst it’s true that there isn’t always one certain answer to every question, it certainly is true that there are less and more stressful ways to achieve a goal. Meal prep, and meal management in general are one of the fundamental cornerstones needed to achieve any given bodybuilding based goal. Simply put, if you don’t manage your diet, you won’t manage to accomplish anything at all; no matter how well constructed your workout plan! Fear not, there are many, many accessible means and methods to successfully fulfil your nutritional needs.
Shed The Body Fat and Reveal the Body of Zeus
Cutting, stripping, burning or trimming – there are many names for the process in which a bodybuilder strives to reduce his or her body fat levels to achieve maximum muscular visibility. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you call it, what DOES matter is whether or not you’re able to do it successfully. Should you do it with reckless abandon, you’ll simply lose the gains you made during bulking season. Should you start the process too late, you won’t hit your target on time. Should you fail to structure, prepare or consume your gym meals according to strict guidelines, the effect will be diminished. Should you undergo a successful cutting plan however, you’ll maintain your energy and vitality levels, achieve your target appearance on time, and generally you’ll come through the other end smoothly with a beaming glow of pride about you. Here’s how to achieve that.
TIP 1 – Get A Meal Prep Bag (No coincidence this is first on our list!)
One of the greatest inventions of the modern bodybuilding world; If you already own one I’m sure you’ll struggle to remember how you coped before. If you’re a meal prep bag virgin understand this, if your serious about your goals – you NEED one. They’ve innovated the way we not only prepare our healthy meals, but the level of accessibility we now have to our vital daily nutrients. If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate position of having to consume healthy gym meals in London, you’ll know how impossible it is to hit your daily intake whilst on the move in the middle of hectic hustle and bustle. These amazing bags allow you to not only carry and store up to six bodybuilding gym meals per day in a convenient, portable and stylish manner – they also keep them perfectly cool and ready to enjoy at any time. Even on the tube, you can now devour your next meal in total contentment, knowing that you’ve hit your nutritional targets on point.
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TIP 2 – Get youself a good Multi Vitamin
This might seem a little obvious, but multi vitamins should form a staple part of your meal management efforts. At the very least, you need plentiful vitamin C to boost the immune system, vitamin B for sustained energy release, vitamin K and cod liver oil for the joints, and any blended all in one powder containing all or part of your five a day would go down a treat too! (provided it’s a low / zero carb mix.) You really can’t ignore your health in the pursuit for a glorious appearance, and consuming a solid multi vitamin each day should be an integral part of your meal prep.
TIP 3 – Meat and fish – Caveman Style
You don’t actually need them, but this section isn’t about preaching the benefits of a meat free diet, it’s about exposing you to the benefits of being a born and bred carnivore, and how best to do that when cutting.
Ever heard of Herring? Well, probably…but I bet you haven’t eaten much of it. You should! Not only is it incredibly low in fat, it also contains roughly as much naturally occurring creatine as red meat does. Cod, haddock or tuna are also great lean fish choices.
When it comes to meat, red meat (provided it’s a lean cut!) reigns supreme due to it’s naturally occurring creatine and iron content, however, turkey, chicken and even lean ham are also great choices provided they have been freed of any added fat.
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TIP 4 – Do you have the Minerals?
Minerals and vitamins. Vitamins and minerals. No matter how you say it, you need them! And no we’re not talking about multi vitamins again. Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, kale – these are just a few of the options you need to include as part of your cutting process along with a healthy dose of pepper, onions and wild rocket to cover a broad spectrum of nutritional goodness. Whilst a good multivitamin will also provide a good range of minerals do not rely on supplements alone. You should consume as much green vegetables as possible, not only are they are a low calorie nutrient dense option, they will also stop you feeling like crap on your cut.
TIP 4 – Don’t neglect Anti oxidants
Anti oxidants basically help to get all of the bad stuff out of your body that gets created when things get digested, or you move, or breathe. There are by products from every action you take, and not all of them are positive – these by products are known as “free radicals”, and they are capable of causing all sorts of nasties within the body. Free radicals are highly unstable reactive and destructive molecules that induce cell mutations that can lead to cancer! Sound like something you want knocking around inside? Consuming green tea, grapefruit and raspberries as part of your cutting arsenal will help to eradicate them – integrate them into your meal prep NOW. The inforgraphic below should makes things more clear.
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TIP 5 – Meal Prep, Meal Prep, Meal Prep!
The best way to cut is by not cutting too harshly. You don’t want to lose everything you’ve gained by eating to a ridiculously low calorie deficit, instead, it’s better to prepare way in advance, even up to six months, and get your carbohydrate, fat and protein totals figured out before you even start to consider what your meals will consist of. By slowly tapering your way down to your target weight / appearance, you’ll have a much steadier and healthier time of things rather than having to cram in millions of hours of cardio and eating nothing but a grilled chicken breast all day long. Slow and steady really does win the race.
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Cutting doesn’t have to be hell
By following these guidelines you’ll enjoy a healthy, energised and productive cutting process that sees your energy levels sustained at a healthy level throughout, without losing out on living life or joy in general as you make your way to the best version of yourself. You can of course cut how you feel best, but these guidelines will certainly make the period far more enjoyable and easier!