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The Fitness Zone

How to train your clients to meal prep
May 6, 2016

Training ‘busy’ clients can often mean a battle in the world of nutrition. You’ve written some whiz-bang program that’s bound to get them in-to-shape and then they lay on the ‘I haven’t got time to cook’ excuse. I’m not buying it. While I ‘get’ that they are busy there really is nothing more important in their life than their health. To train properly and smash fitness and weight loss goals they need to eat well. And the answer often lies in meal prep.

I have no doubt that your clients who are eating well are stars of the new ‘meal-prep’ phenomenon. It all comes down to habits. While it’s of course absolutely fine to have treats and indulge from time-to-time, to be at optimum health your clients need to be eating well a majority of the time.

Meal prep tips for beginners

So, do you want your clients to get results but they are really off-track when it comes to food choices? Get back to basics and help them implement some really simple habits so that they become a meal prep pro.  As a fit, busy and working mum of three active kids, Rosemary Marchese shares her top tips for meal prep:

1. Sit down once per week and plan every meal and snack.

While it seems simple, I’m always shocked at how few people actually do this and so they end up with frequent take-away for meals. Planning every meal can also mean that your clients schedule in the meals where they do choose to ‘eat out’, which is great. Variety will give them a greater chance of sticking to healthy options most of the time! Once the meal plan is done then encourage them to do one big shop per week, preferably online if they are time-poor, and then encourage no more than one ‘top-up’ shop per week for any fresh produce or anything else they need.

meal plan.jpg

2. Set aside 1-2 hours on the weekend to meal prep.

I find any more than this is really hard to stick to long-term. During this time I do as much of the meal prep for the week that is possible. This may mean cutting up vegetables in advance and storing them in labelled containers and making one or two meals in advance. Make double-batches of food where possible. Use the freezer!


3. Make batches of smoothies in advance and freeze portions in muffin tins.

Frozen batches of smoothies can then be taken out of the freezer ready for a quick blend on busy mornings.


4. Use your leftovers wisely!

When I plan my meals for the week I think about how I can purposely use leftovers. For example, leftover roast chicken and sweet potato chips can fit nicely into a salad or wrap for lunch the next day. I also recommend using leftover vegetables in a quick frittata for breakfast the next day. Roasted sweet potato and baby spinach frittata anyone?


5. Set up and organised and well-stocked pantry and freezer.

Delicious smoothies are so much easier to pull together on a busy morning when you know you have some healthy options to ‘value-add’ at any time. I’m thinking frozen raspberries, chia seeds, shredded coconut and silvered almonds to name a few. Yum!


To hear more about how I manage my ‘meal prep’ as a fit, working mum take a few minutes to tune into this ABC Radio interview

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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