Your cart is currently empty.

Unrivalled guarantees.

APR 25, 2024

Battling Decision Fatigue with Smart Meal Prep for Muscle Gain

When it comes to food, decision fatigue is real. More so for anyone prepping for muscle gain. But thankfully, we have the answer!

Read time: 4 minutes

Imagine it's the end of a long day. You're tired, hungry, and staring blankly into your refrigerator, struggling to decide what to eat. It’s not hard to picture, right? We’ve all been there. This is a classic example of decision fatigue: the daunting prospect of making regular, everyday choices.

And for anyone on a muscle-gaining program, this fatigue is compounded by the need to choose meals that not only satisfy hunger but also align with specific nutritional goals. The solution? Meal prep.

Why Decision Fatigue Hits Harder When You're Building Muscle

When you're focused on gaining muscle, every meal is an opportunity to nourish your body with the perfect balance of proteins, carbs, and fats needed to support muscle growth and recovery. And this creates a lot of pressure to choose wisely to avoid invalidating your entire workout. Which, frankly, can be overwhelming. Add this to the general weariness from a day's decisions, and you might find yourself reaching for whatever is quickest or most comforting, rather than what will best serve your fitness goals.

The Power of Meal Prep

So, how does meal prep help? Well, it’s a strategy used by fitness enthusiasts and professionals alike to combat decision fatigue and keep their nutrition on track. By setting aside a few hours to prepare your meals for the week, you eliminate the daily hassle of deciding what to eat. Simple. But it also has some key benefits:

Consistency in Nutrition

Prepping your meals in advance ensures that you eat what you need to build muscle, not just what you're craving in the moment.

Time and Energy Efficiency

Spending a few hours cooking on one day frees up time throughout the rest of the week. This means more time for training, resting, or just enjoying life without the stress of meal decisions.

Cost-Effectiveness of Batch Cooking

Buying and cooking in bulk generally costs less per meal than individual cooking sessions or, worse, succumbing to the lure of takeout.

Stress Reduction

Knowing that your meals are ready and waiting for you reduces stress and lets you focus more on your fitness goals and other life demands.

Adding Variety to Your Meal Prep

One strongly held misconception about meal prepping, especially for muscle gain, is that it means eating the same bland chicken and broccoli every day. But that’s genuinely not the case, so here’s a few tips to help mix things up:

Theme Your Days

Assign themes to different days. What about Mediterranean Monday, Taco Tuesday, or Stir-Fry Friday? Yeah, it feels like a throwback to school but each theme can guide the creation of different protein-rich meals that fit your muscle-building needs.

Experiment with Proteins

Rotate your protein sources between poultry, beef, fish, and plant-based options like tofu or tempeh to keep meals interesting and nutritionally diverse.

Vary Your Veggies

Switch up the vegetables you pair with your main courses. Different veggies offer various essential vitamins and minerals, which can help with muscle recovery and overall health.

Change Cooking Methods

Even the same ingredients can taste entirely different when cooked in new ways. Grill, bake, sauté, or steam to discover new flavors and textures.

Seasonal and Local

Use seasonal, local produce to add freshness and variety to your meals while also supporting local economies.

See, meal prep is more than just a time-saver, it's a great resort for anyone serious about muscle gain and maintaining a healthy diet while juggling a busy lifestyle. By investing a bit of time and creativity into your meal prep routine, you can avoid decision fatigue, keep your nutritional goals on track, and perhaps most importantly, enjoy a diverse and delicious diet that supports your muscle- building ambitions.

A Detailed Plan for a Week of High-Protein Meals

Alright, enough hypothetical talk. Let’s cover some actual meals. Here’s a practical, week-long meal prep guide. This plan includes recipes and instructions for high-protein dishes that support muscle gain and ensure your meals remain exciting and varied throughout the week.

High Protein Lasagna


  • Lean ground turkey or beef (500g)
  • Whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • Ricotta cheese (250g)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (200g)
  • Parmesan cheese (50g)
  • Homemade tomato sauce (500ml)
  • Spinach (200g)
  • Egg (1)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the lasagna sheets according to package instructions then set aside.
  3. In a skillet, brown the meat in a little olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  4. Mix ricotta cheese with an egg, salt, pepper, and chopped spinach.
  5. In a baking dish, layer noodles, meat, tomato sauce, and ricotta mixture and repeat.
  6. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.
  8. Divide into portions and store in meal prep containers.

Naked Chicken Burrito Bowl


  • Chicken breast (500g)
  • Brown rice (1 cup)
  • Black beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • Corn (1 cup)
  • Red bell peppers (2, sliced)
  • Avocado (1, sliced)
  • Lime (for juice)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Spices: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper


  1. Cook brown rice as per the package instructions.
  2. Season chicken breasts with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then grill until fully cooked and slice or shred.
  3. In your meal prep containers, layer rice, sliced chicken, black beans, corn, and red bell peppers.
  4. Top with slices of avocado, a squeeze of lime, and chopped cilantro.
  5. Store your containers in the refrigerator.

Pesto Chicken, Quinoa and Veg


  • Chicken breast (500g)
  • Quinoa (1 cup)
  • Homemade or store-bought pesto sauce (120g)
  • Cherry tomatoes (1 cup, halved)
  • Zucchini (2, sliced)
  • Olive oil


  1. Cook quinoa according to the package instructions.
  2. Grill chicken breasts until cooked and slice them.
  3. In a pan, sauté zucchini and cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil until soft.
  4. Mix quinoa, vegetables, and sliced chicken with pesto sauce.
  5. Divide into portions for the week.

Spicy Chicken Pasta


  • Chicken breast (500g)
  • Whole wheat penne pasta (400g)
  • Crushed tomatoes (1 can)
  • Red chili flakes
  • Garlic (3 cloves, minced)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil


  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. In a skillet, cook minced garlic and red chili flakes in olive oil.
  3. Add the chicken breast and cook until browned.
  4. Pour in your crushed tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked pasta with the sauce and chicken.
  6. Portion out into containers.

Harissa Chicken and Couscous


  • Chicken breast (500g)
  • Couscous (1 cup)
  • Harissa paste
  • Carrots (2, diced)
  • Zucchini (2, diced)
  • Lemon (for zest and juice)
  • Fresh mint


  1. Prepare couscous according to the package instructions.
  2. Coat chicken breasts with harissa paste and grill until cooked through.
  3. Sauté carrots and zucchini until tender.
  4. Mix vegetables with cooked couscous, add lemon zest and juice, and chopped mint.
  5. Slice the grilled chicken and layer on top of the couscous.
  6. Portion into meal prep containers.

If that lot doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what will! Just be sure to actually divide them all up for your workout recovery and don’t eat them all in one go!

Suggested Products:


Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.

Liked this? Sign up for more.

Sign up to hear about our latest news and exclusive offers