The Other 23

Learn to Prep Snacks

By Mike Roussell, PhD

Whether you’re looking to pack on muscle or to shed bodyfat, preparation is key. But that doesn’t always mean meal prepping chicken breasts and steamed vegetables. It also means planning ahead for your snacks in between those larger meals.

Throughout your day, you’re constantly barraged by snacks, many of which are loaded with extra fat, calories, and sugar. Prepping your own snacks can help you avoid that, while also providing you with proper fuel for every moment of your day. Want to avoid the bag of chips? Try these three options instead.

For Muscle Growth:

beef jerky

BEEF JERKY: It’s loaded with the amino acids your body craves, and it’s generally low in fat. Just watch out for flavored beef jerkies, which can be high in sugar. Aim for a beef jerky that has less than 5 grams of added sugar per serving, and only 2-3 grams of fat per serving. A serving or two is a perfect anytime-anywhere snack.

READY-TO-DRINK SHAKES: Stash a few of these in your car trunk; they often don’t require refrigeration. Aim for one that delivers 25 grams of protein with less than 5 grams of added sugars. Fairlife’s protein shake is a good start – and tastes great too.

To Beat Hunger:


NUTS: Nuts are universally considered to be some of the most healthful foods on the planet, loaded with good fats, fiber, and protein to keep hunger at bay. Keep a bag of almonds or pistachios handy; recent research shows we absorb 33% fewer calories from nuts than originally thought.

DURABLE FRUITS: Bananas, apples, and oranges are what I call “durable fruits.” They don’t require refrigeration, and you can easily jam them into a backpack. That makes them perfect for a hike, or a workday outside the office. You get 20-30 grams of quality carbs. Apple and oranges also help curb appetite too.

For Quick Energy:

WHOLE FOOD BARS: Classic “fitness bars” (think: Powerbars) can only be made in a lab, but there’s a growing market of whole food bars. These bars are generally high in carbs and low in protein, perfect for either pre- or post-workout energy. Aim for a bar with 5-10 grams of added sugars and 20 grams of total sugar. It should have dates or honey among the ingredients; these “hold” the bar together.


AUTHOR BIO: Mike Roussell, PhD

Mike Roussell, PhD, is an author, speaker, and nutrition strategist who has spent more than 20 years transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits that change lives.

His clients have included NBA all-stars, tech execs, and TV personalities.

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