BBJ Fitness Corner | The importance of meal preparation

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PROFESSIONAL athletes have to focus on maintaining energy by eating right.

Gold's Gym personal trainer and nutritionist Jerry Diaz said he helps keep clients fit by teaching them how to prepare proper meals.

Diaz, of course, has to practice what he preaches. “It is important to get everyone in the household involved with my fitness nutrition goals,” he said. “In the beginning of my fitness journey, healthy eating was  challenging. But I have a supportive wife willing to try healthy meals and recipes. She has been a big help. Growing up in a community where there is always an abundance of food on the table, we had to change the way we prepare meals to avoid overeating.’

Diaz said they started with small changes such as using less sodium in their meals.

“In order for me to teach this behavior to my clients, I had to practice it myself to understand the factors that were involved, including the  timeframe to make the necessary shifts to eating healthy,” he added.


Kelvin Fitial faces Ben Sosoli during the weigh-in for Hex Fight Series 18 in Melbourne, Australia in March 2019. 




Yuline Sablan, wife of Kelvin Fitial, prepares a healthy meal for “The Big Hit.” Contributed photos


He said with his clients, he has to be patient and understanding. “There will be challenges and sometimes a client will ‘fall off the wagon.’ However, the journey begins by taking that initial step and overcoming challenges to stay on track.”

So how to get started?

In the CNMI, most people depend on imported goods and this limits one's choices. In addition, a person’s access to healthy meals depends on his or her financial capability. Professional athletes can hire a fitness nutritionist to prepare their meals, but an average working joe cannot afford that luxury.

Diaz said an individual must plan ahead and create an affordable system. First, he added, you must identify your goals. Your workout plan must include meal preparations.

“Meal prepping is a great way to reach your fitness goals, but maintaining interest and consistency is also important for long-term results,” Diaz said.

When preparing a meal, he said the entire family should be involved. Family members have to be consulted in creating a daily calendar for healthy recipes.

Meal preps may sound like a lot of work, but Diaz said as you go through the process you will save money and time, maintain weight control and energy level for your regular fitness training sessions.

An example of a supportive wife is Yuline Sablan who preps meals for Kelvin "The Big Hit" Fitial. The main challenge for her is how to make the meals interesting. So she is always looking  for new local, Pacific Asian, and Western recipes. “I fully support my husband,” she said,  “and I want him to stay healthy and fit so he can reach his professional goals.”

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