When is comes to eating healthy, preparation is key. So what is meal prepping? Meal prepping is picking a day during the week to cook and organize all of your meals that you are going to eat during that week. Meal prepping comes in handy to those busy bodies like myself who are always on the run and don’t have time to prepare a meal from scratch every night. When you have your meals prepped in advance, all it takes is a few minutes to heat up and your set! It also helps alleviate some of the temptations of just ordering a calorie bomb of take-out food after a long day.
For many people, meal prepping has been the one thing that helps them stick to a fitness plan and create better dietary habits in the long run! Meal prepping allows for you to save time and money. You will save time in your day where you can now workout or catch up on sleep or write a paper. You can also save money by not ordering your meals from take-out or going out to restaurants every night! Now, it may seem like a little intimidating thinking about all the work it takes but there are many tips out there to help beginners get their foot in the door.
In order to successfully prep all your meals for the upcoming week, its important to have a plan. Meaning, you need to know what foods you are going to make, how much of that food you need, and a day that you have set to go grocery shopping and cook the food. All of these factors may be different for everyone depending on the size of your family, your fitness regime and the time that is available to cook. To help those who are interested in starting and learning how to meal prep, I have come up with three tips that are vital to a successfully utilize meal prepping.
SO, Step 1: Figuring out what day you are going to cook the and prepare your meals. If you are a person who is cooking a lot of food for multiple people, I would suggest splitting the cooking days into two. You can make half of the meals on Sunday and half Wednesday. That way you won’t have to spend as much time in one sitting and can also have a wider variety of foods you are able to make.
Step 2: Determining how many meals you want to prepare. The mistake many first-timers make is actually preparing too much food that ends up going to waste. In order to correctly make the food that is needed, you need to know exactly how many meals you need per day and thus per week that you need to prepare. (Or every 3/4 days depending on the what you chose) For example, many people find that they do not need to meal prep their breakfast because they have extra time in the mornings. No matter what, the important thing is figuring out how many meals you want and need to prepare ahead of time.
Step 3: Determining what kind of foods to make. The best way to decide what kind of food you are going to make, is to think about how long it is going to last. You want the type of foods you are making to be able to stay fresh and still taste good after a few days in the refrigerator. My tip for this is choosing staple foods that are easy to cook and can still serve you a variety of meals. This means cooking you basics: carbs (brown rice, oats, whole-grain pasta, quinoa), protein,(chicken, lean beef, flank-steak, turkey, beans) veggies (carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes) and healthy fats (almonds, peanut butter, nuts, olive oil.) You don’t want to make some gourmet meal that is going to go bad in one day. The main focus is easy to cook and foods that will store well.
P.S. Meal prepping can seem like a lot, but all it takes is a plan and some organization to make it happen!