Not everyone has time to cook, which forces us to grab less-than-healthy on-the-go meals.
The solution to this problem is meal prep. If you take one free day of the week(end) to cook all your meals for the week, you’ll find yourself eating healthy each day without the daily time commitment. With prepared meals, all it takes is a couple minutes in the microwave and boom, you have a great hot meal ready to eat at work or on your couch.
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few meal prep tips to start you in the right direction.
One of an essential parts of meal prep is food storage containers. You’re going to need at least one for every day of the week. If you don’t want to do all your dishes at once for the next week, I suggest getting even more.
Containers are a good way to measure out portions so you don’t overeat. They also work well when you’re on the go. Most brands offer microwave-safe products, which can help when you’re heating a meal away from home. Get yourself a bunch of containers and let’s move to the next step!
Decide what you want and where your taste buds are pointing you. The general guideline for a healthy meal is protein + starch + vegetables. It’s also a good idea to prep snacks as well so you don’t splurge on unhealthy treats throughout the day. Here are some meal-prep examples.
One helpful tip is to change up the flavors. Decide HOW you want to cook your meals. Are you going to eat chicken every day? If so, marinate each serving in different flavors so you don’t get bored. This makes meal prepping easier and more fun. No one wants to eat the same meal with the same seasoning for life.
3. Grocery Shop
While shopping, check the nutrition labels of what you’re buying to make sure everything you buy doesn’t have any unnecessary fats or ingredients. Take your time and compare products—this is your health we’re talking about.
Shop enough for the entire week. You don’t need food for any longer than that because your tastebuds could change and have you yearning for something different next week. One week. 12 meals.
Meal-Prep Sunday. It’s a holiday in the fitness world just like International Chest Day (Monday). Decide how many meals you want to make for the week. Are you going to make just six lunches or twelve meals to cover both lunch and dinner? Some people prefer to cook dinner at home after the workday. If you’re exhausted and hangry like me at 5 o’clock, stick with 12.
Make your week’s food and store it all in those wonderful containers you bought. Change up the flavor, change up your meals, make it exciting. If it’s something you look forward to eating, this whole process will be easy.
Know your macro count for the weight-loss goal you’re trying to achieve. Knowing these numbers can help you eat properly and to your full potential. While it’s important to not overeat, it’s just as important to not undereat.
5. Fill Your Fridge
Store your meals in the fridge until they’re ready to be eaten. For some meats and proteins, you can try freezing. The meal will take longer to thaw out, but depending on the dish, it might preserve the freshness more than fridge storage. Take a picture of your packed fridge and post it on Instagram with #mealprep—you’re guaranteed quite a few likes and follows.