It’s no secret that I love my meal prep. It really is the number one way I’m able to stay on track with my eating and it also just starts my week off with a healthy mindset. Having all my meals planned out and my fridge deliciously stocked also makes me look forward to my workouts for that week!
THERE ARE MULTIPLE BENEFITS TO MEAL PREPPING
Less cheating When I prep my meals once a week and plan out what I am eating, I make a point to only purchase those items that are on my grocery list so this helps keep those little moments of weakness under control because if it’s not in my house, then I can’t eat it.
Saves you money. At least this is true for us! I don’t know about you, but before meal planning I tended to just wing it each night, either by running out to the store after work to make whatever we were in the mood for that night, ordering in or spending even more money on going out. This is also true for my lunches. Now we’re able to plan a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even healthy snacks for all around £60-80 each week. We don’t waste as much food now either!
Helps meet your fitness goals. I know I already said this, but this is really important. When you plan out your meals ahead of time not only are you learning portion control but fueling your body with wholesome nutritional food just makes you want to work out that much more!
HUGE time saver. Not only does meal prepping help us stay on track with consistent healthy eating, but it also gives us more time in the evenings to work out, relax or really do whatever we want besides rushing home to cook. I usually marinade my chicken the night before and cook it of an evening.
A lot of people have asked me what I do for a week of food and how I plan. I am going to attach a meal plan and images of an average week of what I eat. I also tend to list what I am eating on twitter if you would like to follow me for more real-time food ideas.
I have some tips and tricks for helping getting into meal prepping and planning.
Don’t try to prep it all!
First and foremost, when starting out, don’t try and make-ahead your entire weekly menu plan. This will completely overwhelm you – it can still overwhelm me. Start slow. The first-week prep 1 or 2 recipes ahead of time and as you get comfortable with the process you can prep more.
Choose which recipe(s), if made ahead of time, would make the biggest difference in your week.
This is huge! If you are short on time or don’t have the energy to prepare a lot of food then prioritise your meals. Which recipe, if made ahead of time, is going to make your week easier? If you are rushing around every morning and always running out of time for a healthy breakfast then maybe focus on preparing breakfast muffins or pancakes. If dinnertime brings you the most stress then put together some pre-chopped ingredients ready to be cooked in the evening. If you are always running to the vending machine at 3:00pm then put together some snack pots I like boiled eggs, nuts or raspberries and blackberries.
It is not necessary to cook all the food you prep
Food prep can be anything. You don’t necessarily need to cook all your meals completely. It can mean chopping up onions, peppers, or other vegetables ahead of time for recipes. Washing fruits and vegetables so they are ready for snacks. Portioning out nuts or other food items for snacks. Cutting up chicken or beef to be recipe ready. Whatever is going to work. Making sure I have no more than what is needed for myself and my partner this helps prevent overeating.
There is no right or wrong way to food prep.
The options are endless when it comes to prepping food ahead of time so there really is no right or wrong way to do it. Basically, it comes down to just making time and getting it done. However, just like any weight loss strategy, to be sustainable it needs to fit into your lifestyle. This means do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are hardboiled eggs then that’s fine but be realistic as to what you’re going to eat. Or maybe you find it helpful to make mason jar salads, buffalo shredded chicken, and a couple slow cooker kits. Whatever will meets YOUR needs. Don’t get bogged down in thinking it has to be done a certain way. I have lots of practice and made my fair share of mistakes. What works for me might not work for you. I share the strategies and tips I have learned along the way in hopes that you will take and adapt them to fit into your lifestyle. I shall post a few other meal plans over the next few weeks and keep food diaries on what I am eating.