Meal Prepping can be the easiest thing you do…. or the most difficult. It really all depends on how you approach it. I enjoy meal prepping because it saves me time during the week, not to mention the savings in money and unnecessary calories. But – I will admit it was definitely intimidating at first. I was trying to follow what an already-fit person was doing, who’s life revolved around meal prepping and working out.
I’d love for that to be my reality but it’s not. I work a 9-5 job that I come home exhausted from. My puppies keep me busy, not to mention I’m a soon-to-be mom. But those are the qualities that make meal prepping also a necessity. One time block a week of prep work, and then I can have my food ready for me to heat up and enjoy Parks and Rec for the 20th time!
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping is the idea of having meals cooked and ready to go! Think of it like take-out….but probably fresher and healthier. You can really approach it however you want. You can cook for an entire week, 3 days, breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. It’s all about what’s easiest and realistic for you and your goals (be they health or budget related- or both).
How to get started with Meal Prepping
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Start small. Really take the time to think about what you will realistically eat for the week. Chicken and broccoli everyday can work for some, but us average-Joe’s also aren’t competing to be in the Olympics. We can enjoy the foods we love and still reach our goals. We just have to plan for it.
A few things that helps me get organized and makes everything easier:
- A Magnetic Fridge calendar: can work wonders with organization & planning
- A food scale: is important for accurate measurements
- Tupperware: is perfect for storing your food
A few items that will help making cooking easier:
- A crockpot: is a HUGE time saver
- An Air fryer: is also a time saver, and a calorie saver
- Baking sheets : make it easy to bake multiple items at once, not to mention the reduced clean-up needs
Tips for Success in Meal Prepping
Pick 1-2 daily meals to cook on a Sunday afternoon (or whatever day of the week your “Sunday” may be) that you know you’ll enjoy for the upcoming week. This works best if you’re a creature of habit like me, and can happily have the same breakfast and lunch everyday. You decide the meals for that week, get to cooking, and then prepare portioned out and microwave-ready meals at grab-and-go convenience.
Or you can batch prep- where you cook a ton of protein, bake a bunch of veggies, and prep alllllll the carbs. It’s like putting together your own buffet for the week, and you pick and choose from what you’ve cooked based on what you’re feeling each day. Just don’t forget to use the food scale each day to ensure you’re using the right portions!
What Food is Good for Meal prepping?
I like sticking to the basics. Chicken, rice, potatoes, ground turkey, beef, broccoli, fajitas are just to name a few. Stay away from vegetables that hold a lot of water. They stay okay in the fridge for a day or two, but I wouldn’t cook a week’s worth.
Is Meal Prepping Good for weightloss?
Yes! Any way you decide to apply consciousness to how you consume your food can be good for weight loss. Just knowing that you have food waiting for you at home that you know you’ll enjoy will help keep you from eating-out and/or snacking as often.
How to keep my meal prep food fresh?
A good rule of thumb is to prepare 3-5 days worth of food. If you are going to meal prep seafood, however, I wouldn’t cook more than 2-3 days max. For veggies I cook some up Sunday and then again on Wednesday, just to ensure the freshness and quality. And always make sure the food cools down properly before storing it in the fridge.
How to not get tired of my prepped meals?
Cook exactly what you know you’ll eat and enjoy! There is nothing worse than shopping based on someone else’s version of healthy and then not eating an of it because it wasn’t exciting to you! Make it fun for yourself! Meal prepping doesn’t have to mean the same meal everyday.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Meal Prepping!
Take it one week one meal at a time! Don’t stress and more importantly, don’t overbuy and end up with wasted food. Evaluate where you need improvement; Maybe you are always buying snacks at work because your lunches aren’t filling enough, or find yourself stopping for drive-thru dinners on your way home because you’re not interested in what you prepped. Take note of those sorts of trends to change your plan to be fully successful with time.
For what my two-cents is worth, I hope this beginners guide to meal prepping was helpful! I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips too!
About the Author:
Carolina is a lifestyle blogger from Southern California who loves coffee and all things Pink. She shares her journey of balancing her healthy living interests with the real world of being a foster-mom-to-be, a dog mom, a Disney fanatic, and LGBTQ community member.
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