When you’re watching your weight or lead a busy lifestyle, meal prep is your best friend. You’ll be able to stick to a healthy lifestyle and won’t have to think about preparing a new meal three times a day. Trust us, it’s worth it. This is our 101 guide to meal prep if you’re just starting out or want some new handy tricks to firm up the process!
To begin with…
Invest in some containers, they are essential to meal prep. We’d recommend some plastic tupperware that are similar sizes. They’ll fit perfectly into your fridge and you won’t be stuck trying to do fridge jenga! You can also use mason jars or other glass containers. Make sure whatever you use is microwave friendly so you can heat prepped meals up.
This is the golden ticket to meal prep. Plan well and the rest of the week will be a breeze. Look at your calendar and work out how many meals you’ll need to prep, and what meals they are. Don’t forget about snacks too – be true to yourself and admit that you’ll be hungrier than perhaps you’d like to be. If you try and be ‘good’, by skipping snacks or even meals, you’ll most likely go off track with your meal prep altogether. If it’s your first time prepping, consider adding more super healthy snacks to your plan so that you don’t feel guilty but you can gradually learn exactly what you need throughout the week.
Make a menu
When making your weekly menu, think about staple foods and a balanced diet. What’s the point of meal prep if its not nutritious? Make sure you have enough carbs, protein, fruit and veg in your meals. Staple items include chicken, rice, pasta, fish etc. Also when making your menu, remember to include food that is yummy. If you’re bored of your meal plan by Wednesday, it’s probably because you’re not looking forward to your next meal – i.e. you haven’t planned exciting, delicious meals!
With your menu in hand, hit the supermarket. Make sure you buy according to your list – this way you’ll stick to your plan by not being distracted by the sugary snack you gave into when in the chocolate aisle!
Consider your time
A popular time to prep is a Sunday evening. It’s usually ‘free time’ in your weekly schedule and will shake those Sunday blues while getting you pumped for the week ahead. Set aside a 2-3 hours depending on how many meals you’re prepping for. Also think about how much time you’ll have to spend cooking during your busy week. If you’ve got time to spend on cooking, chop up your veg and portion meals then leave them in the fridge so you can cook them fresh!
Here’s the fun bit! It’s a good idea to bulk cook foods like pasta, rice and quinoa. They’ll last all week but also take the most time to prepare. Cooking in large batches will save you so much time. All you’ll have to do later on is reheat and serve – simple! You can also cook protein like chicken or boiled eggs which can be reheated or eaten cold. Veg can also be pre-cooked, but it’s much nicer freshly cooked – check your list about what time you have during the week to figure out if you should pre-cook your veg or not. Next, put everything in portions so that you have each meal in a separate container. Then portion all your snacks and you’re all set!