Meal prepping is a beast – and as it may come second nature to me and others that have done it before, it can be overwhelming for those who have never done it. That is why I wanted to share my top meal prep tips for beginners!
Meal prepping basically means…prepping meals. It means setting some time aside one day to cook food, prepare meals, and get yourself squared away so that you are successful in the meal department for the week. If you don’t prepare, you are going to fail. That is why meal prepping is SO IMPORTANT in any new healthy lifestyle. And no, meal prepping isn’t just for those who are super busy and can’t cook meals. Even if you are a stay at home mom, or you work from home, prepping food so you can quickly throw something together is going to make you stick to your goals a lot easier than rushing around when you are starving! So, let’s learn some meal prep tips!
You cannot (and won’t) just wake up one day and eat 100% healthy and never look back. It would be cool, but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, you need to make sure you have a goal, a plan and a roadmap for how to execute it! Here is your nutrition roadmap (or at least tips to get you started).
• Figure out what your goal is – and make it specific! This blog explains exactly how to do that!
• Now make a plan – exactly what do you need to do every week to stay on track and reach said goal..
• After you create the plan – you have to great a menu. Write down everything you will be eating for your meals for the week. This will ensure that you stay on track, and will help you before grocery shopping!
• Head to the store and get ONLY what is on your list for your week. Any extras is just going to be temptation. So, stick to the list!
• If you need a budget friendly sample grocery list and execution – check out this blog post!
• Once you get your groceries, then you need to meal prep! That is where this blog comes in. If you don’t prep and plan, you are not going to be successful. So take a few hours and meal prep to set yourself up for success…here are my meal prep tips!
Meal prepping is the KEY to success when it comes to changing your lifestyle and eating habits. Why? Because if you don’t prepare, if you don’t plan, if you don’t have things readily available…you aren’t going to stick to it. It’s like when you get home and you are hangry and you have no chicken thawed to cook so you throw a pizza in instead and snack on chips while it cooks because it’s faster and you’re starving. Yeah..that is going to happen day after day. But if you plan and prepare then you are will easily be able to grab that meal and heat it up! Not to mention how much easier it is to stick to your meals and snacks at work when your coworkers are snacking on the candy in the candy dish and ordering lunch out everyday..
So, how to meal prep…
1. Use everything possible to cook with so you can speed up the process. The oven, stove, crock pot, air fryer, whatever you can!
2. Cut up everrrrrything. Potatoes, vegetables, meat, fruit..everything!
3. Fill up your pans! I start out with roasting sweet potatoes in the oven (diced and seasoned with olive oil, salt and paprika), then I make a sheet of vegetables. Whatever is on sale is typically what I grab. Throw those on a pan (seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper) and roast. And then my protein typically gets made on the stove top.
4. I try to do everything all at once so I can finish it and be done with it – no wasting time or spending all day making elaborate meals.
5. Once everything is cooked, grab your containers! If you are going to be eating breakfast and lunch on the go – pack it all! It is also much easier to have enough containers to fill them all for the week without having to do dishes. If you aren’t needing to eat many meals out of the house, you can still prep in bulk that way you can just put the meals together when you need to.
6. If you tend to stay late at work and don’t want to cook dinner (or prep it completely) then you can prepare part of it ahead of time and finish it when you get home. I sometimes prep my potatoes and just throw then under the broiler – and then cook the meat fresh!
7. Make sure you also prepare your snacks – if that means portioning out fruit, cutting raw vegetables, portioning out lunch meat or nuts..do it!
Those are my biggest tips to get the job done. It is time consuming, but the time you spend prepping on one day is going to save you so much time during the week!
A lot of people also ask WHY I meal prep – or what the purpose is…
• You will waste less food prepping – because there is not reason not to eat cooked food. Plus, if you only buy for a week at a time you will always know what is in your fridge!
• It makes me feel in control. It makes me feel like I will be successful because I spent time getting prepared.
• It saves so much time in the long run. All I do is prep lunch and potatoes for my breakfast and it still saves me a boatload of time!
Alright, now that I have sold you on the idea of meal prep…DO IT! Get it done tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day. But get it done! And if doing a whole week at at time is overwhelming, then just do 3 days. Anything is better than nothing, remember that.