Learning how to meal prep may just be what you need to stick to your fitness regime and save time in the kitchen!
Making changes to your diet or the way you approach a fitness routine may be challenging, but learning how to meal prep may be the type of alternative that could be a time-saving, problem-solving and allow you to stick to your diet without excuses.
The idea of meal preparation is to pick one day of the week to cook, evenly distribute and pack your meals for an entire week, thus saving you time and helping you avoid the question of “what are we having for dinner today?”
These days, there is a wide number of people that us meal prep for weight loss, others for their busy schedule, and others simply because they have found it to be an easy and healthy alternative to having variety during the week without breaking their budget.
Starting is not complicated either! Meal prep tips for beginners are available online, from health coaches and there are even services dedicated entirely to catering that need.
If you want to learn how to meal prep, the first step is figuring out what is your goal. Do you want to meal prep for weight loss, for maintenance or to keep yourself (and loved ones!) on track during the week, ensuring that everyone is having a healthy and balanced plate.
Another great idea is to choose whether you will be meal prepping your lunch, dinner, breakfast options and snacks, or if you’ll choose a combination of these – i.e.: preparing one lunch and two snacks, a combo of breakfast and dinner, etc.
In addition to these two main points, we have rounded up the best meal prep tips for beginners to help you start your journey without any complication.
Our favorite tricks on how to meal prep include:
- Review your weekly calendar: this is the best way to choose a day to meal prep based on what you have scheduled. Experts recommend prepping on Sundays so you have fresh meals for the start of your week without too much hassle.
- Pick your meals: testing out a few recipes is a good idea whenever you are meal prepping. If you get bored easily, you can make a couple of different plates and alternate them between the weekdays.
- Choose your containers wisely: while it is easier to rely on your bento-box, choosing the right container is key. You want to make sure you use BPA free containers, that have divisions or compartments for your different ingredients, and that are microwaveable, freezer and dishwasher safe and that you can stack up for easy storage.
- Know your food: that means that you should do a bit of research to understand what types of food will last longer (and fresher!) after you’ve cooked them. Pasta and rice, for example, can be safely stored for up to 5 days, while fruits can be cut, kept and ready to go for 3 days.
- Certain tools are your allies: think about exploring different recipes from a family cookbook, navigating through Pinterest, using your crock pot more and even having mason jars pre-packed with healthy pancake batter that can be cooked right before you eat them.
- Pre-pack your smoothie ingredients: for those who enjoy breakfast on the go, having little freezer bags with your fruits and veggies ready to blend is an easier way to start the day. Mess free, and a good idea to add at least 10 more minutes of blissful sleep.
Learning how to meal prep is not hard or complicated. The trick is choosing your goals wisely and alternating between recipes to keep things interesting.
By trying out different plates and ideas, adding different flavors and colors to your meals, and experimenting with different seasonings (think Indian food one week, Mexican the next!) you will have almost no reason to break your fitness regime or skip another meal during the week.