Whether you’re weighing your food and counting your macros or simply just trying to get organised for another busy week, meal prepping is an awesome tool that will not only save you time and money but also benefits your health. Meal prepping rewards you with:
A more nutritionally balanced diet - meal prepping stops you from reaching for those highly processed on-the-go snacks when you don’t have time to cook.
Regulated metabolism - because your meals are already prepped and ready, you can stick to an easily manageable eating schedule.
Portion control - planning out your meals allows you to get the portioning correct depending on your training or weight loss goals.
Less stress - you are no longer worrying about what to cook and when to cook it. Having your meals prepared takes some stress out of your busy lifestyle of balancing work, training and social activities.
Prepping for prep
Get organized: Sit down and plan how many dinners, packable lunches and snacks you will need for the week
Make Time: Set aside a few hours in the week, perhaps on a Sunday evening, just for your meal prep.
Choose your recipes: Set yourself up with healthy meals that not only meet your nutrition and training goals in the gym but actually taste good too. Sounds simple however too many of us think meal prep has to be all about chicken, brown rice and broccoli. Unless you’re prepared to eat the same flavorless meal all week, choose foods that you love to eat and your prep will be much easier to stick to. If pasta is your jam, create a healthy alternative with zoodles and a lite sauce or if you’re a pizza lover, make a superfood version using a whole-wheat pita base, low sugar tomato sauce and top with plenty of lean protein and vegies!
Make a list & shop: take a quick inventory of ingredients you already have before heading to the store. Once you’re there, only buy what is on your list.
Time to Cook
Make sure you’re cooking meals that include a source of protein, complex carbohydrates and plenty of vegetables to ensure you’re getting in your micronutrients too.
Double the recipes so that you have enough to put into containers and freeze for later.
For easy vegetable prep, chop up your favourite veg and roast up a tray with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. These can then be used as quick salad additions, side dishes or even as quick snacks
Prepare your snacks as well to stop you from reaching for the biscuits in the office kitchen, whether it be as simple as bagging up some nut mix, cutting up a fruit salad or making your own protein balls.
Foods such as boiled eggs, quinoa, brown rice and pasta are super easy to prepare in bulk and have sitting in the fridge ready to mix with your favourite meats, vegetables and dressings to easily create quick and healthy meals.
If you’re still not sure- It might not hurt to make an appointment with a dietician or nutritionist just to get an idea of the types of foods and the portions that you should be eating for your lifestyle, health or fitness goals.
Keep it simple- if you’re new to meal prepping, don’t overthink it! Stick to what you know you like and cooking methods you prefer.
Be flexible with your planning - Prep for only what you need because you don’t have to prep every meal.
Invest in some good meal prep containers - There is nothing worse than spending hours prepping your delicious meals only to be ruined by freezer burn because you used cheap takeaway containers. If you are getting into the meal prep game, spending money on some quality Pyrex or Tupperware will definitely pay off.