Meal prep offers many benefits. It can help you stop impulse eating, keep your calories and macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) in check, and achieve better fitness and overall health.
And it doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming. With a bit of practice, the entire process can become second nature—and help you lose significant pounds! Follow these tips below, and you’ll be able to meal prep your way to your best body yet.
- Make leftovers: I love this particular tip because I don’t want to cook every night. I’m sure you can relate! Find a few healthy go-to recipes that you can whip up at the beginning of the week and divide into several servings that you can put in the fridge or freezer for later. Ideally, pick recipes that keep well for a few days and offer a bit of variety to make multiple meals.
- Start with the “weakest” time of your day: A lot of us find dinner the most tempting time to grab something “off plan,” because we’re tired and don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. Learning what meal usually makes it harder to stay on track can help guide your meal prep. Preparing for only one meal time throughout the week is far less overwhelming than planning out all of your meals. Baby steps! Over time, you’ll find this process less overwhelming so you can add in more meals per day.
- Prepare your protein: Proteins usually take the longest to develop, so pick a day before your week gets too busy and cook up a few lean options for the week. Boil a bunch of eggs and grill up some chicken breasts and ground turkey (or whatever protein you enjoy). Grab some storage containers and measure out portions, and then throw them in the fridge or freezer for later.
- Stock up on easy carbs: Once you have protein prepared, make sure you have some healthy carbs on hand to boil, steam or bake. Add options such as sweet potatoes, rolled oats, squash, brown rice and quinoa to your grocery list. You might want to utilize your slow cooker or rice cooker to make this macronutrient even easier to prepare.
- Know your vegetables: I find cutting vegetables time-consuming, so this is a step I take before my busy week starts. Know which veggies keep well until the end of the week, such as bell peppers, broccoli, squash and chopped carrots. Pick up packaged Brussels sprouts and green beans that you can throw in the microwave to steam. Opt for organic as much as possible and get to know your local farmers’ market.