What is Meal Prep?
“Meal prep is the concept of preparing meals ahead of schedule”. The process of meal prep involves preparing ingredients and meals for the week to help busy people save a lot of time while still being able to achieve their healthy eating goals.
Whether you want to lose weight or clean up your eating habits, it all begins with meal prep.
Meal prepping comes with many advantages and here are a few;
- Tone down temptations – With meal prep, you can avoid outside temptations easier. Going out just to eat leads to larger portion sizes and overeating while cooking your meals gives you control over what’s going into your food.
After a long day, it can be tempting to go through a drive-thru or going to eat out if you know you don’t have anything prepared at home. But with a little meal prep, you can skip the processed stuff and simply reheat the meal you have already prepared which not only saves you time but it also gives you the benefit of living healthily.
- Meal prepping gives you a head start on cooking for the week – Whether you meal prep entire meals or just a few ingredients to have at the ready, you’ll be ahead of the game. You would gain control over your time and what you’re eating, because when you meal prep by creating a plan, you can spend less time at the grocery store, less time in fast food lines, less time trying to figure out what to cook, and more time eating healthy meals you prepare yourself.
But How exactly should you meal prep?
There is no right or wrong when it comes to meal prepping, whatever works best for you and your family is okay. It isn’t the same from person to person and doesn’t have to look the same from week to week, what matters is you have prepared a meal that you like which would practically help you save time and money while giving you a health benefits than the meals that you normally order in fast food chains and restaurants.
All you need to know to create a successful meal prepping technique is to fit it into your schedule.
Just because someone meal preps for the week on Sunday morning, doesn’t mean this is also the time that you have to meal prep. Be flexible and schedule your meal prepping during your free time.
Keep in mind, Meal prepping and planning are two different tasks. Before you can prep, you need a plan.
Meal prepping is the process of preparing your food for the week while planning is the process of buying the items you’ll need. Look for recipes that best fit your needs and schedule. Plan what you want to eat for the week and how many meals do you want to prep for.
Having said that, here are 4 steps to a successful meal prepping
- The first step in meal prepping is identifying where you need help. Which meal do you generally have the least amount of time for? And which meal needs your attention the most?
If you often skip breakfast due to time restraints, you may want to start prepping for a breakfast meal. If you eat lunch out because you don’t have enough time to make a healthy lunch to bring to the office, maybe focus your efforts on your lunch and the same goes for dinner.
Coming up with dinner ideas shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of one person only. If you are struggling to create ideas for yourself, don’t hesitate to get help and ask your family in a group text at the beginning of the week to send at least 3 meal ideas they would be interested in eating this week, with recipes and all. This will help with inspiration for meal prep
Once you decide which needs prepping, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, the second step is your prep plan.
If you’re new to cooking look for tasty recipes. As a beginner try to keep it simple because as you grow comfortable with meal prepping, you can always expand your options
You’ll need to choose a make-ahead recipe that will be easy to make in a big batch and keep all week long without causing food spoilage.
Step three; once you’ve decided what you’ll meal prep, write your shopping list. Once you have a list of your ingredients, make a plan for prepping. Include all the tasks you plan to accomplish during your meal prep session
The best time for meal prep is as soon as you return from grocery shopping. Instead of putting your ingredients away and forgetting about them, get them ready to be prepared so you can make meals right away, nonetheless, you can always meal prep during your free time.
Consider the best recipes for meal prepping as;
- Can be fully or partially made in advance
- Call for slicing, dicing, and chopping
- Will keep well in the fridge or freezer
- Will reheat well
- Can be scaled up
Only have an hour for meal prepping? Follow these simple rules;
- Keep it simple
- Prep components that can be turned into meals such as cooking rice, making a salad dressing, or baking a protein such as chicken or tofu
- Have a strategy for repurposing leftovers
- Start with a task that takes the most time
The Fourth and Final step in meal prepping is storing the meals you prepared.
Once your meal prep work is done it’s time to divvy up the week’s ingredients and make sure you have enough containers to store your meal prep food in. the make of your containers also factors. Make sure to store your food using glass containers that are freezer, microwave, and oven safe
Make meals easy on yourself by sticking to a weekly schedule like this one which consists of;
Meatless Monday – veggie pasta tofu stir fry or anything that’s loaded with veggies
Taco Tuesday which is self-explanatory
Chicken Meal on Wednesday
Fish Meal on Thursday
Pasta meal on Friday
Sheet pan meal on Saturday
& Slow cooker meal on Sunday
You can prep anything according to your liking but make sure that ingredients are fresh and would last a long time without causing spoilage
~ If you follow any meal planning tactics like this? Don’t forget to Comment your favorite go –to recipes. ~
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