Meal prepping: it’s one of those terms that you’ve probably seen floating around the Internet, and you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is meal prepping?!” Confusion aside, meal prepping will take your healthy eating to another level. By doing it, you’ll save yourself time, money, and stress (yes, stress!) and be on your way to a healthier diet. In this article, I’m going to teach you the basics of what it is, how to properly prepare foods for the week and how to store them in a variety of ways.
What’s Meal Prepping?
The concept entails preparing meals in advance to have the ingredients ready when you need them. This keeps those unhealthy meals from calling your name and saves time on weeknights when you’re already too busy. The more you meal prep, the easier it gets, and soon, it will become a habit that helps you maintain a healthy diet.
It’s so hot right now, I feel like every social media platform I follow has an abundance of meal-prepping accounts. The most popular one is aptly called MealPrepSunday. It’s basically an account that posts everything you need to know about meal prepping, including tips, recipes, and inspiration.
It isn’t just about preparing food for your meals on the weekend. It’s about making sure those “willpower” demons don’t rob you of your health goals. With enough willpower, you can also make your fitness goals and serving portions fit into your mealtimes properly.
Essentials To Make It Easier
Meal prepping, like many tasks, requires several tools. If you want to get started on a prep program, you’re going to need a few things. These are a few essentials that not only help the prep but also look great in the kitchen!
Don’t attempt to plan your entire week as soon as you start. You are guaranteed to get overwhelmed! Start with a meal you find the hardest to get together on a weekly basis. Typically, that tends to be lunch for most. So, if you find yourself ordering your lunch or skipping it, this is the meal to go for.
Once you’ve chosen which meal you’d like to prep for the week, pick a day you can commit to spending an hour cooking and putting it all together. I highly recommend NOT meal prepping for seven days, or even five! Start with three days and do what you’ve been doing for the other two. You might not actually enjoy eating the same thing every day of the week. Let’s be real, that gets boring. So keep things manageable and exciting for yourself.
Pick Ingredients Wisely For Meal Prep
Not all ingredients are created equally, especially if you’re planning ahead for more than three or four days. Find recipes that utilize grains like quinoa, beans, and hardy veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
Don’t buy more than you need! Many apps and cookbooks help figure out exactly how much you might need for your week ahead. An excellent app to start with is Mealime.
While there are plenty of books and websites, using an app makes it super easy to scale your ingredients based on how many meals you’ll need.
Finally, don’t forget to use your scale to evenly distribute your meals into the meal prep containers. It will not only help you keep your calories in check, but will ensure good nutritional and flavor distribution! Bon appetit!