Prepping your meals can save you a ton of time, money and ensure that you are eating healthy throughout the day. I have personally dropped 10 pounds since I started prepping my meals 6 weeks ago. Along the way I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to it that I’d like to share.
1. Plan it out
Every Thursday I sit down and plan out my meals for the week. I am personally following the 21 Day Fix so I make sure that I have all my containers accounted for. For me I only plan out breakfast, lunch and snacks as I make my dinners fresh every evening after work using the balance of my container count as a guide to what I can have. But if you feel you would slack off by not preplanning/prepping dinner, do that too.
Plan out when you are going to prep. I prefer to do it all in one go on a Sunday afternoon. Some people prep 2x a week. Make it something that works for you when you know you will have time to set aside.
2. Make a grocery list
Once you’ve planned out your meals, write out everything you will need. Check your pantry after and cross off what you already have and then bring that list and stick to it! If it’s not on your list, it doesn’t go in your cart. I do all my prep on Sunday, so I will typically go Friday or Saturday evening to get everything I need. I can say with all honesty that I have drastically cut my grocery bill by planning and sticking to my list.
3. Keep it simple
You don’t have to make lavish meals, the easier the meals the less time consuming your prep day will be. I typically pick 2 different lunches consisting of a protein, carb and veggie that I alternate. If I make brown rice, I typically make enough for lunches as well as for a quick reheat to serve with dinner.
4. Invest in some good containers
Get some containers that won’t crack after a few uses and that are freezer friendly. I will put my first 2 days of meals in the fridge and then freeze the rest so they keep (and put them in the fridge the night before), so spend a little so they go the distance! You can find some good ones on Amazon.
5. Don’t try a new recipe
If you don’t like it, you are stuck with it for several meals. Play it safe and only try out new ideas on the weekend.
6. Portion control
I use my fix containers for the most part, but often I will weigh out my protein. A scale has become a key fixture in my kitchen. And they are relatively inexpensive. While you’re at it, if you don’t use the Fix, get yourself some good measuring cups too and be diligent about using them.
7. Slightly under cook your veggies
Remember, you are going to reheat them so you don’t want them turning to mush. This was a lesson learned through my own failings. Unless, of course, you like mushy veggies.
The options are endless when it comes to prepping food ahead of time. There really is no right or wrong way to do it. It all comes down to planning, and making time to get it done. Just like any weight loss strategy, to be sustainable it needs to fit into your lifestyle. So do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are lunches, then that’s fine. Do whatever meets your needs. The more you do it, the better you will get at it!