Meal prepping has some great benefits. It saves time, saves money, reduces stress, and makes you eat healthier. When done consistently, it’s a great way to make long-term lifestyle changes.
In fact, I find this to be a great habit with the most successful weight loss patients in my practice!
Meal prepping basically means preparing your meals in advance. This means you have to also decide in advance what you plan on eating for the week. This takes time initially, but gets easier with time as you learn some of your basic food items.
Some people meal prep all the meals for the week (like breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and some may just prep two meals and cook dinner every day.
Meal prepping takes away the pressure of “what am I going to make for dinner tonight”, which saves you from making a bad decision where you may have made something unhealthy. Having prepped food saves time so you can do other things like perhaps get a workout in or maybe relaxing after a long day at work. And more importantly, you may find that you eat earlier as well.
So, if you want to start meal prepping, here are my top tips to get started:
- First, decide what you want to eat. Grab a pen and paper, and write out what meals you want to eat for the week. If you are just starting out, maybe plan on just prepping for one meal per day like dinner. Remember to include proteins, good fats, and healthy carbs in your menu. And don’t forget to include veggies and even some fruit.
- Second, based on the meals you picked, make a grocery list of what you need to buy. Stock your pantry with some essentials. Have basic spices on hand, basic flours and baking needs, and any BPA free canned items. Have measuring cups and spoons on hand.
- Third, pick one or two days in the week when you can meal prep. Gather your ingredients and begin prepping. Clean and cut your produce so it’s ready to go when you start cooking. Use your time efficiently by using an Insta-pot or Crockpot. Or use an air fryer for quick healthy cooking. And remember to clean as you go to avoid a large pile of dishes to clean.
- And fourth, when all done, portion out the meals and put them into individual grab and go containers. Glass containers are great for storage, but if using plastic, just make sure they are BPA-free.
The thought of meal prepping can be a bit overwhelming. So, keep it simple. Prep for just one meal such dinner and find simple but healthy recipes. Then block off a few hours to do the prepping.
Definitely make use of some of those kitchen appliances like the Insta-pot and the air fryer. And, above all, be patient with yourself.
It’s about progress, not perfection. We have lots of great recipes on our FaceBook page – check them out and enjoy!