Meal Prep 101

Meal prep can be a game changer when it comes to staying on track with your weight loss goals. Meal prepping allows you to have healthy options on hand, saves time, and can reduce stress because it takes the guess work out of what you will eat each day.

If you have never meal prepped before, the process can seem a bit overwhelming. Just like with anything, breaking it down into steps can make it manageable. By following the steps below, you will learn how to become a master at meal prepping in no time!

Make a plan – Write out your meals for the week. This includes what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day. I find it helpful to plan a week at a time, rather than just a few days. When you are planning your meals, think about the following:

  1. That do you have going on during the week – For example, you would not want to plan a dinner that takes an hour to cook on a night you are home late.
  2. It is okay to eat the same things multiple days in a row. – This can make planning easier when you are first getting started.
  3. Remember to use leftovers – What you eat for dinner one night, could be your lunch the next day.

Make a grocery list – Take your meal list and write a grocery list to include all the items you will need to make each meal. Before heading to the store, double check your list to ensure you have everything you need.

Go to the grocery store – If you are short on time, grocery pickup is a great option to save time.

Once you have all your food, then it is time to meal prep! Make sure to set enough time aside to get your meal prep done. It is easier if you can get it all done at once rather than having to split it up. During this meal prep, you want to focus on cooking the foods you want to have on hand right away (not necessarily your dinner, for example, that you will cook prior to eating) and preparing vegetables and fruit. Follow these basic steps when you complete your meal prep. Once you get into the habit of meal prep, you will find your own system that works best for you. But in the meantime, here is a general template you can follow:

  1. Start with the food that takes the longest to cook. Get that going so you can do other things while it cooks.
  2. Any other foods that require cooking, you could start those now.
  3. While your food is cooking, take the time to cut up your fruit and vegetables. You can cut them up so they are easy to grab for snacks and for your dinners during the week.
  4. Put your cut up fruit and vegetables into individual containers. You could divide them up into smaller sizes (for snacks) or larger sizes (for meals).
  5. Once your cooked food is cooled, then you can put them in containers and either into the fridge or freezer. I will typically keep five days’ worth of meals in the fridge and then freeze the rest.

The more often you meal prep, the quicker and more efficient you will become. You will find that even though the actual food prep takes around two to three hours, the time you save and the reduced stress you will have from not thinking about what you will eat, is well worth the time. If you have any more questions regarding meal prep, please do not hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help!