Let’s face it, meal prepping can be intimidating – it sounds so…serious. The idea of being in the kitchen for hours can be dreadful and exhausting. Although, it may come to a surprise when you realize that meal prepping for your week can actually help free up some time in your day and it will take out the stress of having to cook after a busy day. Like everything, practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to cooking.
Make a goal:
Sometimes when we have an occasion in our near future, it makes it easier to start up a new plan. This is your chance to make a goal: whether it’s getting ready for a vacation, a wedding, losing 5 pounds, or simply just getting healthier. Keep your goal in sight – use it for motivation to achieve it.
Make a plan:
Most importantly, find the meal plan that is right for you and aimed to help you reach your goal. Once your meal plan is set, set your “cooking days” on days that are more flexible and on days that you have more time. “Cooking days” can be 1 or 2 days per week. Lastly, choose your “grocery day” – this day can be the same day as your “cooking days” or it can be the day before – just be sure it’s close enough to ensure your groceries don’t go bad.
Count your portions:
This is important for making your grocery list and knowing how much to cook. These portions should include all the proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits, and water (don’t forget the water!). When buying groceries, be sure to buy a little extra to make up for the weight lost during cooking. Check out 5 helpful tips to shop smart when grocery shopping.
Cook in bulk!
Choose the easy methods. Whether you are grilling up all of your protein in one or two batches or throwing them in the oven, choose cooking methods that are easy. By choosing cooking methods that require little to no attention, you will have more time for prepping your veggies, snacks, or other food. Don’t forget to add herbs and spices to your proteins to add in some flavor.
Divide and conquer:
Storing your food can be tricky. You can either use individual containers for each meal and store away in your fridge ready to grab and go, or you can use larger containers to hold the bulk portions and premeasure the day before or day of. It is recommended to use measuring tools such as measuring cups/spoons or a kitchen scale to track the amount of food you are eating. Don’t forget to divide your snacks and water. This will help you stay on track with making sure you don’t skip out on those necessary calories.