Life is busy and sometimes so hectic that you can’t be bothered with figuring out what you’re going to eat for the day. But this usually results in bad decisions that leave you eating out too much or making unhealthy, fast choices when it comes to meals. Meal prepping will help you stay healthy, organized, and will put your nutrition back on track. Use my 10 tips to help you easily plan out your weekly meals.
1. Make a Plan
Make a list of your favorite healthy foods, choose simple recipes that can be made quickly or in bulk, and decide what you’ll eat for every snack and meal. This step will get easier and faster with practice.
Pro Tip: Save your plan for a future week. Once you have a few meal prep menus in your arsenal, you can rotate them to keep things interesting.
2. Stick to Your Grocery List
Don’t let junk food sneak into your shopping cart. Not having it in the house means not having to use your willpower to avoid it. Want to make an impulse purchase? If you can find a way to fit it into your eating plan for the week, go for it. Just keep these to a minimum so nothing goes to waste. By sticking to your list and by minimizing the impulse buys, you’ll help yourself save money.
3. Don’t Forget an Avocado
Especially if you feel like you’re short on fruits and veggies, this is one healthy snack taken care of! With 21 grams of fat this is the perfect snack to turn off hunger and keep you satiated until your next meal.
4. Keep Snacks Simple
When you’re cooking everything for the week at once, it’s important to keep things simple. Save time by choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time to put together. Fresh fruit and pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus are great choices.
5. Cook Foods All At Once
Roasting vegetables, sweet potatoes, and even chicken breasts all at once will save you time, and cut down on your utility bill. Imagine…all of your side dishes for the week…ready in about 30 minutes!
6. Look for Shortcuts
Buy pre-cut veggies and fruits, cooked lentils, or rotisserie chicken. Tuna is an an easy no-cook protein to add to salads or snacks.
7. Get on the Mason Jar Salad Bandwagon
Mason jar salads are the darlings of Pinterest and Instagram because they’re pretty, but they’re also very practical. They cost about a dollar a piece, are microwave safe (just remember to remove the lid), and can be used for so many different types of meals. Their vertical shape makes them especially nice for storing salads. Since the dressing is at the bottom of the jar, and the greens are at the top, nothing gets soggy!
8. Mix Things Up
It can be tempting to just eat the same meals every day, but you’ll eventually get bored. I recommend at least two lunch options and two dinner options. This can be as simple as choosing different proteins for your salads each day, or eating chicken with vegetables three nights of the week, and fish with vegetables the other two. Once you get the hang of it you can get more creative with your recipes.
9. Invest in Food Storage Containers
A small investment in food containers of various sizes to suit your needs will make a world of difference. It’s a good idea to choose one container type and buy several that stack and store neatly. If you choose plastic containers, make sure they are BPA-free and that they won’t melt in the microwave or dishwasher. Sturdy Pyrex dishes with lids are also great as are Mason jars. If you decide to go all-in on the meal prep lifestyle, you might want to think about getting an insulated bag to carry your meals everywhere you go.
10. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
All of this meal prep is for a purpose…to help you reach your health and fitness goals. When clean eating is as simple as reaching into the fridge for your lunch or dinner, you’ll be less tempted to stop for fast food or order takeout. Whether you do your meal prep for the week all ahead of time or just a few days at a time, doing so will help you stick to your meal plan and give you even more time to Push Play!