5 Ways to Meal Prep Like A Boss
Weight loss success requires preparation. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, preparing meals ahead of time long has long been linked to better dietary habits. I work with busy executives, mothers and students and one of the biggest challenges my clients face is poor decision making around nutrition habits and managing their time well enough to create healthy meals.
When I gave birth to my first daughter, I struggled with this idea. I was new to motherhood and finding time to meal plan was difficult amidst all the new changes that I was experiencing. So instead of making big overwhelming changes, I started small. I began by prepping snacks for the week on Sundays then graduated to lunches then dinners. Breakfast was a bit easier since my daughter always went back down for naps mid-morning. Before I knew it I was meal prepping like a boss!
Although prepping a week’s worth of meals might sound complicated. Like with anything, it becomes easier once it is established as a routine. And in the long run, and it’ll end up saving you time and frustration.
Here are 5 simple steps on how to meal prep:
1. Start Small
Don’t be overwhelmed with the idea that you have to begin with prepping multiple meals for an entire week. Try prepping the meal that’s most difficult for you to eat consistently, like breakfast for example. Then when you get the hang of graduate to lunches and snacks. (Here are some healthy breakfast ideas..)
2. Create a Menu
“Oh She Glows,” “Engine 2 Diet” & “Eating Well,” are just a few of my favourite sites with numerous healthy and nutritionally balanced recipes. I highly suggest finding a set of recipes you love and customizing a meal plan.
The only way you’ll know what works for your schedule and diet is putting it into practice. By creating a menu, this will make your meal prep routine a lot easier.
3. Pick a day to go shopping
Create a grocery list and head to the store. Ideally you should do your big weekly shop on Saturday or early Sunday, so you have time to prep your ingredients before the work week begins. I typically like to shop on Sundays. This is my least busiest day of the week, so it allows me to spend an appropriate amount of time on shopping and prepping for the upcoming week.
Organize your grocery list ahead of time. That way, you’re super organized when you get to the store and you’ll be less likely to pick up food that is not on your list.
4. Prep & Pack
After you shop for your food items, plan out time on the weekend to get your ingredients ready for your weekday meal assembly. Assemble what you can into clear containers and things that don’t fit nicely in containers can go into baggies.
Food that’s in clear glass or plastic containers can be accessed more easily and know exactly how much you have. Refrigerate cooked ingredients you’ll use within 2 to 3 days; freeze the rest and thaw them later in the week.
5. Family Support
Family support is key to staying on track with your nutrition program. Though my husband and kids are not vegan like myself, they enjoy eating healthy food and and fully support me in my efforts to eat healthfully. We like to shop as a family to ensure that everyone gets the foods that they like and we turn meal prep into family time.
Encourage your spouse, significant other or roommate to get on board with you. Studies indicate that individuals are less likely to abandon their nutritional program when they have accountability and support.
Here’s a few snack prep ideas to get you inspired!