Meal Prepping 101
When it comes to losing weight, some people think working out is the hard part. In all actuality, changing your eating habit is much more challenging. That is where it starts. Meal prepping sets you up for success for the entire week when done properly. There is this misconception that meal prepping only consists of spending hours cooking on a Sunday and packing the same meal to eat for the next 5-7 days. If that is your thing, then cool, but I feel meal prepping can go beyond that.
I have been using my meal prep technique for over five years, and it has worked great for my family. I have also shared this technique in a few of my boot camps. First, let us talk about the benefits of meal prepping, and then I will go into my tips.
- Saves money (this is a no brainer because you will only get what is needed during your grocery store trip).
- Saves time (you do not have to come up with a meal idea on the fly).
- More family time (by choosing meals together, you all can enjoy prepping it).
- More added nutrition from being proactive and planning for fruits and vegetables.
- You will not waste food (usually food that you took the time to prepare and cook, you will choose eating instead of wasting it, which prevents you from buying food).
Here are my tips:
On Sundays, we decide what we will make for the week (ex. Shredded Burrito Bowls, Tacos, Homemade Pizzas, etc.).
We make a grocery list for all the items that it takes to make everything. We also include fruits, vegetables, and snacks on the list.
Having grapes, apples, oranges, cucumbers, and mixed nuts in my house is a must. My boys are constantly asking for snacks. Their first choice for a snack must always be a fruit or vegetable.
We do not necessarily write down what days we will eat these specific meals because that could change depending on what is going on.
When meal prepping, you can also cook something the night before for a meal the next day. I will use the Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl as an example. We make the chicken in a crock-pot. We cook it the night prior with any slow-cooking meat to ensure it is ready for dinner the next day because it takes so long to cook.
When you have all your items for the food you want to cook that week, you can make the meal quickly. Homemade Pizzas are a quick meal because we already have the sauce, cheese, flatbread, and toppings. The meal prep idea for this simply has ingredients in your house.
No matter what we choose to eat, we try our best to ensure that nothing goes to waste. This is easier said than done and takes discipline, but the benefits are rewarding. We save so much money by doing this, and we have collected a pretty long list of different recipes over the years. This means we continually switch it up and do not eat the same thing weekly.
Note: We only write down 5 meals to make for the week to leave wiggle room for other things. We may celebrate an accomplishment and head to our favorite Pieology spot or grab some BBQ from a local place on the way home from work because, honestly, we may be too tired to cook. Life happens, and every day will not be a cooking day.
- make a menu for the week (do not forget snacks)
- go grocery shopping for items on your list
- cook the food when you are ready to make that meal
- incorporate the family when making meals to ensure bonding time (add some music)
- try your best not to waste food
- enjoy your food
I hope you can use some of these tips and start meal prepping like a pro. Good luck.