Meal prep is huge in the fitness world and for good reason. Not everyone has time or energy to cook every meal, every day. So preparing several meals in advance is a huge time saver and helps you choose more nutritious foods instead of just running and grabbing the most convenient option. But if you’ve never meal prepped before, it can be a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier.
- Only meal prep the meals you have to. I have time to make myself oatmeal for breakfast in the morning so I don’t waste time prepping that. But if I know there will be several lunches or dinners that I won’t have time to cook during the week, I will make those meals in advance. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to prep every single meal. Only the meals you know you won’t have time to make something at home.
- Have a lot of on the go options available. Stock up on things you don’t have to cook like protein bars, fruit, cheese sticks, carrots, and other things that you can easily grab and go. That way if you don’t have anything prepped and you don’t have time to cook, you still have nutritious options ready to go. My favorite go to’s are quest protein bars, almond butter packs, and bananas.
- Look for shortcuts. Buy pre-cut fruits and veggies. I HATE chopping vegetables. It’s a lot easier for me to eat veggies when they are already chopped for me. Plus it saves me times when prepping meals. Frozen, pre-cut veggies are low cost, time savers and they will last longer since they are frozen. Buy eggs that are already hard boiled. Grab a rotisserie chicken that’s already cooked. There’s nothing wrong with using shortcuts here and there to save you time.
- Plan in advance. Make a grocery list. Plan what meals you are going to make and stick to it. If you don’t plan, you will probably forget items you need and then you have an excuse to not finish the meal prep. Be organized and prepared.
- Pick foods you’ll actually eat and keep it simple. Don’t make a bunch of food that you don’t like just because it’s nutritious. Choose foods that are nutritious but also enjoyable. If you prep a whole bunch of food you don’t like, you won’t eat it and it will be a huge waste of time and money. Pinterest has millions of recipes if you get tired of eating the same old thing. Just look up “meal prep ideas” and you’ll have an endless list of new ideas.
Meal prepping can be a huge time saver and can help you reach your goals in a more efficient way if you’re a busy person. Don’t over complicate it. Play with different meals and see what you like best. Get creative and enjoy what you’re eating!