There’s meal prepping - then there’s healthy meal prepping. Be sure to know the difference and shop for the ingredients that are best for you and your weight management goals. For many people who are slightly intimidated by the process of meal prepping, this is a great introduction for you. This will be a brief guide that covers all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to become a successful meal prepper. Really, there are three main components of meal prepping. The first is shopping, the second cooking, and the third preparing and mapping out your calories. Let’s dig in!
Shopping Guide For Meal Preppers:
When it comes to meal prepping, most meal preppers are after saving money in addition to losing, gaining, or remaining at their target weight. Meal prepping can be an extremely cost effective technique to buying groceries, and because you are often buying in bulk and saving money, you can often invest in higher quality ingredients that you once thought were too expensive. Here are some tips on how to shop in order to maximise your success as a meal prepper:
Tips and Tricks on How to Cook as a Meal Prepper:
Cooking as a person who meal preps is an art - there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your meals. While meal prepping is extremely easy, and for the most part you can cook as you normally would, because of the fact that you are leaving it in the fridge for up to a week there are a few important things to note:
How many calories you eat and the types of food you ingest depends entirely on you and your weight management needs. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to keep half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with a source of protein, and the other quarter with a carb, with olive on top to get some healthy fats in. Here are some resources for planning out your calories:
These are just a few tips on how to meal prep. If you’re new to meal prepping, this should serve as a great introductory guide, and if you’re a pro food prepper, I hope you walk away with some fresh new points on meal prepping.
If you have been on Instagram lately or follow any health magazines, it won’t take you long to find something on meal prepping. Meal prep has become a health craze. Essentially meal prepping allows you to calculate your calories and macronutrients all at once to provide you with nourishment throughout your week. It’s fast and easy, and also can save you money. And most importantly - it keeps you on track for your weight management goals. Whether you are hitting the gym and want to bulk up, or doing cardio throughout the week and want to lose fat, or simply want to maintain your healthy weight and lifestyle, then planning out your meals beforehand allows you to do so effortlessly.
What are the Advantages of Meal Prepping?
As previously covered, meal prepping makes eating a balanced meal easy - no matter your current state and physique goals. There are several pluses to meal prepping, which is why it’s gained so much traction in the online world and fitness industry. If you haven’t considered meal prepping, here is why you have to give it a go:
Saves You Money: Meal prepping involves buying in bulk and often times eating the same thing, or similar items, day in and day out (that’s not to say you can’t have variety - you can sneak different foods into your prepped meal plans. For example, you can substitute chicken with lean beef or turkey, etc.). So, by buying in bulk, cooking it all at once and storing it in meal prep containers, you are going to save big bucks in the long run. Additionally, this prevents you from eating out since you can take your meals with you to work, avoiding the need to spend extra money.
Cuts Back on Cooking Time: Cooking is very much a waiting game, and can eat into some valuable time within our days. After all - time is money as it’s said. In America, we pride ourselves on being fast cookers and eaters, spend just 30 minutes cooking each day - the least of any developed nation (LiveScience).That’s why meal prepping is so great - the cooking process can be done on one set day. Whether you choose to plan and cook your meals every 4 days or weekly, the cooking time is reduced. No more waiting for the water to boil nightly, or the chicken to cook - it’s all done in one big batch, eliminating wasted time. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave or eat it straight from the refrigerator, eliminating cooking time.
Hit All of Your Macronutrients: The thing about meal prepping is that they are often designed to best suit you and your caloric needs. If you are trying to build muscle and trim down on fat, you can make nearly half of your containers of meat or fish, as well as legumes and plant based proteins (i.e. chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, etc.). This takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows you to get exactly the right types of calories you need. Or, if you have a big training week, you can add more carbs - it’s very simple to adjust and customise your eating plan so it works specifically for you and your fitness goals.
Precisely Count Calories and Avoid Excess Snacks: This is one of the main advantages of meal prepping. You are able to calculate exactly how many calories you need and adjust your food to me that intake. Meal prepping makes it easy to make the correct portions of food that you need throughout the day. This eliminates the needs of excess calories as well. Now, you don’t have to worry about counting the calories at each meal since they will be planned out for you in advance. Just be sure to avoid eating excess calories, as they can throw your allotted number of calories off.
Meal Prepping 101: How to Meal Prep the Right Way
Calculate your daily caloric needs (you can do so online, here). Then subtract or minus from that number, depending on whether you want to gain or lose weight. If you don't have nay already, buy meal prep containers that store your food in the fridge or freezer. Cook all your food at once. Steam that chicken, shop those vegetables - get creative, and choose a meal that best suits your needs. Store it in the fridge and reheat for each meal.
Voila! It’s that simple. In our modern day and age, we are all often short on time, money and it’s often easy to be tempted to pig out with grocery stores stocked full of food and restaurants - now, you can make eating healthy easy for you. If you didn’t know anything about meal prepping before, this meal prep 101 article should give you a great foundation for you to start with. Experience the health craze for yourself - it’s likely not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s as simple as cooking your food up in one batch based on your calorie needs, and storing it in meal prep containers. Try it out!