Food prep can mean the difference between sticking to your fitness plan and failing to reach your goals!
Food prep can mean the difference between sticking to your fitness plan and failing to reach your goals. Having prepared your meals in advance will save you from giving in to sudden cravings or hunger, and when all is said and done, it will actually save you a lot of time!
By sacrificing just one hour a week to prep all your meals, you’re setting yourself up for long-term health and success.
To make this routine as painless as possible, try the following 10 Food Prep Tips:
- Don’t complicate things
One reason why many meal plans are very basic, is that it just makes it simpler to prepare your meals. Unless you have a huge kitchen and absolutely love to cook, it’s just easier to involve as few ingredients as possible. You can still create delicious combinations by varying roasting, boiling, steaming, or sautéing your veggies, or spicing up your protein sources with new (healthy) condiments, etc.
- Prioritize your meals
If you know for a fact that you always have time in the evenings or enjoy cooking fresh dinner for your family, then perhaps that is one thing you’d prefer to keep a bit flexible. (Although it’s still smart to have the right ingredients at hand ahead of time, to make sure you stay on track with your macros – especially if you’re following a strict plan!) Perhaps mornings are the most stressful time of your day, or maybe lunch tends to be unpredictable due to work; in which case those meals should be prioritized during food prep. Keep it easy by stashing up your fridge with nutritious overnight oats, and make a few simple lunches that you can easily stuff in your lunch bag for work. If you make a couple of extra ones for your kids or second half, this can save even more time and money and make sure that they too have daily access to balanced, clean meals.
- Set a Day
In this day of age, people’s schedules tend to change on a whim, but try to set a day for shopping and another for food prep. For example, make it a priority to stock up on the needed items on Friday or Saturday (whichever makes more sense), and then prep your meals on Sunday, every week. There is nothing worse for your diet than to discover you only have one meal left in the fridge and nothing left to cook with – so stay prepared!
- Prepare for Failure
There will be times when you find yourself on a limited clock, so have a backup plan for those occasions. Buy a set of mason jars (which are also excellent for overnight oats and smoothies, by the way) and make a list of meals that can be prepared quickly without much cooking effort. Salads and soups are perfect for storing in mason jars, and they are easy to whip up a big batch of when you’re short on time.
- Make Several Things at Once
If you can’t spare more than an hour or two on prep, you may want to divide the prep of different food items by making your proteins on Saturday, while cooking for example veggies on Sundays. Another strategy is to cook them all at once, but in a variety of ways – meaning you may sauté your veggies, boil your potatoes and rice, and roast your proteins. Depending on volume, this will allow you to make them all at once – even in a fairly small kitchen – and it usually won’t take more than an hour altogether. If you’re the kind of person who runs around doing other things at once, then a slow cooker could be a great investment to aid your prepping efforts!
- Save Space with Zip Lock Bags
If you don’t have a lot of space in your fridge, try using zip lock bags marked with content and expiration date! They won’t take up nearly as much space as regular Tupperware, and the steamer versions will allow you to both freeze your meals for longer storage, and heat them up right in the bag!
Do you have some food prep tips of your own? Shoot us an email we’d love to hear them!