Meal prepping isn’t a new concept, families have been doing it for several decades, with roasts on Sundays, pasta bakes on Mondays and steaks on Tuesdays. The concept for meal prepping when it comes to healthy eating in principle is the same.
You can meal prep anywhere from weekly to daily or any combination in between. As with anything there is pros and cons, we are going to go over some of these to give you an overall look at what is involved in meal prepping and my tips on how to make it successful.
Over the last few years my wife and I have prepped at the same time, I have prepped and she hasn’t or neither of us have prepped and just cooked day to day. I can tell you from experience a house hold that preps together is much easier and we are both currently prepping and we have system that works and we love it.
- You don’t have to think about what you are going to eat once it has been prepped. All the work is done for you.
- You don’t have to prepare food every day unless you choose to.
- Food prepping assist with portion control and calorie control
- You will eat more food not less over the course of the day
- Having pre prepared food allows you to avoid temptation
- If you choose to shop and buy in bulk and prep a week at a time you will most likely save money
- You get to be organized and plan the week, which is always a plus in my books.
- You have to be organized and plan ahead
- Depending on the food you have prepped you often have to carry an extra bag or cooler bag to store the food in for the day.
- It is hard at times, as you may crave something that you haven’t cooked but don’t want to waste the food you have cooked
- When in group situations at work or social you are often eating different food to everyone else.
That being said I tend to think the pros out weight the cons and will some simple tips you will be effectively food prepping in no time.
Choose you duration
The first step is to decide how long you want to prep for. I personally find it easier to prep a full week in advance, but you can prep for 2-3 days at a time or daily if you wish.
When choosing your duration of prepping consider the following
- How busy your week will be
- Do you have time to set aside to prep for the whole week
- How much space do you have to store the prepped food
- Do you have to cook for other people in your household
Once you have a prep period decided on, lets move onto my top tips.
Top 7 Tips for Meal Prepping
- Organisation Is Paramount
Know what you want to eat, if you have any dine out plans in the week ahead and your schedule so that you can allow time to eat food. Then write down what you need to cook, buy and prep.
- Variety is Key
If you are planning on prepping for longer than a day or so, variety in the food you eat is essential. Because I can almost guarantee that by day 3 you will be over the same food over and over and you will most likely give up and never do it again.
Change up your proteins, sauces and vegetable to keep each meal different from the next.That isn’t to say that you can’t bulk cook food, Just spread it out so you have the chicken dish Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the steak dish Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- Know Your Budget
Set a budget on what you are happy to spend on food and stick to it. You don’t want food wastage at the end of the week or to go broke meal prepping. Sticking to raw fresh veggies and simple meats can assist with this. Meat choices like lean mince are easy to cook in bulk, cheap and can be applied with many sauces for variety.
- Don’t Shop Hungry
This may sound like an obvious one but if you are hungry when you shop you are likely to buy extra food, sweet foods or foods you might not normally buy.
- Set Aside Prepping Time
If you are going to prep for the whole week set designated time aside and do it all at once, this makes it easier to control, bulk cook and store.
- Label Everything
label everything in the fridge & pantry from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If you have clear containers use a marker or you can get coloured containers. This makes it easier to grab what you need in the morning and you won’t forget anything.
- Have a Shopping List
White everything that you need to buy at the shops and stick to it. This will allow you to just buy what you need and not get the extra stuff we are all tempted to buy at the shops.
That is my tips on food prepping. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.
I hope you found some of the above useful and i look forward to creating more content