I am a big supporter of meal prep. You don't have to be a body builder to partake, and it saves heaps of time in the week when you normally have little to spare. I know it seems like an arduous task, but it's importance in achieving your goals really can't be underestimated. Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and then preparing your meals is one of important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet.
The key to getting ahead with meal prep is to have a few staple foods that you can batch-cook and use in a number of different ways. If you really don't have the time, opt for tinned fish, salads, raw veggies (think carrot sticks, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, capsicums), fruit and nuts, which take zero time to throw in a Tupperware.
Taking that extra time to prepare for the week ahead and you'll be rewarded with:
Having your meals on hand during the day means you don't have to go to the local cafe for food. This not only saves you time, but also your waistline. You have full control over the portions and ingredients.
You'll be prepared at snack time when hunger strikes with something nourishing, so you can feed your body regularly and keep you metabolism humming. Snacking regularly will stop your body falling into a catabolic state, which results in the loss of lean body tissue (including muscle) and a depression of your metabolic rate.
Another major advantage of planning and prepping your meals: saving money. Skip the $15 a day you spend on a salad covered in croutons and unknown dressings (yuk), and you'll pocket $75 a week. That's enough for a new gym top AND an extra workout class!
5 Top Meal-Prep Tips:
- Invest in plenty of tupperware and ziplock bags - they're your new best friend.
- Cook in large batches and freeze or refrigerate for meals during the week
- Plan ahead to reduce waste and keep meals interesting
- Make a shopping list, and stick to it
- Set aside a few hours each week to chop and cook - it will save you hours in the long-run.
I've made it easy with a FREE downloadable meal planner:
Simple Meal Prep Ideas
I've got you covered with recipes, but what about that time element?
It doesn't have to be complicated. Try this:
- double up your dinner and saving the rest for the following day
- roast a tray of your favourite veggies ready for salad additions
- choose raw or no-bake snacks such as almonds, fresh fruit and simple home-made protein balls
- make a large soup and freeze in portions
- boil eggs for the week ahead eat throughout the week as a healthy snack or lunch topper
- grill or poach chicken breasts, allow to cool and store in the fridge
- buy pre-washed salad mixes
- cook a big pan of quinoa or brown rice ready to eat cold during the week
If you're on the hunt for a new totally tote-able lunch bag for your prep, I'm digging the new Active Line from Tupperware (featured image, RRP $79). Comes with a great little insulated bag to keep your food cool.
Already a master of the meal-prep? Share your own top tips below!