One of the most difficult aspects of getting healthy is monitoring what you eat. The truth of the matter is that this is just too difficult to do without planning out, even for the experts! Many of our trainers rely on meal prep for the week to track what they eat. If you have been struggling with the food part of your healthy lifestyle, meal prep could be the key to success! Here, you can learn some tips about meal prep as well as benefits.
How to Meal Prep
Meal prep is a simple way to understand what you are eating throughout the week. If you meal prep for the week, you can get all of your cooking done at one time, which will save you time and energy throughout the rest of the week. Eating healthy food will become a habit that you don’t have to think about because you will always have healthy food ready to go. Here are a few simple steps to consider if you want to start meal prepping:
- Choose a day (or two) to do your meal prep. Pick a day when you will have a few hours to go to the grocery store and cook your meals without having to stress out. Many people choose to do meal prep on the weekend so that it does not interfere with the hectic weeknight schedule. Sunday is one popular option for a few reason. First, people generally don’t have a lot happening on Sunday nights. Second, meal prep close to the week itself will prevent your food from going bad by the end of the week. If you’re worried about food spoilage, pick two days to meal prep, like Saturday and Wednesday or Sunday and Thursday.
- Plan your week and meals. Think about what your schedule will be like for the week. Plan out every day, including what kind of exercise you will do on what day. If you have an intense strength training session on Tuesday, you might need to up your calorie intake for that day. You should also note the days that you have events where you will eat, such as lunch meetings or dinner out at restaurants. When you plan your meals, think about what is going on what day and the breakdown of carbs, protein, and fat that you will need. Then you can plan your meals around what you need to eat. If you want to be precise, one simple hack is buying a food weight scale, which can help you know how much you are eating.
- Grocery shop and cook your meals!
What to Eat
Variety is important in meal prep because you don’t want to get bored of the same thing over and over again. Then you’ll start to dread the meal prep and you won’t want to keep up with it. So quick, healthy sauces or marinades can break up the monotony. Try not to get the same protein or veggies two weeks in a row. Identify healthy foods that you like to eat and rotate them.
Some healthy staples that you might consider include:
- Chicken breast.
- Lean ground meats.
- Various types of fish (although do note that fish tends to contain more fat than other proteins do).
- Beans and legumes, such as black beans, chick peas – whatever you like!
- Brown rice.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Whole grain breads.
- Cous cous.
- Fresh vegetables that you like to eat.
Make sure that you mix up your meals. No one wants to eat the same thing for weeks on end – experiment with new foods to keep it exciting!
Meal prep is fairly straightforward, but if you feel overwhelmed please contact us. We can give you more tips on meal planning and help you stick to a plan that works for you!