Making healthy eating a priority can feel like an overwhelming task. With our time already stretched thin, it’s little wonder that fast food, microwave dinners, and snacks are tempting. The thing is, with just a little planning and preparation, those meals can be healthy, nutritious, and homemade. Weekly food prepping is rapidly growing in popularity among the health-conscious and time-poor people in our society.
The concept is simple, dedicate a couple of hours a week toward preparing all of your meals for the week ahead. Then all you need to do is reheat and enjoy. Your stress levels are dramatically reduced, and you get to reap the health benefits.
The Benefits Of Meal Planning
Meal planning is more than just another passing fad. There are genuine benefits that can have an impact on your wider life.
- Financial Savings: We all know that popping into the supermarket on the way home from work adds up. It’s surprising how quickly an extra $10 or $20 can be added to your bill. Plus, when there’s a delicious meal waiting in the fridge for you, you’re far less likely to order a takeaway.
- Health Benefits: By planning ahead, you can be sure that you’re going to make a healthy choice. You can plan calories ahead, which helps you to maintain a balanced diet.
- Time-Saving: Imagine being able to avoid the daily time wasted wondering what to have for dinner. You also save yourself the daily trip to the store for ingredients. Yes, you spend more time preparing in advance, but that time is regained during the week.
- Reduced Food Waste: When you prepare your food in advance, you can be sure that you’re preparing the right amount. That means less food waste and fewer ingredients lost to the back of the fridge and spoiling.
- Decreased Impulse Eating: Sometimes, you just grab something from the fridge because it’s right there. Meal prepping isn’t going to stop that urge instantly, but it’ll help to know you’ve got a meal ready to go for later.
How To Meal Plan Successfully
This is our 5 part meal plan methodology. You’ll get the best out of meal prep if you let it slot into your life rather than overtaking it. Adapt the below to best fit your lifestyle rather than seeing it as a bible. That said, follow these steps, and you’ll be a meal-prepping hero in no time.
Pick Your Prep Day
This could be any day you like, but the option most people choose is Sunday. It’s too easy to skip meal prepping after a long day at work. If you skip it, then you’re causing issues for yourself later in the week. Picking a day and sticking to it creates a routine that you’re less likely to skip.
Check your cupboards, the refrigerator, and the freezer before you head to the store. Then write yourself a list and stick to it. This will stop you from purchasing unnecessary ingredients or extras. Plus, by taking stock of what’s on the shelves, you’ll be more likely to use ingredients before they spoil.
Plan Your Portions
It’s worth getting to know what the right portion size looks like for you. Overeating is incredibly easy and can quickly spiral into a weight problem. You’ll need a good set of scales and learn conversion questions such as how many oz in a pound?
Buy The Right Stuff
Where possible, aim to buy whole foods. Avoid processed foods if you want to keep your calorie count in check. You could also consider the seasonality of ingredients and buy what is in season.
Use Optimal Storage
First, you need to purchase containers that work for you. They should hold the right size portion for you, be stackable in the refrigerator or freezer, and be easy to open. Once the food is packed, make sure that you label it clearly.
Meal prepping has the opportunity to save you time save you money, and give you a healthy, nutritious set of dinners. Consider it a way of spending time earlier in the week so that you can get some back later on. Trust us, give it a go, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner.