Whether you are working towards a weight-loss goal, you are trying to add on mass, you have a food allergy, or you just want to make your week more convenient, preparing your meals ahead of time is key. By spending a few hours in the kitchen once a week, you can ensure that your meals are all prepped and ready for the week ahead. This will help you to stick to your dietary goals, eat well and save time when you are busy with other things.
To ensure that your meal prep is effective, it’s important to store your foods in the right way. When you are looking at fridges for your kitchen, be sure to choose a unit that is large enough to store fresh food and beverages as well as boxes containing your pre-prepared meals. Without a proper facility to store your prepped food, you will not be able to prepare your meals in advance which will result in your forming poor eating habits and choosing convenience over fresh more often.
Let’s take a look at some useful tips to help you begin your meal prep journey on the right foot.
Plan Around Your Schedule
Planning your meals around your work schedule, fitness routine, daily tasks and your social life will allow you to take full control of your diet. If you will be on the go all day, be sure to prepare healthy wraps or sandwiches that you can easily eat when you don’t have much spare time. Salads can be another great choice in this situation and having something pre-prepared will prevent you from veering towards the drive-through between chores.
Choose Recipes With The Same ingredients
To make your food shopping easier, be sure to use recipes that have overlapping ingredients. Onions, garlic, bell peppers, courgettes, mushrooms and other versatile veggies should make up the bulk of your groceries each week. When you are working with lots of the same foods, you can save time chopping and make more use of the space and time that you have for meal prep.
Cook Larger Portions
If you are preparing curry for during the week, why not make a little extra and use the leftovers for lunch on another day. Similarly, sandwich fillings can be used as the base of a salad for dinner or an accompanying side the next day. Preparing larger portions will help to cut down on the time you need to spend prepping your food each week.
Choose One-Pot Meals
Preparing meals that have a lot of different elements is much more challenging and time-consuming than preparing one-pot meals. Chilis, curries, pasta dishes, lasagnas and other meals that can be cooked in a single pot will make it easier for you to reheat and serve the meal later in the week. You can always cook fresh rice or serve fresh bread with your meals when you are serving to add a little freshness to your meals.
Start Slow And Build On Your Success Going Forward
When you are getting started with meal prep, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Planning one meal can be difficult enough but planning and preparing three meals a day for seven days can be daunting to even the most experienced home cook.
Start by preparing dinners for the week and move on from there. Once you are comfortable with prepping your dinners for the week, start adding in simple lunches like wraps and sandwiches. Add a little more variety as time goes on before you bring breakfast into the equation. With a slow and steady approach to meal prep, you will soon be back on track towards your goals and be in full control of your diet again.