Beginners guide to Meal Prepping: The What, Why’s and How’s

Of all the ways there are to lose weight, one of the most important factors is what you are putting into your body to fuel it. How many times do you catch yourself just blindly snacking without really getting full? How often are you going out for lunch or stopping at a fast food place because you didn’t bring anything? The ease of being able to go out and grab something is always there, but it is not always going to be healthy or the most cost efficient.

Meal prepping can be intimidating, especially if you are biting off more than you can handle right away. But if you are able to ease into things, and not go over the top, it is a manageable process.

What is Meal Prepping??

Simply put: Meal prepping is getting your meals ready ahead of time. You most likely have been doing a toned down version of this when you have leftovers. But it is a little different. Meal prepping focuses on the portions, healthier food, and to make life easier for you. It can also be a big money saver. You are not running out and grabbing something, or getting way more than you would usually eat or than you can eat.

How do you Meal Prep??

The biggest suggestion that I have is MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF!! Do not go out and find these crazy difficult or ton of ingredient recipes that take hours is maybe not the best meal prepping option to start with. Find recipes that have foods that you enjoy to eat. If you are using ingredients that are not your favorite or that you do not like, you are going to be less likely to be excited to eat these later on, and even not wanting to keep up with it. Do what works for you. That goes for grocery shopping, meal planning, recipe searching, and the actual prepping.

Do you like to cook extra during everyday meals for leftovers? Use those and portion it out. Adjust every meal to make it a little healthier. Do you want to take one day to make a weeks worth of meals for breakfast/lunch/snacks? Set aside a day that works for you to be able to take a few hours and prep (many people use the weekends so that it is ready for the work week). Or prep the night before for the meals. Whatever you have time for or what works in your schedule.

Planning out your meals and what you need to purchase and what you already have are extremely important to saving yourself some money though. Does making one big shopping trip work best for you? Do it. Does going to the store a few times a week make more sense? Stick to that. Use your normal routine to make yourself successful. The more you do it, the easier it will be.

What do I all need??

How do I do it??

  • Make a meal plan

    • Know what you have going on this week, plan around nights you are not going to be home, plan for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. The better you plan, the better you are going to not catch yourself snacking on those chips in the pantry.

  • Check and see what you already have in your pantry

    • Don’t waste money on items you already have at home

  • Look up favorite recipes or find some new ones.

    • A simple search on the internet will give you a TON of results for meal prepping. You can go to any search engine that you would like, almost any social media website, and Pinterest to find these.

    • Using one of your own recipes? See if there are some ways to make it a little healthier if it isn’t the most healthy thing.

  • Make your grocery list

  • Once you go shopping, sort into a make now and later piles.

At Home after the store:

  • Wash and prep fruit and veggies

    • Store it in the bags or containers for later (snacking or meals)

  • Bake the meats

  • Cook the rice, pasta, etc.

    • Store in containers (as a general rule, these should last 3-5 days)

    • Or if you like “fresh” rice, use that rice cooker that you have. Start it before you jump in the shower, and package it up for lunch that day.

  • Make your recipes and portion it out for meals for the week.

Is that it??

For the most part, that is it. It can be as easy or as difficult as you want it. Make it work for you and your lifestyle. If it is an easy change to make to your life, you are more likely going to keep doing it. If it is a hassle, you probably won’t. And if you want to life a healthier life, a big part of it is what you eat and drink.

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