5 Tips for Easy Meal Prep
Today’s dieter has many options. There’s the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, the Ketogenic diet (we know keto!), the South Beach, raw food, and vegan diets. And then there are tweaked versions of all these options.
Whether the diet you choose is low carb, high carb, or somewhere-in-the-middle carb, one principle holds true with all… You need to stick with them so they prove effective.
In some cases, the strictness of the diet is “non-negotiable,” such as with the Keto diet where rigid adherence is a must so that the science behind the method has a few days to kick in and take effect.
Consequently, one of the biggest derailers of any type of dieting program is a lack of time or planning, leaving individuals with little options other than to “cheat” their way to a full day’s calorie consumption.
So what’s a committed dieter to do if they want to ensure they have enough time and food to adhere to their regiment?
Two words… Meal Prep.
Granted, meal prep can be a bit of a chore itself, but if you stick to some easy principles with your meal planning and prepping, you’ll find it’s far easier than you might think.
Here are 5 tips for easy meal prepping.
1. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Yes, we agree variety is the spice of life—but you can achieve variety while adhering to simplicity with your meal planning. Recognize that, as you pile on the number of ingredients for any given meal, you also add to the prep time and storage considerations.
Not all ingredients keep as well as others, and having to allow for a pinch of this and a dash of that over and over again is hard to do without allocating excessive hours to your meal prepping routine.
Pick a few staple protein, fat, and carb sources. Then figure out how to mix those ingredients up through the clever use of seasoning, keeping the number of foods you need to work with minimal but the variety of flavors expansive.
2. Leave adequate time for shopping and planning.
Meal planning on the go while shopping is not very sustainable, can be cost ineffective, and is time-consuming. Consequently, failure to leave adequate space in your week to shop and meal plan will lead to poor and rushed meal prepping.
Allocate time to sit down and plan out all your meal options for the week. Write down your meals and the food items you need for each. Then figure out the number of servings needed, grab a calculator, and determine what you will need in total for all your ingredients.
Now all you have to do is set aside some time to hit your local supermarket, go shopping, and for goodness’ sake—stick to your list! (You can also take advantage of grocery pick-up services to avoid temptation.)
3. Prep All Your Ingredients in Bulk
Prepping each meal’s ingredients one at a time is, again, time-consuming and hard to manage. It’s preferable by far to set aside an hour or two a week to cook and prepare all your ingredients ahead of time.
Grill up all your proteins, chop those vegetables, and boil that pasta (whole grain of course 😉) all in one sitting so that all you need to do is gather your prepared ingredients for each day’s needs.
4. Portion your meals out
Now that you have everything prepped and ready to serve (or cook), you need to portion it all out. Depending on the recipe, you may be preparing the actual meal, or you may be simply setting aside the ingredients needed for quick assembly.
Either way, you will be ready, able, and have the proper resources for each day’s meal needs without requiring a ton of time or hassle, making your diet far easier to manage.
5. Use airtight containers
Ok, last thing… Now that you have all your ingredients portioned out, you need to store everything in a manner that’s convenient and safe. Poor storage practices can result in food that is flavorless, discolored, smelly, or has an unpleasant texture. One of the main reasons this happens is oxygen exposure (i.e., oxidation).
Look for quality containers that allow for chambered ingredients, are microwave safe, and airtight. This will help ensure your food stays fresh and is easy to heat and serve when needed.
Meal prepping does take time and commitment, but it’s easy to schedule and manage—and, if done well, will assist you in your diet journey. Take the time needed each week for effective food preparation and you will be pleased with the time it saves you each day.
Ready to get started? Great! We’re glad to help – and, if you need further help on your personal health journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Bee Healthy Clinic nearest you.