As someone who is constantly on the go, I usually find myself over spending on food because I never have (better yet, make) enough time in the morning to eat breakfast or pack lunch – not to mention my eating habits being out of wack because how infrequently I eat. And when I actually do eat, I end up stuffing my face.
Realizing that I was not only stretching my wallet but my waist line too, I began to meal prep to help maintain a regular eating schedule and a more balanced diet. So if you find yourself interested in the world of meal prepping or just think those Pinterest ideas of putting salads in mason jars looks cool, here are my five tips for success meal prepping.
1. Don’t buy food you won’t actually eat.
You should know I am a Tone It Up girl and I absolutely love their 8 Week Bikini Nutrition Plan. When I first decided to try it out, I dropped well over $200 at Whole Foods for a weeks worth of food that I didn’t even eat. Why? I was so excited to begin my fitness journey I paid attention only to the list of ingredients I needed for the week instead of the actual recipes. I didn’t consider if I would eat, or even like, everything they laid out in the plan such as white beans with coconut yogurt or stir fired tofu. The second time I gave it a try, I made sure to substitute certain foods with other healthier options I know I would eat on the regular. When you’re ready to begin a new diet or meal plan, double check if you actually like the foods or recipes listed and if you don’t, you can always substitute to avoid your food, and your money, going to waste.
2. Start of slow…
This ties into my first point – especially if you are new to meal prepping, it is good to know how much food you are actually going to consume and if you can consume your food before it goes bad. I bought six apples thinking I would eat one a day but I only ended up eating three for the whole week (I just was not in the mood for apple) and sadly the others rotted. Start off meal prepping for, lets say, four days out of the week and once you train yourself to eat all the food you purchased, move on to meal prepping for the entire week.
3. Pick a day to prep and stick to it.
Nothing throws off your schedule more than not following one! Pick a day and a time to prep your meals so you can be ready to grab them as you head out the door. You don’t want to fall back into the habit of not having time to make your lunch.
4. Measure your food.
Is your meal for the day all veggies and no protein? Did you happen to consume fruit all day and nothing else? Did you really just douse your salad in half a cup of ranch dressing? In order to eat healthy, remember it is all about portion control and a good balance of your food groups. Even if you are scarfing down salads and fruits, measuring your food and taking note of what you choose to eat daily will give you a better idea if you are eating too much or too little of one food group.
5. Freeze for later.
Because food has a tendency to go bad, the great thing about meal prepping is the ability to make meals in batches and freeze them for later. My favorite breakfast meal to make and freeze is the Tone It Up Chocolate Raspberry Crunch protein pancakes. Every morning when I am ready to eat one I just have to pop them into the microwave for a few seconds. If you are curious of what else you can safely freeze, check out these 13 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later.
Do you mean prep? Or do you think it is too time consuming? What are your favorite grab n’ go meals? Drop me a line below.