Most of us may not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen preparing for our next meal. Having a family of your own, being a student, or working full-time can often have you reaching for frozen dinners or eating out. The solution? Meal Preps.
Meal prepping is a really great way to save time AND save yourself from over-processed junk food. By doing this, you can have all of our meals prepped and ready by the time you get home.
‘Meal Prep’ is just short for ‘meal preparation,’ so you’re literally just preparing your meals ahead of time. By prepping your meals beforehand, you save time in the kitchen while also saving money! You can plan all of your meals at once or maybe just your dinners if that is your biggest time waster. You can even prep all your snacks a week in advance! Meal preps can be different for everyone, you just have to find the best way that works for you!
1. Find out what day is your ‘prep day’
Some like preparing at the beginning of the week, some like to do it at the end. This can depend on whether or not you want to prep a week in advance or just 3 days in advance. If you’re worried about food spoiling before the end of the week, prep only 3 days in advance and make your prep days 3 days apart.
For example, you can meal prep on Sunday and then meal prep again on Wednesday and leave one day out if you plan to go out with your family. Personally, I find that having 2 days of meal prep works best for me because I find that the food tastes fresher when it’s not planned out more than 3 days in advance and also, prepping a whole week of meals in one day can be pretty exhausting.
If you’re just starting out, I would recommend having 2 days of meal prep so you won’t overwhelm yourself, but again, find whatever strategy that works best for you.
Your first prep day should also be the day you go out grocery shopping for the week. If you’re prepping only a couple of days in advance, make sure to place the perishable meats for the next food prep in the freezer.
2. Plan out your meals beforehand
Take time to plan out what you want to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. Make sure you’re getting in a good amount of protein, vegetables, carbs, and fats for each meal. If you’re unsure of what those are, here are some examples.
Prepare your meals
This is where the real action starts.
Prepare all of your veggies and fruits beforehand by cleaning, peeling and cutting them. Any raw veggies you want to have for a snack along the week can quickly be dropped in a Ziploc bag for later. The same goes for fruits but make sure to refrigerate them to prevent spoiling.
For meats, plan out multiple ways you can make them so you don’t get bored of it later on in the week. For example, for chicken, you can sauté it, grill it, bake it, or crockpot it, there’s so many varieties. Another way to prepare it is to use different marinades for the chicken so you get a different flavor every day!
For chicken specifically, I found it was easiest to go ahead and separate all of the chicken breasts and wrap them individually with serene wrap before putting them into the freezer. This way, I would save time during the next meal prep because they would already be separated and ready for me to cook.
You can either choose to pre-cook your meals OR you can prepare them all beforehand for cooking later on in the week. For foods like brown rice or quinoa, I suggest you cook these in bulk for the week because they would take longer to prepare.
Store your meals
Have microwavable containers you can use to store your meals. They can be different sizes and different colors if you find that’s easier for you to differentiate your meats from your veggies or your lunch from dunner. There are also 2 ways you can store them.
1. Store all of your meals in their own container (having your lunch in one container and your dinner in a separate container)
2. Storing the meats and vegetables separately (having all of chicken breasts in one container and vegetables in another)
I really hope you found these tips helpful! These are just some of the basics of meal prepping so if you are really interested in getting started, I suggest searching up different styles on preparing meats or even meals plans you can use, there so many resources out there! The level of detail you want to put into your meals will depend on your both your schedule and health goals.
Right now it may seem a bit intimidating but once you try it, it can be a HUGE time-saver. Meal preps are meant to make your life a bit easier so just try and see what level of meal prepping works best for you.
If you’re still pressed for time, try our Nutritional Meal Plan
If meal preps are still too time-consuming for you, you can try out the GetFitNow meal plan where we provide you with a grocery shopping list, a snack list, and over 120 healthy recipes.
You can even sign up for our GetFitNow meals where we have healthy meals prepared already for you, provided by our own private chef! You can choose to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared for you 3, 5 or 7 days a week. Just let us know what times work best for you and we’ll do the best we can to work with your schedule.
The GetFitNow Team