For many of us, meal prepping is the difference between success or failure when it comes to reaching our health and fitness goals. It is the missing element that most of us are too scared to embark upon in case it all goes horribly wrong.
Truth is, the whole meal prepping process can be overwhelming to the inexperienced and quite frankly, a hassle for veterans who would rather spend their Sundays in the pub.
Sadly, without proper meal prepping, results can be prove to be somewhat mediocre.
And who want's mediocre results?
Successful meal prepping revolves around having a plan. This is crucial. Winging it on the fly will likely end up in mismanaged macros, forgotten veggies, or in worse cases - illness!
So below, are 5 useful tips on how to finally crack your meal prepping routine and watch results go through the roof!
1. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
There ain't much point meal prepping until you know exactly how much you're meant to be eating, the number of meals you are having daily and what those meals are made of.
Some people find that prepping their lunches only is sufficient because they're able to eat breakfast and dinner at home. Others prefer prepping multiple daily meals for the entire week—or even all of them. Regardless of where you fall on the meal-prepping spectrum, decide what will set you up for the best success and plan accordingly.
Unsure what macros are or how much you should be eating for your goals? Drop me a message for a free consultation.
2. ONLINE SHOPPING
May seem like an obvious one but you'd be surprised by the amount of people who embark on a new Body Project without writing a food list or doing a big weekly food shop. They then end up running out of food after the first two days leaving no time to stock up and forced to use their protein-powder stash as reinforcements, for every meal - not ideal.
Once you know your numbers, make sure you have everything to meet them. If you're one of those lucky people with a mahoozive freezer, you may be able to plan weeks ahead of time. If not, make a weekly or biweekly trip part of your prep routine. This save lots of time and money!
Trying to keep costs down and avoiding the online delivery fees is great if you have car or can carry your entire weekly shop back home without cursing everyone who bumps into you - not to mention the weekend till queues! But if you just want a simple life - order everything online.
3. FREQUENCY & STORAGE
When prepping for the week, the maximum that I would recommend is 5 days in advance because things start to get a little funky toward the end of the week and its obviously important that you are actually enjoying your food!
TIP: Keep up to 3 days worth of meals in the fridge and freeze the rest of the meals.
Label your food! If you're like me and love a bit of organisation, invest in some sticky (easily removable!) labels and note down your meals (Day 1 Breakfast, Day 1 lunch or Meal 1, Meal 2..etc) - saves a whole lot of time in mornings when you just want to grab and go!
Glass containers are great to have in the fridge because you can see the contents and they generally can be used in most microwaves. Plus the are awesome for overnight Bircher Meusli (recipe in DAILY TIPS 2 ).
If you are preparing several hot meals, you should allow the meals to cool down (nearly to room temperature) and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer within 1-2 hours of preparing.
If you are going to freeze your meals, make sure the containers are airtight! If not, the food may be susceptible to freezer burn and taste like ice by the time you reheat and eat the meal.
When defrosting your meals, I always recommend defrosting in the fridge the night before you are going it eat the meal. It takes longer, but has the less risk associated with it.
Be careful when using the microwave to defrost your meals as it will heat food up pretty quickly so if there was any bacteria on/in the food, it can start to multiply or spread! Plus, some parts of the meal will be frozen while others remain hot so part of your meal can become rock hard, overcooked and pretty inedible.
4. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Now you will hear me talking about 'rainbow food' on the regs and as a Naturopath in training, I am obviously a huge advocate of including variety into your diet to keep you feeling and looking your best. That being said, when it comes to breaking your meal prepping virginity, simple is always best.
Plus..have you ever had three days old courgetti? Naat the one - save your fancy salads for when you have time to eat them fresh.
- Protein: Chicken breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, lean lunch meat (turkey breast, ham, or roast beef) and low-fat beef jerky
- Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain bread
- Healthy fats: Almonds, avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, almond butter, olive oil and coconut oil
5. MULTI-TASK IN THE KITCHEN!
Cook multiple things at once! Yep - cook your chicken or fish AND roast your veggies at the same time!
Use starchy and hearty veggies that you can roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. That way you can easily decrease the amount of time in the kitchen.
Most foods absorb a lot of water when cooked so for most accurate macros, measure everything RAW.
That's it for now peeps! Stay tuned for some macro-friendly recipes in DAILY TIPS 2!
Clemmie now offers personal meal prepping coaching services including:
- Food list writing
- Food shopping
- Macro-cooking crash course
Get in touch for details.