Why Meal Prep?
There are many benefits to meal prepping:
- Prevents cheating – if you prepare your meals ahead of time, you are less likely to reach for junk or convenience food
- Saves you money – by preparing your weekly meals ahead of time, you are less likely to succumb to an expensive takeaway or eating out
- Saves time – by preparing your weekly meals ahead of time, you have much more time each day to spend doing activities other than cooking
- Helps you achieve your health and fitness goals – when you plan out your meals ahead of time, not only are you learning portion control but you are learning to fuel your body with regular nutritious food.
Meal prepping is an efficient way to ensure you eat the right foods and stay on track for weight loss or general health and fitness goals even when you are pressed for time.
The first thing you need to do is invest in some good quality containers – your Prep and Rep bag contains 4 but you can purchase more in packs of 10 from the Prep and Rep shop. These are all the same size and stack easily in your fridge. Because you are going to be reheating your food, your Prep and Rep food containers are BPA free and won’t fall apart in the microwave or oven.
Step 1 – Write down your personal goals
Are you looking to lose weight, lose fat, build muscle or just save time and money? Whatever your goal is, write it down and ensure your goal is SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound)
Consider whether there are other things you need to do to help you achieve your goals. Maybe you need a workout plan, a fitness tracker, personal trainer or just a new pair of training shoes. Make sure you add these tasks into your goal planning.
Step 2 – Decide when you are going to do your meal prep. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done on a Sunday night. Allocate meal prep time to fit into your lifestyle.
Step 3 – Plan your week’s meals. This is a huge task so make sure you set aside some time to do it. When you first start meal prepping, it is best to start with manageable chunks – stick to preparing just a few days at a time until you get used to the process.
Write down your meal plan – breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Try to use recipes that can be prepared in advance and won’t spoil. Then create your shopping list.
The point of meal prep is to make life easier for you during the week, this doesn’t mean you have to precook all of your food though! For example, you can marinate your chicken breasts, place them in the freezer, and defrost when you’re ready to use them. The same thing applies to homemade turkey burgers etc. Another example is to make one larger batch of your favourite sauces and refrigerate it, rather than make several smaller batches.
If you like your vegetables freshly cooked, then you can portion them out for each meal and put them in containers ready to be steamed or cooked. If you know you will be making a meal that requires a lot of chopping, you can do this in advance as well. You can also wash all fruit and portion the nuts that you will be using as snacks, so that you can easily eat them on the go
When it comes to cooking your good carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, and wholemeal pasta, we recommend cooking these upfront as these do take a little longer to prepare.
Smoothies and protein shakes can also provide you with essential nutrition whilst on the go. Protein shakes are particularly useful if you are training hard in the gym and wanting to increase your levels of protein without increasing the levels of fat – check out our protein shake blog for more information.
And don’t forget to keep your fluid intake topped up by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Your Prep and Rep bag comes complete with 4 food containers, a protein shaker, a smoothie bottle and a water bottle so you are completely prepared for every day.