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Meal Prep 101

Meal Prep 101

Looking to lose weight? If so, one thing that you must, must, must be doing is meal prepping.

Meal prepping is taking the time to plan out a bunch of meals all at once to eat in the coming days ahead. For those seeking results with their nutrition plan, consider it your saving grace.

Life gets busy. You’re no stranger to not having enough time in the day and usually when things get really hectic, the first thing to go is preparing your meals. You instead opt to order take-out or pick up something at the local convenience store. Both of which is going to do nothing for your waistline.

Meal prepping provides a number of benefits. These include:

  • Not having to think or worry about what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Not spending extra money on groceries because no food goes to waste
  • Preventing you from overeating (since all your food is already measured out!)
  • Saving you time (duh, the obvious!)
  • Keeping you accountable – if there are containers left over in the fridge, you clearly know things went wrong
  • Makes it easier to avoid foods you shouldn’t eat since you’re still full from the last meal you ate

There are plenty of good reasons why meal prepping is a must. To help you master this process, let’s go over the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Grocery Shop

The first step is buying all the groceries you need. Look over what you plan to eat in the coming week and formulate it all into one large grocery list. Go to the store and buy all what’s on that list (and only what’s on that list!).

Step 2: Pre-Cut All Your Ingredients

Once home, begin chopping. This will make things easier once you get cooking. Chop up all the vegetables you purchased, any sweet potatoes you plan to prepare, as well as slice any meat that you are going to cook.

Step 3: Get Cooking

Once things are chopped and ready, it’s time to cook. Start with the food that tastes the longest to cook and usually anything that goes in the oven. Then while that cooks, you can begin grilling or sautéing any other foods as necessary.

At first it can feel overwhelming cooking multiple things at once, but soon you’ll be a multi-tasking expert. You may need to invest in a couple of good timers as well to use as you prepare the various dishes you are making.

Step 4: Bring Out Your Food Scale and Containers

After the food is all cooked, it’s time to weigh and measure. This is an important part of the process as it ensures that your calories and macros line up to where they need to be.

First, portion out and measure your meats and then add them to your Tupperware containers. From there, measure out your carb source and then top with vegetables.

Add in any fats (if necessary) and then close the containers up, ensuring the lids are securely on.

Step 5: Store

Once these are ready, now you want to store them. If you plan to eat your meals within the next three days, you should be fine to store them in the fridge for now. If they need to last longer than that, consider placing them in the freezer instead. This will help them stay fresh longer and you can easily take them out the night before you plan to bring them with you to work/school or wherever you happen to be going.

Step 6: Assemble Any Last Minute Items

Finally, the night before each day begins, assemble any last minute items. This might include blending up a protein shake, pouring some Greek yogurt into a container and topping with fresh berries, or drizzling salad dressing over a salad (since doing this earlier may cause the salad to get soggy).

These last minute items should not take any longer than 10 minutes total and can be done before you go to bed for the night.

There you have your guide to meal prep. Don’t take for granted how much this can help you stick to your diet plan. One of the biggest reasons that people don’t see the results they’re looking for from their diet is because they simply can’t stick with it.

Meal prepping will help you stick with the plan!

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About Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 10 years now.