So You're Thinking About Meal Prepping? Then Read This!
Posted on 31 May 2017
If you are reading this article, it is likely you already have at least one reason in mind as to why you should start meal prepping.
If you aren’t quite convinced here, this is a great place for beginners to start. Here are five reasons why you should start meal prepping now.
- You will save money: planning meals in advance through meal prep will allow you to buy things in bulk, and avoiding having food go to waste.
- It will help you lose weight: meal prep allows you to control your calorie consumption, and it helps you foresee snacks for your cravings throughout the day.
- Grocery shopping will become easier: Grocery shopping is a breeze when you know exactly what you will be eating that week. No more browsing the aisles for ideas, and more time for everything else.
- You will learn the art of portion control: Staying healthy in the long run is about eating the right foods in the right proportions.
- You won’t waste food: More planning equals less waste.
Still need more convincing? Read the full article as to why meal prep can make your life 10 times easier.
Of course you know why meal prep is awesome. What do you need to do before you start?
While meal prep takes a bit more effort than what final-product Pinterest photos will lead you to believe, once you get the hang of it, you will be healthier, more organized, and more efficient.
There are four things you need to take into account before you meal prep – it will make the process easier and the food more enjoyable!
1. Educate yourself on fail-proof meal prep cooking techniques
There a few things more frustrating in the cooking world than putting a significant amount of time into buying, planning, and preparing a meal, only to realize that it got burned or dried out in the process.
Rather than winging it, when you find a recipe take time to read the cooking instructions, and, equally important, read the comments (if available). Here you will learn about the accuracy of the cooking instructions, and you may even get tips on how to solve it.
Also, take some time to get to know your stove. All stoves are different, and this could affect how quickly or slowly your food cooks, and whether the temperatures are reliable.
Identify the cooking techniques you are most confident with, and unless you have a lot of time to cook and experiment at some point, stick with them.
2. Invest in good quality containers
Without proper containers, the food you spent so much time preparing will not last throughout the week. Containers should be hermetically sealed, long-lasting, and easy to wash and maintain. They should also be BPA free, and dishwasher and microwave safe.
You can check out our containers, made specifically for meal prep, here!
3. Invest in flavor: seasonings, sauces, & marinades
If your meal prep includes eating the same food or something similar throughout the week, it is essential that you make it interesting so you don’t get bored after week one.
Look into adding spices like rosemary, basil, oregano, cumin, coriander, and curry to your dishes – many of these are not only delicious, but they also have added health benefits.
Marinades can soften meats, add a burst of flavor, and make cooking much more simple. There are plenty of homemade marinades you can make, and for many of them you can leave it in the fridge overnight with the meats, which is especially beneficial if you prefer splitting your meal prep time investment over a few days.
You can buy plenty of pre-made sauces that will give you something to dip you snacks into or to top your meals with.
However, be mindful of calories, trans fats, and sodium in marinades and sauces. Read labels and portion sizes so that you don’t create an imbalance in energy intake.
4. Remember, there's a learning curve to meal prep!
Once you start meal prep, it can seem overwhelming because of the way you have to reorganize your days when you plan, shop, and cook. This is particularly true at the very beginning when you aren’t quite sure how to navigate it all.
However, once you get the hang of it, meal prep will come naturally to you. You will quickly come to appreciate how wonderful it feels to have so much free time throughout the week, while still being able to commit to a healthy diet.
Don’t get discouraged if you make a few mistakes here and there – if you stick to a routine, you will be forever thankful. You’ll even be asking yourself why you hadn’t started earlier!