If you want to take your weight loss up a level you should be preparing your meals. Here I'll show you how to meal prep like a pro in 5 simple steps.
If you've got a weight loss plateau or you're just starting healthy eating then meal prep is a great way to get all of your meals planned and made ahead of time so you can take away and stress related to meal time.
For some of my clients, especially the busy ones meal prep is super important. Now I'm going to be honest with you I meal prep slightly but not too much as it's become 2nd nature and I'm in control of what myself and Demi eat. so I prep every other day rather than once or twice a week. You just need to find what works best for you.
A word of warning before you start from my experience. making meals ahead of time is a great time saver. I did the whole, prep my meals for seven days and while the first few meals were great the third fourth and fifth gets a bit bland. reheating meals can only last so long. That's why in the beginning meal prep on a sunday for the week is great but it can be hard to do long term.
For me it didn't really work it put me off food. So for myself and Demi we cook all our meals fresh apart from snacks, they are all freshly cooked and I eat them there and then.
For the sake or yourself as a newbie to meal prep if you're not used to this, it is good to prep your meals a week or even 3 or 4 days at a time depending you fussy you are with food. A lot of my clients tend to freeze their meals and then defrost and reheat. But that didn't work for me. So you just have to find out what works best for you.
The 5 Important Steps to Meal Prepping for Weight Loss
Step 1 - write out what meals and snacks you're going to have for 7 days.
What we suggest is to download our free 7 day meal plan unless you've done this already, and then design your meal plan for the week. A lot of people tend to pick a few meals they like and then repeat them, it's the easiest way to bulk cook plus you'll know you'll enjoy them which is key to you being consistent.
Having a different meal in your meal plan every day means you'll be cooking 5 or 6 things at the same time which is time consuming and stressful.
What you need to do is choose the meals you want. Ideally you'd make a few of each meal or more depending how fussy you are. Make sure it adheres to what we want so we want low carb meals which are high in protein and veg. You can have some carbohydrates in there as long as they are wholesome such as sweet potato, quinoa or rice, things like that which are easy to cook, easy to make. Of course flavour them with herbs or spices to make them more appealing.
What I tend to do is go on Pinterest and search for clean meal recipes and go through the ones I like and bulk cook some of them.
Step 2 - Go shopping.
Make note of all the ingredients you need and go get them, be meticulous know how much of each ingredient you need. Of course you need some tupperware for your snacks and main meals, bear in mind storage and costs. However many days you're cooking for you need to be able to store the food in portions. Some meals can be put into freezer bags and transferred to clean tupperware later to keep storage and tupperware costs down. Just think about everything you need and how you will store it. You can even go as far as prepping and freezing your morning smoothies ingredients minus the protein powder and liquids.
Step 3 - Kick everyone out of the kitchen.
It's go time, make sure that kitchen is yours and own it. Have all the ingredients ready, know what meals you're making first and get cooking.
Step 4 - Portion everything out and store them properly.
Hopefully you got enough food to make even meals. Set out all your nice new tupperware and start putting your meals and snacks together. Try to avoid eating everything, I've known clients of mine do this. Let them cool, put the lids on and date when you made them and then put what you need in the freezer or fridge! Make sure you date them and know how long each will last. This is an amazing website which tells you how long certain foods last fresh and frozen its www.stilltasty.com its brilliant make sure you go check it out. Nobody want to eat gone off food.
Step 5 - This is the most important step.
Make sure you eat them when you're supposed to and stick to the plan. Watch your body transform.
There are your 5 steps to success, like ourselves there will come a point where you don't need to meal prep as much in the sense of bulk cooking. We still prep in the sense that we know what we will have ahead of time and make sure we make cook and eat it. Find the way that suits you.
Related - 10 Clean Eating Hacks For Beginners
We've also come up with these hints and tips to make food prep a little easier.
Extra hints and tips to make your life a little easier.
1. When you're making your breakfast in the morning you could be cooking up some boiled eggs for your snacks or with an egg salad for lunch. I use a cool little thing from Amazon to help me cook eggs as I always over do them.
2. When you're making dinner cook extra. So last night for example we had Cajun chicken sweet potatoes and veg, I doubled up and made enough for lunch today. While I was eating I put lunch in a tupperware and hey presto lunch was made.
3. Try to stay ahead of the game. Pin up your food plan so its seen every day. So you know what you're having every day, if you don't know you get to that point where you think oh no what am I having, you start getting stressed and eat anything. If you know it's there, you've got the recipe it's so much easier to get on with it and do it. I've done it myself so now I try to stay on top of it as much as I can.
4. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Its true for your diet. If you follow this link we've put together our favourite food prep blogs to help you some more.