Are you trying to eat healthier throughout the week?
If so, you should try preparing your meals for the week ahead of time. The meal prep trend isn’t new, but it’s quickly become popular because it saves time and makes eating healthy meals much more convenient. Meal prepping also saves you money because it helps you resist eating out.
If you want to meal prep but aren’t sure how to get started, here are five tips for beginners:
1. Choose the Right Foods
Meal prepping means you cook all of your meals (or maybe just breakfast or lunch) ahead of time and reheat them as needed during the week. Because meal prep often requires reheating food or storing the food for days in the fridge, some ingredients work better in pre-prepared recipes than others.
Foods that store well include cooked meat, beans, rice, grains, and pasta. Nuts, roasted vegetables, and whole fruits (like apples or peaches) will also typically save well over the course of a week.
You will probably want to avoid certain fruits and vegetables that go bad quickly, such as avocadoes. Crunchy items like chips or fried food typically won’t reheat well and tend to get soggy when stored in the fridge for a while.
2. Start By Prepping a Small Batch of Food
Expert meal preppers take the process very seriously and often meal prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner ahead of time. When you’re just starting, it’s better to take things slow.
Start by prepping a couple of meals for the week. You can also start by making extra dinner and then saving your leftovers for lunch the next day. As you start to become more comfortable with meal prep, you can work up to prepping larger quantities.
3. Purchase Food Containers
Successful meal prep requires a lot of planning, which means finding containers that work well for you. You can use simple Tupperware containers, or these reusable bulk food bags work as well.
You should choose containers that make reheating your meal prep easier. For example, if you know you need to reheat your food in the microwave, save yourself time, and don’t use metal containers that you cannot put in the microwave.
4. Stick to a Formula
Make meal prep a little easier by sticking to a specific formula each week. For example, choose one grain (such as rice or pasta), pair it with meat, and then add a roasted vegetable.
5. Mix Things Up
Although sticking to a formula makes meal prep easier, you can still mix things up each week. Preparing the same meal week after week may work for some people, but others will get bored and stop meal prepping. Choose different grains, meats, and vegetables each week, so you don’t get bored with your routine, and you still look forward to your prepared meals.
Learn More About Successful Meal Prep
Meal prep is meant to make your life easier, not more stressful. When you’re just starting, you must take things slow and mix up your recipes so you don’t get bored. Meal prepping may not seem like fun, but during the week, you’ll be glad you took the time.
Make sure you check out the rest of our website for more healthy living tips and recipes.