Whether you meticulously pre-make all of your meals for the week every Sunday or occasionally pack your lunch for work, any experience with meal prepping can help you take control of your diet!
Time is the #1 issue for many of my clients (and I can certainly relate!). With schedules full of work, meetings, family gatherings, playdates, and appointments, thinking ahead to our next meal can seem like too much to handle. That’s why it can be a huge benefit to actually plan some specific meal prep time into your week– it makes nutrition as much of a priority as every other important thing you schedule
If you’ve prepped your food in advance before, here are some start-up tips:
- Buy food in bulk (this saves time and often money!)
- Choose foods that hold up in the refrigerator well (i.e. don’t put dressing on salads, keep sauces on the side, and be careful about cutting up items like avocado or fresh fruit in advance as they’ll spoil quickly)
- Try to make your meals balanced: Choose a lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, legumes, lean beef), add tons of non-starchy vegetables (salads, sauteed peppers and onions, broccoli, zucchini, squash…), and add a portion of healthy carbohydrates (whole grains, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, beans)
- Remember food safety – the CDC states that most cooked foods should be consumed within 4 days of preparation, so if you plan to make multiple servings that will last more than that, stick them in the freezer. You can move each serving to the fridge the night before you need them.
Take a look at Eating Well’s article “Meal Prep for Weight Loss: 8 Ways It Will Make You More Successful” for more info — I contributed a quote about how planning your food can help you avoid the temptation of less healthy options when you’re on the go!