One of the biggest problems people face when trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle is making poor nutrition decisions in the moment- whether that’s a chocolate bar from the vending machine when you get peckish in the late afternoon, picking up takeaway for dinner because you can’t be bothered cooking or skipping breakfast because you overslept. Getting comfortable with meal prep is a great way to combat those bad decisions- it takes all of the decision making out of the equation, because your food is already ready to go!
Here are our top tips and tricks:
- Keep it simple: If you’re preparing all of your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the working week in advance, that’s going to be 15 meals. 15 different meals would take a LOT of work in the kitchen, so we’d recommend doubling or tripling up on some meals. Eat leftovers from last night’s dinner for lunch and you’ll have halved the amount of main meals you have to make. Rotate a couple of different breakfasts to keep it interesting but cut down on prep time. Of course, if you’re happy to eat the same thing for a few days in a row, feel free to do that! You can mix it up as much as you want.
- Don’t be afraid of frozen foods: We’re not recommending you go out and buy a frozen pizza (sorry, that doesn’t count as meal prep), but if it’s easier for you to grab a couple of bags of frozen veggies instead of washing, chopping and cooking a bunch of broccoli every couple of days then do that! Many frozen vegetables still have just as many vitamins and minerals as the fresh versions, and if it’s going to make your busy life easier then we’re all for it.
- Have a ‘go to’ snack: Choose one or two of your favourite snacks and stick to those throughout the week. Portion out some Greek yoghurt and berries, make homemade protein balls, put some nuts and fruit in snaplock bags or chop up veggie sticks to have with hummus, then you’ll have a snack ready to go when those mid-morning munchies kick in. Keep healthy snacks in your handbag or desk at work to make sure you’re never stuck in that vending machine/chocolate bar situation again.
- Get creative: Make a big batch of your favourite protein at the start of the week (chicken, mince, tofu etc), then get creative with what you serve it with. Changing up the seasonings on your food can take you from Italian to Mexican in a minute, or use it to make a salad one day or fajitas the next.
- Plan, plan, plan: Write out what you’re going to eat for each meal, then write a grocery list based on that plan. If you really want to go into full ‘organised’ mode (we recommend it!), organise your grocery list based on the different areas of the supermarket (e.g. fresh produce, meat, freezer etc) to save time on your shop. Once you’re in that supermarket, your list is your bible. Ignore the 50% off chicken nuggets. It’s not on the list.
If you’re struggling with what you should be eating, have a chat to one of our food coaches. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6272 4849 to organise an appointment and see how we can help you.