“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
That’s one of my favourite sayings.
When you’re on plan, a little caution to the wind and some Food Prep planning helps avoid dietary mishaps. Because we all know that there’s no avoiding food temptations – its everywhere right???
If you have physique goal (like wanting to shed fat) you have to prepare your food to get there. There’s just no way around that.
Without preparing your food, your goals will suffer. And you’ll end up just spinning your wheels and who wants that?
But by preparing your meals – you’ll know what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. You’ll also understand that preparing your meals is one of important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.
So whether you’re Vegetarian, Vegan, Keto, Paleo or whichever diet you happen to be following, the best way to stay on plan is to prepare your food. I, myself, prefer a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Check out this video on Food Prep
The key to getting ahead with meal prep is to have a few staple foods that you can batch-cook for variety. If you really don’t have the time, opt for canned fish, salads, raw veggies, fruit and nuts. This takes little time to throw in a Tupperware.
I personally love my slow cooker. It’s how I batch cook a lot of different meats and sweet potatoes with very little time. Also the flavour with the slow cooking time can’t be beat! It’s really a life saver in my household.
Here are my top 5 reasons on why Food Prep Is Vital:
Having your meals on hand during the day means you don’t have to go to the local cafe for food or grab snacks that are high in calories and low in overall nutrients. This not only saves you time, but also your waistline. You have full control over the portions and ingredients.
Regulate your metabolism
You’ll be prepared at snack time when hunger strikes with something nourishing, so you can feed your body regularly and keep your metabolism running.
Regular meals will slow your body from falling into a catabolic state, which results in the loss of lean body tissue (including muscle) and a depression of your metabolic rate. This will also help to avoid mood swings.
The one thing everyone has in common, and will continue to complain about, is not having enough time. Not enough time to exercise. Not enough time to handle all the tasks throughout your day, and not enough time to eat healthy.
By preparing your meals for the week and having quality, healthy food options within reach you won’t have to go out of your way to get food, saving yourself both time and some major calories. Better management of your meals will allow you to better manage your time throughout the day.
I personally pick 2 days a week as my meal prep days which gives me meals for the week so I don’t have to worry about what to eat. Sunday is a day I call Food Prep Sundays at my household.
Stay on track
Having your food prepared for your entire week is the best and easiest way to keep you on track with your goals. Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle, you should have a plan knowing how much food to eat daily and weekly.
By having your meals prepared and divided into their specific portions, with variety and foods you enjoy, it will be easier to stay on track with a healthy eating lifestyle.
Saves you money
One of the most common misconceptions about buying food is the notion that eating fast food is cheaper. But not so! Purchasing food from the grocery store and cooking it yourself is more affordable in the long run. Let’s compare.
An average bowl at Chipotle is between $7-$10 depending on meat quantity size (double meat) or adding some guacamole of course.
If you were to make this bowl yourself it could be as low as $2.50-$3.50.
Fruit and veggies are also more affordable in the grocery store than purchasing on the go. It just takes a little preplanning but the money you’ll save is well worth it.
So How Do You Get Started?
- Choose a specific day of the week to: 1) plan the menu, whether week by week or for the whole month, and write out your grocery list 2) food shop, 3) do meal prep, or most of your cooking. Some of these days may overlap if you choose, but breaking up these tasks may help keep meal planning manageable. I like to food prep on Sundays and again on Wednesdays.
- On your meal prep day, focus first on foods that take the longest to cook: proteins like chicken and fish; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, dried beans and legumes, and roasted vegetables. A slow-cooker (crockpot) comes in really handy here.
- Also consider preparing staple foods that everyone in the family enjoys and which you can easily add to a weekday meal or grab for a snack: washed greens for a salad, hardboiled eggs, a bowl of chopped fruit, cooked beans, nuts and seeds ready to go in bags etc.
- If you prefer not to pre-cook proteins, consider marinating poultry or fish your prep day so that you can quickly pop them into the oven or stir-fry later in the week.
- Multi-task! While foods are baking or cooking on the stovetop, chop vegetables and fresh fruit, or wash and dry salad greens for later in the week.
- When you cook a recipe that’s a larger quantity like chili or pasta sauces, freeze for a different week. Be sure to date and label what goes in the freezer so you know what you have on hand.
- Have all your Tupperware washed and ready to go.
- If you don’t already have one, invest in a cooler or insulated meal bag. They keep your food cool and fresh and it’s so much easier to take on the go with you.
Remember the first 2 weeks of starting a new habit is always the toughest. But once you get your groove, it will be like brushing your teeth or riding a bike.
If you want to add more variety to your food prep, click here to download my 100+ Recipes with my Fat Loss Bundle.