Meal prepping is an excellent way to eat healthier and lose weight. You’ll also gain other benefits such as not spending money for last minute and unhealthy food choices and running back and forth from the store to find items.
Saving time is also a perk of meal prepping and that’s something that appeals to everyone. Preparing meals ahead of time means you’re taking a break from the daily hassle of wondering what to fix for dinner, running out of the door without breakfast and frequenting expensive restaurants or high calorie fast food for lunch.
Those vending machines for snacks can also be expensive and unhealthy. Here are some meal prep hacks to help you shop, cook and divide your meals into easily manageable choices for the days or week ahead:
Choose one time per week to cook. If you can, shop and cook your meals on one particular day and time each week. This means that the oven will only be heated once, the mess of chopping and slicing meats and veggies happens only once and you’ll have time during the week for things you want and need to do.
Use a crock pot to save time and effort. The Internet is bursting with slow cooker recipes that can save you time, effort and money. Or – create your own recipes by tossing in some meat, veggies and yummy spices (plus liquid) and do your own thing while it cooks.
Plan for snacks. We all love to snack between meals and that can be deadly to a diet and fitness routine. Rather than leaving your fate to the vending machines, invest in some healthy pre-planned snacks to keep all week for when hunger and cravings hit unexpectedly.
Another good hack to know when it comes to meal prep is to know your foods’ timeline for freshness. Some foods, such as apples, are more sensitive to time passage than others.
They become brown and pithy as soon as they become exposed to oxygen. Get to know your selected foods’ timeline for freshness and wait for cutting or slicing until you’re ready to use them in a recipe.
Also, it’s okay to repeat meals during the days or weeks ahead. Enjoyment of your food is key here – and when you love a recipe or enjoy eating leftovers, it’s perfectly okay to make up a batch and serve it later on during the week.
It’s important to organize your refrigerator before meal prepping. You don’t want to be in a hurry to get out the door and have to rummage through the refrigerator for your carefully prepared breakfast.
You’ll think of more tips and ideas to make meal prepping fun and enjoyable as you go along. The Internet and meal prepping blogs are also good ways to see what others are doing.