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Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail…The Art Of Meal Prep

‘Meal prep’ is a buzz phrase you’ll regular come across on social media and in gyms.

A quick flick through Instagram or Twitter with the #mealprep will see you come across hundreds of photos of the most extreme meal preps you can imagine.

Photos showing containers going into a never ending infinite distance are common!  

Whilst these sort of extremities can rarely be sustained, meal prep should be part of your nutrition plan.

If you fail to prepare you meals in advance and hunger sets in your suddenly in the hands of ‘what’s available?’

More often than not what is readily available is a sausage roll, pizza, or burger!

By prepping your daily meals in advance, particularly when you’re at work or on the go, you eliminate the need to go ‘food searching’.

So meal prepping is beneficial, but how can it be made easy in our busy lifestyles? Below are some tips for taking the stress out of meal prep.

It all starts with a plan…

The foundations of meal prepping are built on having the right tools.

You need plenty of containers (these can inexpensively be purchased from places such as Amazon), fridge / freezer space and the right foods / ingredients.

If your meal prepping for the first time set a side ‘one-off’ couple of hours to determine and establish the following:-

  • What meals am I going to prep each day? (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner or just lunch)
  • How many days am I going to prep for?
  • Based on the above, how many containers will I require?
  • What foods am I going to prep? (write out a shopping list).
  • How much freezer/fridge storage space is available for containers?

Once the above has been decided upon, and purchases made, it’s time to take action.

plan your meals

Choose a starting day/date (Sunday seems a logical time to cook and prep for most people, but do what works best for you) and jump into action.

Blast the music up and starting prepping your meals for the coming days!

Think Big…

If you’re cooking a healthy meal for yourself or your family you can incorporate this with your meal prep by making it bigger.

‘Portion off’ the remainder of the meal into containers for the coming week. Depending on the meal in question you may have to freeze it.

By supersizing the meals you cook you could have a nice range of healthy lunch meals without having to prep too much.

The Simpler The Better…

A tasty dish at the restaurant may ‘hit the spot’, the general rule is that the more complicated the dish the less tasty it is after a few days storage.

Whilst only the hard-core ‘food prepper’ will go for set daily meals of plain rice, broccoli and chicken, it does make sense to keep it simple.

One great way to ‘spice up’ your food it by adding various sauces, herbs and spices.

Keep these separate from your food until your about to eat, otherwise your food will become soggy and less appetising.

Full Prep Or Half Prep – Still Prep…

You’ll not always be in a position to fully prep your meals, that’s life.

This is where ‘half prepping’ meals can come into play.

If you don’t have time to complete a full meal prep, break it in half!

Chopping your vegetables and storing them in food bags means you won’t have to do it when you come to cook.

This will save you valuable time when you get home and help ensure you stick to your set nutritional requirements as you know what you are going to eat.

There is no disputing meal preparation is a great way to control your diet as it allows you to have healthy meals ready to go and it takes the guesswork out of meal times.

However, be careful not to let it become a burden.

prepping meals

Cooking can be a pleasure and the eating even more so.

So don’t obsess about it as some days there won’t be the time to prep as you’d like.

When those days occur go out and pick the healthiest meal you can find.

I would never recommend missing a delicious meal out or an occasional takeaway because it doesn’t fall in line with your meal prep plan!

Balance is key!

Ian David Worthington | GymWolfPT Online Personal Training

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