When you’ve had a long, stressful day at work the last thing you want to worry about is cooking a healthy dinner.
In those types of situations, eating healthy can seem difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.
With a little preparation you can have healthy food prepared ahead of time and ready to go as needed.
Not only does this reduce hassle on busy days, but it also allows you to save time cooking and cleaning throughout the week.
So, if you’re ready to make sticking to your healthy eating plan easier, keep reading for five tips for easy meal prep.
1. Plan your meals for the week.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
This quote does a fantastic job of summing up the need to plan and prepare if you wish to be successful and stick to any type of goal.
Without taking the time to prepare and plan clean meals for the week, it can be easy to fall back on unhealthy, quick options like fast food or frozen dinners.
So instead of waiting until you’re hungry to decide what to eat, choose to be proactive.
Take a few minutes each week to plan your menu for the upcoming days.
This way you’ll be prepared with healthy options and you’ll be less tempted to go for the convenient and quick choice, which usually doesn’t fall in line with your nutrition plan.
2. Make a grocery list and go buy everything you need for the entire week.
Now that you know what you’re going to eat for the week, you can easily head to the supermarket and buy everything you need in a single trip.
It may seem convenient to swing by the grocery store a few times a week on the way home from work, but in reality it takes a lot of time to drive to the store, walk around to find the items on your list, checkout, haul your bags in the house, and unpack everything.
You can save a lot of time by planning to make just one trip to the store per week instead. You’re better off using that time to cook healthy food or work out!
3. Cook and prepare foods in advance whenever you can.
There are many foods that you can cook ahead of time such as chicken to throw on salads or sandwiches, boiled eggs for a quick snack, or sweet potatoes for a quick side dish. Many of these foods stay fresh in the fridge for a few days so you can enjoy them throughout the week.
Additionally, cooking your food in large batches can save time and make planning ahead much easier.
Cooking in bulk allows you to easily have lunches ready to pack and take on the go or to just have dinner ready after a long day.
You can even cook extras and throw them in the freezer for a later date.
There’s no need to try cooking something every time you have to eat, so instead cook in bulk. You’ll certainly make sticking to your healthy eating plan much easier.
4. Cut up veggies and fruits at the beginning of the week.
Having veggies, fruits, and add-ins ready for planned meals can be very handy.
For instance, having onions, peppers, shredded carrots, zucchini and other veggies precut to throw into eggs, stir-fry, soups, or salads is a great way to cut down on prep time during the week.
And if you love smoothies, another tip is top chop and freeze your fruit in individual size servings ahead of time.
The reduced prep time will make cooking during the week much more convenient.
5. Premeasure and package foods and snacks to have handy.
When the midday munchies hit or you’re running late for a meal, it’s always a good idea to have some snacks readily available to quench your hunger.
Otherwise it can be too easy to stop and grab some junk at the nearest vending machine or convenience store.
For instance, having small bags of premeasured nuts or trail mix is handy to throw in a bag or desk drawer so they’re available whenever you need a quick snack, such as those times when you get stuck in traffic or kept late at work. You could also have premade bags of veggies and hummus, homemade protein bars cut up, or chopped fruit ready to grab and go for whenever you need them.
So what steps are you going to start implementing to plan and prepare for upcoming meals?
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