Trying to get your diet on track but don’t know where to start? Consider this your step-by-step guide to Meal Prep
There’s no one way to meal prep. Your best bet is to find a routine that works best for your schedule. If you don’t have much time during the week to prep, you may want to make extra-large batches on Sundays. If your schedule is a little more free, you can get away with prepping your food on Sundays and Wednesdays. I also prep day-to-day by bringing mostly quick, easy meals to work. Here’s how you can start:
1. Large Batch Prep Your Protein
Your proteins will generally take the longest amount of time to prep so you might as well start by getting that out of the way as soon as possible. Use a crock pot and cook several pounds of meat in it for several hours, then separate each portion in tupperware. This is an easy, hands-off approach and requires very little attention. You can also bake or grill several pounds at a time which works just as well, it just requires a little more attention.
2. Large Batch Prep Your Carbs
Carbs are generally easier to prep. Oatmeal only takes a few minutes, you can buy steamable potatoes, rice, and bread requires almost no attention at all. Cook several cups at a time of your carbohydrates of choice and separate them into tupperware, or pair them with the proteins you’ve already prepped.
3 Mistakes People Make When Cutting Carbs
3. Keep an eye on fats
Prepping fat takes almost no energy whatsoever. If you’re using oil, just use a teaspoon or tablespoon and add it to your pre-prepped protein/carbs. Nuts can be portioned and stored in separate plastic bags, containers or in the same tupperware as your protein & carbs. Butters should be portioned using a teaspoon or tablespoon and added to each dish. Avocado is really the only fat that should wait until the very last minute before prepping because they spoil quickly.
4. Only prep the hard stuff (if you’re in a crunch for time)
I love cooking, but maybe you don’t. My advice is to only prep the “hard stuff” like meats, (lots of) vegetables, potatoes, etc. You can always pack some whey protein, a sandwich, Greek yogurt parfait, and quick, healthy snacks the night before you get up for work.
I personally prep the night before I go to work, about 4-5 nights/week and have a few large batch prepared meals ready. I usually bring 3-4 meals to work with me and most of them only take minutes to prep. Here’s an example:
Greek yogurt Parfait
Prepped the night before: Greek yogurt portioned in a tupperware container, high protein granola portioned in a zip-lock bag, 1 whole banana stored in my bag.
AB & J on Double Protein Bread, Protein Shake
Prepped the night before: Spread 1 tbsp. of almond butter and 1 tbsp. of preserves on 2 slices of double protein bread and place in a tupperware container or zip-lock bag. Store 1 scoop of whey protein in a small container.
Chicken, Veggies & Rice
Prepared a few nights before: Store 4-6 oz. of chicken, 1 cup of veggies, and 1 cup of rice in a tupperware container and place in the fridge or freezer until the morning before work. Then, I put the tupperware in my 6 Pack Bag and bring it to work.
All of these meals are stored in the fridge the night before I go to work. The morning of, I put all of them in my 6 Pack Bag (Expedition 300) and bring them to work. Now I have 3-4 meals when I need them at work. I hope this helps you as you learn to meal prep like a pro. Once you start you’ll immediately see the advantages and understand why so many fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and athletes meal prep.