Meal Prepping Tips, WFH has taken up all your hours: your 9 to 5 job has become a 24/7 blistering hot oven of pain and the 2 mins noodles or a Zomato order day and night is a) boring and b) severely unhealthy. All of us have already gained a little or a lot of weight; the pandemic doesn’t seem like it’ll end anytime soon so we need to find healthier ways of filling & fuelling our stomachs. The bag of chips on a weekend binge watch or the rare 7-course meal at fine dining can stay though. Like Burger King just said, all workers need your support.
With all the downsides of a WFH diet listed, we shall now find ourselves a solution: Meal Prep. This has recently upgraded itself from a life hack to a fad and we couldn’t be happier. There’s nothing better than a healthy lifestyle choice trending on Instagram. However, let’s clear out all the basics first.
What is meal prep?
Meal prep is simply cooking or semi-cooking a large batch of food—preferably something that lasts you at least 3 days to at most a week— and portioning the entire batch into smaller meals, or even preparing grab-and-go boxes. It’s like packing your week’s lunchboxes all at once.
Why Meal prep?
Meal prepping is convenient, easy on a tight schedule, reduces weight, and reduces the temptation to eat junk or step out of a budget. It is easier grocery shopping when you know what your week’s diet looks like. Not to forget, you don’t have to score through a 16 step recipe on a weeknight when you’re already tired and all you want is a full stomach and a deep sleep. With meal prep you can still have healthy, home cooked food at the end of the day without having to dedicate each day to preparation.
Now that the what and why is done with, let’s get down to the how: the real deal, the tips & tricks to rescue you from ordering in too frequently.
Meal Prepping Tips 1:
Select food items which are good meal prep choices. Proven items that work well for meal prepping like:
- · cooked grains & pasta
- · cooked beans
- · cooked meat
- · roasted vegetables
- · fresh vegetables (you know, like celery, carrots, peas, bell peppers, kale, cabbage, radishes?)
- · whole fruit (apples, oranges, stone fruit)
- · nuts & seeds
- · cheese
- · sauces and dips
This doesn’t mean that you can’t go for softer fruits and vegetables, or even fried items when meal prepping; they’ll just require individual packaging, that’s it.
Meal Prepping Tips 2:
Stack up on containers.
It’s no secret that you’ll need plenty of containers. You should ideally go for good quality BPA free, air tight containers made of food grade plastic. The kind which can go into the freezer and microwave are the most convenient. You can also upgrade to glass containers or metal boxes if your budget allows.
Start small. We cannot stress this enough. If you’re a complete newbie, start with what we call mini meal prepping. Pack today’s leftovers in tomorrow’s lunchbox and see what are the food groups you like, what kind of textures you prefer. Rice vs breads, salads vs sandwiches, meat vs veggies. This way you’ll be able to plan properly and not waste food. Or worse, hate what you eat.
This continues from the last one. Plan ahead. There are manifold benefits to this: one, you know what your grocery list looks like and bulk shopping= savings; two, easy cooking and portioning. This will give you a fairly clear roadmap when you get started with your pots and pans.
Start smart. Use a FOOD JOURNAL. Cataloguing your meal prep will help you immensely. For starters, you’ll know the exact food groups you’re consuming too much, the ones you should start consuming and the ones you can’t tolerate in meal prepping. Add to that, the ease of knowing your plans down the lane, and the number crunching you are saved from when managing finances of food. The best part, however, is that it is the staple diet recommendation. Diet Journaling leads to mindful eating and mindful eating leads to a healthier, happier, well-nourished you.
You could use a pen and paper for this, however, an app is a better option. It’s handy, you always have it on you and it also counts your calories and gives you reminders if you have missed a meal or haven’t had enough water.
Try the one here. It’s FREE, and it offers free live exercise classes too.
There you have it, Actofit’s Tips & Tricks to rock and roll your way into meal planning.