One of the major hurdles in losing weight is the ability to prepare and cook healthy, low-calorie and delicious meals. Many of us mistakenly believe that that this requires endless hours concocting and cooking complicated recipes. Locking yourself in the kitchen so long you start to swear like Gordon Ramsey isn’t necessary though. All that is required is a little preparation.
Here’s 6 simple ways to meal prep like a boss!
1) Set aside a specific time to prep and shop each week
There’s a bit of an in-joke in the fitness world that Sunday is international meal-prep day. Although Sunday may not work for you, find a time that does work for you every week to shop for healthy meal ingredients and to prepare your meals.
2) Identify your weak areas and prep for these
Identify the busiest times of your week and prepare for these times. These are most often breakfast and lunch.
Also consider times you may be tempted to cheat with friends, family or colleagues. For example, at work be prepared with a healthy snack alternative when someone surprises the office with birthday cake or a tray of muffins -And let’s face it, it’s always someone’s birthday! This will often leave you with a craving for something sweet and if you have a healthy snack handy you will be less likely to cheat.
3) Draw up a menu and go shopping
Drawing up a weekly menu and then shopping for the ingredients is essential. Good eating starts with good shopping!
Knowing that you have already purchased and prepared all your food items will make you less likely to waste all that food in favour of a cheat meal. Plus if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it, right?
Also, make sure that you vary your meals to prevent boredom.
4) Prepare, cook, and freeze (or refrigerate)
Now comes the fun part! Once you get into the process of cooking your meals, it becomes really enjoyable! As you cook, get creative with spices and seasonings as these cost you nothing in terms of calories!
Once you get good you’ll even have time to channel your inner Nigela and pull off a sexy pout or two in between sprinkling the tarragon.
5) Pack for work
When packing your lunch for work – and you should do this rather than relying on buying something on the fly – ensure that you include plenty of water and seasoning on the side. A great idea is to include a slice of lemon to enhance the flavour of your water and your meal.
Sugar-free gum is also a nice touch for after you’ve eaten.
As mentioned above, ensure that you vary your meals. Not only does this prevent boredom (and the risk of cheating), but it also provides you with a variety of nutrients. If you are stuck for inspiration, begin by incorporating a different kind of lean protein in every meal (e.g. smoked chicken, turkey breast, salmon, etc.).
And I can’t stress this bit enough… Keep it simple! Not being prepared comes second only to overcomplication for stopping you in your tracks! So make sure you apply the keep it simple rule to your meal-prep too.
Do you meal prep? And if you don’t, what’s your biggest hurdle right now to doing that? Comment below!