How does one actually go about meal prep? I wrote about struggling with my burnout for the last couple of months and I think it’s time to actually start doing something about it. For real. The first thing is getting my diet in check. One of the best ways to actually keep me in check and accountable is through meal prep. But, although the idea of having more time and keeping myself in check is appealing I am one of those people who actually have to prep myself for meal prep. I know. I’m weird. But for those of you who are also weird like me, I wanted to give you a couple of tips on getting started.
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Mentally preparing for meal prep
I have several problems when it comes to meal prep. Especially starting with it. First, I have no idea what I want to eat any given day. Second, eating the same thing practically every day is not really my thing. Third, thinking of cooking for several hours on my day off is not really appealing. Yes, call me lazy.
In all honesty, these are not problems. These are excuses. It’s time to drop them, kick myself and do this for my health. Back to basics. When you fall pick yourself up, no one will do it for you. Ok? Ok!
Meal prep can be a hassle but it can be an awesome way to achieve our nutrition goals, be it losing or gaining weight, having more free time, having healthier food options ready etc. There might be some cons about it, but ultimately it does have more advantages than not. Some of these are:
- making better food choices
- better organization
- better control over your finances when it comes to groceries
- feeling good for doing something constructive for yourself or your family
The way I begin with every meal prep is actually preparing myself that I will actually do this. I think about my goals, foods I prefer etc. and begin with only one meal per day. For example, since I spend most of my day at work I try focusing on meals which I could bring to work. My biggest struggle is lunch because at some point one does get tired of eating only sandwiches or spending too much money in the cafeteria. I need cheaper options and most of all healthy options.
So here are some tips on how to actually get started with meal prep before even getting to meal prepping itself. In the next post, I will give more tips on planning the prep as well as a 5-day sample meal prep I again started using myself.
- Know your ‘why’ – I already wrote about this, but in this case, try figuring out why you want to meal prep in the first place. Is it the busy schedule? More control over what you eat? Keeping track of your food intake?
- Think of ‘when’ – Think when is the best time for you to actually do the meal prep. You can see so many Instagram posts regarding meal prep Sundays. But maybe you will want to prepare your meals on a different day.
- Think of ‘how much’ – the tricky part of meal prep is how much of food (meals) you actually want to prepare. Is it all meals for the week? Or just lunch? Maybe just breakfast? Do you want to prep for just several days? Here you should also keep in mind the storage (fridge, freezer, containers etc.)
- Think of ‘what type of food’ – again, one of the tricky ones that I will go over in more details in my next post (which will include information regarding macros, weight loss or gain etc) but here I am thinking of groceries, especially types of food which can last cooked for a couple of days in the fridge (try focusing on all food groups). We will make grocery list according to this.
These are just your basic tips, something to think about if you want to start meal prepping. I am writing all this because I want and need to keep myself in check and accountable. Why not maybe help someone in the process.