With meal prepping, you can weigh and measure your portions. This can help you keep tabs on exactly what you’re eating, and that makes tracking calories or other nutrients easier. Plus, you control the ingredients and can make sure your calories are coming from mostly nutrient-dense whole foods.
Meal Prep Benefits
Meal prepping benefits range from reduced cost and time spent to lower stress levels and more successful dieting. Taking control of your diet and the foods you’re eating is one of the best ways to make sure you are successful.
Having a plan and food on hand will prevent you from making poor, hunger-based decisions when they arise and can cut down on the amount you are eating out—saving you money in the long run. And with research continuing to suggest that meal planning is associated with better nutrition and more weight loss, it is definitely something worth considering if you are trying to get in shape.
Meal prepping can also help reduce the stress that comes with trying to eat healthier. Dieting, especially cutting calories, can cause you to think about food all day long. And not knowing what your next meal will be or whether or not it’s going to help your dietary goals can get overwhelming day after day.
Not to mention, your willpower gets drained much faster, and you are more likely to go off your plan when you’re tired or “not in the mood” to make the healthier decision, especially if it feels more difficult or time-consuming.
- Plan ahead – As the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Before your weekly shop, take a few minutes to write out your plan for the week. It could be a good idea to grab a chalkboard or whiteboard that you can reuse each week. Draw up a table including your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. First, add in any events you won’t need to prep for (meals out etc.). Next, do a stock take of your fridge, freezer and cupboards to work out what needs using up, anything you have saved from previous weeks, and anything that needs topping up. Now, start filling in meal ideas, thinking about versatile base ingredients you can use more than once throughout the week. If you’re stuck for ideas, take some inspiration from the Popular Recipes in your ‘My Meals’ section. Once you’ve filled out your plan, draw up a shopping list of ingredients you’ll need, taking into account what you’ve already got in your cupboards to avoid overbuying!
- Get everything ready – Before you get cracking preparing your meals, make sure you get everything out that you’ll need, and eliminate distractions. Pop on your apron, get some music or your favourite podcast playing, and lay out all your ingredients, grouped together by meal. Weigh out, wash and chop anything that requires it, so you can add your ingredients straight away. Note down your measurements as you go into your Nutracheck recipe builder – this feature will work out the nutritional info for each portion if you’re batch-cooking.
- Invest in some good containers – Tupperware containers and jars will be your best friend when it comes to meal prep, so get yourself some quality ones! The best containers will have a lock-on lid to keep your food nice and fresh for when it’s time to eat – less spoilage means less waste!
Foods that work well for meal prepping
- Mince-based meals– cook your 5% mince with onion, freeze then it can be used in future recipes for meals such as chillis, spag bol, cottage pie etc.
- Overnight breakfasts– Perfect when you don’t have time to make breakfast, prep 4/5 in the evening and you’ve then got them ready for the next 4/5 days.
- Nourish bowls– Once made these can last up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Sandwiches and wraps– Make the night before or two days’ worth – No excuse to head through the drive-thru at lunchtime!