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XTEND FITNESS & WELLNESS

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Our Top Tips For Effective Meal Prep

Let’s be honest: if you’re faced with making a meal from scratch or grabbing a bag of chips that’s right in front of you, which option will you choose? Most people are more likely to grab a bag of chips. This is just one reason why food prep is beneficial for so many people!

 

When your food is prepped and ready for the week, you’ll have healthy choices ready for you when you need them. This makes it a much more obvious choice to go with the option that will help you feel better and reach your goals, rather than easy snacks or meals with no nutritional value. 

Our Top Meal Prep Tips

Whether you’re new to meal prep in general or you just want to step up your game, you don’t want to miss the rest of this blog! Here are some of our top food prep tips to make the process more efficient. 

Start small then work your way up

Cooking a single meal can be challenging enough. Cooking enough meals for the entire week can seem overwhelming! Try preparing meals for the times in the day you know you are your busiest and would typically resort to eating whatever is convenient at that time. For example, most people grab their breakfast on the go. Instead of eating from the local coffee shop, chop up some fruits and put that in to-go containers. Pair it with some yogurt and delicious granola for a more complete meal.

Rather than prepping for seven days of eating, we recommend sticking to four or five days, especially when you start out. By the end of seven days, you’re more likely to be tired of eating the same thing each day, and more food will end up getting wasted. 

Most people also find it most practical to do their food prep on Sundays so they have everything ready for meals during the workweek. 

Consider each food group

Make sure you keep each food group in mind when you prep your food, too. Prioritize veggies over all other food groups, followed by protein, fats, starches, and fruit. Depending on your goals and diet, the ratios of each portion will look a bit different. For example, a low-carb meal will have minimal fruits and starches. 

Get organized

Meal prepping with a plan is always a good idea! To keep from over purchasing or wasting food, create a list of ingredients and stick to them. Otherwise, lack of planning can cause you to buy too much food, not enough, or the wrong items. 

 

Bonus tip: when you create your ingredient list, don’t forget the spices and condiments! We all know these can make or break your meals. 

Do your research

Part of the food prep planning process also involves doing some recipe research. Particularly when you’re new to the process, look for recipes that are simple and practical. If you don’t have the most adventurous palate, it may be wise to stick to ingredients and meals you already enjoy. Otherwise, you might be stuck eating something you don’t like for five days in a row!

Pre-portion your meals

Part of the food prep process also involves pre-portioning your meals as opposed to keeping them in one big container you dig into for each meal. 

 

We love using a hand-size portion guide to make the portioning part of your food prep that much easier:

 

Protein: 1 portion = about the size of your palm

Vegetables: 1 portion = about the size of your fist
Carbs: 1 portion = about one handful

Fat: 1 portion = about the size of your thumb

 

With these tips on your side, you’ll be meal prepping like a pro in no time! 

 

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