Prepping your meals for the week is a great way to stay on track and avoid reaching for high calorie meals and snacks. Find a system that works for you, consider the following tips and tricks, and meal prep won’t be a chore!
- Choose simple recipes
- The more complicated the recipe, the longer it’s going to take to prep and work around when making other meals. Choose a combination of recipes that require similar prep and/or cooking instructions.
- Pick your “base” meat. It’s important to get protein in every meal, so choosing chicken and/or 93% or greater lean beef is easy and versatile.
- Have the recipe printed or easily accessible while prepping. Also read them over before you begin so you have a general understand of what each calls for.
- Decide whether you’re going to prep meals for lunch, dinner, or both. Next figure out how to cut in half/double/triple/etc the recipe you’re following and write it down as a guide during your meal prep.
- Preheat the oven
- This point is self explanatory, but do it before, or a little after, you begin prepping the ingredients so you aren’t having to wait for it to heat up.
- Gather the ingredients
- To make prep go quicker and smoother, gather all the ingredients you need for each recipe and set them out. Don’t forget to let your meat defrost a couple hours before your plan to meal prep!
- Take out baking dish/pan/pot/etc and grease it if necessary.
- If your meat needs to be cooked before you add any other ingredients, prep (season, cut up, etc) that first. While your meat is cooking, cut the veggies or other ingredients.
- If your veggies get cooked with your meat, cut those first while your oven is preheating. If your veggies don’t get cooked with the meat, wait to prepare them until your meat is in the oven.
- Cook sides, like rice and quinoa for example, while your main dish is in the oven.
- Cook more than one recipe at a time. This is why it’s helpful to choose simple recipes that have similar ingredients. (i.e. Baked Quinoa Chicken and Chicken Fajitas both need chicken to be baked and can be done at the same time.)
- While everything is baking set out Tupperware containers. Depending on your lifestyle and plan, you can put the entire recipe in one container or separate each individual meal into its own container.
- Don’t forget about the slow cooker
- Using a slow cooker or crock pot is a super simple way to knock a meal out of the way! All you have to do is add the ingredients and let it do the rest. This can be helpful when your first starting out and have trouble managing multiple different meals at once.
Eat like a champion!