Passionate about fitness and clean eating? In this case, you've probably seen those Instagram pics featuring dozens of meals in matching containers. At first glance, meal prep may seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. It all comes down to how you approach it. Meal planning is the foundation of good nutrition. It makes it easier to stick to your diet and frees up your time. Plus, it keeps temptation at bay and promotes healthy eating habits. Getting started is the hardest part. Luckily, it's no need to change your routine overnight. Start small and tweak your eating habits along the way. Here are some tips for easy meal planning: Make Time for It
Just like everything else, meal prep takes planning. The good news is that it saves you time in the long run. Most dieters go grocery shopping once a week. They either cook for the week ahead or for the next few days. It's a matter of personal choice. For instance, you can buy groceries every Friday and prep your meals on Sundays. The whole point is to fit this habit into your routine. Make a plan and stick to it. Pick Your Recipes
Next, decide what you're going to cook. Go online and search for recipes, or tweak your favorite meals by swapping ingredients. Let’s say you love pancakes. Use stevia instead of sugar, and add a scoop of protein powder. Prepare a large batch and freeze it for later use. Leave a few pancakes in the fridge so you can enjoy them over the next few days. Write down the ingredients needed for each recipe. Check out what you already in your fridge and pantry. Ditch the junk and fill your home with whole, natural foods. Shop Smart
Once you have a grocery list, stick to it. This will prevent overspending and keep you on track with your diet. Buy only what's on your list. If you're on a tight budget or simply looking to make savings, buy in bulk. Seeds, grains, nuts, frozen veggies, and other healthy foods are cheaper when purchased in large amounts. Don’t forget about olive oil, spices, herbs, and tea. Replace white flour with coconut or almond flour. Steer clear of frozen dinners and ready-made meals. Keep It Simple
Meal prep can be simple or difficult. It all comes down to your choices. To make it easier, prepare basic meals that require little or no cooking. Try grilled or baked fish with veggies, salad, poultry with a side dish, high-protein muffins, pancakes, energy bites, and slow-cooked meals. Use the same strategy for snacking. Wouldn't it be easier to snack on almonds, walnuts, or cottage cheese when hunger strikes rather than cooking all sorts of stuff? Keep your meals and snacks simple - at least until you get used to meal prep. Pack Your Food
Store your food in plastic containers and insulated bags. This way, you'll have better control over your portions and track your macros more easily. Assemble what you can and keep the rest in the freezer. Pack up your go-to meals, such as sandwiches, turkey wraps, and high-protein snacks. Meal planning is easy if you know how to do it. Give it a try – you’ll not only save time and money but also reach your fitness goals.