Hey Angels and Alphas,
Early Sunday mornings on social media can provide you with a ton of great weight loss insights: entire counters filled up with hard-boiled eggs, colorful veggies, lean chicken, and brown rice… all ready to go, perfectly placed in portioned containers for meals throughout the week. It’s meal-prep goals at their finest.
We all know that spending a few hours to make sure you have all the meals you need for the week is one of the most productive strategies for reaching your health and fitness goals.
If you want to adopt healthier eating habits and lose weight, you have to make it as easy as possible to follow a balanced diet. Sometimes, it might feel challenging, overwhelming, or too time-consuming, and that’s exactly what will stop your progress and prevent you from making it sustainable.
Meal prepping actually makes it so much easier to eat healthy, regardless of what your day looks like. Work stress, busy schedules, last-minute deadlines, everything adds up and you’re likely to reach for more calorie-dense foods in those situations. Meal prep gives you this no-brainer healthy alternative and supports your goals.
Meal prep allows you to lose weight without willpower. Instead, you have a plan!
And while that’s all well and good, many people still find meal prepping to be rather laborious, and many people don’t actually enjoy cooking. If you loosen up your meal prep, however, you will likely find it much more natural to fit it in your schedule.
So how do we make meal prep a little bit more flexible?
The good news? You can still shed pounds with less complicated meal prep than those you see on social media. Today, we’ve compiled a few tips you can use to make the meal prep process less complicated and more sustainable.
#1 HAVE A GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT
Before you head off to the grocery store, take a look at your week. Create a rough outline of what you’ll be making, and leave some room for extra meals and leftovers.
Maybe you plan only 2-3 breakfasts and 2-3 lunches throughout the whole week. Breakfast could be some overnight oats. Lunch could be lean chicken breast over a bed of greens. Dinners could be whole-grain pastas or turkey burgers.
Give yourself the freedom to mix and match proteins, carbs, and veggies – this will make your entire meal prep journey more sustainable. Look for what’s in season, what’s in store, and create this general overview of what you’ll be eating throughout the week to support your fitness goals.
#2 SHORTCUTS ARE A GOOD THING (IN THIS CASE)
One thing a lot of people don’t realize about meal prep is that you don’t even need to make it all yourself. You can choose what part of your meal prep is actually dependent on you and streamline the rest. Maybe you find that the whole wash-chop-clean process of preparing veggies is too time-consuming for you.
That’s where all the pre-washed veggie bags, salad kits, and other similar products can come in handy. A lot of the work is already done for you and all you need to do is cook. You also have heat-and-eat grains such as quinoa or rice, as well as countless pre-made options in the frozen foods section.
Or if there’s a specific ingredient you want to eat more of, say beans, and you find them particularly time-consuming to cook. They can also come in ready-to-eat bags. Same is true for other foods such as lentils and beets.
#3 PREP YOUR MEALS ONCE, EAT THEM TWICE
Chopping a dozen veggies and fruits for the week isn’t fun for anybody. But it’s also not fun to have to take out your cutting board every single day. Why not combine the two tasks, get your cutting board out, and cut one extra item to save yourself a ton of time?
If you’re chopping down broccoli, just cut red pepper strips as an extra snack and save it for tomorrow. If you’re making something like farro, just double the batch and you’ll have a whole extra meal done for you.
#4 MEAL PREP ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE THE ENERGY FOR IT
Sure, the weekend is normally a time when people have more time to meal prep. But if that doesn’t work for you, that’s completely okay. Prepping in the moments when you have the energy and time makes it way more enjoyable and sustainable instead of always dreading the upcoming Sunday. Remember – whether it’s portioning your snacks one morning or just stocking up on frozen meals, make it count.
#5 UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY
It’s easy to prep the same meals over and over. But it gets boring fast. Not to mention, it leads you to overeating on certain foods or ditching meal prep altogether. Always create extra leeway so you can make impromptu decisions and try new-to-you fruits, veggies, and entire meals. This will keep things interesting and help you create a much more flexible and sustainable path to weight loss success.