If you've been following along on my fitness journey you probably already know I’m a huge fan of meal prep. It saves money, time, and stress. Whether you are looking to make life less chaotic, wanting to reduce how often you order take out, or attempting to reduce your food budget these tips are for you! Stay tuned.... I'm also sharing my one pan meal prep!
Meal Prep Like a Boss #1: Be Flexible, Be Reasonable
This might be the most important step in meal prep.
Find recipes or foods you want to eat! Don't force yourself to eat something you know you're not going to find enjoyable. This doesn't mean ordering a pizza for dinner and packing leftovers for lunch and calling it meal prep. If you don't know where to start, just start simple. Find a healthy protein, veggie, and carbohydrate. It's all about balancing your nutrients & you don't need to over complicate it!
Meal Prep Like a Boss #2: Determine What Works for You
How you meal prep is going to be specific to your goals and preferences.
Do you prefer to have a set menu in place for the week, or do you like to eat what sounds good at the time? For a set menu, plan and prep your individual meals. If you like more flexibility, plan to have enough food for the week, prep veggies, proteins, sauces, etc. ahead of time, and then assemble real time, adding seasonings and sauces to fit your mood.
Do you have time for a big meal prep session? If you can set some time aside on the weekend to dedicate to prepping your meals, you'll be able to make a significant amount of food that's ready to go for your busy week ahead. If not, that shouldn’t stop you from meal planning. You might consider focusing on a simple menu and prep ahead as you are able to. Maybe do a combo of both. Find what's right for you and do that!
What meals do you need to prepare ahead of time? Are you going all in and preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks? Or are you planning on keeping it simple by preparing the foods you need to take with you to work? I prefer to PLAN all my meals for the week but only PREP lunch & snacks. This cuts down on my prep time and that way my husband and I can spend time cooking together in the evenings.
Meal Prep Like a Boss #3: Weigh It Up
Now you know how I feel about bathroom scales, but when it comes meal prep a small kitchen scale will really help get you on track. Making an educated guess when weighing up your food to hit your macro targets, or focusing on portion control can lead you down a slippery slope. It’s likely you’ll end up eating more or less than your energy needs demand and this will slow down your progress.
That’s why investing in a set of electronic kitchen scales can seriously help you get on track when it comes to portion sizes. You can pick up a reliable set from your local supermarket for online for under 15 bucks.
Meal Prep Like a Boss #4: Clean Up As You Go
One of the first things I do when I'm food prepping actually has nothing to do with the actual food. I make sure to unload the dishwasher. Once I’m in the mist of cooking, I immediately rinse dishes, utensils, and tools as I’ve used them. They go straight into the dishwasher if they are not going to be used again. Trust me on this one.... meal prep will be 5x more fun if you don’t have to wash all your dishes once you’re done prepping. #truestory
I also keep the trashcan right next to me and a large bowl for compost on the counter. Any trash goes in the bin as soon as it’s ready for disposal. All peels, seeds, and other food waste can be dumped from my cutting board into the compost bowl so simlpy. This may sound basic, but it will allow you to keep your work space clean as can be when you cook and helps reduces clean up at the end of the prep.
Meal Prep Like a Boss #5: Up Your Tupperware Game
Trust me, any boss prepper knows the value of having plenty of tupperwear knocking about in their cupboards. Invest in at least ten containers to accommodate all sorts of meals. For me, the way I store all my prepped food has changed a bit over time. I used to keep each cooked item (rice, veggie, protein) in separate containers and pack/assemble everything for the day in the morning. However, recently I've invested in some meal prep containers from Amazon - What a life saver! In my opinion, these are a must!
Now that you have all the tips for a successful prep, here's an example of my favorite way to make meal prep a breeze...
One Pan Meal Prep
- 4 chicken breasts (sliced in 1/2 lengthwise to make 8 thin cutlets)
- 6 small red skinned potatoes
- 1 bag green beans
- 1 package zesty Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Quarter potatoes & cut chicken (or ask your meat counter attendant to slice for you!)
- Cover baking sheet with foil and spray some non stick to prevent an easy cleanup
- Arrange chicken, veggies, potatoes on a pan
- Sprinkle seasoning
- Cook for 30 min or until chicken and potatoes are cooked
This meal prep is for 4 lunches. If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #Fitgirlxtina. I'd love to see what you create!