Meal Prep Tips & Tricks
Does the thought of meal prepping an entire weeks worth of food feel daunting and overwhelming to you? I know it did for me when I first started tracking macros and granted, it took me some time to learn how to make foods I knew I would actually eat and enjoy. The biggest mistake I made when I first started meal prepping was making my meals WAY TOO COMPLICATED.
It can feel exciting getting started with a new workout or nutrition program and feeling like you have your ish together the first week….until you realize you spent your entire Sunday sweating over the stove to meal prep for the next 5 days. And worst case scenario – you didn’t even eat half of it because it just didn’t sound good at the time.
Let me spare you some stress (and time) with these meal prepping tips & tricks:
KEEP IT SIMPLE. I Pinterest’ed the crap out of dozens of yummy looking recipes when I first started meal prepping. Problem is, they all had several ingredients, took at least 45 minutes to cook start to finish and I was overwhelmed trying to figure out how to track 5 different recipes in MyFitnessPal. There’s no need to go all out for your meal prep. Keep your meals simple. Keeping meal prep simple doesn’t have to mean boring or flavorless either. What I mean by keeping it simple is this – think of the 3 macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs) and plan a meal (or snack) around that. i.e. Chopped chicken thighs (protein), roasted potatoes (carb) and sliced avocado (fat). Tracking a meal like this, where you can enter the food items separately is far easier to track than a recipe with tons of ingredients.
COOK FOOD THAT EXCITES YOU. I cant tell you how much food I have wasted over the years meal prepping food thats “sounded healthy” only to get bored of it after a day and the rest ended up going to waste. Bland chicken breast and brown rice gets old REAL FAST. But as I adopted a flexible diet, my meals quickly became something I actually look forward to because they tasted good, they fit within my calorie and macro goals and I didn’t get tired of it because – shocker – I actually looked forward to what I was eating.
BULK PREP. This is ultimately going to be the biggest time saver in the kitchen. As enticing as it may look to have 32 different meals to choose from throughout the week so you don’t get bored, nobody has time for that! If you’re like me and get bored easily, don’t fret. Bulk prepping foods that you can make different meals around is a life saver. For example, I’ll make a ton of shredded chicken thighs or breasts – I can use this to make chicken tacos, chicken salad, or a mock chipotle bowl. Bulk prepping your protein will ultimately save you the most time.
UTILIZE MYFITNESSPAL BEFORE YOU MEAL PREP. If you’re tracking your macros, I always suggest spending some time playing around with different foods in the app BEFORE you even start cooking. It can be really beneficial to adjust the serving sizes with different foods to help ensure you get closer to hitting your goals before you even turn the grill on.
Curious how many calories you should be eating according to your fitness goals? Check out my personalized macro calculation right here!