How to Meal Prep Like a Champ
Meal prepping seems like it would be an easier way to set up your meals for the week but if you consider the work that goes into cooking one meal and times that by however many meals you want to make for the week, it can get a little arduous. Don’t get us wrong, it can be fun for sure! However, don’t underestimate the detail and work that should go into creating meals for the week that will not only actually last you the week without spoiling but will also taste just as good as they would have if you ate them upon their preparation. Let’s break down the most common mistakes. We will show you how to avoid these mistakes and make you a meal prep champ.
Cooking meals for each day of the week without actually planning how many you will legitimately need.
It would seem obvious that because a workweek is five days then you should make five meals, right? This is not always the case. You can’t always account for the extended happy hours that result in a hamburger for dinner or lunch with coworkers midday. Not planning for the right amount of meals can result in you buying too much food that may never get eaten.
Let’s keep the food waste to a minimum by thoughtfully planning out meals as best as possible. Before cheffing it up in your kitchen on meal prep Sunday, check your calendar to plan how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you will need during the week. Less is better than more, is a good rule of thumb.
If you go running wild without a recipe, things could get a little out of control on your grocery list.
It happens to everyone, a trip to the grocery store after a long day of work resulting in throwing random food into your grocery cart without thinking it through. You may buy things that you know you like but red onions don’t pair that well with pineapple. You get home from your grocery trip and stare at your new purchases that don’t make any sense as paired ingredients.
Definitely use recipes. Especially when it comes to meal prep because you use a lot of ingredients at once for multiple meals. When you buy random ingredients in bulk you are throwing money down the toilet. This can simply be solved by using recipes so you know exactly what your money is going into.
Thinking you are an adventurous eater when you are not.
Meal prep is all about convenience and health. Save stepping outside of your comfort zones for restaurants. Stick to what you know you enjoy, another money and food saving tactic. If you prep meals that you have never tried before for an entire week, what happens if you don’t like it? You’ll end up throwing out a week’s worth of food. Instead, when you want to change up the flavor of your familiar meals, try using different spices, sauces, and sides to switch things up.
When you enjoy slicing and dicing veggies because it’s “therapeutic” but you forget that you have to do it for five + meals.
There is no shame in buying pre-cut veggies from the store. Although they may be a bit more expensive, think of the extra change paying for some free time. These already prepared foods can make your life so much easier, giving you more free time to watch a Netflix show or hang with your kids or friends. This will also make the meal prep process seem less daunting by taking a time-consuming step out of the equation. But trust us, it shouldn’t be daunting in the first place!
When you see meal prep as a chore but without knowing that it is actually pretty fun.
Meal prep can be hard work and that’s why so many people don’t do it. However, without preparing healthy meals it’s harder to stay on track with your health goals. So make it fun! Save your favorite T.V. shows for Sunday meal prepping or find a good movie to put on. You could also invite friends over to prep their meals with you! Make Sunday your cheat day too and reward yourself with your favorite treat after to set yourself up for your week of healthy eating.
Trying to reheat your meals and doing it wrong.
Putting in all the hard work of meal prep and then reheating it wrong is a meal prep nightmare. What’s the point if you can’t eat the meal you prepared because it tastes too bad from the reheat? This will make your meals much less enjoyable and most likely deter you from wanting to meal prep again. Each dish will vary but here is an example of reheating: For meats, pour some water onto it to retain moisture and cover it with a microwave-safe lid before cooking it for 2 minutes. If you have a stove, a microwave should be your last resort. Set the stove to around 200-250 degrees and a dash of oil or butter. Also, make sure to use airtight storage containers for your awaited meals to ensure that the food remains fresh and make sure to thoroughly clean these in between uses.
7. When you want to meal-prep just because you’ve seen your favorite health guru do it on Instagram, but you don’t have a goal.
To ensure motivation and consistency, having a goal in mind is a must. Whether it’s to save time no work mornings or build muscle, there is no right or wrong reason to meal prep. It could even be just to save money! Meal prepping can save you around $200 a month on food… That should be reason enough.
When taking a stab at meal prepping just be sure to reheat your meals properly, carefully plan, set a goal, and make something tasty that you will actually enjoy! Do it for yourself and make it yours. It’s a practice makes perfect kind of thing that can take a few months to get down. We just know that you have what it takes so take it on!