13 Meal Prep Hacks to Help You Succeed Your Health and Fitness Goals!
When it comes to hitting your health and fitness goals it’s quite simply true to say that failing to prepare really is preparing to fail. In order to make sure that you maximise your precious time, save a few bob and reduce the effort it takes to prepare some or all of your meals for the week, we all need a few handy ideas to point us in the right direction. So from organising what you need to buy at the supermarket and planning the meals themselves, to keeping things new and interesting and stress-free, here are over a dozen simple food prep hacks!
#1 Make a Plan
This is probably an obvious one but you have to start somewhere and making a good plan is certainly a good place to start indeed. Make a shopping list of all the essentials and your favorite healthy foods, then choose simple recipes that can be made quickly or in bulk, decide what you’ll eat as snacks and meals throughout the week. This step will get easier and faster with practice and over time you’ll be able to rotate your arsenal of meals and ideas to keep things interesting.
#2 Stick to Said Plan!
That means minimising those junk food impulse buys when you’re doing the shopping and putting in the effort to actually prep the food in good time. If you find your plan isn’t working for you because of your lifestyle or whatever else, change it up and find something that is more manageable.
#3 Don’t Just Prep Cooked or Savory Food
Prepping doesn’t mean making enough cooked meals to feed an army for the week. A simple prep idea to begin with might be just to cut up raw fruit to snack on. Store them in small containers which are easy to grab and go. Be aware that some fruits are better for this than others. No one wants to eat a five day old brown banana.
#4 Bring Your Lunches to Work
Everyone has good intentions when it comes to this one. That being said everyone also knows that it’s difficult to find the time, energy and enthusiasm to rustle up tomorrow’s lunch after you get in from work. Answer? Prep!
#5 Smoothies for Days
Smoothies are something worth waking up for. Make a big batch, fill a few plastic freezer jars with your fruity creations and stick them in the freezer for later in the week. Best of all this means you only have to clean out the blender once!
#6 Chicken for Days
Don’t just buy chicken breasts or thighs when you do your shop, try cooking a whole chicken and eat it throughout the week. Do some research and get creative with your roast!
#7 …And Make a Chicken Stock in your Slow Cooker with the Leftover Bones
Saving the leftovers from your chicken to make stock will save you money and can be better than any broth you buy in a shop. Waste not, want not.
Winter is here, #Whole30 is coming. Easiest chicken stock = 3 lbs chicken bones + 2 onions, halved + handful parsley stems + 5 garlic cloves + 2 stalks celery + 1 chopped carrot + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional) in a SLOW COOKER, covered with cold water and cooked on low for 12 to 16 hours. #Whole30
#8 Stick with Staple Foods
Variety might be the spice of life and all that (and especially with your meals), however, with that being said, creating restaurant standard gourmet dishes every night is just impossible. When you’re prepping with the aim of making your life easier and healthier, focus on choosing easy-to-cook, bulk-packaged, staple foods that store well, like protein rich chicken breast, carbs such as oats and quinoa, and healthy fats like those in almonds.
#9 Exercise Portion Control
Work out suitable portion sizes for all your foods and organise them accordingly in containers or bags. This also works very well for when you want to indulge yourself a little…
#10 Shake Things Up Each Week
Stop things from getting tired and samey by trying new things every now and then and mixing and matching your meals and foods. Get some inspiration from Instagram with accounts like Meal Prep On Fleek which is dedicated to new meal prep ideas.
Sunday Meal Prep gone STRONG 💪🏼 _ 1. Egg and egg whites for bfast 2. Oatmeal with PB2, goji berries and Chia seeds for bfast 3. Grilled steaks with grilled zuchcini and yams 4. Grilled chicken tenders with grilled pinneaplle 5. Slow cooked salsa chicken with pasta and tomatoes 6. Turkey burgers with brown rice steamed lentils by @melissasproduce and fresh shallots 7. Peppers, cucumbers and baby carrots with hummus 8. Healthy snacks by @melissasproduce 9. Greek yogurts 10. Watermelon and apples ___________________________________ Meal Prep Credit: @marekfitness #mealpreponfleek #mealprep #mealpreps #mealprepping #mealprepideas ##simplemealprep #mealprepmonday #mealprepsunday #mealprepdaily #buzzfeedfood #buzzfeed #iifym #goals
#11 Hard-boil Eggs in the Oven
The humble egg is an excellent source of protein, vitamins A & B and healthy fat, so they need to be a part of your diet. Unfortunately using a pot there’s only so many of them that you can cook at any one time. Enter the muffin tin! Cook a delicious dozen in the oven in 30 mins!
Photo: The Lean Green Blog
#12 Get On The Mason Jar Salad Bandwagon
Mason jar salads are as hipster as it gets. They look great obviously but they’re also practical since the salad dressing is at the bottom of the jar, and the greens are at the top, meaning nothing gets soggy!
#13 Cook Foods All At Once
Roasting vegetables, sweet potatoes, and even chicken breasts all at once will save you time, and cut down on your utility bill. Imagine…all of your side dishes for the week…ready in about 30 minutes!