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How to meal prep!

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How to meal prep!

How to meal prep!
October 05
19:57 2018

Meal prepping is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule.

It’s particularly popular amongst busy people because it can save a lot of time.

Having pre-prepared meals on hand can also reduce portion size and help you reach your nutrition goals. This way, you’ll avoid unhealthy options like TV dinners or takeout, especially when you’re overwhelmed or exhausted.

And since it requires you to determine what to eat ahead of time, meal prepping can lead to more nutritious meal choices over the long term.

Despite what people may think, there are various ways to meal prep — not all of which involve spending a whole Sunday afternoon cooking dishes for the week to come. You can choose methods that work best for you.

This article explores the most important principles of meal prepping and breaks down the process into a few simple steps.

Healthy Meal Prep
Different Ways to Meal Prep

You may think that cooking meals for the week ahead will consume a big chunk of your weekend.

However, because there are various ways to meal prep, you don’t have to stand in the kitchen for an entire Sunday afternoon. Everyone can find a suitable meal preparation style.

The most popular ways to meal-prep include:

  • Make-ahead meals: Full meals cooked in advance which can be refrigerated and reheated at mealtimes. This is particularly handy for dinnertime meals.
  • Batch cooking: Making large batches of a specific recipe, then splitting it into individual portions to be frozen and eaten over the next few months. These make for popular warm lunch or dinner options.
  • Individually portioned meals: Preparing fresh meals and portioning them into individual grab-and-go portions to be refrigerated and eaten over the next few days. This is particularly handy for quick lunches.
  • Ready-to-cook ingredients: Prepping the ingredients required for specific meals ahead of time as a way to cut down on cooking time in the kitchen.

The method that will work best for you depends on your goals and daily routine.

For instance, make-ahead breakfasts might work best if you’re looking to streamline your morning routine. On the other hand, keeping batch-cooked meals in your freezer is particularly handy for those who have limited time in the evenings.

The different meal-prepping methods can also be mixed and matched depending on your own circumstances. Start by choosing the most appealing method, then slowly experiment with the others to determine what suits you best.

SUMMARYThere are many ways to meal prep, depending on your goals, schedule and meal preferences. Some options include making large batches to be frozen, full meals to be refrigerated and separate portions to be combined as you see fit.

Picking the Right Number and Variety of Meals

Figuring out how many meals to make and what to include in each meal can sometimes be tricky.

The best way to plan ahead is to first decide on which meals you’d like to focus and which meal-prepping method fits your lifestyle.

Then, check your calendar to decide the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners you’ll need for the upcoming week.

Also, remember to account for times you’re likely to eat out — for instance, on dates, at brunch with friends or at client dinners.

When selecting which meals to make, it’s best to start with a limited number of recipes that you already know. This will ease your transition into meal planning.

That said, it’s also important to avoid picking only one recipe for the whole week. This lack of variety can lead to boredom and won’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

Instead, try picking meals that contain different vegetables and protein-rich foods, as well as varied complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes. Integrating a vegetarian or vegan meal into the mix is another way to add variety.

SUMMARYThe right number of meals depends on your individual routine and needs. Variety is key to providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds it needs.

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