If you’ve just started paying better attention to your health and fitness, one thing you’re bound to come across is meal prepping. Basically, meal prepping is dedicating time to either cook ingredients in a batch or prepare full meals for the week ahead. Now, all this may sound quite overwhelming at first, but it’s really not and we’ll help you learn the very basics with this quick guide.
First of all, why should you do it?
Meal prepping has many distinct advantages. One big benefit is that you’re sure to eat healthy food for the whole week. Because you’ve prepared your meals already, you’re less likely to eat fast food, junk food, processed food, etc. throughout the day.
Meal prepping is also pretty important when you’re trying to lose or gain weight. This is because when you prepare the meals yourself, you can balance the calories and macronutrients accordingly with your required daily intake.
Make a Plan
There are actually many prep methods and one might work for you better than another. For example, there’s prepping ready-to-cook ingredients which you can do if you prefer cooking meals before serving. Here you prep all the ingredients and only cook them before your mealtime. The opposite of this is prepping make-ahead meals.
This is when you actually cook a meal in bulk and put it in separate containers. Then, you can just take a container and reheat it when it’s time for you to eat. So, whether it’s prepping make-ahead meals or just the ingredients, make a plan that’s convenient for you.
Start prepping and storing
Let’s use make-ahead meals as an example for this one. Let’s say the meal you plan to make consists of rice, chicken breast, and some broccoli. You plan to have that as your lunch for the whole week so, of course, you should get enough ingredients for the whole week.
Once you’ve cooked everything, place them in separate freezer-, microwave-safe containers. Then, simply store them in your fridge and take one anytime you need it. Then, when it’s time to eat you simply reheat it in an oven or microwave.
Always take note of storage life
The one thing you have to remember is that not all ingredients will have the same storage life. Some vegetables, for example, may last for only 2-3 days while others can still go for 4. So, you always have to be mindful of that.
Freezing your prepped meals properly is simply the best way to maintain quality. Even so, just put date labels for when you think the meal might not be good for consumption anymore. You wouldn’t want to get food poisoning, of course.