Hello lovely people, I’m going to do a series of posts about weekly food prep, the act of making your meals for the week ahead. For some people this means making 10 meals in total, 5 lunches and 5 dinners. For others it can mean 20 meals, 10 lunches and 10 dinners. Part one of this series will highlight the negatives, positives and health benefits of doing weekly prep (complete with paragraph titles and everything!), perhaps helping you decide if you want to get all up in this business. Part two will guide you and show you how to successfully meal prep. Part three will include one week of my food prep, including planning lists, recipes and step by step photos. After reading all three parts you will be equipped and well on your way to successfully meal prepping!
Let’s quickly talk about the negatives. Food prepping is hard and can be downright overwhelming. You have to stand in the kitchen cooking and packing for approximately 3 hours. You must bring your A game into the kitchen, if you can’t manage your time cooking times and prioritise then you’ll be in for a very stressful time. If that isn’t enough to put you off, after you’ve finally finished and packed away your last meal, your kitchen will most likely look like a natural disaster hit it. Brilliant. Other problems can involve food spoiling thanks to incorrect preparation, having like, zero space left in your fridge and even the risk of not enjoying some of your meals. This all sounds terrible I know, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, more like a-giant-ball-of-light-so-bright-it-melts-your-eyeballs kind of light.
If I haven’t totally put you off and you’re still reading, this section will highlight the non-health benefits of food prep. First, let me be clear, it can be difficult at times, but food prep is immensely rewarding. If you can push through 3 hours of cooking and organising you don’t have to cook lunch or dinner for a whole week. A whole week. Just let that sink in. You wouldn’t believe how liberating it is to not worry about what to make for dinner every night, or whether you’ll have time (or money) to run and grab lunch on your break.
Prepping your food will save you some serious cash too. If you’re not one to make lunch the night before and just end up buying it, you’re spending around $10 a day or $50 a week just on lunch! Think of what you could do with that extra money, it could go into a holiday fund or a brand spankin’ new dress. It’s all starting to sound like a good idea, right? Well keep reading because it gets better.
Let’s talk calories for a sec. Two popular terms are ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ and ‘80% diet, 20% gym’. Basically, your best bet to losing weight is to follow a simple idea, energy consumption must be less than energy expenditure (IIFYM). In normal terms, you must eat fewer calories than your body burns to lose weight. If you burn 2000 cal daily, you need to eat fewer than 2000 cal. To maintain, you must eat and burn approximately the same and to gain you must eat more than your body burns. If you’re wanting to become more calorie conscious, check out IIFYM.com for more information on how to calculate how many calories your body burns and how many you need to consume. If you’re interested in logging calories then head to myfitnesspal.com
Food prep is your number one friend when it comes to nutritious eating or meeting weight goals. If you plan and cook your meals according to your goals, there is much less temptation to stray. All your meals are already made, you made them and know exactly what’s in them. It’s far less likely that you’ll cheat on your diet if you’ve put all this effort into creating your meals and they’re ready to go. For me, I’ve had tremendous success with meal prepping because I know exactly how many calories are in each meal, and I don’t cheat because I just have to grab a container from the fridge. It’s especially fantastic if you have a special diet such as diabetic, paleo, gluten free, low carb, etc. You can’t mess up when you’ve already got all your food sorted!
Are you convinced yet? Meal prep saves money, is convenient, takes out the worry about what to eat during the week, is customisable to your dietary needs and you’ll have a much better chance at sticking to weight/health-related goals. “Sign me up!” I hear you say, well stay tuned because Part Two will go into depth on how to meal prep.