When you’re trying to lose weight (or simply maintain the weight you’ve lost), food prep is the key! Learn how to ‘prep like a pro’ with our easy-to-handle, never-go-hungry-again techniques. All it takes is a few hours on a Sunday, and you’ve got all your meals for the week ahead!
Put Together Your Protein, Carbs and Fat List
If you’re going to go through the trouble of meal planning (it does require some effort and preparation), why not do it in a way that will truly satisfy your appetite—so you can lose weight, or maintain the weight you’ve lost? Your body requires an adequate amount of protein, fats, and carbs to feel full and to function at an optimal level. Start by making three lists for easy planning: one that lays out healthy, complex carbs (potatoes, beans, vegetables, fruits and rice); another list that lays out healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, peanut butter, bacon, etc.); and a third list that lays out healthy protein sources (turkey meat, skinless, boneless chicken breasts, eggs, lean beef, etc.) Once you have your lists, now you can make your grocery list for the store. The key to smart, healthy food planning is making sure you have everything you need for easy grabbing in the fridge and pantry!
Plan and Prepare
You may find that it’s easiest for you to plan a week’s worth of meals in one shot, or you may discover that you like to prepare your meals three days out at a time. Decide on what those meals are first, and then chop and cook all your ingredients in a big batch. For example, if you want to eat ground turkey bowls, mason jar chicken salad and egg ‘muffins’ during the week, here’s how to tackle it:
• Chop up all the veggies you’ll need first, plus extra for easy munching on the go. (Mushrooms, celery, zucchini, etc.) are excellent sources of protein and fiber for egg muffins. Whip them up with 6-8 eggs (plus cheese for a healthy fat), pour them, along with all the veggies, in muffin tip cups, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Store them in freezer bags, and take them out of the freezer, warm them up and it’s a simple breakfast you’ll love. (You can also chop up some extra zucchini to make zucchini fries for a healthy appetizer.)
• Next, cook your potatoes, rice (or other starch/carbs) and meat. Brown your turkey meat and season it for a delicious turkey bowl (after it’s done, simply mix it up with corn, black beans, and quinoa). Cook your chicken breasts or beef, then add it with broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers and onion along with some rice for a healthy stir-fry. Portion them out in Tupperware, and you’ve got your lunch for the whole week.
The fact is, meal planning keeps you on point. It keeps you healthy. And best of all, it keeps your energy high all day long. With a little practice, a little effort and a little bit of creativity, you’ll become a food prep ‘pro’ in no time at all!