Meal Prep: Top Tips

Are you ready to prep?

Preparing meals in advance helped many to hit their calorie and weight goals, as well as save money and reduce waste. Here are our top tips.

1. Create a meal plan

Start small, maybe 3 days, and write down what you are going to eat for each meal including snacks and drinks.
Drinks are an easy one to forget and one of the easiest ways for calories to sneak into your body.

2. Are your cupboards well stocked?

Make sure you have the ingredients you need and a nice supply of essentials. Think salt, pepper, herbs, spices, oil, rice, pasta, frozen veg, reduced salt and sugar sauces etc.

3. Write your shopping list

When you go to the store, or order online, buy only what you need!
Use the meal plan you wrote to list every ingredient you need. Anything you already have doesn't go on your shopping list.
Now you have a shopping list, stick to it.

4. Block time

Block time to get your shopping done and block time to prep your meals. We block 2 hours for 3 days of meals, 3 hours for 5 days of meals.

5. Save your recipes

Keep a record of the recipes you use and make notes. Did you like it? Did it reheat well? Did it keep nicely in the fridge for 3 days but not 4?
Don't forget to vary your menu, you're more likely to succeed if you have a variety of meals during the week. Prepping 10 portions of the same meal may save money and time right now, but it will make your long term goals harder to achieve.

6. Cheat

Don't be afraid to cheat, embrace it. Include cheat meals and drinks in your meal plan and try to make them cheat meals not cheat days. A cheat day gone too far can cancel out everything you've done that week.
Don't forget to include the calories from any milkshakes or alcohol, it's likely to be more than you think. On days that you know you'll be having more than a couple of drinks with alcohol, drink extra water during the day, your head will thank you tomorrow.

7. Food containers

Invest in the best food containers you can.
Takeaway style plastic containers are cheap and last a reasonable amount of time. They discolour quickly, particularly with anything tomato based, and it's easy to crack the lids.
We always try to use glass containers with plastic snap on lids. They are easy to wash, don't discolour and should last a lot longer. But they are more expensive.

8. Kitchen Equipment

Make sure you have the right equipment. Must haves include a good set of knives, spoons, spatulas, baking trays, pots, pans.
Something we all have is a slow cooker, they aren't expensive and are a great way for cooking big meals, they take a long time to cook but not long at all to prepare. A chilli or bolognese sauce is great in a slow cooker, perfect for having friends over and using the leftovers for a couple of days.


The most important tip.
Why are you doing meal prep? It's important to know. It could be only to save time, or money. You may want to lose weight, or maintain, or build muscle. Whatever your goal, plan for it, know your weekly food budget, know how many calories you can eat/drink each day.

Check out our blog post on calories and macros if you want to calculate the calories and macros you should have each day to achieve your goal.

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