Meal Prep Hacks
Food prepping is essential for most people to stick to their nutritional goals. Eating healthy on the go is tough, and many convenience foods will throw you right off course. Condensing all your cooking for the week into one session is an extremely popular way to organise your food.
Here are our top ways to make sure your prepping game is on point.
Keep Things Varied
Just because you cook it at the same time doesn’t mean it has to be identical. Giving yourself plenty of different flavours and choices keeps things interesting. Invest in different spices and try out new recipes. You’ll find your weekly meals more satisfying and feel less like deviating from your plan.
If you are struggling for inspiration, try looking at your favourite “non-healthy” meals. There are plenty of recipes online that can give you the same kick as your cheats, while effectively fuelling your fitness. Pizza, burgers, curry, desserts – they can all be healthy with a few clever ingredient swaps.
Use Recipes with Similar Foods
Okay, this may sound like a contradiction to the point above but it’s not. By using the same protein source, veg, or carbs in a couple of your recipes, you can bulk buy and save money.
For example, there are plenty of ways you can flavour chicken or tofu, and peppers taste just as good in a fajita mix as they do in Thai spices.
Plan out your “menu” before you hit the shops. Having the exact quantities you need on your shopping list will minimise waste and mean you get the best deals for what you need.
Consider Your Schedule
Life can certainly throw us curveballs that interfere with our plans. But most of the time, we can anticipate potential hazards and plan our prep accordingly. For example, if you know you have a hectic work week coming up, you might want to prepare lots of food that doesn’t need to be reheated and can be eaten on the go. That way, you can grab bites as you go between meetings and avoid resorting to boardroom biscuits or sandwiches.
Keep A Few Spare for the Freezer
However organised we try and be, life can always find a way to trip us up. Have a stash of your favourite prep meals in the freezer for when your prep plans go awry. Whether it’s feeling under the weather or a last minute work demand, you’ll have your fuel ready.
Measure Your Macros
Get in the habit of measuring out your macros as you plate up your prep. This will be key to ensuring your meals provide you with optimum nutrition and fuel. If you are building muscle, aim for around 40% protein, 35% carbs and 25% fat on your plate. If you are looking to lose fat, you should go for around 45% protein, 35% carbs and 20% fat.
Using macros as your guide can also help you from falling foul of fad diets and recipes that offer quick results but won’t benefit your long term plans. Going carb free or fat-free might make sense at the time, but when you hit the gym you’ll find your PB seems very tough. Balance is key, and measuring macros help to achieve that balance.