The best way to set yourself up for success when it comes to nutrition is to set aside some time each week for food prep. If you make food prep a priority you will save yourself time and stay on track to meet your goals. I urge all the TPA Nutrition Coaching Clients to make Food Prep a part of their routine because I believe it is the main way I have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family.
Most importantly, no matter how you want to do it, anything you can do in advance will set you up for success. You don’t need to spend all day in the kitchen but you do need set aside a few hours each week. Food prep just might be the single most important indicator of success on your health and fitness journey – especially if you are focused on losing body fat and building muscle. Fueling your body appropriately allows you to function more efficiently.
Having a weekly nutrition plan and sticking to it eliminates the stress of “What’s for dinner?” and saves you from making poor decisions in a moment of hunger.
Having food prepped will give you more time during the week to devote to your workouts or just relax! If you prep your food you will always have nutrient dense options on hand and no excuse to grab something unhealthy.
Here are my Top 5 Tips for a successful food prep session:
- Make a Plan
Sit down and look at the week ahead. I like to use pen and paper, but there are lots of apps to help with this too. Based on your schedule, write down your breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. Now it’s time to make a grocery shopping list and do all your shopping.
2. Wash, prep and re-package your Produce
Wash your produce when you get home and package it in clear containers so your know what you have and everything is easily available. The goal is to get 5 servings of vegetables everyday… set yourself up for success. Cut up raw veggies to snack on. Carrots, Cucumbers, Peppers, and Celery are all great options. Cut up strawberries, wash grapes and berries. Put a paper towel in the container to pull the moisture away from the food so they will last longer. If you are making a recipe later in the week, prep any veggies to make week night cooking easier.
3. Protein, Protein, Protein
Marinate any meat that you are going to use.. This time of year I love to grill. Place all the meat in large Freezer bags, add the marinade and they are ready to throw on the grill later in the week. Plus you only have to clean up the mess once! If you need cooked meat for a recipe, like burritos or salads, use your Instant Pot, Crock Pot or Grill to cook the meat.
4. Don’t forget Breakfast
Meal Prep isn’t just for dinner. Make a breakfast casserole or egg cups that can be easily portioned and reheated in the morning. You can pack them with tons protein and veggies! Oatmeal or Overnight Oats are another great option.
5. Make it Convenient
Things don’t always go as planned, so you need make sure there are healthy quick options around to snack on or grab on the go. Have hard boiled eggs on hand. If you haven’t made hard boiled eggs in an Instant Pot, you must try it… the peels fall off! Another great option is to make Tuna Salad. It is great for quick lunches and dinners or a great snack with cut up mini pepper scoops.
Bonus Tip: Want to simplify even further?!?! Fully prepare and portion out your meals for the week. Salads, Burrito Bowls, Stir-Frys and Chili are great choices for make-ahead meals! They are packed with veggies and protein and easily reheat for quick lunches and dinners.
Looking for a customized Nutrition Plan and Nutrition Coaching? Click HERE
Meghan Morris, Nutrition Coach