Meal prepping is a greay way to make sure you’re eating healthy meals throughout the week. Not only will it save you time, but it will also save you money, and can help you achieve your fitness goals through nutrition. All it takes is a little bit of planning and preparation, and you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time! Follow this list to find out everything you need to know to meal prep. If you feel like you need help along the way, contact us and we’ll get you set up with a Personal Trainer Hamilton who’s certified in nutrition!
Pick a day
Meal prep is designed to save you time and energy cooking, but also help you plan for really nutritious and healthy meals. First things first though, you need to pick a day where you can set aside a couple hours for prepping, cooking, and plating. Sundays tend to be good for this, and by the time you’re done, you’ll be so glad of the time you saved in lieu of cooking each day of the week.
Focus on simple meals
Fresh ingredients are undoubtedly the best, but to save time, you can opt for prepared herbs and spices to quickly add flavour without all the extra peeling, chopping, and dicing. Chicken is a favorite among many meal preppers because it can be cooked in an endless number of ways. It’s also easy to store and freeze, and with just a bit of chicken and a few vegetables you can easily prepare three totally different meals. Of course, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can swap out chicken for other proteins, like chickpeas or tofu.
Consider the nutrition
When choosing the recipes, think about how you want to balance the meals. For example, if you are trying to maintain specific macronutrient goals (proteins, fats, carbs) each day, that should factor into what recipes you choose. Knowing how each macronutrient converts into calories will also help provide more accurate information. If weight loss is your goal, remember the importance of calorie deficits, as explained in our previous blog post.
1g of Protein = 4 Calories
1g of Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
1g of Fat = 9 Calories
Use proper containers
We’ve tested a few different types of containers over the years, and believe us, you definitely want to be sure that you’re using proper containers that you’re excited about! What you should be looking for is:
- BPA Free
- Freezer Safe
- Dishwasher Safe
Stock your kitchen
Organize your pantry staples so that you can pull together your favourite meals in a pinch. Mason jars are a geat opton to see how much is left of each ingredient in your cupboards. Now, when we talk about the staples, we’re talking about things like quinoa, lentils, rice, pumpkin seeds. These are dry goods that will keep a long time in your pantry, but also provide you with some essential nutrients and can act as a base to any meal.
Cook multiple thing at once
Remember that you can cook lots of different things at the same. Use your oven space to its fullest potential. There’s no need to place one thing in there at a time. Use multiple oven trays if it helps, or use aluminum foil to make dividers and multiply your efforts. Start with recipes that lend themselves to this type of cooking.
Need help figuring out where to start? Contact us to get set up with a Coach who’s certified in Nutrition today!