Meal prepping is frigging awesome WHEN you do it! It allows us to track the amount of calories we need to lose weight or gain weight. And eat healthy instead of caving into cravings because we feel guilty that we have food at home. Also its cheap as heck to do so, or a least cheaper than going out to eat each meal! But when it comes to how to meal plan for a week, an ENTIRE week..
Well my friends that is a sticky subject as things can go bad in a week, or just not taste as good. Also you can get sick and tired of the food you are cooking if it is the same ole stuff. Well now that we have established a problem, an important problem as you need help with this! Well lets us solve it for you!
But why should you listen to me? Well I am a huge fan of meal prepping, honestly I try to do it religiously and have gotten pretty good at it. But there was a time where I would cook too much and waste a lot of food = waste of time. I also would get sick of the food I was eating and end up just ordering a pizza.
Flash forward a couple years down the line. I found good techniques as well as did my research on the topic. What came out of these two things were that I became good weekly meal prep and you can too!
Below we jump right into how to to meal prep your food for an entire week, allowing you to have access to quality foods on the quick! Saving you tons of cooking time and creating better fitness results!
Our Surefire Methods To Pre-Prepping Food For A Week
Pick A Day To Cook
We all, for the most part have a day off, hopefully more! But you need to pick a day where you can allocate a couple hours to dedicate to your meal prepping. Force yourself to do it, a couple hours will equate to a weeks worth of food The alternative is having to cook EVERY single meal, which takes a lot more time than cooking all at once.
Create Your Shopping List
You need to premeditate how much you are going to eat in meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and anything else that you will be consuming during the week. This can be tough at first but after a couple weeks you will have an idea of how much of each macronutrient you will need.
Pre-Prepped Food Containers
This is a must have for my meal prepping friends all over the world. You can pick them up pretty cheap at Walmart, like a ten pack for $15. They usually have 3 or 4 different sections where the biggest section can be used for meat. The other two sections can be used for things like vegetables, fruits, rice, you name it!
Own A BBQ
If you don’t have one then use an oven. But cooking mass quantities of meat at once can be done with ease on the BBQ. This allows you to cook days if not the whole weeks worth of your protein at once.
I capitalize this because it need to be emphasized. Don’t cook the same meal for every meal, unless you have no taste buds. Get different types of fruits and vegetables as well as different types of nuts and meats. Switch it up by eating chicken, dark meat if you ask me because it taste better, then get some red meat in your next days prep.
Hard Boiled Eggs
You can cook a couple dozen eggs for hard boiling at once. If you want to be an overachiever and really step your meal prep game up, then peel them when they are done cooking. I feel as if they store better and last longer if you don’t peel them first, but its all up to you. You can easily pre-prep a weeks worth of eggs in one boil, whether you eat one or 6 eggs a day!
You can also invest in some packets of instant oatmeal that will taste great with your hard-boiled eggs. OK I know I said how to PRE prep, but this is the chink in my armor in this article! I admit it! BUT instant oatmeal is often forgotten about when it comes to quick breakfasts, so let me slide on this one!
Also you can stack up on Greek yogurt. A portion size of a small container usually contains 13-15 grams of protein and very low amounts of calories. Calorie counts for Greek yogurt are usually 70-130 and usually NO FAT!
How To Not Let Your Meals Go Bad During The Week
Now like we said before, meals can go bad or taste weird a 4 or 5 days in. This is when the freezer becomes your friend. You can store 3 to 4 days worth of pre-cooked for in the fridge, then freeze the rest. When you are close to be done with what you have stored in the refrigerator, simply pull out your frozen foods and let it thaw.
Now the tip with this is to pull out the frozen food about a day before you are about to be finished with your the meals in your fridge. This will give them time to thaw and be ready for consumption when you are done with the other meals. Don’t wait until the last minute to pull out your meals, as you’ll be left with frozen or partially frozen foods!
Even though the food has good taste, you may want to eat something other than what you have prepped. This can be solved by having a good sauce you put on your meat and whatever carb source you are eating it with. I love a good asian sauce, like Soyaki sauce that Trader Joe’s sells. Also being that I am Italian, you know I’m going to be putting so marinara on my food!
The point is pick a couple good sauces up each week and spice up your meals!
Your Meals Don’t Have To Be Bland
When people things of the words “meal prepping” they shutter in fear or eating bland food. This doesn’t have to be the case at all. When you meal prep your food, load it up with better options. If its chicken, melt some cheese on top of it and throw some caramelized onions in there and make chicken marsala! If its vegetables, cook them with olive oil and put some spices on them!
The key is that you want to make the meals tasty enough to LOOK FORWARD to them, instead of dreading them. This is the key to successfully following your meal preparation protocol!
How To Not Cave Into Cravings and Still Eat Your Prepped Meals!
Now this is the tough part about meal prepping, BUT there is a solution. A couple days into eating your prepped meals, whether they be cold or heated up, it can taste a little bland. The solution to this problem is simply to allow yourself to “cheat” a bit each day. Have a few squares of chocolate, spreading them throughout the day even.
You can also integrate tasty options like peanut butter, avocado, heck even a snickers bar (but not every day). The key to this is having a food you like each day in moderation, not the WHOLE thing. This will keep you sane and on track with eating all of your meal prepped foods that you worked so hard on.
Or you can just have a cheat day at the end of the week. This is where you choose one or two meals where you get to eat whatever you want. Now I’m not a big advocate of this although I used to be. It is just tough to last 6 days straight when it comes to clean eating. It has worked better for me and a lot of others to simply “cheat” a little bit each day, instead of a whole day, then trying to jump on the bandwagon the next day!
This was exactly my tactic in college, cheat a little here in there when I can quite cut it, just not the whole test ;)! JUST KIDDING!
Make Your Meals VISUALLY ATTRACTIVE
There is nothing worse than looking at a dish and its two or three different colors, laying there looking lifeless. Instead add some different colors to your dish, like tomatoes, onions, bright fruit avocado and more. This will make this dish more appetizing, creating the desire in you to eat the food you cooked instead of going out to eat!
Remember The Reason WHY You Are Meal Prepping
Yeah we would all love to go bang out a pizza or obliterate some chocolate cake, but life isn’t that easy friends! Remember why you meal prep you food. It could be that you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle or just simply due so to save money or just be more healthy. Whatever it is, when times get rought, think about the reason you started and it will motivate you to FINISH! Cheesy, but true.
Meal Preparation With A Buddy
Doing your meal prepping with a friend is not only more fun You have someone to grind though a couple hours of cooking as well as you can trade food! You have a better variety of options where you can create meals that you will enjoy more translating to better success in eating your meals during the week!
Also remember that this is going to be a lot of food and containers! Remember to clean out your fridge, think of it as spring cleaning, whether or not its spring! Get rid of things you don’t need or simply create more space for your prepped meals.
Add A Variety of Taste And Texture
Again your meals don’t have to be bland. But I also suggest using different types of tastes as well as consistencies. Have some sweet, some bitter, some salty, some spicy and some crunchy! Doing will stimulate your taste buds and senses more. This will translate to you eating your pre-prepped meals without dreading the process!
Taking Your Food To Work
We all have to work, and it can get in the way of staying on top of our diets. This doesn’t have to keep you from falling off the bandwagon. Bring 2 or 3 days of lunches in at a time. Store them in your fridge if you have to. NO fridge? No Problem! Get a lunch pack and insert ice packs in them that will keep your food fresh until the time that you eat it!
I Leave You Hear But Keep In Touch!
Now you have the solution to how to meal prep for 7 days. How you use the tools mentioned above are up to you, but use them and they will help you with your fitness goals. If you need anymore help with this topic or any other fitness topic I ENCOURAGE you to leave a blog comment! Take it easy my friends, I know you will do great with your meal prepping!
(If they could meal prep back in the day with less technology, there are no excuses for you not doing it!) #INSPIRATION