A common quote in the work world is, “A goal without a plan is just a dream”. The same goes for your health and wellness. Planning is one of the best and most underrated tools in health. This goes for planning your fitness activity of the week and also planning to prepare weekly meals. In fact, meal planning is the most powerful tool for maintaining a healthy diet. When you plan your meals in advance, you have better control over what you eat, it is easier to make nutritious choices, and you can ensure that your meals are balanced and include a variety of food groups. All of these things are essential for meeting your nutritional needs.
Here are some successful meal planning and prepping tips:
- Set your goals. Know your daily caloric intake and how that breaks down into nutrients. The rule of thumb is that 45-65% of your calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat, and 20-35% from protein. When planning your meals you can use MyFitnessPal or Cronometer to ensure your meals are well-balanced and meet your nutritional daily goals.
- Choose healthy and easy recipes that include seasonable fruits and vegetables-create your shopping list.
- Take one day of the week to plan your meals for the upcoming week. Write down on a calendar what meals you will be having for each day. Don’t forget that you will have leftovers! Schedule in these days as well.
- Don’t forget to plan for snacks. Cut up fresh veggies and store them in the fridge for a quick and healthy nibble. Also, pre-portion almonds or nuts as a quick snack on the go.
- Take a day of the week to grocery shop and meal prep. Sundays are my go-to grocery and prep day but any day can work.
- Choose the right prep method for you. Some people prefer to prepare, cook and portion all their meals at once, and others like to prep the ingredients so they are ready to go when it’s time to cook meals. Choose what works best for you.
- Store extras in the freezer. I like to make extra portions and place them in glass freezer-ready containers. These containers are great because they go from the freezer to microwave, making reheating a snap when you are pressed for time. You can also use a black wax pencil and write the date and meal inside .
I hope these tips help to keep you on track for healthy eating! Happy meal prepping!