How to Structure and Plan Your Meal Prepping in Order to Achieve your Goal of Losing Weight.
By Lori Sawyer, MA, ATC
Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist
Owner, Clean Cut Fitness & Nutrition
The words MEAL PREP can scare a lot of people. We constantly hear, “it takes too much time”, “I don’t know where to begin”, “I just can’t be bothered to do this” and the list goes on. Then, when you throw all the factors of wanting to lose weight on top of that, it can get completely overwhelming! The solution?! Have a plan. Taking it one step at a time will ensure you succeed. First, let us talk about weight loss.
Clean Eating, taking true weight off and keeping it off is a LIFESTYLE. Weight loss is more than looking hot (but who doesn’t want that!). Its health, wellness, sleeping well, clear skin and avoiding disease. And to achieve that, it comes down to 2 words. PREPPING & PLANNING.
So where do you begin? You want to lose weight and create this new lifestyle. Planning each week will make your life much easier in the kitchen. Planning is your key to success. Once the planning is complete, the prep begins.
Ask yourself, how are you going to take the weight off? What weight loss plan are you following? There are thousands out there all very different and all claiming to be the best. To begin, I recommend cutting out all the processed foods and sugar. So bye bye boxed foods and prepackaged garbage. And if you're not sure what your portions should be yet, give these portion control containers a try. It’s time to enter the world of meal prep!
Look at your week ahead. Do you have any parties, meetings, or events where you are not in control of your food? If so, look ahead at the events and make the best choices you can there. (check out the menu, or be aware of what is being served). Prepping your foods around those key events will make life easier.
What about your daily routine? Make sure to prep easy meals and snacks around busy times. IF you know you have a busy day, be prepared. Meal Prepping is not just chopping up vegetables, and grilling chicken. It is bagging nuts and making sure you have enough fruits and shakes so you are prepared and ready! So what are you waiting for? Keep some nuts in your car and grab a piece of fruit on your way out the door.
Plan your menus. Look for simple 5 ingredient recipes that you can whip up quickly and bulk cook. Healthy crockpot recipes are always a hit.
EAT TO LIVE. DO NOT LIVE TO EAT.
Follow your food plan and lay it out. I always recommend great meal prep containers so you can pre-cook and store your foods immediately. Then you have a grab and go! When you have a busy day, and are prepared with your meals you will succeed. Think about being in a business meeting and it is time for your snack. You look over at the breakfast table and its processed muffins and bagels. But Ah! In your purse, there is a green apple with some almonds. SCORE! You have that healthy snack that will keep you full, feel satisfied and give you energy. That breakfast table is loaded with sugar, a stomach ache and crashing in the middle of your speech.
Remember to cook your foods a few servings at a time, so that you can have multiple meal prep containers ready to go. Pop a few meals in the freezer and simply re-heat them in the microwave when you're ready to eat. You'll have a nice selection of grab and go clean healthy foods that work in your meal plan. Bulk cooking does not have to be the same boring meal. You can switch it up with some cauliflower rice, and use it with chicken, shrimp or a tofu stir-fry. Get creative and mix it up! Remember - prepping a few days at a time will create that grab and go for success.
When you are prepared with your food every day and plan around your life and plans you will succeed. It is when we go in unprepared that we fall off. Don't give in because you're frazzled! The keys to achieving your weight loss success can be summed in the following two words: PLAN and PREP.
About Lori Sawyer:
Lori Sawyer is a licensed personal trainer and nutritionist, having earned her BS in Movement Studies and Exercise Science in Athletic Training from East Stroudsburg University. Prior to starting CleanCut Fit, Lori worked as the staff athletic trainer for the highly lauded UCLA women’s basketball, tennis, & national women’s water polo team. Learn more about Lori and her work here.