The most common thing I hear about getting weight loss results are that they happen in the kitchen. Which I have totally found to be true. Damn you cliches!! When I first started my journey I watched people on Instagram, with their fancy meal prep layouts and I would be so envious. I had NO idea how to do what they were doing, I just knew that their food was getting them results and I wanted that for myself.
So I set out to learn how to ‘meal prep.’ It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t necessarily easy either. I went through a ton of trial and error and a bunch of thrown out food to figure out the magic sauce behind meal prepping so that you don’t have to.
On a side note…I bet you can’t tell that I’m a Star Wars fan? I had NO idea what to name this post. I said screw it Jess, just let your nerd out. So tada!!! Yes I am a Nerd! Welcome to my Blog 😀
Meal Prep Basics for Beginners
The most important step is to figure out what you will be eating so that you know how much to buy. This is called Meal Planning, which is the foundation of meal prepping. This does get a tiny more difficult with the more people you prep for. However, for simplicities sake, let’s just say that you are doing this only for yourself, or everyone eats the exact same as you.
So to meal plan, you will pick exactly what you will be eating for the week, this means breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then you break it down into numbers. For example, how many apples do you need, how many heads of lettuce, or bags of veggies. Once you write it all down, go into your pantry and fridge and determine what you already have.
The purpose here is to not buy extra stuff you don’t need. I’ve bought groceries without looking only to find I already had them when I got home. This is ANNOYING! Especially if you are on a budget. Meal planning will help you save money because you will spend less if you are only buying what you absolutely need. (So any money you save you could throw at a bill or buy some sweet tank tops!)
To save even more money on your groceries I use rebate apps: Mobisave (referral code: AICBHDPI), Ibotta (Referral code: cpauoiu), Checkout51, and Savingstar. These are great to get money back on stuff you already buy!
Once you are done shopping, you need to devote a few hours to prepping it all. Yes, you read that right. A few hours. It takes longer in the beginning, but you will shave time down quickly. If you have help, then you will be ahead of the game! A personal tip: Grocery shop one day, prep the next day. Sometimes it too much to do it all in one day.
It’s important to know that there are a few different types of meal prepping. Full prep: where you cook and portion everything, including snacks. Partial prep: where you prep everything but dinner. Snack prep: where you prep any all snacks. This does help with mindless snacking. I like to do Full prep but have been doing partial prep for the past two years. I find that partial prep is the most common for families, that way
How you want to prep depends on your lifestyle and how much you want to reheat your meals. I don’t mind reheating all my meals, but I know a few people that would just not do it, which is cool too.
Regardless of the prep you choose, the principles are the same. Clean, chop and portion out your fruits, veggies, snacks. If your breakfast and lunches don’t need prepping (cereal or sandwiches) then you can prepare them as you go. If you want to prepare a months worth of hearty breakfasts, then try my Breakfast Burritos that you can make in advance and freeze. They are such a huge time saver!
What you need to prep, are baggies and various sizes of Tupperware. For some its easier to place the food into large containers and portion out as they go. You can portion everything out by meal, which you see you all over social media. There is also a mixture of the two. Again, it’s a personal preference thing, I am a fan of mixing the two. It helps to keep the need for Tupperware down and saves space in the fridge.
So hopefully you feel a little better about meal prepping. It’s not as scary as its seems. Drop your questions or tips below, I would love to hear from you!