Meal prepping blogs are everywhere. There are working moms prepping for calorie-conscious lunches, bodybuilders prepping to maintain their gains and even everyday people prepping to make sure that they’re eating healthier meals.
But where do you begin? How do you know which meal prep plan is the best for you? In order to answer some of those questions, you really need think about your lifestyle. The more active you are, the more calories, protein and certain macronutrients like carbs and healthy fats you’ll need to consume. If you’re more worried about eating right and not relying on fast food for your work lunches, then you have a little more flexibility when it comes to what to pack and how.
According to the USDA, the standard daily protein intake for men is 56 g per day, or 46 g per day for women. Approved daily levels for carbs and healthy fats for both men and women are 130 g of carbs and between 25-35% of healthy fats a day. It’s important to remember that those these are standard; everyone’s bodies and their caloric intake needs are very different. You should consult a healthcare professional before attempting any sort of new diet.
Food prepping isn’t something that you can do the morning before you head off to work. It takes time and a plan in order to do it successfully. Here are four tips to help you get started:
Figure out how many meals you’ll need in a week. Do you always eat breakfast? Do you have any business lunches or dinners with friends coming up? Are you traveling? Be sure to plan out your week so you don’t waste any food.
Your meals don’t have to be worthy of being on Top Chef, but they do need to have a few key components: protein, carbs and healthy fat. Make proteins in bulk like chicken breast, steak, and even tofu to use throughout the week, and try to keep your carbs complex by eating things like brown rice, quinoa and whole-wheat breads or pastas. Though you’re making the main components of your meals at once, you can keep them interesting by adding different spices and vegetables and by using the proteins in alternate ways. Monday’s grilled chicken could also be Wednesday’s fajitas. It just takes a little ingenuity and a little internet research to keep your meals from being boring.
This is probably the most difficult part to stick to, but be sure to make a list and not to stray from it. It’s easy to get carried away with the snack foods, sales and bargains that many grocery stores have to offer, but keep the course and get only the ingredients you need for the week. This not only saves you money but makes sure that no unnecessary sugars or calories are sneaking into your planned meals.
Most blogs and nutritionists suggest that you set aside time on the weekend to prep and pack your food. While you may want to leave it for the weekdays, it’s easy to get distracted, tired and disinterested when completing your meal prep.
Once you’ve made your proteins and carbs in bulk, place them in plastic containers so you can easily see what’s in them. Also be sure to refrigerate enough food for 2-3 days and freeze the rest to prevent your prep work from spoiling. You can even divide single portions of larger meals within the container for easier portion control.
Food prepping isn’t a simple task at the start. It takes planning and time to get your meals ready, but the payoff is definitely worth it. No matter what you’re prepping for, you’re guaranteeing yourself a healthier meal and better nutrition.
If you have any questions about nutrition or your personal health, please feel free to contact us at https://cadiramd.com/pages/telehealth