A healthy diet is becoming more and more popular among the people, but some people practice eating healthy occasionally and other eat healthy by default. The main characteristic of those who eat healthy on the regular is that they prepare their meals ahead of time.
According to an American Journal of Health Behavior study, it’s no surprise that crazy work schedules are the main obstacle to clean eating among young adults. Because of that their nutrition program is making poor nutrition decisions in the moment, and there isn’t a chance to plan anything. However, when you prepare meals ahead of time, you’ll avoid making any decisions at meal time, because everything has already been done and you just need to eat.
The aim should be to prepare meals for a week, which might sound complicated. However, it’s easy once you start. In addition, it’ll save you time in the long run.
Here’s how to prepare meals in 4 simple steps, plus two weeks’ worth of sample meal plans.
Step 1: Check your calendar.
– Figure out how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will you need for the upcoming week
– What meals you’ll need to prepare for—calculating things like dates, meals with clients, and travel if planned.
– When you’ll need meals and how many to avoid wasting food.
Step 2: Make a menu.
After the first step, when you know how many meals you’ll need for the week, you can decide what to eat.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind:
– Make your meals nutritionally balanced. Your goal should be to 30 to 40 grams of protein, 50 to 60 grams of carbs and 15 to 20 grams of fat per meal.
– Get creative. In order to make meals boring, you can utilize core ingredients in different ways, including as many recipes as possible.
– Take advantage of leftovers. However, you don’t have to eat something different every day, so you can cut down on meal prep by doubling your dinner recipe and getting half for lunch the next day.
– Keep it simple. The aim is not to prepare meals as a Top Chef, as the less complicated your meals are, the easier it’ll be to prep them.
Step 3: Go food shopping.
When you decided about your meals, making a grocery list and shopping is your next step. The best way is to go shopping once weekly (e.g. weekends), planning to have time to prep your ingredients before the work week begins.
To make it easier, organize your grocery list by section (produce, dairy, meat, etc.).
Step 4: Prep and pack your food.
Prep your ingredients
You can always find a way to prep it ahead of time.
– Proteins: bake, roast, or poach poultry, fish or meat.
– Produce: bake potatoes or sweet potatoes, steam or roast vegetables in a big batch, and wash and chop raw fruits and vegetables,
– Grains: Simmer a big batch for all week long.
– Other components: Make dressings, sauces, or dips, everything on your list.
Assemble what you can.
Layer a casserole so you can pop it straight in the oven, toss hearty grain or bean salads, and put solid ingredients for individual smoothies in zip-top bags.
– Food can be packed in clear glass or plastic containers so you can access them easily.
– Refrigerate cooked ingredients you’ll use within 2 to 3 days;
– The rest of the ingredients you should freeze and thaw them later in the week.
– Single servings can be divided into individual containers for easy portion control.
Pack up to-go meals.
Things like wraps, leafy salads and sandwiches, should be stored in the fridge all week. You can assemble everything the night before.
Meal Prep Template
You can take these easy recipes from meal prep master Kevin Curry of Fit Men Cook to get the idea how to utilize many of the same core ingredients. In addition, each meal makes multiple servings, you can eat it once more or freeze extras. You can fill your day with packable snacks like hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables with hummus, nuts, or protein bars.
It can be such a template, if you want to work off of this template, you can swap in different flavors and ingredients and make brand new meals (have another fruit with your yogurt and granola instead of berries).
|MON.||Granola with 1 1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, and 1 banana||Chicken, Broccoli, and Brown Rice Bowl||Steak Taco Salad (to save time, roll salad into tortilla instead of baking taco shells)|
|TUES.||Mini Breakfast Casserole with banana and 1/2 cup blueberries||Thai Chicken Salad and an apple||Flank Steak with 1 cup cooked quinoa and 1 cup steamed green beans|
|WED.||Granola with 1 1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, and 1 banana||Steak Taco Salad (to save time, roll salad into tortilla instead of baking taco shells)||Chicken, Broccoli, and Brown Rice Bowl|
|THURS.||Mini Breakfast Casserole with banana and 1/2 cup blueberries||Thai Chicken Salad and an apple||Flank Steak with 1 cup cooked quinoa and 1 cup steamed green beans|
|FRI.||Granola with 1 1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, and 1 banana||Steak Taco Salad (to save time, roll salad into tortilla instead of baking taco shells)||Italian Meatballs over 1 cup cooked whole wheat spaghetti with 1/2 cup jarred marinara|
Source, Original Article: www.womenshealthmag.com
Check this awesome site: www.womenshealthmag.com