Master Meal Prep 101: A MAJOR Key to Consistent Success in Health

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, finding and making time to cook healthy meals can be a challenge. 

However, with a little planning and preparation, meal prep can become your secret weapon for achieving your health and fitness goals. 

Not only does meal prep save you time and money, but it also ensures that you have nutritious meals readily available, making it easier to stick to your diet plan and reach your desired results.

The Importance of Meal Prep

Meal prep involves preparing and cooking your meals in advance, typically for the week ahead. 

By dedicating a few hours to meal prep each week, you can eliminate the need for last-minute decisions about what to eat, reduce the temptation to reach for unhealthy convenience foods, and ensure that you’re consuming nutritious meals that support your goals.

Benefits of Meal Prep

  • Save Time: With meals already prepared, you’ll spend less time cooking during the week, giving you more time to focus on other priorities.
  • Control Portions: By pre-portioning your meals, you can better manage your calorie intake and avoid overeating.
  • Cost-Effective: Meal prep can help you save money by reducing the need to eat out or order takeout regularly.
  • Healthier Choices: When you have healthy meals readily available, you’re less likely to opt for unhealthy fast food or processed snacks.
  • Consistency: Consistently eating nutritious meals can lead to better energy levels, improved mood, and enhanced overall health and well-being.

How to Meal Prep Like a Pro

Step 1: Plan Your Meals

  • Start by creating your ideal meal plan/ meal make ups for the week ahead. 
  • Easiest ways are – if you are a recipe follower – identify what you need.
  • An approach I prefer is determine my staples:
  • What are 4-6 protein sources I love and need to get?
  • What are 2-3 carb sources I need?
  • What are 2-3 fat sources I need?
  • *notice I keep the carb and fat sources low and protein high. Intentional. 
  • Regardless of path, choose what works for you. For health I’d incorporate a variety of proteins, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Step 2: Write a Grocery List

  • Based on your meal plan, make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the week. Organize your list by category (e.g., produce, protein, pantry staples) to streamline your shopping trip.
  • If you’re like me and don’t want to spend unnecessary time in the grocery store – write the order in which you’ll purchase. 
  • Mine usually looks something like:
  • All my fruits, veggies are detailed out.
  • Meats if I need any. 
  • Next any middle aisle items [seasonings, rice, gum, seltzer) for instance. 
  • Lastly, eggs, egg whites and any toiletry or shower items I should need. 

Step 3: Go Grocery Shopping

Plan the day. Don’t go hungry. 

Head to the grocery store armed with your list. Stick to the perimeter of the store, where you’ll find fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Avoid the temptation to wander down the aisles filled with processed snacks and junk food.

Step 4: Prep and Cook

  • Set aside a block of time, such as a Sunday afternoon, to prepare. 
  • Bulk prep your proteins. Prepare /cook your meals. Put your recipe together. 

Start by washing and chopping vegetables, marinating meats, and cooking grains. Use multitasking techniques to maximize efficiency, such as cooking multiple dishes simultaneously or using kitchen appliances like slow cookers or Instant Pots.

Step 5: Portion and Store

  • Stow ample protein in tupperware in the fridge for easy meal build outs for the week. 
  • If it’s easier for you to put meals together on this day – once your meals are cooked, portion them into individual containers for easy grab-and-go convenience. 
  • You could even label each container with the meal name and date to help you stay organized. Store meals in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on their shelf life.

Take a Day to Meal Prep in Under 90 Minutes

  • 10-15 Minutes: Plan Your Meals and Write a Grocery List
    • Browse recipes online or in cookbooks and choose meals for the week.
    • Make a detailed grocery list, organized by category, and check your pantry for any items you already have.
  • 30-40 Minutes: Go Grocery Shopping and Prep Ingredients
    • Head to the grocery store and stick to your list to minimize time spent wandering.
    • Upon returning home, wash, chop, and prep ingredients such as vegetables and proteins.
  • 30-45 Minutes: Cook and Portion Meals
    • Utilize time-saving cooking methods like sheet pan dinners or one-pot meals.
    • Once cooked, divide meals into individual portions and store them in containers for easy access throughout the week.

With a little planning and dedication, meal prep can become a seamless part of your weekly routine, setting you up for success in reaching your health and fitness goals. Take the time to invest in your health today and reap the rewards of a well-nourished body tomorrow.

Schedule your free intro

Talk with a coach about your goals, make a plan to achieve them.

Fill out the form below to get started

Take the first step towards getting the results that you want

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Railroad CrossFit