This post is brought to you by Raphael Konforti, the Fitness Education Coordinator for Youfit.
Exercise is an important part of any health pursuit, but without a healthy nutrition plan it’s not possible to maximize your results. It’s like putting a ton of time into building a fancy and powerful car engine but then never changing the oil or using gas full of ethanol. Sure the car will run ok but it’ll never reach it’s potential and eventually it’ll breakdown.
Eating well isn’t as easy as filling your gas tank up. We’re always on the go and if we eat out, healthy restaurant options are pretty lackluster. There is an easy solution, though. Meal Prepping. It’s the best way to provide your body with the healthy nutrients it needs.
How Meal Prepping Makes Your Life Easier and Healthier
Let’s face it, Half the time we eat something unhealthy it’s because we’re too lazy or busy to cook. Even worse, when we spend money eating out the last thing we want is to pay $15 for some leafs and 2 ounces of chicken. Guess what, meal prepping solves all those problems and more.
Buying your food from the supermarket and cooking it yourself is undoubtedly cheaper. Your options are also limitless, since you make the menu! Even better is you know EXACTLY what goes into all your food, there’s no guessing. The best part is once your meal prep is complete, the food is already there ready to eat. You don’t have to debate between options or even spend time and money going to get food. It makes life easy. If you’re worried about spending time meal prepping or how to get started don’t worry, these tips make meal prepping easy.
How to Make Meal Prepping Easy
One Dinner for Two?
The easiest way to meal prep is to cook double or triple portions when you do cook. You can easily make enough for tomorrow’s dinner, lunch or even both. Rather than cooking all the time, you can cook every other day, saving you time!
Cook for the week
A more aggressive strategy is to cook all your meals one day a week. Bring on the classic Instagram post with 15 tupperware containers. Invest a few hours one day a week so you don’t have to cook the rest of the week. You’ll need fridge space and a whole lot of tupperware, but with this approach healthy food is always ready. You can still cook during the week too, it just means that’s one more meal you have ready for later in the week.
Bake up a Storm
It’s pretty awesome to feel like you’re working in a kitchen, busting out meal after meal on the stove but it can get old. Instead try making baked dishes or baking your food. This requires a lot less attention and it’s easy to make a lot of food at once. On top of that, baked dishes usually don’t require much butter or oil to cook with so it’s naturally a lower calorie option.
Beginner Bonus: If you’re not the best cook you may want to try this since baking has a higher margin of error for overcooking food. Just use a thermometer to check your meat’s temperature.
Plan for the Best and Prepare for the Worst
Before you throw on an apron think about the meals you’re most likely to eat out for or be rushed. Those are the most important meals to prep.
If you’re not a morning person this could very well be breakfast. Unfortunately most on the go breakfast options are loaded with sugar, fats and low in protein. An easy solution is to make a crustless quiche. It’s super easy and Katy Perry even said it can be eaten “Hot or Cold”. All you need to do is scramble a few eggs/egg whites, sauté any veggies or meats and throw it all in a deep baking dish. Voila, you’ve got a delicious and nutritious breakfast for the week.
Enjoy Your Food
Eating healthy isn’t about eliminating a ton of foods, it’s about finding quality foods that you like and eating more of those. If you don’t like broccoli, don’t eat it! There are countless other vegetables that are fiber and nutrient filled. It’s easy to get carried away meal prepping to try and eat as healthy as possible but don’t make 5 servings of a meal you don’t enjoy eating. Find the foods that you love and learn to cook them different ways! Eating right isn’t about resenting the meals you eat.
Raphael Konforti is the Fitness Education Coordinator for Youfit. He has a Masters of Exercise Science and has worked in many different areas of fitness including collegiate recreation, international resorts and fitness publishing. Aside from the gym, he loves spending his time active and outdoors going surfing, diving, hiking, practicing yoga or pushing cars down the street.