Meal prep is something that I came to terms with a long time ago. When I moved to Taiwan, it became an absolute necessity. I realised with no plan of what I was going to eat, I would go for the most convenient option, which wasn’t the best for me. Or, I’d get too hungry and end up binge eating chips, candy and fast food.
Currently, I always cook on the weekend. I make a list Friday. On Saturday morning, I go to the store/market. Then, I make one dish for breakfast, one for lunch, and another for dinner. I eat them every day, until the next week… when it changes to something else.
I know – it’s crazy, right? How could I eat the same thing every day for a week?
The concept actually started when I was in America. As a single lady, I realised that most recipes created 6-8 servings. This was enough for me to eat the same thing for about a week.
Even better… most recipes, when you count calories and split them 6-8 ways, will be in the 500-700 range, which meant I could eat whatever I wanted and still make progress toward my weight loss goals.
Another note: because I believe in moderation, I don’t force myself to eat these meals all the time. A few times a week, I go out to eat with my friends or significant other – and that’s okay!
The best part of meal planning is that the next healthy meal is ready, so I avoid letting one bad meal lead to a bad week of meals. 😉
Pros of Meal Prepping
- I don’t have to waste mental energy or time during the week on my food choices.
- No cooking during the week – just reheating.
- My food rarely goes bad because I cook it the same weekend I get it.
- I can freeze leftovers for quick meals later.
- I get to eat food that I love. I cook anything that I’ve got a hankering for… and I get to eat it all week!
- I am eating things that fuel my body and make me feel good.
- I can do something unproductive but enjoyable (watching Netflix) while I’m cooking.
- If you’re serious about weight loss, the extra activity in the kitchen is good for you!
Cons of Meal Prepping
- Lots of dishes/clean up in the short term.
- You have to set aside some time to pre-plan meals and find recipes.
- If you make something that doesn’t taste good, you’re screwed – so make sure you get good recipes!!
- It takes time on the weekend.
If you don’t feel up to committing a few hours of your time to cooking on your weekends, here are some good places to start:
- Wash/cut vegetables on the weekend and assemble the dish later on in the week.
- Start with prepping one meal, like lunch, and getting a healthy dine-out/in option for your other one.
- Get a restaurant meal (sandwich, pasta dish, protein), split it in half, and add a bunch of cooked vegetables that you’ve prepped. This turns one meal into two.
To help make your life easier, I’m starting a new series called “What I Prepped.” Every Wednesday I’ll post my weekend meal prep for you. I hope it will give you some inspiration to get into the kitchen!
Do you meal prep? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!