Though meal prepping CAN be a pain, it's even more painful for your time when you DON'T do it. I can't tell you how many times I jut didn't find the time (or energy) to meal prep on my normal days. "Ah, I'll find something" I thought to myself.
Then the next day comes, and I'm skipping meals, enduring needless brain fog, overstressed and still hungry. Skip the gaslighting and use these tips for staying on track when meal prepping.
Tip #1: Anything is Better Than Nothing
Didn't get the organic chicken breast, but you have chicken thighs instead? Do you have white rice instead of brown rice?
First, take a deeeeeeepppp breath. Give yourself a break! Just take a mental note of what ingredients can be improved and meal prep what you have on hand. Just because you decide to cook the white rice for the next 3 days of meal prep instead of brown rice, it's not going to be the end of the world. Especially when you are just starting out, it is more important to get into the habit of meal prepping, and not the meal itself. Meaning, it doesn't REALLY matter that it's canned yams instead of sweet potatoes, or beef instead of chicken. At this point in time, you are JUST trying to get into the habit of meal prepping. It is much better to have something on hand to eat, rather than nothing at all. When our bodies get hungry, and later HANGRY, our thinking brains go out the window, and we'll snack on anything and everything we can find. Avoid entering starvation mode and just use the ingredients you have on hand, even if it's not the "healthiest" choice.
Tip #2: Plan Your Meals and Grocery List Ahead of Time
Not only will this life hack make cooking meals simpler, but you'll also end up saving money! How many times have you bought something from the store and never used it? I think I still have a mountain of black beans in my pantry because it was on sale (I don't even really like black beans).
By planning your meals in advance, you have more control over the food coming into your house, as well as limiting yourself to the "snacky" foods like chips, cookies and over-processed foods.
You can get a full meal prep list of ideal recipes through the Untamed Fitness app found here.
Tip #3: Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
If you've had trouble with meal prepping in the past, or need inspiration for recipes, the Untamed Fitness Nutrition & Meal Planning app is the way to go. You will get up to 18 different recipes for 3 example days of meals, as seen below:
For more information on this, watch this video walkthrough of how to get set up.
Tip #4: Invest in Meal Prep Containers
The worst thing you can do for your motivation is to go through the act of meal prepping, then fail to portion your food into serving-sized containers. Depending on your calorie intake, you will need anywhere between 4-6 meal prep containers for 3 days of meal prepping. Look for a 20-pack of meal prep containers for portion sizes. Remember, of you made extra, you can always store the overflow in freezer bags for a rainy day.
Tip #4: Gain Community Support
Finding others that can share recipes, meal prep advice, and common questions is the best way to gain confidence during this important step in your health journey. Joining facebook communities like this will give you the support you need.
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