Meal Prepping 101: Introduction to Meal Prepping
You hear it everywhere. From your favorite fitness athletes to the TV, heck it’s all over the internet and social media.
Everyone is doing it, everyone is trying it. So why not you?
“It can’t be that hard.”
“I’ll start tomorrow.”
We make ourselves make these promises, yet often turning “tomorrow” into “I’ll start Monday,” or “I’ll start next month.”
But then reality sets in…
Staying late at work, cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, spending time with your spouse or partner, family obligations, going with friends.
… The list goes on and on. The end result?-You don’t have time to eat properly to get the nutrition your body needs to achieve your goals.
Does this sound like you?
When I first started out it did. I would go out and buy groceries, compile all the recipes, excited to begin a new routine, and eventually a new lifestyle.
This excitement would easily wear off as I would run out of time, throwing most of my untouched groceries and recipes away. It was easy to put aside being in control of what I ate when just up the road there was a shopping plaza that could serve me food within minutes.
My rationale (or at least I told myself) was that I am saving time and being able to devote more time to the important things in life such as work, dating, friends, etc. There was always something more useful I could do with my time, yet, I knew I was cheating myself and kept coming back to the desire to try.
It took a long time for me to get on the straight and narrow, and it was not an easy journey, but hopefully, my journey can help you to expedite yours!
As an Obstacle Course Racer (OCR) competitor and personal trainer, I often get asked how to start to meal prep. Most people think they need to quit their ways cold turkey and completely do a 180 and meal prep everything. I am no licensed nutritionist, but everyone I have ever spoken with and for all my clients this is not the case. The best and most successful piece of advice that I give is to start small!
Imagine it is a ripple effect- you can’t cause a wave all at once, but instead, you need to throw the rock into the water first to begin the ripples. I would argue the same for meal prepping.
Start with one
I recommend picking one (and only one) meal to start with! Very rarely does a complete overhaul of your eating patterns last for long term habits- which is true for any lifestyle change. Instead of focusing on that one meal allows you fortify the habit and skill such as giving you time to learn how to budget time to prepare the meal, what recipes you like, how you feel with that small change, etc.
Another suggestion I have is to not expand for at least a month. We know it takes about 21 days to make a habit, at the last thing you want to do is overdo it and then give up.
Trust me, it may seem small and slow but a goal for meal prepping is to make it a priority and by starting small you will be able to incorporate it into your lifestyle much easier!
What meal to choose?
For my journey I chose one small meal to work on each week, beginning with my breakfast meal.
I would recommend picking a meal that you have the most control over to help you stay consistent. Breakfast was an easy personal choice because no matter what, I could carve 5-10 minutes out of my day at the office to sit down and eat breakfast.
I knew that lunch would be difficult because I often had meetings in the middle of the day and dinner would be near impossible because I typically trained my clients after my office job.
The key to choosing which meal to start with is picking the one you will have the most influence over. Think your day – where can you carve out time for yourself free from distractions? Then target that meal as your first ripple!
By starting small and picking a meal you can control, your odds of success will be the highest! Will you fail – hell yeah you will. I still do. Nobody is perfect – just remember that fail stands for First Attempt In Learning and to just try again!
Lastly, what kind of person would I be if I don’t give you a recipe? This is my go-to and favorite breakfast item to make. It’s simple, takes less than 5-10 minutes to make and you can make 7 all at once! Enjoy!
½ cup of oats
1 cup of berries of your choosing (if your goal is weight loss, perhaps scale to ½ cup)
1 cup of Almond Milk
1-2 scoops of protein powder (depending on what the serving size of your protein powder suggests)
Start by adding the oats, protein powder, and stir.
Then add the Almond Milk and stir again
Make sure you measure the fruit and keep it in a separate container for freshness (you can use frozen fruit as well)
make sure you refrigerate overnight
Written by Military Fit Contributor
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