1. PICK A DAY
The first thing you should do is pick a day to prepare all your meals. For most, Sunday is the best day.
More experienced meal preppers seem to like Sunday and Wednesday as their chosen days to cook and prepare meals for the week. Using these two days allows them to split up the week’s prepping into two days.
In the beginning though, you don’t want to prepare meals for the whole week. You want to start off with no more than three meals.
2. PICK THE MEALS
You need to decide which meal you are going to prepare first: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
If you are preparing for a family, then prepping your dinner meals seems to be where you would get the most from your efforts. However, if you are single, or cooking for one or two people, then you may want to try to prepare breakfast or lunch meals first.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. You just want to think about it a little before you get started.
After that, you want to decide on the recipes you are going to prepare.
When choosing the recipes, think about how you want to balance the meals.
For example, if you are trying to maintain specific macronutrient goals (proteins, fats, carbs) each day, that should factor into what recipes you choose. Knowing how each macronutrient converts into calories will also help provide more accurate information:
1g of Protein = 4 Calories
1g of Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
1g of Fat = 9 Calories
Using a kitchen scale can help you with things like this.
3. USE PROPER CONTAINERS
You must use the proper containers. Good storage containers are really the foundation of your meal prepping.
How you choose to store your meals can make or break your meal prepping efforts.
You don’t want to simply throw everything into Tupperware bowls. That defeats the whole point of preparing things.
IN THE KITCHEN
Start off, like I said, with just a few meals. Don’t try to cook a whole week’s worth of meals in one sitting. You may want to do this later, as you get more comfortable, but for now, just try to find your meal-prepping-groove.
Focus on simple meals. Chicken is a favorite among many meal preppers because it can be cooked in a seemingly endless number of ways. It’s also easy to store and freeze.
With just a bit of chicken and a few vegetables you can easily prepare three totally different meals.
Learn to Multitask: Remember that you can cook lots of different things at the same time. Use your oven space to its fullest potential. There’s no need to place one thing in there at a time. Use multiple oven trays if it helps, or use aluminum foil to make dividers on one oven tray and multiply your efforts. Start with recipes that lend themselves to this type of cooking.
Fruit: Fruit is a great way to dive in to meal prepping. You can cut up different types of fruit and store them just like any meals you could prepare. You can easily make fruit salads or smoothies to go along with you prepped meals.
The Crockpot: Okay, this one is obvious, yet so many new meal preppers overlook it. The Crockpot has been a favorite among moms for decades. Use it to make simple, great tasting meals then store them away.
But hopefully this guide has given all you need to get started with meal prepping so you can make life a little easier.
After all, that’s what meal prepping is all about.