When it comes to fear-inducing words, “meal prep” seems to rank right up there with “Heeere’s Johnny!” from The Shining. But is preparing meals in advance really so scary? Perhaps the terror arises as you picture your entire Sunday being ruined slaving away in the kitchen. Or maybe you’re afraid your meals will be tedious and bland if you have to eat from the same large batch of turkey chili all week. No? Well, could you simply have a fear of failure, knowing that planning ahead isn’t your strong suit?
Well, none of these concerns will come to fruition if you’re meal prepping properly. Plus, there are seven very real benefits of meal prep, ranging from time and money savings to reaching your goals faster because unplanned temptations are limited. But as the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you are serious about losing weight, packing on muscle or simply adding more veggies to your life, then meal prep is the holy grail.
Wondering how to get started? Gabrielle Fundaro, Ph.D., exercise science professor, certified sports nutritionist and Renaissance Periodization coach, has compiled tried-and-true tips and tricks to set you up for success. They include the following:
At the end of the day, the best way to meal prep is to find what works best for you and have fun as you try new methods and recipes. “I will be the first to say that I have limited culinary skills, and I’m more likely to end up on Pinterest Fails than Food Network,” Fundaro says. “Successful meal prep doesn’t require professional plating, intricate recipes or the fanciest bento boxes. Laugh at and take pictures of your hilarious ‘recipe fails’ because we’ve all had them.”