A Beginner’s Guide To Meal Prepping

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph June 29, 2023
Updated 2023/06/29 at 9:48 PM
A Beginner's Guide To Meal Prepping

A Beginner’s Guide To Meal Prepping

Meal prepping involves the practice of preparing complete meals or individual dishes in advance. By making decisions about what to eat in advance, meal prepping has the potential to result in healthier food options in the long run.

Meal prepping has gained significant popularity among individuals with busy schedules due to its time-saving benefits. The practice of preparing meals in advance allows you to have pre-made meals readily available, which can aid in controlling portion sizes and achieving your desired nutritional objectives.

Consequently, this approach reduces the likelihood of resorting to convenience foods like TV dinners or takeout, particularly during times when you feel overwhelmed or fatigued. Through careful planning and preparation, meal prepping promotes the selection of healthier meal options, thereby contributing to a more nutritious diet.

Contrary to popular belief, there are multiple approaches to meal prepping that do not necessarily require dedicating an entire Sunday afternoon to cooking meals for the upcoming week. There are flexible options available, allowing you to select the methods that suit you best. In the following sections, we delve into the fundamental principles of meal prepping and simplify the process into a handful of straightforward steps.

A Beginner’s Guide To Meal Prepping

Get Your Meals In Order:

Consider having meals or snacks approximately every three hours. You can choose between having six smaller meals throughout the day or three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with snacks in between. Structure each eating occasion around a nutritious source of protein such as chicken, fish, or beef, complemented by a complex carbohydrate like sweet potatoes, brown rice, or freshly steamed vegetables. Additionally, include some beneficial fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and similar options in your meals.

Create A Schedule For Preparations:

Allocate a designated period of time each week, lasting around an hour or two, to create a meal plan and compile a shopping list. Treat this activity as a significant commitment by scheduling it in your calendar, giving it the same importance as a crucial appointment or work meeting.

Furthermore, set aside specific time after your shopping trips for prepping your groceries. This could involve tasks like slicing vegetables into convenient snack portions or preparing freezer meals in larger quantities. Discover the approach that suits you best and make a consistent effort to follow through with it. As you practice this routine over time, it will become a natural and beneficial habit.

Stock Your Pantry And Organize It:

Meal preparation revolves around the fundamental concept of utilizing available ingredients. This is why it is essential to assess and maintain an organized pantry, enabling easy access to staple items that can be marked off when they are depleted. This practice serves as a valuable tool to keep track of what is currently in stock and what should be included on the shopping list. By mastering this approach, not only will grocery shopping become effortless, but it will also contribute to reducing food waste.

Change Up Your Menu And Your Meals:

Many people often complain about the repetitive menu when it comes to meal prepping, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. You have the ability to create a varied diet without having to put in extra effort. Simply rotate the sticky notes on a weekly basis, and voila! You won’t have to eat the same meals over and over again until you can’t bear them anymore, and you can also avoid feeling overwhelmed by making meal decisions. It’s a win-win situation.

Follow Your List:

To resist temptation, it’s best to refrain from shopping when you’re hungry and steer clear of snack food sections. By not laying eyes on tempting items, you reduce the urge to make impulse purchases. Syn highlights that nutritious whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish, and eggs are usually located on the outer edges of the store. It’s advisable to stick to your shopping list and avoid aimless browsing, as this prevents unnecessary purchases that may go unused or don’t align with your meal plan.

Hit The Supermarket Aisles:

Ensure that you possess a written record containing all the essential items you require. Consider utilizing a mobile application like AnyList, which enables effortless sharing of your essential purchases with your partner or roommates, ensuring that everyone is aware of your needs. It is advisable to always have certain staple items readily available, including canned foods like tuna and beans, frozen vegetables for convenience, and high-protein or brown-rice pasta.

Get Innovative:

Try out seasonings that are low in sodium and sugar, like turmeric, sesame seeds, or spice combinations. Explore combinations of various vegetables, such as onions and mushrooms or tomatoes and bell peppers, to enhance the visual appeal and diversity of your meals. Incorporate flavoured vinegar and hot sauces into your dishes, but exercise caution regarding added sugars, and be mindful of concealed sources like high-fructose corn syrup and artificial additives.

Slice It Up:

To control your portion sizes and ensure your macronutrient requirements are met, it’s important to accurately weigh and measure your food. Aim for serving sizes of three to five ounces of protein, 1⁄2 to 1 cup of complex carbohydrates, and 1⁄2 to 1 tablespoon of healthy fats such as olive oil or coconut oil for each meal. When preparing meals, use convenient containers that are easy to transport, and consider using food-cooler bags to keep your food safe and fresh while on the go.

Always Be Ready:

If you find yourself unable to have a complete meal, it’s advisable to have a selection of nutritious snacks readily available for emergencies. These options may consist of a portable shaker cup containing high-quality whey or casein protein powder, conveniently stored in a plastic baggie (simply add water, low-fat milk, or almond milk when you’re prepared to consume it). Alternatively, you can have a mixture of assorted nuts and fruits or a small supply of high-quality, protein-rich energy bars.


If you’re a beginner in meal prepping, the images and information you come across on social media might seem overwhelming or perplexing. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to prepare all your meals for the entire week in one go, and there’s no need to splurge on expensive kitchen gadgets. Initially, the key aspect to concentrate on is acquiring the skill of crafting nourishing and well-rounded meals. Studies indicate that once you develop this routine, your body will greatly appreciate it.

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