Since I have been doing this for a good year I think it’s time to share with you the tips and tricks that I think have given the best results when used accordingly.
Set a Prep Day- “Fail to plan is planning to Fail”
I cannot count the amount of times I was being lazy and didn’t meal prep the day that I set to do it. Those are the number ones times where I ate out a lot and spent more money that I originally planned for food. It’s important to stick a plan because when you improvise on a whim that is where things start to mess up. ESPECIALLY if you are a beginner and really just starting this whole lifestyle swap.
Know Your Macros
You need to know how many calories and if you are macro counting that too. Honestly it’s pretty much common sense. How can you make a plan if you don’t know the goals you are trying to reach? I used the calculator provided on Roxstar Fitness Inner Circle but if you don’t want to join the Roxstar community there are other ways for you to calculate your needs.
Write Out a Complete Meal Plan
The weeks where I have the best results are the ones where I write out everything I plan to eat in that week for every meal and snack. Then depending on if it’s a protein, carb, fat, etc. helps me determine how much I need of everything. Also paying attention to serving sizes on labels is another way to help determine the correct measurements.
Verify macros through MyFitnessPal
If you aren’t using MyFitnessPal then as a beginner it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. You can keep track of your meals and then if you decided to add a recipe to your meal plan you can enter into this app (or on the computer) ingredient by ingredient and get the calories and macros broken down by serving. It’s not 100% accurate unless you are taking the info by scanning labels but it definitely lets you make sure you close or way off. Tweak your portions accordingly from there. For me sometimes I build the entire day of food just to see what my calories and macros look like before making any changes to my plan.
Keep a visible Chart
One of my friends has a chart that sticks on her fridge with her food lay out. I have seen others add their meal plan to their motivation wall. I haven’t created a wall or a board yet but I definitely hang my weekly plan on the fridge. Just having something to look at helps me stay in control.
Only make foods you will actually eat
This should go without saying but there have been a couple times where I tried something during my meal prep week…hated it…and therefore left it in the fridge and at subway or whenever anyone offered me lunch. A quick way to veer off the plan is by making yourself things you don’t like. Healthy food is not always as nasty as everyone imagines. If you get creative you will be surprised at the many options you can make. Another small tip is to test out a recipe before making it in bulk that way you won’t waste food.
Cook foods in bulk
One of the major benefits of meal prepping is HOW MUCH MONEY IT SAVES ON GROCERIES. Before you would go to the store and just stock up on food and then pretty much wing your meals from there. NOW that you have a plan your grocery list should only include the things you plan on meal prepping with. This helps limit the urges to buy things just because you are walking down a particular aisle. Also remember to EAT BEFORE SHOPPING; otherwise you will end up with little snacks and things that you never needed in the first place. Another benefit is cooking in bulk means less you have to deal with during the week which also saves time for other things.
Essential meal prep tools
5 things you should always have on deck:
- Different size containers or the really cool meal prep containers you can find on amazon. Me personally I use the tuberware from Walmart because I just haven’t ventured out yet.
- Ziploc Bags: from snack size to freezer bags just make sure you have some because I use them for everything like protein powder, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, meats that need to season overnight….YOU GET THE IDEA!
- Measuring cups: Like I said before measuring out your food is extremely important to the success of this healthy lifestyle eating and weight loss. I never lose weight when I wing it.
- Scale: A hint to measure out your meals is to put the container on the scale and then “zero” the scale so that you can just measure the food directly in the container. Just “zero” it for the protein, starch, and veggie.
- Lunch bag: Since everything has already been measured and put in their respective containers, in the morning you just wake up and put all your meals for the day in your lunch box. It helps you stay more accountable and to ensure you didn’t miss any meals.
Count and Measure out Everything and store in Fridge
I try to use different containers for different meals of the day that way when I pack my lunch in the AMs I can just grab and go with very little thought. There is no point to cook all the food on prep day if you are just going to put everything in the fridge in bulk. Set yourself up for successful and prepare EARLY. Take it from me, last minute always means trouble.
Whether you are tracking your food by myfitnesspal or keeping an actual journal stay honest. It’s hard to make tweaks to something if you aren’t honest with yourself. Also keep in mind that honestly no one wants to eat chicken, rice, and spinach every week so change it up and have fun.
I hope this helps anyone. Please click the link above if you want to see the youtube video (Also if you haven’t subscribed gone head and do that too).
Until the Next Thought…Adios