A Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping

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“Abs are made in the kitchen”

When I first began my fitness journey I fell into the trap of thinking that if I exercised for an hour it didn’t matter what food I ate that day because the exercise would burn it off. Oh how wrong I was.

It wasn’t until I began to get serious and started researching ways to reach my desired goals that I soon discovered that without a healthy diet as well as regular exercise I wasn’t going to make any progress.

Juggling two jobs, university and an online store as well as making time to workout there isn’t a lot of time left in the day to prepare healthy meals which means I’m left with three choices: starve, stay up late/wake up early and sleep less to prepare meals or buy food. The problem I find with these three options is that i love food, absolutely love it. There is no way I can go a full 8 – 10 hour work day without eating. What else do I really love? Sleep. If I don’t get my solid 8+ hours of sleep every night I wake up looking fresh out of an apocalypse movie. So this leaves me with option number three: buying food. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of healthy, nutrient packed, convenient and affordable options available close to my work. Plus lets face it, buying your lunch everyday may not seem that expensive at the time when you purchase a $10 salad + $2.50 bottle of water but multiple that over your average 5 day working week and you’ve just spent $62.50 on lunches which could easily be your entire weeks worth of meals!

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

The best method I find to staying on track with my diet is to prepare my meals in advance. I usually prepare five days at a time to keep them fresh however you can cook as many days in advance as you like. Allocate a specific day to grocery shop and prepare your meals – personally I like to prep mine on Sunday night so that I don’t need to cook during the week. Plan exactly what meals you are planning to prepare in a table for each day. Here is an example of how I set mine out.

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Once i have a plan of what meals I want to make for the week I write out a shopping list of what ingredients I need to buy for each meal. Having a list of exactly what I need not only saves money it also reduces the chance of buying extra food that I don’t end up eating that goes to waste.

I like to store my meals in plastic takeaway containers or clip seal bags. You can purchase the containers from your local supermarket for around $10 for a 20 pack. As I generally only do a five day meal prep at a time I keep my meals in the fridge however if you are planning on keeping meals for more than five days I would recommend storing them in your freezer to preserve them longer. Your meals are now ready to grab and go as you need!

MCD xx

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