After a long and tiring day at work, the last thing you want to do is cut, chop, and put together a “healthy” dinner that wouldn’t throw you out of calorie deficit and ensure you are right on track on the weight loss journey. Home-cooked meals make sure you are eating healthy food, but on hectic days, when there’s no time to wash, peel, chop, boil stuff, putting together a “healthy” meal would seem like a hassle. That’s where meal prepping comes into the picture, when you know that there are “ready-to-eat” dishes waiting to be thawed, heated, or available in a “ready to cook” form, it would just take a few minutes to plate a weight-loss friendly dish. Also, meal prepping saves you a lot of time and takes away the uncertainty to figure out what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Meal prepping also makes sure you are not falling to the temptation of opting for readymade food packets, instant noodles, or the most convenient of all, order food from outside when you are too tired to cook. As we have always maintained, meal prepping makes sure you are not steering outside of your weight loss diet plan, and just a few hours from the weekend, can set you for weight loss success for the rest of the week. Preparing batches of ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook dishes and storing them up in the refrigerator that would last for whole week, would not only help you to stick to the diet plan better, this practice will also save lots of money (cutting down the frequency of eating out and ordering food) from restaurants and eateries. All geared up to meal prep? Before that, read up on these 6 tricks to speed up the whole process.
1. Pick Easy-To-Cook, Healthy, Weight-Loss Friendly Recipes: Your job is half done when you know what to cook without having to worry about calorie counting – and you can find recipes and meal plans that trigger fat burning on the Rati Beauty diet. Download the Rati Beauty app for more details.
2. Keep a Day To Do Meal Prep: Just one or two hours in a week is enough to wash, cut, chop, peel, prepare batches of healthy food for the rest of the week, and you can choose which day of the week is convenient to meal prep. Peeling and steaming veggies, marinating meat, boiling eggs, washing green leafy vegetables, preparing trail mix packets all take very little time, and you can do so while watching tv, listening to a podcast or favorite playlist on the weekend or any other day of the week.
3. Shop For The Entire Week and Stick To the Diet Plan’s Grocery List: The thumb rule of meal prepping is to make sure the kitchen is well stocked with essentials and ingredients needed to prepare the dishes. Picking up groceries according to the meal plan, for the entire week, saves time and money as well. Your grocery list determines whether you would lose weight or gain a few more extra pounds over the next few days. Grocery shopping is not an easy task, especially, when you are obsessed about losing weight the healthy way. When you shop groceries according to the diet plan for the entire week, meal prepping becomes super easy because all the ingredients are handy, and you are not scouting around looking for them when you get down to the prepping table. To make things easy, we have “99 grocery items that any dietician would approve” so that you know what to pick and what to dump while buying groceries.
4. Invest in Meal Prep Containers: To keep food fresh and properly portioned, plastic resealable bags and air-tight containers come in handy. They also make labelling pretty easy. Glass and microwave safe meal prep containers promote the habit of healthy eating and save a lot of time during hectic weekdays where there is little time to cook homemade food. Preparing batches of healthy food and storing them up in the fridge, that would last for most days in the week will save a lot of money, and cut down loads of calories that make their way through ordered foods from restaurants and eateries. If you are using plastic containers, make sure they are BPA free.
5. Keep the Kitchen Weighing Scale Handy: Portion control is essential to get into calorie deficit and burn extra fat. Do not eye ball the quantity of ingredients while prepping, measure them according to the diet plan. Measuring food is extremely important and a digital kitchen weighing scale helps a great deal in doing so. (Also read: “12 Kitchen Tools and Devices that Make Losing Weight Easier.” ) Measure out and divide food into single servings, and this will make sure you remain within calorie deficit every day.
6. Keep the Kitchen and Pantry Organized: Don’t waste time searching for ingredients in the fridge or pantry by keeping your kitchen and pantry organized.
7. Prepare Big Batches of Staple Veggies: Potatoes, carrots, eggs, beans, are some veggies that are used in almost every other dish. Wash, peel, chop them and store in containers or zip lock bags. You can freeze and thaw these veggies as needed. Contrary to popular opinion, frozen veggies do not lose their nutritional value at low temperature.
8. Label the Containers Out: Label each container with the contents, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and arrange them day wise.
With all these tips, we assume you are already heading out to the kitchen to prepare meals for the coming week.