Preparing a healthy meal is no easy task. With all the procedures, it just takes up too much of your time. But it may be the best option since it is guaranteed healthy—you’ll know every ingredient included in the meal.
You can also tweak it and mix up varieties of your choice. Not to mention, it’s best for your wallet as well. Packed healthy food such as chicken salad and fruit bowl smoothies are priced higher in restaurants. Fast-food drive-thrus are cheap but defeat the health factor.
The biggest disadvantage of cooking your own food is that you lack the time, considering all the other things going on with your life. But using the tips listed below might make it easier for you.
Before planning your meals, ask yourself what the goal is. Do you wish to stick to a routine of staying healthy? Do you plan to retain your current weight, or do you plan on losing them? Do you wish to bulk up since you’re trying to build muscles?
If you plan to stick to a routine of staying healthy, then portion control and calorie count matter less. You just have one goal in mind: to eat green leafy vegetables, meat or eggs for protein, and fiber from wheat.
If you wish to retain your current weight or lose them, eating regularly is a must. Skipping meals just adds to the risk of overeating. When you starve yourself and give in to food after a few days, you will overeat and possibly consume unhealthy food choices. It can also lead to eating disorders, tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers.
With certain goals, it’s important to know what food is best for you, especially whether you plan to lose weight or bulk up.
If you’re in a calorie deficit, there are online tools to help you calculate your food’s calories together with the recommended serving size, like Choose My Plate. You can even try prepping meals with the keto or DASH diet.
If you do not wish to go on a diet but you work out regularly, you can pair your food with a workout energy drink powder since consuming more protein reduces hunger and appetite.
How to Prepare
Know what you want
This is the first step to more effortless meal preparation. After figuring out your goals, knowing what you need to achieve the said goals. List down the food you will need, the ingredients together with the portion.
Making a food chart of your own also helps. An organized approach will keep everything simple. Divide it by food group: meat, dairy, grain, fruits, and vegetables, and then tick off the ones you need for the week. Also, add vitamins, shakes, and other things that might help you with your healthy meal preparation.
Decide how many meals for how many days
If you are a beginner with meal preparation, better start with cooking just three days’ worth of food. You can freeze the rest of the meal and reheat it when you plan to consume it. This is to avoid getting it soggy or spoiled.
Also, starting small would feel less overwhelming. Don’t hoard food and ingredients since fresh products have a shorter storage life.
Make a plan on when to shop
The weekend is the only time you can shop since you’re bombarded with work responsibilities. Schedule half a day to head to a shop to buy everything you might need for the week.
Reserving time for groceries to buy everything at once will help you feel at ease while cooking. Don’t forget to bring your list. Also, before heading out, you should make it a routine to check your fridge and pantry to see if you have anything left to avoid wasting products or buying the same thing twice.
Multitask the cooking
Cooking many dishes simultaneously saves a lot of time. You can grill chicken while boiling some veggies, or put some bread in the oven while cutting your fruits.
Try to watch video recipes beforehand. If you already have your own recipes, read them and think of what procedures can be done at the same time.
Use reusable containers
Glass or stainless storage containers will be your best friend. Many people prefer glass since you’d be able to see it better even when it’s inside the fridge. Try to avoid using paper because it might get soggy and plastic because it’s not environmentally friendly.
Meal planning is not that difficult once you incorporate a system. It might be the first time, but it can actually be a bit fun once you get the hang of it. Preparing your own meals can even help you learn what you dislike, where you can improve, and even boost your organization skills.
Just remember to choose easy recipes, mark the days that meals will be difficult to make. Scheduling everything is the perfect way to achieve your goal of eating purely healthy food.