If you want to lose weight and clean up your diet, meal prep and planning is essential.
The problem, though, is that meal planning and meal prep can be tedious.
But trust me, if you don’t try new foods and rely only on what you already know, it’s too to get bored with the same old meals day in and day out.
I have great news for you, however.
Meal prep and planning don’t have to be such a drag.
Along my journey to losing over 50 pounds, I’ve found so many ways to make meal planning and meal prep so easy and fun!
This blog post will provide six tips on how to plan your meals so that they fit your needs.
Ready? Let’s go!
1- Choose The Right Meal Plan
The first thing you need to do is pick the right meal plan for you, or at least figure out what to prep! There are so many different meal plans you can choose from, but you need to consider a few things:
- Does the meal plan have recipes that you think you’ll enjoy?
- Is the focus of the meal plan on foods that will actually help you lose weight?
- Does the meal plan have ingredients that you think will be relatively easy to get your hands on?
All of these things can make a difference between successful, weight loss-promoting meal prep and meal prep that will leave you feeling discouraged.
My advice for finding what to prepare is to keep it simple when you first begin!
Consider the normal types of things you’d eat in a week, and consider how you might be able to make them plant-based (it can be easier than you thought!)
A few great options to start with include spaghetti, stir fry rice dishes, or other one-pot crockpot types of dishes.
These are easy to cook in bulk (so you can have tons of leftovers), and it’s also easy to omit animal-based foods.
For example, spaghetti bolognese is easy to prepare exactly as you would before – just use tons of mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes instead of meat.
Or, if you wanted to make a meatless chili to pour over rice, you would add extra beans and no meat.
The easier, the better!
But you do want to go into this with a plan so I recommend picking two or three recipes (either from a recipe book or online resource) and get ready.
2- Read The & Instructions Thoroughly
The next tip is once you get your meal plan, make sure you open it, look at everything you’ll need, and read ALL the instructions.
That way, you know what to expect before you even get started.
I know I tend to be very impatient and rarely want to read through recipes and ingredient lists before I get started – but you can go so much quicker when you know everything required beforehand!
There are several parts to the meal planning and meal prepping mindset.
In a way, you’re always going to want to be prepared for the next step well in advance.
So as soon as you figure out what dishes you need and get the recipes in order, read through all of it and take a mental note of what’s required.
3- Keep Your Plan Where You Can See It
It’s tempting to just download your meal plan and take a look at it…
But if you want to make this really work, keep that plan where you can see it!
That way when you’re in the grocery store or cooking up some dinner ideas (or even better-cooking time!), you’ll be “in the zone.”
One of my biggest tips for losing weight is to keep your motivation and inspiration in front of you.
All day, every day.
You have to stay focused!
You can not drop the ball.
Once you put it out of your mind, you get too comfortable and fall off.
So, keep the meal plan somewhere you see it.
Know what you’re going to be doing or eating on what day — it goes such a long way!
In the beginning I used to post my meal plan on my fridge, but I don’t do that anymore.
Now I keep two Google Notes lists (and I have the notes app handy on my laptops and on my phone).
So I have one running list for “recipes for the week” and then another (which I share with my husband) and we put whatever groceries and ingredients we wind up needing into that one.
There’s rarely a day where I don’t interact with these lists so I always kind of know what’s going on with what I’m going to be eating.
4- Shop & Prep In Advance
Remember how I said earlier that meal prepping and planning isn’t just a one-time thing?
Plan to do different steps on different days.
That way you won’t ever feel burnt out.
As an example, let’s say you plan to do the actual cooking part of your meal prep on Sunday.
(I love Sunday because it’s super chill and it’s the perfect day to prep for a fresh new week.)
You don’t want to download the meal plan, go grocery shopping, prep the foods, cook them, store them in your fridge, AND have to clean up the kitchen all in one day.
That’s a recipe for disaster!
Instead, make sure you have your meal plan in hand, printed out, reviewed, and posted on your fridge by Wednesday or Thursday.
Friday night or Saturday morning, you’ll want to get your grocery list and head to the store or farmer’s market to get what you need.
Saturday night, make a routine of prepping for Sunday.
I like to wash all my greens, chop all my veggies, blend any seasonings or spices, and make sure the kitchen is all clean for Sunday.
Then on Sunday, all I have to do is throw things together, store them in the fridge, and clean!
It’s so much easier that way.
You’ll save yourself so much time and frustration.
And you’ll feel great!
5- Eat A Full Meal Before Meal Prepping
The next tip I have is to eat a full meal before you start prepping.
Trust me, once you get deep into the meal-prepping process and you have all those aromatic herbs, spices, and sauces cooking, if you’re not well-fed you’re going to go nuts!
One thing that you may not consider is that snacking while cooking can really throw lots of weight on you!
Of course, you might want to “taste test” food as you’re prepping it, but being hungry makes this way more intense than it needs to be.
I get fancy sometimes these days and batch things like plant-based sushi and if I’m hungry first I’ll have eaten a whole sushi roll worth of rice and ingredients before I’m finished!
It’s just really important to remain mindful of this sort of thing if you’re going plant-based for weight loss, you know?
I do my grocery shopping Saturdays and then meal prep on Sundays.
So, now, I like to have a large breakfast Sunday morning before I start my meal prepping.
You gotta fuel up so you don’t ruin your waistline!
6- Make Meal Prep Time Fun
Finally, make meal prep time something that you enjoy!
I love listening to plant-based podcasts while I prep each week. Not only does it keep me inspired and motivated to stick with it even when I don’t want to, but I always learn something new and interesting.
Beyond that, sometimes I love blasting my 90’s R&B songs and dancing around and singing while I cook!
My husband and son sometimes look at me like I’m a little crazy but hey — gotta make it fun!
And That’s About All!
I hope you enjoyed the meal prep tips I’ve shared and that they help simplify the meal planning process for you.
Good luck on your journey!
I know you can do it! 🙂