Why and How I Meal Prep
Welcome back to the second part of this series of the 5 practical things I did to help me shed off 14kg. I would highly encourage you to read the previous post if you’ve not read it here before diving into the details with me. Today we will be discussing one of my best methods that aid me in my weight loss journey - Meal Prep!
What is Meal Prep?
Also known as Meal Preparation, is the process of preparing your meals ahead of time with a plan in mind. Meal Prep is mainly popular among people who desire to lose weight, gain muscle mass or maintain a healthy lifestyle. I started meal prep a year ago and I am astounded with the advantages of it! Click on to my next post to discover the advantages of meal prep!
Why I Meal Prep?
2 Simple Reasons. First, options of healthy food are pretty limited around my work area. I have delicious Thai food and yummy hand made noodles around and trust me, they are so good that I can eat them every single day. Not an issue definitely however after reading the book Change Your Breakfast, Change your life by Joseph McClendon, I realised the importance of feeding our body with healthy and nutritious food hence I started to seek out more colours in my meal.
Second reason, eating out is a little costly and I decided to challenge myself to restrict my spendings so meal prep is one of my solutions. Yes, just as simple, I wanted to cut on my wallet for food!
As you can see, I wasn’t actively using meal prep as my number one solution to weight loss. It was until I started meal prep and I experienced the health benefits of it and I am thankful that it aids my weight loss journey (probably even more effective than hitting the gym 4-5 times a week). After much research, this definitely proves it true: in order to lose weight, 80% is about what you eat and 20% is about exercising. I am strict with what I put in my body and the result is simply amazing.
How Do I Meal Prep?
So I am fine eating the same meal consecutively for lunch everyday. It doesn’t just apply to my meal prep, but food in general, I tend to repeat what I eat every single day without feeling bored of it. Reason being, I eat to live and I don’t live to eat, spot the difference? So meal prep works if you’re ok eating the same kind of food every day because you probably need to batch cook your meals with the ingredients. I have seen numerous videos on creating a variety of meal prep meals by mixing and matching the dishes however I with my busy schedule, I am opting for the same meal to save my time.
Step 1 - Plan what you want to eat
Gathering your meal prep ideas before you start your grocery shopping is vital. Decide on what suits you for the week based on your movement and task will help you decide on what is most suitable for you.
Step 2 - Look at your pantry
Never go grocery shopping without looking at your pantry because you will not want duplicated items purchased. Turn up your creativity and make full use of what you have at home before heading out! You will be surprised what you can whip out simply with the stuff you have at home
Step 3 - Shopping Time!
With your shopping list on hand, head to your preferred supermarkets / markets to get your ingredients. You probably need a single portion of big volume ingredients, for example just one bundle of celery and double portion of small volume ingredients, for example your mushrooms, tofu, bell peppers etc.
Step 4 - Schedule a day to batch cook
I usually do it on a Sunday so that I can have my meal prep from Mondays to Thursdays but any day of your convenience is fine. You’ll probably need 2-3 hours in the kitchen for the whole process. Find your own cycle and decide when you are consuming your meal prep. From there, work backwards and find your day of meal prep
Step 5 - Cook, Cool, Contain
Get your cooking started, leaving it to cool before keeping them into your air tight containers.
First 2 portions of meal prep can be kept in the fridge while the rest to be stored in the freezer. Cooked food is not recommended to leave in the fridge for more than 3 days hence to maintain the freshness, store them in the freezer so they can last longer. Transfer the meal prep down from the freezer to the fridge the day before you want to consume it and heat it up the next day when you want to consume it!
What is my signature meal prep?
If you’ve read my previous blog, you would have known that I usually go meatless for lunch. My all time favourite meal prep consist of the following:
Yellow Red Green Bell Peppers
Yes 4 simple ingredients for the entire week of lunch. I always believe in having colours in my meal so yes I have my whites, yellow, red, green, brown and purple!
Preparation: Stir Fry the Bell Peppers, Mushrooms and Purple Onions with a little Cajun and Paprika seasoning. Pop the Tofu in the steamer. Assemble when all dishes have been cooled down.
Easy, fast, fuss free preparation. I get to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals without burning my pocket! Meal prep has drastically changed my lifestyle and definitely aid in my weight loss journey so if you are placing your health as a priority today, start meal prep!