5 Quick Tips for Meal Prepping for a Healthier You in 2024 (especially after Gasparilla weekend....)
If you want to overhaul your health in this coming year, one of the best areas of focus is your diet. After all, our diet is the foundation of our health and wellness. It provides the resources and building blocks for our bodies to function optimally. And it directly impacts our gut health, spilling over into how we feel and even our immune response.
But saying we’re going to eat healthier versus actually eating healthier can be to separate things. Life gets busy, making it easy to fall off that balanced and healthy diet bandwagon. Yet, meal prepping offers a simple and easy way to stay on track—even on the most chaotic of days.
It saves time, helps you avoid temptation, and, most importantly, provides your body and mind with the best nourishment possible. So, how can you get started? Well, here are a few tips so you can stay on track with your goals and become the healthiest version of you in 2024.
Meal Prepping Tips for Getting Started
Anything new can sound daunting, including meal prepping. But meal prepping truly simplifies everything. It helps you avoid putting any second thought toward what you should or shouldn’t eat. Instead, it’s all ready to go. So, let’s take a look at our top tips for getting started in the world of meal prepping.
1. Plan Your Meals in Advance & Stay Consistent
Start by mapping out what you’re going to eat. Yes, this might sound like you’re planning to plan but this sets the stage for your grocery shopping trip and what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Make sure to incorporate proteins, carbs, and healthy fats (more on this in a second) to ensure you meal provides balance and nutrition.
Stay consistent by planning and making your meals at the same times or days each week, such as a few hours on Sunday morning or afternoon.
2. Invest in Quality Containers
Good quality, durable containers are essential for meal prepping. They should be microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and good for freezing (usually glass, despite their heaviness, is a great choice). Additionally, BPA-free containers are a healthier choice as they don't release harmful chemicals.
You may also want to consider investing in portion-controlled containers if weight management is a goal. On top of this, you may want smaller containers for snacks in between meals.
3. Batch Cook and Use Simple Ingredients
Cook in large batches to save time and energy. Simple, versatile ingredients can be used in multiple meals throughout the week. For example, grilled chicken can be eaten as is, added to salads, or used in wraps. As previously mentioned, prepare your meals within a few hours span on a set day or time before your busy week begins. Sticking with this same schedule can ensure you always have a healthy go-to ready to eat.
4. Incorporate All Macronutrients
Each meal should include protein, carbs, and fats. The exact ratio may depend on your individual goals. However, most people can benefit from at least 30 grams of protein per meal (and about 20 grams sprinkled into snack options).
To avoid getting bored with your meals, incorporate variety into your weekly meal plan. This could mean trying out new recipes, using different spices, or rotating your protein sources. The truth is that meal prepping can be anything but boring. It can also be as complicated or as simple as you want.
5. Don’t Forget About Snacks
Healthy snacking is an important part of meal prepping. Prepare snacks like chopped vegetables, nuts, fruit, or yogurt in advance. This not only saves time but also helps in avoiding unhealthy snack choices, especially in between your already healthy and balanced pre-planned meals.
Remember, meal prepping doesn't have to be perfect. It's more about making healthier choices and saving time. Plus, it can be fun to try new recipes or find new inspiration online for your specific needs.
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