Oftentimes, when you are busy, your diet takes a backseat in your list of priorities. You feel like you don’t have the time or energy to make a nutritious dinner each night, and if you’re at work for lunch it either becomes take away or junk food. This is completely avoidable, even if you are super busy in your day to day life! I recommend giving meal prep a try, a method of cooking where you create several days worth of meals in one sitting, and section them out into containers so that you can just grab them and reheat them when you need! This only takes a few hours on say, a Sunday afternoon, or a Monday night, and you won’t have to cook for the rest of the week.
Personally, when I prepare my meals in advance, I do it on a Sunday so that I am ready for the new week ahead straight away. I prepare all of my dinners for the week, as I eat them at work, and then just make sure that I have enough of everything that I need for breakfast, lunch and snacks. This means that I have no excuse to swap one meal with an unhealthier one, as I have already planned and prepared for the healthier options. This also stops lots of little supermarket trips throughout the week as I have done it all in one big shop at the very start.
Another great reason to start meal prep is for your own accountability. If you are trying to eat a certain amount of calories per day (for either losing weight or gaining muscle, for example), you can have all of your meals measured out perfectly and prepared for you already. This means that you have no reason to eat out of line with your macros! It also takes away the decision making process of wondering what to make for dinner each night, making your life much easier!
If your diet includes meat, be conscious to only prepare food 3-4 days in advance and to store it properly in the fridge. Vegetarian meals are a great way to go for meal prep as they have less restrictions on storage time, and they can also save you money! If you are on a budget, meal prep is also a wonderful way to know exactly what you spend on food in a week, and you can see where it is all going. By buying and making things in bulk, you can save money as well! It is also a good idea to invest in some high quality, reusable containers that are the right size for your meals.
If you aren’t sure where to start with it all, have a look at these websites for some great ideas: Lunch Meal Prep Ideas, Dinner Meal Prep Ideas, Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas. Another great place to find inspiration is on Instagram, by searching #mealprep. I highly recommend it as a good way to maintain your health while having a busy schedule!