Friday, October 13, 2017

Fitness Diary :: 10 How to Meal-Prep Tips

I've been meal-prepping for about 9 months now since the beginning of the year, when I started training one-on-one under Superman. Although tedious, and sometimes quite boring, when coupled with my daily calorie-tracking, it has definitely guided me in making better and healthier food choices.. most of the time haha.

This meal-prepping habit I've formed has benefited not just me, but the rest of the family too since I also prep some meals for the boy and Lil Pumpkin too. This year, although I'm still not cooking often, I'm happy that we get at least 6-7 homecooked meals a week and I do feel like we're eating much cleaner and healthier.. plus getting a good deal of fresh, wholesome food, especially vegetables, into our bodies.   

I'm no expert in meal-prep, but here are some things I've learnt and 10 Tips on How to Meal-Prep I'd like to share with you. Feel free to comment and let me know some of your other meal-prep tips too! ( ◞・ΰ±ͺ・) 

1. Think Positively
Don't think of meal-prepping as a chore for the week, or something you must do to keep healthy. Instead, think of the time, money and effort you can save from cooking daily, or as a relaxing me-time to create food made with love for the family {and yourself}, or even the freedom it gives you from worrying about what to eat for each meal and how you can focus on other things that matter.

2. Cook for the whole week
Plan ahead to save time and money when you buy in bulk. Make sure you have a grocery list before you go shopping for the week. When cooking, prepare them in one batch, then portion for your individual meals for the rest of the week or pack the food dishes separately and portion before each meal, “buffet-style”. Refrigerate or freeze for later use.

3. Buy food in bulk
It will keep the cost lower, and you can prepare them in a variety of ways to keep the meals interesting. Stock up especially on staples e.g. frozen meat, fruits and vegetables {less expensive & last longer}, and rice, beans, oats etc.

4. Go for convenience
Get food that require very little prep-time e.g. pre-cut veggies, pre-washed salads, cooked rotisserie meat. Make use of protein shakes / protein bars to fulfil your protein needs on the go, but do so sparingly {at most once a day} and you can also order pre-packed healthy food delivery services for busy days e.g. YOLO Food, Grain, Maki San, Fit Three, AMGD

5. Portion and Go
Ready-portioned meals save time for you to weigh the individual ingredients each time, and prevent you from mindless eating from the bag or jar.

6. Invest in the right containers
Proper food storage containers allow you to re-heat your meals and eat from them, saving you time and effort from extra washing. Use air-tight, microwavable containers {preferably glass} or zip-lock bags for dry snacks to keep them fresh.

7. Set a Time Limit 
It's not enough just to set time aside to meal-prep {I usually do mine once a week on Sunday} but it's very easy to go overboard and spend a long time in the kitchen cooking and prepping since in your mind, you're prepping for so many meals so you should spend more time on them. No, you don't have to spend your whole day prepping food for the week! Set a time limit of maybe 2-3hrs, focus and learn to multitask e.g. bake something while cooking on the stove. 

8. Use MyFitnessPal app
It can be more than a calorie-tracking app. Use it to record recipes and meals so that you can reuse them again in the future, with modifications if needed, without needing to weigh the food and calculate the calories again.

9. Think Outside the Box
Be consistent, but not boring. You don't always have to eat the same thing all day, or even the same meal for lunch the whole week. Create standard "meal bases" e.g. salads or rice, and change the toppings or side dishes to shake things up.

10. Be Kind to Yourself
Even with the best-laid plans, things may not always go your way. You might not have time at all over the weekend to meal-prep, you might have to eat out unexpectedly, or you might just give in to your cravings and go overboard with unplanned snacking. It's really ok. Don't beat yourself up over it, but most of all, don't let it affect the rest of the meals for the day or even the week! Refocus and push through!

Follow my Fitness Diary posts here or on Instagram {#AiFitnessDiary}

Other Fitness Tips:
10 Tips on How to Meal-Prep

One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

Genesis Gym Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training


Stacy said...

I actually LIKE cooking haha. Although these days I am lazy since my maid is a more talented cook than I am.

Your bento meals look both healthy and yummy.

Jessica said...

Oh the last point is so important! Half the time I meal prep something goes wrong and I get so upset about it. Keeping your words in mind for next time!

Theresa Mahoney said...

That's one area that I need to improve on. I just haven't got meal prepping down yet, but I like the idea of getting a whole week done in a day. That would certainly make things easier.

Young Smarties said...

These are very good tips especially for busy parents without helpers. But I also curious if pre-packing and storing cooked food, will it lose its nutrients?

--andy-- said...

Impressive list of tips, love the last one "Be kind to yourself". Speaking for myself, I sometimes forget to "relax" a little bit and chill more :)

cheers, Andy

KarMie's blog said...

Love the last point a bit too much as I'm too kind to myself... Lols!!! Too much cravings n snacks for me...

Ur food pics looking yummy...
Great tips for busy moms!!!

Jamie chaw

Unknown said...

Wah... this is good lah. Such good ideas and tips. Fast and healthy. Will share with the wifey! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Question: How long can you keep salad fresh after prepping? Also, how do you heat up the meat when it’s in the same box with salad? I may have to start doing this soon as I’ve started circuit training recently :)

An Apel a Day said...

We're going to be doing a lot of this in the next 2 weeks.

Mica has a Science Fair Project going on right now. For 2 weeks he eats unhealthy. It's caused him to be gassy and tired. Then for 2 weeks he eats uber healthy! I'm going to be a much happier mother when Sunday comes around. That's when he switches. He's going to be having lots of salads, seeds, nuts, veggies, and fruit.

Shub said...

I cook almost all meals at home...Get grocery weekly and monthly basis and try to serve fresh food most of the times. Health is wealth and food is life. Loved your pics.

Shub from

Pooja Kawatra said...

These are nice tips!I cook all the meals at home and thought of cooking for the whole week but I feel Singapore is too hot to keep food fresh for a week.

Unknown said...

Hi I need some help.. usually I meal prep my lunch like broccoli/salmon/chicken breast/corn in the morning but my office doesn't have a fridge or microwave and I read online that food should not be kept outside for more than 2 hours. How should I do This?

Ai Sakura said...

Wendy: Perhaps get a cooler bag and store your food with ice-packs or in a thermos food jar/pot with good vacuum insulation to keep the food hot/cold for a few hrs. You can also prepare food that doesn't need much refrigeration or heating up e.g. salad, sandwiches, rice cakes, wraps etc. The time it takes for food to spoil also depends on the type of food..