The complete guide to planning and prepping your meals so you can stop thinking about food all the time
A lot of people are nervous to try macro tracking because they think they’ll spend all their time, worrying about their food. But, if it’s done right, macro tracking can actually prevent you from stressing about what you’re going to eat all the time.
The secret is meal planning! If you plan out what you’re going to eat ahead of time, then you don’t have to spend all day thinking about what you’re going to eat, or even worse, dreading that you won’t have enough macros to make it through the day!
Planning ahead will ease all of your food worries! Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty; how to plan and prep for success!
Planning an entire meal can be a little bit daunting. Instead of sitting down and thinking, “what will my main course be?” think, what protein will I serve.
I like to start with protein because protein takes more energy to burn than fats or carbohydrates. We also feel fuller for long when we eat protein because it’s in our bodies for a longer time than other macros.
For my example, I’m going to use meat as my protein source; however, you can still be successful with macro tracking and meal planning if you are a vegetarian.
If you are a vegetarian and need help getting started with this process, schedule a free discovery call with me and we can brainstorm protein sources to help you get started.
I start my meal planning by writing down the meats/proteins I’m going to use for the week. I usually pick two to three different meats, then I plan at least a meal or two with each meat.
For example, I’ll plan to use pork and chicken in one week. Then I’ll make two meals out of the pork and two meals out of the chicken. Then, to switch things up, I’ll do something different for the last day. Here’s a quick example of a five-day meal plan.
Once you’ve decided what protein you want to serve it’s much easier to think of a main course or meal.
I love this method because it allows me to think through the process, rather than come up with everything at once. It’s easier to look on Pinterest for “healthy chicken dinners” than to search “healthy dinners.” A broad search usually gives you too many options and you’re never able to make a decision. Narrowing things down makes it much easier to pick a meal!
Use your meal plan to make a grocery list
Once you know what you want to make, you’ll need to shop and prepare each meal. I have a few quick tips to make this process super simple.
We’ve all been in the position where we plan to make a beautiful dinner for our families, only to find we don’t have half of the ingredients we need. So what do we do? Usually, we end up at the closest fast food restaurant because it was easier and quicker than running to the store, grabbing what we needed and then going home and preparing dinner.
Once you have your plan, make your grocery list! Set yourself up for success by having what you need on hand to make the meals you’ve planned.
Here’s my list based on our previous example.
Prepare your meals ahead of time
Now that you’ve planned and shopped, it’s time to prep your food! I have a lot going on in my life (I’m a business owner, wife and mother,) so I love prepping my food ahead of time so I can have a healthy, delicious meal on the table as soon as we get home from soccer practice!
I use Sunday as my prep day, but you can do whatever day works best for you. If we look back at our example, I’ll cook my pork or chicken all at once and then split it up for each meal. Then each day I’ll pull out my cooked meat and I’ll add the sauce, prepare anything else that couldn’t be prepped ahead of time and I’m ready to go!
I also like to prep as many fruits and veggies as I can. I will wash, chop and portion out any fruits and vegetables, so that I can just grab what I need throughout the week. I use this method for any meals or snacks I’ve planned for the week.
If you’re looking to involve your kids in this process, then prep time is the perfect opportunity! Older kids can learn to cook and help you prep meats or they can cut veggies. While younger kids can help you bag your prepared foods. You can even use this as an opportunity to learn letters and numbers! Have them count out a serving of veggies and place it in a bag. Or, teach them what letter each food starts with, they can even learn how to spell it! The possibilities are endless!
If you need help meal planning and prepping or just want to see if macro tracking is the right fit for you, then schedule a free discovery call with me! We’ll talk about your life and goals and see if this is right for you!