In one sense, meal prepping is exactly what it sounds like: preparing your food ahead of time in order to have healthy, well-rounded meals on hand. But if you’re going to do it, you should figure out what type of prepping will work best for you and from there learn how to meal prep properly. For instance, are you looking to have breakfast, lunch and dinner ready to go each week? Or would simply having a less hectic, more healthy supper each night make a big difference in your life?
Depending on which meals you decide to prep, figure out which method of preparation makes the most sense. A few options are: cooking large batches and freezing meals so you have dinners for months to come; chopping up and preparing all of your ingredients to make cooking quicker and easier; and making meals ahead of time, so you just have to reheat them before eating.
In order to limit the amount of sugar, sodium, additives and preservatives you take in, New York City nutritionist Lorraine Kearney recommends meal prepping for the week ahead once you know how to meal prep. However, if that’s not doable, she suggests meal prepping breakfast.
“Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. It helps balance blood sugar and can improve cognitive health to keep you alert and attentive in those early-morning meetings,” Kearney says. “Having balanced blood sugar will also decrease the stress response and prevent your adrenals from pumping excess cortisol and adrenaline when trying to meet deadlines and in times of stress.” For easy, grab-and-go breakfasts, Kearney likes overnight oats, homemade yogurt parfaits and precooked eggs, which can be refrigerated for up to five days.