7 Common Mistakes to Avoid during Meal Prep
As you may already know, meal prepping is of crucial importance to eating well and staying healthy while saving a couple of bucks.
This, however, can be a bit overwhelming especially for beginners. Even people who understand meal prep basics may also find themselves in tricky situations occasionally.
Nonetheless, meal prepping is not as complicated and you can actually have a smooth ride without compromising on your diet or spending more time in your kitchen than necessary.
Below we have outlined some common meal prep mistakes and how to suss them out for your ultimate fun and tenable experience.
Not Properly Planning Ahead for your Meal Prep
The first mistake commonly made is not picking a specific day ahead for meal prep. Despite the number of meals you are planning on making, it is not logical to whoop up meals in a couple of hours. Therefore, set a day, most people prefer Sundays since there is no work or school, but always go with whichever day works best for you.
It will be good if you give yourself enough time to go grocery shopping as well as do the cooking, cooling the food, storing and cleaning up.
In addition, it is not mandatory to fit your meal prep into one day, do not break your back trying to. You can always split your meal prep into two days or even the number of days that work best for you. This way, you not only cut down on the time spent in your kitchen, the exhaustion, but also the last prepped meals will last you longer.
Remember, you are most likely to stick to your meal prep if it feels comfortable and feasible.
Not Purchasing Enough of the Groceries That You Need
There is nothing worse as being all set to start on your meal prep then it dawns on you that you are missing one or two ingredients. That is when the urge of dialing a delivery seems like the most viable solution. However, do not. Instead, make time to, again, plan ahead.
Draft a menu or meal plan with all the ingredients you need for the period you are prepping your meals. Then make a grocery list.
Not Building a Well-Balanced Meal Prep
It is easy to be carried away when prepping your meals and most people find themselves making a batch of meals without balancing them. Leaving out some nutrients or having a lot of some might not be the best way to go about your meals.
For instance, leaving out carbohydrates or taking an excessive amount of them may lead to fatigue. Learn on how to balance this in your meal prep for maximum nutritional value. Know how to incorporate your proteins in your meals as well.
Do Not Meal Prep Foods You Don’t Like
The one thing that will set you up to abandoning your meals is meal-prepping foods you do not enjoy eating. For instance, if you do not like eating, broccoli, do not include it in your meal prep, you could go for cauliflower instead.
Remember, meal prepping is not a form of punishment, go for food that you are sure you will genuinely enjoy eating. If you find yourself in a fix, however, I would recommend looking for customized meal plans or even recipes that you will enjoy.
Making the Wrong Amounts of Food
To avoid running out of certain foods or ending up with more than necessary amounts of certain foods at a time, you will need a little bit of extra planning beforehand.
Be sure to know the exact number of meals you need for time you are meal prepping for, before you go for your grocery shopping.
A good way is to balance each of your meal with proper amounts of proteins, veggies and starch. You can also try to mix things up a little with the ingredients you already have.
Meal Prepping Everything at Once
Despite meal prep being a genius idea that saves us lots of stress and time, you have to be very strategic on how you meal prep certain foods. For instance, no one wants to be stuck eating a sad salad, right? Salads will wilt quickly when dressed too early. Therefore, to avoid this, you could pack your dry salad ingredients and salad dressing in different containers ready to mix them up when you need to eat.
Alternatively, you can also pour your salad dressing at the bottom of your container then your other ingredients and simply shake them up when salad time comes.
For fresher smoothies, freeze your fruits in different freezer packs and simply toss them in your blender whenever needed.
Large containers may seem convenient for storing our meals but this will affect your portion control as well as mess up your meal plan.
To avoid this problem, invest in containers conveniently parted three ways or in sets of individual small sized containers. This way, you are able to easily and quickly defrost food in your microwave.
Another important thing to consider when selecting your meal prep containers is that, they need to be seal tight to avoid sogginess in your meals. You may also want them to be microwave and dishwasher safe for your convenience.
Bottom-line, there is no perfect way to meal prep, we learn as we go and with practice, things will fall into place eventually. Remember to have fun and even better, do it with a friend or partner so that it does not seem much like a chore.
If you can think of more commonly made mistakes done during meal prep, please share with us in the comments section. Otherwise, have fun prepping and good luck!