How to Meal Prep for the Week

How to Meal Prep for the Week: A Beginner’s Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Meal Prepping

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You’ve probably heard that preparing your meals instead of eating out is a great way to save calories when you’re trying to lose weight or eat a healthy, balanced meal.

Food prepping can and will change your life! It saves time and calories like you wouldn’t believe.

However, a home-cooked meal isn’t necessarily a good choice in all cases. You can prepare meals that are very high in calories without even realizing it.

Over the weekend, I planned, prepped, and cooked meals and found that, although it was time-consuming, it was actually pretty simple!

Not knowing how to meal prep shouldn’t stop you from planning and prepping your meals for the week. That’s why I have some pro tips to help you on your food-prep journey!

Here’s How to Meal Prep for the Week

How to Meal Prep for the Week

Plan Your Meal Ahead

My best tip is to have a plan for each meal. Decide what you’re going to make ahead of time, and make sure you have the ingredients on hand. That way, you have the tools you need to prepare a low-calorie meal at home anytime you get hungry.

When I meal plan and prep, I typically make big batches of 3-4 meals for myself and my husband. These meals consist of protein, healthy fats, veggies, and carbs.

  • Protein: 4-6oz
  • Healthy Fats: 1/4 – 1/2 avocado, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Vegetables: 1-2 cups
  • Carbs: 1/2 cup (these are starchy items like sweet potatoes or yams)

My suggestion is to mix and match these categories and start planning:

Protein: Chicken breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, nitrate-free lean lunch meat (turkey breast, ham, or roast beef)

Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, almond flour tortillas (I love Siete brand), sweet potatoes, yams

Healthy fats: Avocado, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil and coconut oil

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To be clear, you don’t have to count macros to make this work. You can also use the “first method.” Counting macros or not, having detailed guidelines ahead of time will help the shopping and prep. You can even take it to the next level and label containers by day and meal.

This week, I decided to plate them individually–thoroughly weighed and portioned out in individual containers. So, having a kitchen scale was paramount to this.

How to Meal Prep for the Week: A Beginner's Guide high angle shot delicious salad with various sliced vegetables 1

Eat Vegetables At Every Meal

Vegetables are a great source of fiber, which helps prevent hunger between meals. Make sure you have a vegetable at every meal.

For my meal preps, I typically add 1-2 cups of vegetables.

I love roasted or steamed vegetables, which make great add-ins and sides. Because they are packed with fiber, your body will be satiated for very few calories.

Once a week, roast a big pan of mixed vegetables and use them in salads and soups or as a healthy side dish all week long. Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and bell peppers are all delicious choices. I typically toss mine in coconut oil, sea salt, and oregano and roast them at 350F for 20-30 minutes, depending on what I’m roasting up.

Easy, right?

How to Meal Prep for the Week: A Beginner's Guide 1 mealpreplikeabossformat2500w
Zoodles with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.

Keep It Simple

Seriously, please keep it simple! You don’t need to prepare 21 specific meals on your food-prep day, or you’ll be in the kitchen forever!

Preparing generic, versatile foods can be even more efficient.

Cook up some veggies you love and lightly seasoned salmon, chicken breasts, or ground turkey that you can throw into any recipe later on during the week.

I make 3-4 different meals for some variety throughout the week.

The week’s meals for lunch & dinner:

  • Zoodles with seasoned ground turkey and sweet potatoes
  • Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes
  • Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and cauliflower riceGround turkey, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
  • Grilled chicken with broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potatoes (or potatoes)
  • Grilled chicken with broccoli, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
  • Grilled chicken with roasted carrots and cauliflower rice

For  healthy fat, I top my meals with 1/2 avocado

These were the bases:

Roasted Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms

Fresh Vegetables: Zucchini zoodles, broccoli (steamed before eating each meal)

Cooked Vegetables: Purple cauliflower rice cooked in coconut oil, hemp seeds, and coconut shreds and seasoned with lemon and sea salt

Protein: Grilled Chicken marinated in lemon juice and sea salt; Ground Turkey cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with smoked paprika, sea salt and

What about breakfast? For breakfast, I usually have a coconut avocado smoothie or chia pudding.

How to Meal Prep for the Week: A Beginner's Guide mealprepsweetpotatozoodlesgroundturkeyformat1500w
Purple Cauliflower Rice with roasted sweet potatoes and grilled chicken.

Don’t Starve Yourself!

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might feel inclined to cut back on calories by preparing much less food than you’re used to eating. Nine times out of ten, that will backfire. You’ll be so hungry that you’ll end up buying unhealthy snacks in between meals, spending more money, and ultimately gaining weight. You know your appetite, so prep your meals accordingly so that you don’t accidentally starve your body!

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Food-prepping is a lifestyle change that you should enjoy and not dread.

Prepare healthy foods you’ll enjoy; if you hate Brussels sprouts and fish, don’t eat only those just because they’re healthy. Switch to broccoli and chicken if that’s what you prefer.

Being happy is just as important as being healthy.

Now that you know these tips, you’re ready to get started! Don’t say next week or next month; you can start the next time you go to the grocery store. When you do, make sure you share any new tips you’ve learned here.

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.