August 19, 2021 3 min read
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a “failed” dieting attempt before.
If you’re anything like many people out there, we might be talking about you! Making a lifestyle change is hard, especially when it comes to something as integral to your life as the foods that you eat. So it’s no wonder that so many people have a hard time keeping it up for the long run.
This is where meal prepping comes into play. By nature, having a proper meal prep plan means that you’re always going to have access to fresh, healthy foods that work for your health and fitness goals.
Unfortunately, meal prep does come with its own share of downfalls that should be avoided if you want to make your food work harder for you. Here are three of the most common mistakes that people make when meal prepping – and how to avoid them.
When you meal prep, you’re preparing enough food to get you through several days’ worth of lunches and dinners (and sometimes breakfast, as well). So this means that you’re cooking in really large batches and portioning them out to be eaten at specific times.
Unfortunately, cooked food does tend to go bad over time, which can really throw a wrench in your meal prep plan. This is why it’s so important to plan accordingly and know how long each food is going to be okay in your fridge.
As a general guideline, most cooked meats only last in the fridge for a couple of days, and most cooked vegetables will go bad after a week at the most. This may mean that you have to meal prep twice a week, rather than making one huge batch that you won’t be able to finish before it’s time to eat it.
If you do like to make huge batches of food every week, you might want to consider putting the excess portions in a freezer. That way, they can last for a longer period of time.
We’ve all been there: every once in a while, we run into a “dinner rut.” Those same tried-and-true recipes, while adhering well to your calorie and macronutrient needs, can get boring when they’re the only thing on the menu week after week.
This is an especially pertinent problem when you’re meal prepping, since by nature you’re already eating the same things repetitively throughout the week. This can present a major problem for someone who wants to eat healthy, since it can be really tempting to want to order takeout or go to your favorite restaurant if the foods in your fridge aren’t exactly calling your name.
To avoid this, give yourself a lot of variety. Make it a point to incorporate a couple of new and interesting recipes every month. Experiment with other ethnic cuisines, add a new and interesting ingredient that you don’t use very often – just change it up often so you can keep it interesting!
Let’s face it: meal prep can be daunting.
Even though it makes the day-to-day a lot easier when you have food that’s already planned and prepped and just needs to be reheated, the actual planning and cooking can be a lot to handle. There are recipes to be found, groceries to be bought, portions to be determined, and that doesn’t even count the actual cooking!
Luckily, meal prep delivery services can make this process a whole lot smoother. By subscribing to a local meal prep delivery service like My Healthy Penguin, you can easily order food that’s already been prepped and planned out – so the only decision left on your plate is to determine which foods you want to order!
You can also use these meal prep services intermittently throughout the week – for example, you can order food for just the weekday lunches. That way, you’ll be able to have variety while still capitalizing on the benefits of a home-cooked meal prep the rest of the time.
Meal prepping certainly makes healthy eating easier for most people, but it still requires a fair amount of forethought and planning in order to make a real, long-term difference in your health. Be prepared and on the lookout for these three common mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to achieving meal prep success!
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