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A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping

April 12, 2021

Meal prepping has been a very popular trend lately, especially during these unprecedented times. As meal preppers may know, prepping food saves time, money, and reduces waste in the kitchen. If you have ever seen someone capture a picture of their meal prep on social media, it may seem a bit overwhelming. Those images can be both inspiring and intimidating, all while leaving you with questions such as “Where do I start?” Lucky for you, we have constructed a beginner’s guide on how to get your meal preparation journey started and how you can incorporate these methods into your daily life.

We hear people say all the time that they don’t have time to cook healthy meals at home, which leaves them last-minute ordering from fast-food restaurants. We can ensure you that having portioned out, already prepped healthy meals that are accessible for the entire week will eliminate the fast-food runs! At JCORE fitness, we want to see you reach your fitness and wellness goals. Having said that, we want to encourage you to not only find an exercise routine that works for you, but strive for clean eating to ensure the best results!

What is Meal Prepping?

Meal prepping is simply the act of preparing a meal or recipe and then portioning it out to create grab-and-go meals for the week. The whole idea is to have healthy meals prepared for you at your disposal. For example, maybe you want to stick to a specific protein for the week such as chicken or salmon. Be mindful that you are choosing the correct amount of protein that will sustain you for the entire week along with healthy side options. Generally, meal prepping refers to prepping three-seven days' worth of food at a time. These meals should be accounted for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to your liking.

Why Meal Prep?

Meal prepping is convenient, efficient, reduces waste, and the temptation to eat outside of your plan. Instead of cooking meals every single day, meal preps allow you to still eat home-cooked meals without having to dedicate time each day to preparation. Meal prepping is the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule. With that being said, it’s particularly popular amongst busy people such as college students or parents. Having pre-prepared meals on hand can also reduce portion size and help you reach your nutrition goals.

Portion Control

At the same time, portion control goes hand in hand with meal prepping. Whether you are looking to lose weight or gain muscle mass, your meals should be centered around your fitness goals. Meal preparation allows for you to eat your favorite foods while pre-determined portion sizes ensure you don’t overindulge. Having a collection of well-balanced meals on hand will help you regulate what you eat and help you stay on track with your personal diet goals.

What Can I Meal Prep?

This is the underlying question that most people run across when starting to meal prep. What kinds of food are meal prep friendly? We provided a list of food that offer great shelf life that are still tasty after heating it up:
  • Cooked beans
  • Cooked meat (Salmon, chicken, beef, steak, shrimp, etc.)
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Hearty fresh vegetables (think celery, peas, bell peppers, kale, etc.)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cooked grains and low-calorie pasta
  • Fruits
As you start meal prepping, think of a main entrée you want to stick to with a couple of low-calorie side dishes, such as vegetables, brown rice, or quinoa. We suggest you start off with a single-recipe meal prep instead of a meal that requires two or three recipes together. By doing this, you will be exposed to multiple different food groups while providing protein, grain, and vegetables all in one recipe. Of course, once you get a hang of one recipe meals, you can ease your way up to two or three. Be mindful that you are overall creating a diet that works for you, so start easy.
Here at JCORE Fitness, we love supporting healthy, happy living. In order to do so, we want to stress the importance of staying consistent with your fitness goals and holding yourself accountable. Whether you’re ready to build your perfect workout routine, or get some help maintaining healthier habits, we are here to help you create attainable goals for yourself and push you to keep it that way!

After an initial assessment, we will build a program that’s specifically designed for your individual goals and needs. If you’re ready to take the leap towards a healthier and happier you, start your new beginning today with personal or group training sessions. Available both in-person and virtually, we’re ready to take on your individual needs and challenges and set attainable goals with you. If you have more questions about how to start your meal preparation journey or want to start your new beginning today, visit our website for more tips and tricks.

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