Meal prep can be an invaluable way to help keep you eating healthy and staying focused throughout the week. But, believe it or not, there are some ways that meal prep can go wrong and things you can do that may zap some of the benefits from your meal prep! Read on for list of the top 5 meal prep mistakes.
1) Random or Inconsistent Food Prep
The key to making food prep work for you is making it routine. If it is haphazard or random, it is much more difficult to make it a habit and even more difficult to plan your week around it. Instead, choose a day and time (for most people this is usually Sunday afternoon) that you are going to do your food prep and stick with it! Block out 1-2 hours on that day and listen to some music, a podcast, or prep with a friend. The key is to make it easy and make it a habit.
2) Prepping the Same Foods Every Time
If you make chicken breast and broccoli every Sunday you are going to get sick of those things very quickly! And you want your prepped foods to be enticing and exciting, not boring! So the key is variation. If you switch things up week-to-week, you could have 3 weeks that look like this:
Week 1- Chicken Breasts, brussel sprouts, broccoli, onions, sweet potato chili
Week 2- Tofu, peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, quinoa casserole
Week 3- Salmon, green beans, carrots, zucchini, 3 bean stew
The idea is to make sure you are prepping different things each week so you are always looking forward to something new and looking forward to eating all of your prepped foods!
3) Not Prepping Breakfast
A lot of people tend to forget about the idea of including breakfast in their weekly meal prep. But breakfast can be much more exciting, and probably healthier, if it’s prepped ahead of time. You can make some overnight oats in mason jars, some egg muffins to eat throughout the week, or even your own homemade protein bars. But having breakfast prepped will ensure you that you have a healthy and delicious start to your day which will set you up to continue that health focus throughout the day.
4) Prepping Health over Taste
Let’s be honest here- if you are prepping something SOLELY because it’s healthy and not because it’s delicious, it’s not going to be long before you completely blow off all your food prep and hit the drive through! So, instead of focus on bland and boring health food, choose healthy dishes that are also delicious and enticing. Spend some time on healthy food blogs or exploring Pinterest and put together a list of fun options and include at least one of those fun recipes in your food prep every week.
We know food prep can be valuable, but prepping too much food can set you up for some negative outcomes. If you prep more food than you can eat, you run the risk of it going bad or you losing interest and getting sick of it. Both of those situations can set up to opt out of food prep in the future and turning to quick and unhealthy grab-and-go options instead. So, make sure you are only prepping just enough to get you through the week.
Well there you have it. Watch out for these common food prep mistakes to ensure you are getting the most benefit out of all your food prep!
New to food prep? Check out my guide on Intro to Food Prep!