Meal prepping can be very beneficial to our health and even to our mental health. But we need to get past the starting line first. Luckily, things only seem overwhelmingly difficult, but they are not. You can use some meal prep tips for light lunches to get started.
Meal prep tips for light lunches can help you step up your meal planning and increase your nutrition intake. What is meal prep? Meal prep can be done differently; it depends on what works for you.
You can go light with your meal prepping by simply planning your meals for the week. Sometimes, all we need is to know what we eat to eat healthier more often. But then there are the more advanced levels of meal prep.
You can spend an afternoon cooking a few big meals and then divide them up into single-serve portions. Those portions are then stored in the fridge so you can grab and go every morning.
But why do we meal prep at all? Think about the times you find yourself in the fast food line. You probably ended up there only after standing at your fridge, holding the door open, and staring inside, asking yourself, “What am I going to eat for lunch today?”
Meal prep provides the answer in the form of single-serve portions of recipes you made earlier in the week. Simply put, you will be more likely to eat something nutritious if you meal prep.
But getting started is not so easy. People write about getting containers from Amazon and using Instant Pots and Crock Pots to help make things easier; things get hectic online.
But you don’t need to put in that much effort or spend that much money to get started. Don’t worry; those things will come as you advance your meal prep lifestyle.
But for now, let’s start small; let’s start with a simple outline for the week.
Meal Prep Tips for Light Lunches | Shopping to Plan
The first thing we want to do is make meal planning a routine. We are creatures of habit, and it is hard to get out of those habits. We want to make meal planning a habit, but diving head first into that habit will make it overwhelming.
People fail to make healthy things a habit because they skip steps, thinking it will speed up the results. Instead, start small with your meal prep. Plan your meals and shop for them instead of cooking your week’s meals all at once.
Basically, you want to simply put a menu for the week together before you head to the grocery store and then shop for that menu and that menu only. This will stock your kitchen with healthy ingredients and give you everything you need to make more nutritious meals more often.
Finding Your Staples
One of the most essential meal prep tips for light lunches is to find your staple ingredients. We want to keep our kitchens stocked with healthy ingredients we use most often.
Sure, you can find lists of recommended staples to keep on hand. But this plan needs to fit you specifically. Put your menu together and fill it with meals that you like. Now, compare those recipes and find common ingredients.
These are your staples. They will differ from time to time, and that’s okay. The goal is to build out your list of staples so you know which things you will need most often for recipes you enjoy.
You will then want to keep track of those staples and keep them in stock at home.
Staying on Track
We now know what to buy and keep stocked in our homes, but eventually, we end up at the grocery store. This time is crucial to meal prep tips for light lunches. You will want to make sure you stick to your list while shopping.
Remember, you made this list under a proper nutritional mindset. There is no reason to go down that cookie aisle; we can also skip the frozen food section. The goal is to ensure you only have healthy eating options at home.
This will get easier as time passes but will require some restraint at the start. It is important to note that you can buy snacks; reach for healthier options instead of highly processed foods.
Variety is the Spice of Success
You can see that meal prepping is more complex for beginners. However, these meal prep tips for light lunches will help ease the process. Eventually, this will become second nature to you as it becomes routine.
But another reason people fail their nutrition plans is boredom. We are creatures of habit, but the taste is a bit different. We expand our viable options for food because we need a bit of variety.
Please don’t get the wrong idea; we still stick to a routine even with the food we eat. For example, you’re tired of eating burgers, so you get tacos instead. But you already know where you will go for those tacos, routine.
Meal prep needs to be the same way. Give yourself a wide variety of recipes and keep that list growing for as long as you meal prep. Variety is the spice of life, and it may just be the solution to help you stick to your nutrition plan.
Step Things Up
You will notice that meal prep is getting easier and easier as you go. That means it is time to step things up to the next level. There is no set level you move to. Next, you just go with what feels right to you.
Maybe the next level is getting meal prep containers and cooking a recipe or two for the week ahead. But your next level could be as small as getting a Crock Pot and starting to use that to help cook healthier meals at home.
The idea is to move at a pace that feels comfortable for you. The goal will be to pick a day out of the week when you cook a few different recipes, divide them into single-serve containers, and then use those for lunches throughout the week.
No one said meal prepping was easy. But you can make it easier using these simple meal prep tips for light lunches.