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How to prepare meals ahead of time

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You can only succeed if you prepare yourself for success. Therefore, it is very important to plan ahead when it comes to eating so you don’t find yourself looking for quick meals which typically end up being unhealthy. Having a whole days worth of meals ready ahead of time makes for healthier eating habits and it is a lot easier than eating on the go. There are three steps to having meals for the week ahead of you; plan meals, prepare meals, follow through.

Plan Meals:

When planning meals it is important to think ahead about what you might be doing that week and at what times it is best to eat. It is a lot easier for someone who eats breakfast at home to have a healthy meal than it is for someone who is on the go if no planning is involved. Then if you find that you’ll be away from home until it’s time for dinner then it is necessary to bring your meals for the day with you. Once you return home from a days work it may be easier to have a premade meal waiting in the freezer or it may make more sense for you to cook once you get home. Decisions like this depend on personal preference. So, first things first, make a plan. Here is an example:


Meal 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3 eggs

Meal 2: Greek yogurt w/ 1/4 cup granola

Meal 3: Salad, 1/2 cup grilled chicken, balsamic vinegar

Meal 4: 1 Apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter

Meal 5: 1/2 cup brown rice, 4 oz steak, 1/2 cup broccoli

For someone who has time to make breakfast at home before starting the day oatmeal and eggs is a simple and healthy breakfast. For someone who is on the go around breakfast time it would be easier to pack a protein shake or a homemade granola bar. As for the other meals, they are easy to have ready ahead of time. So, for the meals that do need preparing, you need to decide what would be the best day to get them ready depending on the week ahead. If you work a Monday through Friday job preparing meals on Sunday would make sense to get you through the week. If you work a schedule that is three days on and three off then you should prepare meals on your last day off. It all comes down to finding what works best for you.



Prepare Meals:

At this point you should have figured out a plan of meals for the week. If you don’t mind eating relatively the same thing all week then it will be easy to figure portions. Using the meal plan above, here is an example on how to prepare a week of meals for someone who works Monday through Friday, eats breakfast and dinner at home, and all other meals on the go. First of all, the breakfast takes no planning ahead beyond knowing you have 2 1/2 cups of oatmeal and 15 eggs. Simply multiply the amount of food you need for one day by 5 to get the amount you’ll need for the week. So you would want 5 yogurts, 1 1/4 cups granola, 5 apples, etc. Once you have the portions needed it is time to prepare the food. The meals that need prep aside from just measuring are meal 3, 4, and 5. Meal 3 of salad with grilled chicken and balsamic would be prepared by cooking chicken ahead of time by grilling or baking it then dividing it between 5 containers that have salad ingredients inside. Other than that all you need to do would be to bring the dressing with you. Meal 4 only requires cutting up the apple which would be better to do every morning or not until you are ready to eat it. Measuring the peanut butter is also part of the prep stage. Finally, meal 5 requires the rice and steak to be cooked ahead of time. Once they are done they should be portioned out between 5 containers then the broccoli (frozen) can be added. The rice, steak, and broccoli can be refrigerated or frozen depending on preference. Once this is all complete all that needs to be done is the follow through.


Follow through:

Making time for breakfast is the first step for being successful. The second step is leaving the house with the food you need for the day. Pack meals 2-4 in a lunchbox and eat them at least 3 hours apart throughout the day. Then once you return home have your dinner before 7pm to avoid eating too late. The follow through stage is the hardest for people to get through either because they are forgetful and leave food at home or because they crave something else and divert from the plan. If you fight those craving and save them for your cheat meal you will find it easy to get into a routine that becomes second nature.


So to sum it up, all you have to do is plan, prepare, and follow through. Whether your goal is to save money on groceries, lose weight, eat healthier, or just to make your life easier, these three steps will help you accomplish that goal.



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