One of the biggest causes of slipping up on your diet is not having healthy food readily available. When you’re away from your house, and you walk by a stretch of fast food restaurants, the smell of French fries and burgers might leave you licking grease off your fingers unless you have food packed.
Restaurants or fast food chains often add unhealthy fats and sugar to their foods to allow them to keep their prices low. However, packing meals is one of the most critical habits you can develop to stick with your diet. Below are five meal prep tips to make packing lunches less daunting.
1. Be Consistent with Your Meals
You don’t need to eat the same meals every day (though it helps!), but by having a list of healthy meals that you can pack quickly, you can make sure that you always have the ingredients available at home. Knowing ahead of time what you need to buy for the week will make planning much more relaxed, plus you’ll save a ton at the grocery store. Rotating through a few healthy meals also means you don’t need to worry about how your body will respond to those foods if you have a sensitive stomach.
2. Don’t Forget the Protein
Every meal you pack should contain a high protein source. Not only is protein an essential macronutrient for the formation of muscle tissue, but it is also filling and dulls your hunger. Some excellent options include canned fish, eggs, chicken breasts or Greek yogurt.
3. Pack the Night Before
Instead of scrambling to pack your meals the morning before heading out of your house, try to pack your meals the night before. Not only will this help reduce stress in the morning, but it will also make you less likely to forget a meal or leave a container at home.
4. Bring Healthy Snacks
When prepping, don’t only think about what meals you’ll have to bring. You should also pack some healthy snacks to munch on between meals so you don’t get tempted to rush to the vending machine. Some great snacks are baby carrots with hummus, dried wholegrain cereal, dark chocolate, fruit and avocados. Almost anything you enjoy that is filling, low in sugar and easily transportable can make a tasty snack.
5. Stock up on Tupperware
Keeping your cupboards full with Tupperware containers may not seem like a habit that can help you lose weight, but making sure you’re prepared to meal prep can help you stick to a healthy routine long-term. If you have to spend half an hour each night searching for containers, it’s going to be tempting to go back to your habit of eating out. However, if you have a collection of containers and ice packs, you can go on autopilot mode in the kitchen and throw on a podcast while prepping.
Meal prepping helps you avoid unhealthy fats and sugar while sticking to your diet even when you’re out of the house. Having to pack all your meals may seem like too much hassle at first, but once you get into the routine it becomes easy, and your waistline will thank you!
Looking for some healthy and delicious recipes? Check out these 6 Meal Prep Recipes to Spice Up Your Week.
Featured photo by Marty Harrington on Unsplash
Melody Rose Rowan is the Director of Content & Strategy for Blender Networks, Inc. When she’s not managing blogs for FitMinutes, The-E-Tailer, Cartageous, InStyleRooms, NurturedPaws & Shoelistic, she’s rearranging her bookcase at home in Culver City, CA, getting her fix of breakfast tacos and Topo Chicos in her hometown of Austin, TX with her husband and rescue dog and attempting to keep up with her own blog, Mustache Melrose.