As with most things in life, weight loss is one of those things that only work if you work it. Sadly, many people simply wake up and think, “I am going to go on a diet today,” and then expect things to fall into place. But, as we all know, healthy eating doesn’t happen without some preparation. If you want to eat healthy and shed pounds, you have to plan ahead.
Fortunately, that is not as much work as it sounds. In fact, you can do all your meal prep on Sunday night. You will be assured of having healthy, nutritious meals on hand for the entire week if you just do a little leg work on Sunday. (Don’t worry, you will be done before “Westworld” comes on).
Here are some meal-prep tips that will help you get on the right track:
1. Wash, Peel And Chop Ahead Of Time
Wash your produce ahead of time, and do any necessary peeling. For example, don’t just leave your clementines and oranges in their peel, assuming you will make time to peel them at the office. Take the extra step and peel those suckers. Pop them in a resealable dish. Similarly, wash your apples or carrot sticks ahead of time.
2. Make Five Breakfasts At Once
Whether you want to have five days of overnight oats prepared, five days of crustless mini egg muffins or five days of fruit salad, make your breakfasts on Sunday. Your mornings will be so much easier! And, with a healthy breakfast ready to go, you won’t be at risk for grabbing a bagel on the way to the office or succumbing to a donut during your morning meeting.
3. Make A Week’s Worth Of Veggies
Chop and roast veggies ahead of time. Make all your veggies for the week. Whether you want to have roasted broccoli, zucchini, carrots or Brussel sprouts, do all of your cutting and cooking before the week begins. Then, you can toss your veggies onto salads or into a wrap for a quick plant-based lunch.
4. Wash Your Lettuce
Look, choosing a salad over pasta or pizza isn’t easy. Don’t make it any harder by making the lettuce more difficult to eat. Wash lettuce ahead of time, and keep it fresh by storing in paper towels. The same idea works for fresh herbs as well.
Tip: Here’s the best way to wash your lettuce (yes, there is a better way).
5. Pre-Portion Your Desserts
It’s not realistic to think you’ll go all week without a craving for something sweet—so be prepared! Always have a sweet treat on hand, preferably in small portions. It can be easy to gorge even on healthy foods, but if you have your sweet treats portioned into appropriate servings, you will be less likely to lose control. Get some ideas for healthy desserts here.
6. Freeze Healthy Foods
You can cook chicken breasts or other healthy fare straight from frozen—including roasted veggies! You just need to cook them a little longer. So don’t be afraid to freeze items and keep them fresh until you need them.
7. Make A Big Batch Of Juice
Juicing is a healthy and delicious way to make sure you get your fruits and veggies, and juices can work as either a snack or a meal replacement. Yet prepping, cutting and making juices takes time! Well, you can do it all on Sunday night, and then store in the fridge for whenever you want some nutrient-packed juice. Reboot With Joe shares tips for how to store juice here.
8. Infuse A Pitcher Of Water
Don’t reach for soda or high-calorie coffee drinks when you get a craving during the week. Instead, fill up your water bottle with infused H2O and stay hydrated and healthy all week long. Check out these infused water recipes on Shape.
RELATED: 18 reasons you should drink lemon water everyday
Congrats, you are on your way to a healthier, happier you!