How to Start Meal Prepping
If you want to save time and money while also dialing in on your health and fitness goals, meal prepping is key!
When starting to meal prep if you have never done it before can be intimidating, confusing, and time consuming.
Top Knot Strong wants to go over how to get started meal prepping the right way. Then you can take it and make it better to fit you and your lifestyle.
How to get started:
1. Know your daily calorie and macro targets
What are calories exactly?
Calories are a measure of energy expenditure and stored energy.
Calculating your calories will be based off of the goal that you are trying to achieve and how much you need on a daily basis from your current lifestyle.
Losing weight: You are going to have to consume less than what you are burning through the day.
Gaining weight: You are going to have to consume more than what you are burning through the day.
Maintaining: You are going to have to consume around the same amount of calories that you are burning through the day.
What are macros?
Macros are macronutrients that make up the caloric content of food. Mostly made of up of 3 categories: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
Calculating your macros is dependent on your desired body type and what you need.
Each program made and provided with Top Knot Strong will have set macros to become shredded, build muscle, or recomposition your body.
Through our Fitness and Nutrition Coaching we will create and calculate the calories and macros for you, then make adjustments as needed to help you in reaching your goals.
2. Write out meals you would like to make for the week
Draw up some inspiration from Pinterest, or some of your already favorite meals to make healthier versions of them.
You are aiming to have 5-6 smaller meals through the day:
As a rule of thumb, we try to have some kind of protein in almost every meal. So a typical day would look like this:
Breakfast - protein, veggie, carb, fat
Snack - protein, fruit
Lunch - protein, veggie, carb
Snack - fruit, veggie, fat
Dinner - protein, veggie, carb
Snack (optional) - protein, veggie
After you have put your meals together, you have created your own meal plan for the week! WOO!
3. Plug them into an app like MyFitnessPal
Now it's time to plug them into an app to see if your meals line up with your calorie and macro target so that you are making progress.
Plug all foods into the app and don't forget any sauces or drinks!
This is where you will be able to make adjustments as needed in the serving sizes. If you are over on something, you can adjust the serving size to be smaller or take it out completely.
This will help later to know how to portion everything out after you have made it all for the week.
4. Create grocery list from meals then go shopping
Now that you have the meals and the foods that you will be having for the week, it is time to create a grocery list.
Write down everything that you need and don't already have. Seasonings and all.
Remember you will be typically making food for 5-7 days, so you will need to multiply the portions that you have for one day for the amount of days that you want to make for so that you will have enough.
Example: If you plan on having 1 cup of grapes every day, you will need to have 7 cups of grapes for the week.
5. Start with the food that will take the longest
Ready to save some time when prepping food?
Meal prepping for the week typically takes 1-2 hours. Which is really saving time already from you having to make food and meals every single day.
The first time you meal prep it may take longer but here are our tips to make it painless as possible and as fast as possible:
- Start with the foods that will take the longest - usually potatoes, carbs, and some proteins in large quantities
- While cooking the food that will take the longest always be working and prepping the next food you are going to make - cutting, chopping, seasoning, cleaning
These are huge ways to save you time!
6. Portion everything out
Now after you have everything made and ready to eat, it's time to portion everything out for your meals.
Go back to your app that you used to determine how much of everything you were going to have in your meals, then lay out your containers and measure/weigh out one food at a time.
Continue until you have completed making your meals and putting them together.
7. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Now that you have your meals you can put them away and pull them out as needed.
Things to keep in mind:
- Some foods keep better than others and some won't last 7 days after being prepared
- Seafood typically is only good for up to 3 days
- Raw fruits and veggies will last longer but that doesn't mean you have to eat everything raw
- Be patient! The first time might take you longer, but like everything else - you get better the more you do it.
Now you are ready to meal prep like a pro!
Show us your meal prep by tagging @topknotstrong on Instagram!