One of the best tools I have found when losing weight or trying to change my eating habits has been learning to prepare meals ahead of time.

I get it, I’ve been there.
Having the best intentions until finding yourself in a situation where you need to eat but the urge to let it slide, just this one time and start again tomorrow. When I prepare meals and snacks ahead of time, it takes temptation out of the equation and I found that I stopped running through the drive-thru and learned to love and prefer healthier foods.

The Money Issue

Sundays became my cooking evening. I would blast some fun music, either find a tasty and healthy recipe or get creative and create my own recipes. I make a main course or two with extra ingredients that I can easily mix and match to keep my diet versatile, fresh, and family friendly.

Saving time and money was an unexpected perk of being a step ahead and learning to prepare meals in advance. The financial savings was a blessing in disguise initially. I was worried about the cost of eating cleaner and trying to stick to organic and non-GMO foods, but it turns out, it was a non-issue. (It’s one of the most common concerns I hear when it comes to clean eating. Ironic, it was also one of mine) I’ve found that over half the time I used to eat out, it was because of indecision about what to eat or not feeling like cooking.

BOOM!

Problem solved.

I love it when the solution fairy visits me without even summoning her!

The time thing is worth more than gold these days. I find that my schedule is usually filled to the brim. Do you have any idea how much time we waste in contemplation? In trying to make a decision, we waste tons of time.

But what about time?

Saving time is also a perk of learning to prepare meals ahead, and that’s something that appeals to everyone. Preparing meals ahead of time means you’re taking a break from the daily hassle of wondering what to fix for dinner, running out the door without breakfast and frequenting expensive restaurants or high-calorie fast food for lunch.

Those vending machines for snacks can also be expensive and unhealthy.

Just Try for a Couple Weeks:

Choose one time per week to cook.

Set a day and stick to it. This because a major life hack for me. I am always short on time and indecisive so setting one day each week that I knew that I would be cooking was a HUGE relief. Through the week I jot down meals or foods I’d like to have (or even try), then when it came time to go grocery shopping it didn’t take much time to come up with a list. Then the convenience of only getting into the nitty-gritty of cooking has made it so much more pleasant! Instead of frantically trying to toss something edible (and healthy) together, it’s already there. It also saves a ton of time in cleaning up the mess!

Use a crock pot to save time and effort.

There are so many healthy slow cooker recipes available today that can save you time, effort and money. Or you can get creative and craft your own recipes by tossing in some meat, veggies, yummy spices, and maybe a drop of essential oil or two (plus liquid), then go out and enjoy your life while it’s cooking.

I actually didn’t even own a proper slow cooker until the past year and whoa! That thing is pretty handy. (additional life hack… when you are doing your meal prep for the week, get everything ready for the crock pot then. That way, when the day comes, it is literally a dump and go ordeal)

 

Plan for snacks.

Some schools of thought claim you should eat every few hours, some claim only at traditional meal times. I am pretty sure that we can all agree that the starving, stomach gurgling hunger isn’t good for anyone though.

This is where the rubber meets the road and you want to be prepared. This is also where I took my very first action step in losing weight. Carrying a healthy snack option or two when out and about can save time, money, your health, and your waistline. I personally loathed apples but they were super easy to carry and over time I learned to love them. Find what you enjoy and take a serving or two so you have a healthy snack readily available when you need it.

Don’t take it to the extreme, but there is nothing wrong with a little repetition

You want to find food that you actually like eating. It’s important and it keeps it reasonable. There is nothing wrong with having the same meal more than once a week sometimes. I find it helpful to rotate “staples”. So every month or so I switch it up. Sometimes I go through stir-fry phases, sometimes I’m feeling more like throwing my home-made falafels in everything, and sometimes I am stuck on ground beef. I am a huge fan of repurposing ingredients and meals because it makes like that much simpler.

Healthier eating…

As you start learning to prepare meals ahead, you can start making little shifts to make your eating habits even healthier. This may mean using less processed ingredients or trying to prepare more meals from scratch. It can be a simple as playing the detective and substituting foods for healthier options.

If you want to learn more about how to clean up your eating habits, grab the clean eating guide. It will show you what you want to work towards and what foods you may want to move away from.

Get the FREE Beginners Guide to Clean Eating

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