How to Meal Prep — A Beginner’s Guide

Meal preparing is the conception of preparing whole reflections or dishes ahead of schedule. It’s particularly popular amongst busy people because it can save a lot of time. 

Having Pre-prepared reflections on hand can also reduce portion size and help you reach your nutrition pretensions. This way, you ’ll avoid unhealthy options like Television feasts or takeout, especially when you ’re overwhelmed or exhausted. 

And since it requires you to determine what to eat ahead of time, mess preparation can lead to further nutritional mess choices over the long term. 

Despite what people may suppose, there are colorful ways to mess fix — not all of which involve spending a whole Sunday autumn cooking dishes for the week to come. You can choose styles that work stylish for you. 

We ’ve partnered with WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) to explore the most important principles of mess preparing and break down the process into many simple ways. 

Different Ways to Meal Prep 

You may suppose that cooking reflections for the week ahead will consume a big knob of your weekend. 

Still, because there are colorful ways to mess fix, you do n’t have to stand in the kitchen for an entire Sunday autumn. Everyone can find a suitable mess medication style. 

The most popular ways to mess- fix include 

Make- ahead refections Full reflections cooked in advance which can be cooled and reheated at mealtimes. This is particularly handy for dinner time refections. 

Batch cuisine Making large batches of a specific form, also unyoking it into individual portions to be firmed and eaten over the coming many months. These make for popular warm lunch or regale options. 

Collectively prorated refections Preparing fresh refections and prorating them into individual heist-and- go portions to be cooled and eaten over the coming many days. This is particularly handy for quick lunches. 

Ready-to- cook constituents Preparing the constituents needed for specific reflections ahead of time as a way to cut down on cuisine time in the kitchen. 

The system that will work stylish for you depends on your pretensions and diurnal routine. 

For case, make-ahead breakfasts might work stylishly if you ’re looking to streamline your morning routine. On the other hand, keeping batch- cooked reflections in your freezer is particularly handy for those who have limited time in the gloamings. 

The different mess- preparing styles can also be mixed and matched depending on your own circumstances. Start by choosing the most charming system, also sluggishly trial with the others to determine what suits you stylish. 


There are numerous ways to mess fix, depending on your pretensions, schedule and mess preferences. Some options include making large batches to be firmed, full refections to be cooled and separate portions to be combined as you see fit. 

Picking the Right Number and Variety of Refections 

Figuring out how numerous rejections to make and what to include in each mess can occasionally be tricky. 

The stylish way to plan ahead is to first decide on which reflections you ’d like to concentrate and which mess- preparing system fits your life. 

Also, check your timetable to decide the number of breakfasts, lunches and feasts you ’ll need for the forthcoming week.

You can also use an app to figure out what to make. For illustration, the WW app has a new point known as “ What’s in Your Fridge?” that provides form suggestions grounded on the foods you have on hand. 

Also, remember to regard for times you ’re likely to eat out — for example, on dates, at brunch with musketeers or at customer feasts. 

When opting which reflections to make, it’s stylish to start with a limited number of fashions that you formerly know. This will ease your transition into mess planning. 

That said, it’s also important to avoid picking only one form for the whole week. This lack of variety can lead to tedium and wo n’t give your body the nutrients it needs. 

Rather, try picking reflections that contain different vegetables and protein-rich foods, as well as varied complex carbs similar to brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes. Integrating a submissive or vegan mess into the blend is another way to add variety. 


The right number of reflections depends on your individual routine and needs. Variety is crucial to furnishing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other salutary composites it needs. 

Tips to Cut Down on Cooking Time 

Many people look forward to spending hours in the kitchen while mess preparing. This is only natural since the crucial incitement for mess preparing is reduced cuisine time. 

 The following styles will help streamline fix and cook times. 

Stick to a Harmonious Schedule 

Mess preparing workshop best when you stick to a regular schedule. Knowing exactly when you ’ll shop for groceries and fix your refections will help you form a good routine. 

For case, you might reserve Sunday mornings for grocery shopping and mess preparing. Or you could elect Monday gloamings for making lunches for the rest of the week. 

The schedule is over to you and should fit your daily routine. Keep in mind that picking specific times and sticking to them will simplify the decision- making process, freeing up internal space for other effects. 

 Pick the Right Combination of Fashions 

Picking the right combination of fashions will help you come more effective in the kitchen. 

To save time, elect fashions taking different cuisine styles. Having too numerous fashions taking the same appliance — the roaster, for case — will limit the number of dishes you can prepare at formerly. 

 This is especially important when opting make-ahead refections or for batch cuisine. 

 A good rule of thumb is to stick to one roaster mess and a outside of two stovetop refections at formerly — for illustration, loaded ignited potatoes, a stir- shindig and a haze. 

Also simply add refections that do n’t bear cuisine to the blend, similar as sandwiches or salads. 

 Organize Your Prep and Cook Times 

 A well- allowed-out workflow will save you a lot of time in the kitchen. 

To stylish organize your fix and cook times, start with the form taking the longest chef time. This is frequently the haze or roaster mess. Once that mess is underway, concentrate on the rest. 

Reserve the cold refections for last since they can fluently be made while the other refections are cooking. 

For redundant time savings, double- check the constituents for all fashions before starting. This way, if two fashions bear minced onions or julienned peppers, you ’ll be suitable to hash the total volume as before. 

Using automated widgets similar as a rice cooker or slow cooker can further streamline your workflow. 

Make a Shopping List 

Grocery shopping can be a big time spendthrift. 

To half the time you spend in the grocery store, keep a detailed grocery list organized by supermarket departments. 

This will help doubling back to a preliminarily visited section and accelerate your shopping. 

Limiting grocery shopping to formerly per week and making use of a grocery delivery service are two fresh ways to spend lower time shopping. 


To cut time in the kitchen, stick to a harmonious schedule and make use of a shopping list. Picking the right combination of reflections and organizing your cuisine is also important. 

Picking the Right Storage Containers 

Your food storehouse holders can make the difference between a fabulous or medium mess. 

Then there are some vessel recommendations.

Watertight holders for ready-to- cook constituents Washable, applicable silicone baggies and pristine sword holders are great for keeping constituents crisp and foods fresh. 

BPA-free microwavable holders These are both accessible and better for your health. Pyrex dinnerware or collapsible silicone holders are some good options. 

Freezer-safe holders These will limit freezer burn and nutrient losses. Wide- mouth mason jars are ideal, as long as you leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of headspace so food can expand as it freezes. 

Leak- evidence, compartmentalized holders These are great for lunches or refections which bear constituents to be mixed at the last nanosecond. One good illustration is bento lunch boxes. 

Stackable or also shaped holders will help optimize the space in your refrigerator, freezer or workbag. 


Containers are accessible and save space. They can also help your refections taste better and retain further nutrients. 

  • Cuisine, Storing and Reheating Foods Safely 
  • Food safety is an important yet overlooked element of mess preparing. 

Cuisine, storing and reheating foods at the right temperature can help food poisoning, which affects an estimated9.4 million Americans each time . Then are some government-approved food safety guidelines.

Be aware of proper temperatures Make sure your refrigerator is kept at 40 °F (5 °C) or below and your freezer at 0 °F (-18 °C) or below. 

Cool foods snappily Always chill fresh foods and reflections within two hours of purchase or cuisine. For quick cooling, spread out cooked foods in shallow holders and incontinently place in your refrigerator. 

Keep storehouse times in mind: Cook fresh meat, flesh and fish within two days of purchase and red meat within 3 – 5 days. In the meantime, keep them on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. 

Cook at the right temperatures. Flesh should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165 °F (75 °C), as this kills most bacteria. 

Thaw foods safely Flux firmed foods or reflections in your refrigerator rather than on your countertop. For faster thawing, submerge foods in cold valve water, changing the water every 30 twinkles. 

Reheat foods only formerly The further times you cool and overheat a food, the advanced the threat of food poisoning. That’s why defrosted foods should only be reheated formally. 

Reheat foods at the right temperature All reflections should be reheated to 165 °F (75 °C) before being eaten. Frozen reflections should be reheated and eaten within 24 hours of defrosting. 

Use markers Remember to marker and date your holders so that you can consume foods within the food-safe period. 

Eat foods within the right time period. Cooled reflections should be consumed within 3 – 4 days and frozen reflections within 3 – 6 months (3). 


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