Your weight loss journey can seem overwhelming at times, especially when you’re fighting cravings and struggling to stay on track. Luckily, there are plenty of small steps you can take that will have a major impact on your overall health and waistline over time. Implementing these 10 simple meal prep tips will help ensure that you lose weight effortlessly and stick with it long-term.
1) Pack your lunch in the morning
Think of your lunch bag as a purse. You wouldn’t leave home without your wallet, keys, and phone. These items are essential for living a day-to-day life. Pack an empty container the night before to take with you the next morning on your way out the door so that when lunchtime rolls around, all you have to do is grab it and get going!
2) Divide big meals into two small ones
If you are looking for an easier way to prepare and eat your food, divide up your big meals into two separate dishes. This will allow for the time consuming part of cooking dinner – which is making all the components – to be divided into two tasks. That way, when you are at work, making dinner becomes a quick task and when it’s dinnertime, the second dish is already done! Simply bring the one that was prepped during lunch back home with you and heat it up!
3) Carry snacks with you at all times
There’s nothing worse than being stuck somewhere without the food your body needs. Whether it’s on a train, a plane, at work or out with friends, a good rule of thumb is to carry snacks with you so that you’re never hungry and always prepared for any situation. Making yourself more satisfied with smaller portions also makes you more likely to stick to your diet.
4) Use fruits and vegetables as snacks
Many people think that vegetables are not a good choice for snacks. The truth is, it is possible to create healthy snacks from vegetables and fruit without jeopardizing your weight loss goals. Vegetables and fruits can be eaten raw or cooked as long as they are steamed, boiled, or grilled with very little oil.
5) Carry healthy food with you at all times
The key is to have healthy food options with you at all times so that when hunger strikes, you have something that satisfies both your need for a quick meal and your desire for something healthy. Carry pre-cut veggies or packaged salads in the car, keep some boiled eggs on hand at work, put together packets of 100% whole grain crackers before bed so they’re easy to grab on the go.
6) Start your day right with a green smoothie
An easy and nutritious way to start your day is with a green smoothie. Green veggies like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and parsley contain potassium and magnesium that regulate blood pressure levels. This can prevent irregular heartbeats from affecting the blood flow through your body – an important thing for people who are at risk of heart disease or have already been diagnosed with it.
7) Cravings are normal, but choose wisely
Restricting the foods you eat can be hard. There are days when the only thing that sounds good is a giant piece of cake, ice cream, or brownies. But if I’m serious about my diet and my goals, then I have to resist those cravings because they’ll just lead me back into old habits. Sometimes it’s a lot easier than others but every time, I remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place and all of a sudden cravings don’t seem so bad.
8) Think about what will happen if you don’t follow through
Your hard work will be ruined. You might start feeling sad and defeated and your motivation levels may drop as a result. You might start giving up on your diet plan, resorting back to old habits, which is never a good idea when you’re trying to change something about yourself.
9) Add whey protein powder to shakes and smoothies instead of sugar or syrup
Protein shakes and smoothies are usually high in sugars, which add calories and make it harder for the body to use stored fat as energy. Replacing some of these high-sugar ingredients with protein powder will give your metabolism a boost and keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Whey protein powder is a great ingredient to add to your shakes and smoothies because it has a mix of both casein and whey, which slows down the release of carbs into the bloodstream, keeping you fuller for longer.
10) Choose plant-based meals over meat-based ones
Switching over to a vegan diet or simply incorporating more plants into your life can be a huge step in reducing the amount of animal products consumed and therefore, reducing your calorie intake. Not only will consuming less animal products boost your metabolism and make you feel healthier, but eating plant-based foods also helps lower body fat levels by aiding with weight loss. The only downfall is that most plant-based meals take more time for cooking than their meat counterparts, which is why it’s important to get prepared ahead of time!