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Time-Saving Meal Prep Hacks: Unlock Efficiency

Healthy meal prep

Did you know you can save yourself 30-60 minutes EACH NIGHT by taking these simple meal prep steps? In doing so, you'll unlock the keys to achieving your weight loss and health goals.

Picture this: It’s Tuesday night, you’ve had a long, stressful day, and now you’re staring at the fridge (already hungry) wondering what the heck to cook for dinner. 

Cue the overwhelm and decision fatigue. After all, you’ve been making decisions and in  “go go go!” mode all day…the last thing you want to do is spend an hour or more cooking and cleaning.

Which is exactly why many busy people throw their weight loss and health goals out the window by about 7 pm each night in favor of a quick delivered meal. 

The good news is that in just 60 minutes of active effort over the weekend, you’ll save yourself HOURS during the week.

And just think of the hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars you’ll save by cooking at home more often.

Check out some of my best time-saving tips for meal planning and preparation that even the busiest people can use to achieve their ideal healthy lifestyle.

Start by mapping out your week.

Planning a weekly menu

Before you decide what to cook or run off to the grocery store, think about what your week actually looks like. 

Do you expect any late nights? When do the kids have games or late practices? Do you have a big presentation coming up that is sure to wipe out your energy? 

Once you know what your week looks like, then you can decide how much energy and time you’ll actually have to cook throughout the week. 

On busy or particularly stressful days, plan to cook something quick, or eat leftovers. If you think you’ll have more time and energy, that’s a great night to try a new or more time-consuming recipe.

But don’t fall into the trap of trying to cook something elaborate if you’re not getting home until 7 pm, even if it would be the “healthiest” dish you could make. 

You’ll save yourself at least 30-60 minutes each night by meal prepping beforehand.

Save your energy for the right tasks.

If you’ve ever spent an hour at the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon, you’ve probably gotten home completely exhausted.

Grocery shopping

At that point the last thing you want to do is start chopping vegetables.

Instead, build a comprehensive grocery list online (which you can do all at once or throughout the week) and get the groceries delivered to you.

It may cost a few extra dollars but then you can use that otherwise wasted energy to actually prep meals for the week. 

A much better use of your limited time!

On a similar note, consider purchasing pre-chopped vegetables or pre-marinated meats. They’re generally a bit more expensive, but again, your time may be more valuable.

Leverage batch cooking.

Maximize efficiency and minimize cooking time by preparing larger quantities of food at once. You can do this by doubling or even tripling recipes. 

Batch cooking together

This ends up taking about the same amount of time but you’ll get way more food out of it in the end.

Set aside the portions you plan on eating throughout the week and then freeze the rest in single-serving containers. Those extra portions will come in handy when you have zero motivation to cook or when you return from traveling.

Invest in time-saving tools.

You would be amazed at how much time and energy you’ll save by investing in a few key kitchen tools. 

My top recommendations are: 

  • Slow cooker

  • Instant Pot

  • Food processor 

  • Blender

  • Extra large cooking sheet

Instead of hand-chopping vegetables, I often throw them into the food processor and let the machine do the work for me. If your food processor has a slicer or grater attachment, you can use it for virtually any type of chopping.

Spiralizer for meal prep
I use my spiralizer to quickly turn raw vegetables into "noodles."
Food processor for meal prep
The food processor comes in handy for quick chopping and slicing.

I’ll also do some passive prep by throwing a few pounds of chicken into the Instant Pot or slow cooker to cook while I’m actively prepping other ingredients. 

If you're trying to make a sauce or soup, a high quality blender (or immersion blender) is a great investment. A high quality blender like a Ninja or Vitamix also won’t explode when you blend hot food items (we love that).

I recently purchased a “Texas-sized” baking sheet and let me tell you…it’s been a game changer. Now I can make single sheet pan meals that last half the week.

Embrace one pot and sheet pan meals.

Speaking of utilizing your tools…

If you have a particularly busy week ahead, opt for recipes that allow you to cook an entire meal in a single pot or on a sheet pan. 

Casseroles, soups, stews, chili, etc.

This reduces both prep and cleanup time, making it a time-efficient choice. 

Pair meal prep with something enjoyable.

Knowing that meal prep is a necessary step, you might as well turn it into an enjoyable experience.

So put on a great playlist, TV show, podcast, or audiobook and turn meal prep into a process you love.

I've transformed meal prep into "me time" by saving my favorite podcasts specifically for this process.

Choose to do it anyway.

At the end of the day here's the truth...

If you want to feel better, improve your health, and avoid unnecessary eating out, you have to be willing put in the time on the front-end.

Man cooking healthy food

That means choosing to just do the prep work, even when it's not exactly how you want to spend your free time.

If your goals are important to you though, you don't need full-on motivation to get there...

You simply need to be willing to take small steps.

So commit to just 1 hour of weekend meal prep. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

Meal prep does not have to be complicated or take forever. Again, when in doubt, simply ask yourself: What can I do ahead of time to make the cooking process shorter and easier?

Is it time to prioritze yourself?

Knowing with certainty what and how to eat for weight loss and health is hard, especially if you're super busy with limited time to research the "best diets" out there.

That is exactly why I recommend getting an expert involved to help you achieve your ideal healthy lifestyle as efficiently and simply as possible.

For this reason, I set aside time each week to talk to busy individuals like you about how they can easily lose the weight, improve their cholesterol or blood pressure, and boost their energy with just a few strategic actions.

Schedule your 30-minute complementary consultation with me today and I'll show you how just a few powerful changes can completely change your life.


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