I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” by Benjamin Franklin before. In relation to eating well, and hitting nutrition and diet goals, this pearl of wisdom is particularly relevant. Today our lives are so jam packed with different commitments that eating well can take a back seat, becoming an afterthought. Meals become something we fit in whenever we can, in any way we can. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways you can plan your nutrition for the week ahead. While batch cooking 28 identical meals, in 28 containers to store in your fridge for the week ahead, might work for some, it’s not for everyone. Meal prepping in that way doesn’t really work if you’ve got to fit food for 4 other people in the fridge as well, you like more variety in your food, or you want to eat the same meals as your family. So with this in mind, here are things you can do on the weekend, to help you succeed with your nutrition for the week ahead.
Do a weekly meal plan
Plan your meals for the week ahead, write a list of what meal you are going to eat on what evening and stick to it. Take into account evenings where you don’t have a lot of time to cook because you have something on and plan quick meals for those evenings. Writing a meal plan and shopping list, then sticking to it, will also reduce your grocery bill!
Cut your vegetables on the weekend
One of the barriers to eating vegetables is our laziness! Cutting vegetables ahead of time means not only are you more likely to eat them as a snack, but it will also reduce your nightly cooking time. Do you need an example? On Wednesdays I finish work and then take two of my children to activities, not arriving home until around 7pm. One of my go-to meals on this night is fajitas. To prepare, on Sunday I slice the chicken and cover it in spice, then cut up a huge batch of red onion, capsicum, and zucchini. I store these in containers in the fridge so that on Wednesday evening, all I need to do is heat up the wok and throw it all in to cook. Dinner is usually done within 10 minutes.
Cook enough for two meals
You may not have enough room in your fridge for a weeks’ worth of meals, but you can fit in leftovers! This means that instead of cooking 7 nights a week, you could cook every second night instead if you wanted, or at least not cook on nights when you know you are going to be busy. Ideal meals for this could be spaghetti bolognese or stir fry – just cook fresh rice or pasta.
If you are a person who likes meal prepping your own meals, we can help you out with that as well!
Sally Mitchell (BSc, MHumNut) is a scientist, university qualified nutritionist and VPA staff member. She brings a nerdy love of numbers, data, and science wit her to VPA. Her favourite VPA product is coffee Breakfast Shake. She enjoys powerlifting and running but, sadly, does both poorly.