Meal prepping is a surefire way to stick to a balanced diet. Considering you’ll have all your meals set for the week, it will be easy to stick with the program and avoid wasting any food. But there are specific things you should know and foods you should avoid while meal prepping.
Avoid at All Costs
Certain foods are wise to avoid altogether, so keeping them away from your meal prep should be easy. As tasty as greasy food, a bag of chips, and a sugary snack can be, those brief minutes of bliss aren’t worth it. When you avoid including these foods during your meal prepping, it should decrease your cravings as time moves along. Try these substitutes as a healthier alternative.
- Mixed nuts over potato chips: The “I bet you can’t eat just one” ad campaign of Lays is spot-on. However, the empty calories add up. Mixed nuts may help with the salty craving while adding protein and saturated fats to your diet.
- Dried fruit over sugary snacks: Dry fruit is best for meal preppers because it doesn’t go bad as quickly as fresh fruit does.
- Fish over greasy fast food: Even while eating it, you can tell how much lighter fish is than other proteins. Thai fish curry reigns supreme over a burger any day of the week.
Some food choices are better than their alternatives, but they still have drawbacks. The “in-betweeners” include salads, pasta, and baked goods. As wonderful as salads are for lunch, you might not have as much luck trying to eat them for dinner. Generally, salads aren’t that filling, causing you to look for a snack toward night’s end.
Pasta is one of the most contentious food choices. While pasta has more carbs than the typical piece of fish or grilled chicken, whole-wheat and chickpea pasta are fantastic substitutes with loads of complex carbs, protein, and fiber. There’s no need to restrict pasta from your prepping, particularly because it warms up so well.
Healthy but Iffy
Knowing what’s healthy for you is only half the battle. You can follow all the tips for a first-time meal prepper to a T and prepare exquisite meals, only to find they taste like cardboard after reheating them. It’s vital to cook and prepare foods that satisfy your tastebuds a few days after you make them.
As healthy and tasty skin-on chicken can be in the moment, it can taste like you’re eating a shoe after a minute in the microwave. Shrimp and scallops are another scrumptious food in the present, but you will regret it in the future. Lastly, veggies are a meal prepper’s best friend, although roasted veggies can be iffy and soggy after warming them up.
If you were to use these foods in your prep, it’s best to repurpose them into other foods to eliminate that rubbery texture. You can shred the chicken and make a protein bowl, use the shrimp in pasta, and use the veggies for a frittata to make the best of the situation.
Knowing what food you should avoid while meal prepping and the alternative options should help you stick to your meal plan, leading to healthier decisions.