Fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand, and it’s safe to say we are all familiar with that concept. But as college students, keeping up with nutrition goals is often easier said than done. From a busy class schedule to an undeniable urge to use your down time to binge watch One Tree Hill, eat peanut butter cups and cozy up for a nap, consistently eating healthy becomes seemingly more and more unrealistic, and downright tiring. Fear not, college students. There’s an easy way to ensure healthy eating and once you start, you’ll be able to stay on track with your fitness goals!
We give you: meal prep! Ah, the dreaded “meal prep.” It sounds daunting, I know, and often becomes too overwhelming to even begin. But planning out your meals makes your weeks way less stressful when it comes to dinner time, and helps you be more in control of what you are eating! With the following tips, you’ll be a meal prep pro in no time!
Start Out Small
Don’t expect to prepare 21 meals at once. You don’t need to prepare three meals a day, nor prepare enough for the entire week. Instead, try to prepare one meal for three days. For example, prepare lunch for the next three days and store in sealable containers! That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Don’t make meal prep more difficult than it has to be by putting too much on your plate (no pun intended).
Plan It Out
Plan it out before you start cooking. Throwing a few chicken breasts in the oven probably won’t be satisfying. Brainstorm a meal idea that you’ll look forward to eating and make sure it has a balanced amount of protein, carbs, and fats. You might even want to run to the grocery store to pick up some items, but the cheaper, the better. Get a to-go box from the dining hall with some ingredients from the salad bar if you are on a budget! See what you have to work with first!
Don’t Make it Complicated
When you first begin meal prepping, keep your recipes fairly simple. The whole point of meal prep is to make your life easier, so there is no need for elaborate recipes. Try a lean protein, such as chicken, fish or turkey, with quinoa and a side of veggies. Once you get used to meal prep, you can play around a little more with complex recipes.
Different things will work for different people, but using these tips will lead you in the right direction. Meal prep saves time and money (and sanity) so try it out!
By: Alanna Sadler