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Meal Prepping vs. Meal Planning

Mar 25, 2022

By: Tayler Provost

Are you a "prepper" or are you a "planner"?!

When it comes to meal planning and meal prepping, there is a difference. Planning is as it states, a “plan”, which is less of a thought for most people. When you plan to go to the grocery store, do you make a list, or are you simply going and grabbing anything?

Meal prepping, which seems daunting for most people, can mean multiple different things. For example, maybe your really ambitious and prep your 3-core meals for each day of the week, or maybe you only prep 1-core meal for the week; for instance lunch. Prepping lunch is the most common to prep for the week since most people live a busy lifestyle and it is just easier to grab it and go in the morning.

Meal prepping can also mean “bulk” prepping. This means, you bulk cook an item such as chicken. That way you know your protein is already cooked, easily accessible and you will only have to cook your sides. You could also do it the other way around and you like to bulk cook your veggies, so that you just have to quickly grill/bake/air-fry a protein.

Dependent on what you have in your house or when you go shopping can determine when/if you decide to meal plan or prep. I know for me I tend to go to the store on a Thursday or Friday so that I have my food ready to prep for Sunday. Maybe meal prepping is never going to be something you do, so maybe you try to meal plan instead.

Quick tip; make a list! Take a moment before you take your trip to the grocery store, think about what you want to have throughout the week and base your list around those foods. There are so many ways for planning and prepping to be done. There is no correct answer. Try prepping AND planning and see which works best for you!

Maybe you choose one of these to try:

  1. Create an organized grocery list. 
  2. Plan out at least two dinners you’ll have throughout the week.
  3. Bulk cook a meat/protein for the week so you can be sure to have that “palm” size each meal.
  4. Meal prep 2 lunches for your work week. Maybe it's a leftovers from dinner the previous night. That way, you're not rushing in the morning and you know you're going to have something to eat. This is much better than choosing to go through the drive-thru or even worse, not eating at all. 
  5. Make a new recipe over the weekend and use that as a “meal prep” for breakfast or a post workout snack throughout the week!

Again, this step is not for everyone!! BUT doing some sort of “planning” is crucial for setting yourself up for success. 

 

Little tips to “stay on track” when shopping:

~ Shop mainly on the outside of the store - think the 4 corners/perimeter

~ Only get what is on your grocery list

~ Eat BEFORE going to the store so cravings don't tempt you. 

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