If you’re just starting out learning to stay disciplined to a healthy diet, this post is for you. In this post, I’m going to give you the basics of meal prep for beginners with Domino Habit #2: Make time for meal prep.
This is a post in a series about The 4 Habits that I teach to all my clients. These are the pre-requisite habits one needs to master and always come back to in order to successfully stay disciplined to any healthy diet or lifestyle.
Notice the habit is “make time for meal prep.” Not “clean out your kitchen, quit sugar, go all organic, become a vegan / juicer / paleo / carnivore.” This is not the time to start dieting. Before you can be successful at any healthy diet, you must master The 4 Habits first. (Read the article to learn why.)
Meal Prep for Beginners: How to make time to meal prep:
Here are the steps to meal prep for beginners:
- I know it seems basic but get out your calendar and schedule some time to pick which recipes you will make this week and write a shopping list for those recipes.
That’s honestly the most important step in all of this and it’s the stop most people never do. That’s why so many people fail to make time to meal prep.
I don’t care what recipes or eating method you choose. Just make time to pick recipes you will prepare at home, even if you are a terrible cook and hate cooking.
(I used to HAAATE cooking because I was terrible at it. Now, I’m a lot better at cooking and I don’t hate it because I followed this habit and make preparing my own healthy food an natural and easy part of my life. You gotta start somewhere!)
If it’s your first time, I recommend scheduling an hour since it’s your first time trying to figure out what the heck you’re doing. In the future when you have more experience, you’ll probably only schedule 15 minutes (max) for this activity.
Choose 1-4 recipes for the week max. Trust me, the less variety in recipes, the easier this will be. And you will be surprised how little variety or recipes you will need to keep yourself interested and enjoying your meals. It’s ONE week… not ONE month. You don’t need a lot of variety to keep the week interesting. (It’s not like there’s that much variety in the sugar you’re eating. I know you are only gravitating to the same handful of trigger foods/drinks each week.)
- Next, schedule some time in your calendar to go grocery shopping. Take your pre-written shopping list with you and you’ll know EXACTLY where to go and what to do in the grocery store. You’ll be in and out of there in 15-30 minutes (max)! No more going to the grocery store 7 times a week, wandering around, and ending up in the frozen food or popcorn isle because you have no idea what to make for dinner this week.
- Finally, schedule time to cook your food and put it in containers for the week.
That’s it. Just cook up the food and put it in containers in one of two ways:
1) either bulk containers…. like all the cooked chicken in one container, all the cooked green beans in another large container, and so on like this:
2) or in pre-portioned meal containers like this:
That’s it! That’s Domino Habit #2: make time to meal prep!
Remember, I don’t care how or WHAT you eat. Just that you start practicing getting into the habit of making time to prepare food for yourself so you always have it on hand! But to help you get started, here are my favorite meal plans for meal prep for beginners:
The cookbooks and meal prep for beginners plans that I personally use every day:
- Healthful Pursuit’s Keto / Paleo Diet cookbooks and programs
- Here’s her book that I LOOOVE: Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo
- Book: Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans
- A free listing of tons her recipes on the internet.
- Well Fed
- Dr. Mark Hyman
- Maria Emmerich:
If you’d like to practice this, you can join the list below and I’ll send you a 7-day training on The 4 Habits. Just tell me where to send it below:
Learn the skills you need to stay disciplined to ANY healthy eating style.
Download this free 7 day training to learn four simple strategies that’ll give you the skills you need to stick to any healthy diet - for good.
You’ll also get the podcast delivered to your inbox each Monday.