Planning Your Meals In Advance
Meal Planning, also known as meal prep, is the practice of putting together several days worth of meals together ahead of time. Why is this beneficial and why should you do it?
Preparing your meals in advance allow you a bunch of benefits. First, whether you are trying to lose weight or gain weight, it allows you to track your food consumption a lot easier. Judging serving sizes from your own cooking is far easier than most restaurants. Meal prepping is also a lot more affordable than going out to breakfast and/or lunch during the work week.
Chicken breast can be purchased for $1.99 a pound in most supermarkets around San Tan Valley. You have four servings of chicken breast in one pound. That drops your price per serving of chicken to about fifty cents. This means with vegetables, and a couple of servings of chicken, and a bottle of water, your lunch can be about $2.00 a day.
That is cheaper than any fast food value meal you can find while being healthier, more filling, and more convenient.
Chicken breast is famously the go-to item when on a diet, but you don’t have to be limited to just that. There are several lean red meats that are lower in calories and affordable to keep your price per meal down, while still giving you the nutrition and full feeling you need to get you through the day.
London Broil steaks/roast are incredibly lean red meats and come in at about 190 calories per four ounce serving. With a watchful eye, you can find plenty of deals for London Broils and other roast styled red meats. With the right sale, you can find the prices as low as $2.99 per pound. But, you can readily find sales in the $3.49-$3.99 range.
This is a little more “expensive” than chicken breast per serving, but it is still very affordable and cheaper than fast food or fast-casual restaurants. Meanwhile you are still keeping your calorie count low by using lean red meat.
Other variables for meal prep is Salmon, which offers a lot of nutritional benefits. Pricing without a sale runs between $7.99-9.99 a pound for the most part, but you can find it a lot lower on sale.
Lean burger patties are another great option. 90%-96% lean patties offer a lot of protein while keeping the calorie count low. The lean ground beef will be more expensive than the fattier ground beef. Prices can be between $4.99 – $6.99 per pound. A more affordable solution is turkey burgers. Pre-made patties can be commonly found for $3.33-$3.50 per pound with sales offered in the $2.50 per pound range.
When making burgers, keep an eye on the calories of the buns you select. Some buns can be in excess of 300 calories. But, if you look at other brands you can find buns in the 110-120 range and as low as 80 calories.
How to Prep
Most of us work Monday through Friday. Which means Sunday is a great day to meal prep for the week. Whether you zip lock bag everything or you have plastic containers, when you are finished cooking prepare your meals right there and separate everything into their own individual meal. This gives you a better understanding of how many meals you have and it allows you to quickly grab your meal as you head out to work.
Creating a Routine
Meal prep is something most people never do, so making it part of your routine will be an important part of sticking with it.
We suggest keeping it simple. Whether you are a novice cook or you are great in the kitchen, keep the meals simple, but enjoyable, at first so you minimize the time to prepare the meals while also preventing you from dreading eating the meals you’ve prepared.
Meal prepping is a great foundation for developing a good, strong diet and it can actually reduce your costs for meals.
As you progress in meal prepping, the next steps will be nutritional content, having a better understanding of a serving size, and knowing how many calories are in your meal. All of which are easy to understand and manage once you have a basic foundation to work from.
We will take a few examples of meals in this article and talk about servings, calories and what “macros” are.
This Week’s Incentive
As we did with last weeks article, we will offer an incentive that is tied to the information that we shared within this article. This week, since we spoke about meal prepping, our offer will be about one of our smoothies.
All of our smoothies are healthy and taste awesome, but some have a specific purpose to them. Our Formula 1 Power Drink Mix Smoothie comes in a few flavors, provides a ton of nutrition, while also providing you with 17 grams of protein and only 150 calories.
Stop in and give it a try! For added convenience we now have a remote location at Anytime Fitness on Bella Vista and Hunt Highway and will be available from 9 AM – 11 AM Monday through Fridays.
This Week’s Offer
Half off any Smoothie!
First time customers only!
Our smoothies are thick and cream and super healthy! From traditional smoothies to protein packed smoothies, to meal replacement smoothies, we have something for everyone! Just mention that you saw this ad on www.santantimes.com!
Live Lean Nutrition
San Tan Valley, Arizona 85143
Monday – Friday: 6 AM – 2 PM
Phone: (918) 734-1178