Nutrition

15 ways to save time on your meal prep and lose weight

We could all do with a few more hours in the day, but as that’s not looking possible any time soon – try some of our time saving tips here for getting healthy eating meals and snacks prepared faster.

And if you want to really get serious about losing weight and saving time, our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge has heaps of recipes that can be made in advance and frozen for later!

Here are 15 tips to help you out with your meal prep!

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15 AWESOME meal prep tips!

1. Get everything out first

Whether you are throwing together a salad or preparing a week’s worth of snacks – have everything you will need out and ready to go first. This means ingredients and utensils.

You will save valuable time if you don’t have to hunt through drawers for measuring cups or a (clean) sharp knife.

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2. Have plenty of plastic tubs on hand

Get yourself some good quality containers to use for storing chopped up veggies or prepared meals ready to reheat.

You could also use the take away style containers if you prefer, as they stack well in the fridge and freezer.

3. Keep rice in the freezer

If you like brown rice but haven’t got half an hour to spare to cook it every time – keep some cooked rice in the freezer.

Next time you’re cooking some, make double or triple what you need and then pop into single serve or family sized containers.

When you need to use it, defrost in the microwave, fluff with a fork, and it’s good to go. Perfect to go with a curry or casserole, or even to use for a quick tuna salad or spicy fried rice. You can do the same with other grains such as quinoa.

4. Double batch everything

Get into the habit of never cooking a single family-sized portion of foods such as bolognese or a casserole. Always make double and freeze half for those crazy nights. Pop a piece of sticky tape on top and write what it is so that it’s not ‘freezer surprise’. Double batching can help save money too through bulk ingredient purchasing.

This means you also save on a night of cleaning up! You can also do this with meals like pasta bake – just freeze it cooked, then when you want to eat it just pop back in the oven until golden and bubbling.

dec challenge week 3 meal prep

5. Cook dinner in the morning or at lunchtime

At about 5pm all around the country, witching hour rears its ugly head, making dinner preparation rather difficult.

If this is the case for you, try getting into the habit of preparing the bulk of your dinner at another time.

That might mean cooking your bolognese at lunchtime while the little ones rest or nap.

You might pop the slow cooker on at night time to make your casserole which you can reheat the next night.

6. Have snacks on hand

Rather than preparing a new snack for each morning and afternoon tea, prepare a big batch of snacks for the whole week.

Pop some muffins and some bliss balls in the freezer, and then you can mix it up with some fresh fruit or items from the fridge to give you a good variety of snacks without too much effort.

Healthy Christmas Snacks

7. Make smoothie bags for the freezer

For those times when you just need to prepare something in a flash, you’ll save valuable time if you can just empty a bag into the blender with some liquid to mix.

Make zip lock bags with enough fruit and mix-ins (such as oats, LSA, ice) for a single smoothie.

smoothie prep

8. Prepare meat before you freeze it

Rather than freezing a bag of mince or a packet of diced beef, try freezing it already prepped with flavour and seasoning.

That might mean making meatballs to freeze (raw) using some chopped herbs, feta and a handful of breadcrumbs. Or popping your diced beef in a zip lock bag with all of the chopped veggies ready to go for a stir fry.

9. Use ice cube trays for add-ins

There are some things you only need a bit of to add loads of flavour, and these can be stored in the freezer after being frozen in ice cube trays.

Think pesto, wine, stock, coconut milk or even yoghurt for smoothies.

10. Use the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipe hub

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The recipes on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are made to be fast to prepare, without fiddly preparation required.

Use these instead of trying out loads of new recipes from cookbooks – our recipes have all been made assuming you’ve got a crying toddler on your hip.

11. Prepare vegetables for the whole week

If you are using the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meal plans, you will know in advance what you are eating for the week. If that’s the case, you can prepare some of the veggies ahead of time and just store for when you need it.

Get out your food processor and grate some cheese, cabbage, and carrot; chop your onions, garlic and capsicums; and slice those mushrooms so they’re ready to be cooked. Store in the fridge in a plastic tub.

meal prep flat lay

12. Make breakfast a breeze

Some mornings you have time for cooking, other mornings you’ve just got to eat and go.

Prepare some healthy homemade muesli to keep on hand for those busy mornings. Or make one of our yummy and nutritious Healthy Mummy Smoothies – check loads of our smoothie recipes out here

And if you are new to the Healthy Mummy Smoothies – you can get them in the shop here – they are a healthy meal replacement smoothie and are free from artificial ingredients, contain no added sugars and have no fructose – plus are breastfeeding friendly

smoothies

13. Keep an inventory list

It’s well worth knowing what you have on hand before you shop so that you don’t end up with 14 tins of tomatoes.

A simple way to know what you’ve got is to make a list and stick it inside your pantry door (for store cupboard staples) and one on your fridge (so you know what meat you have, what meals are in there to defrost, and how many bliss balls or muffins you have frozen for the week).

14. Let your slow cooker do the work

If you have a slow cooker, get into the habit of using it for nights that you know are going to be busy. You could throw some soup, Bolognese , slow cooked meat balls, or a leg of lamb in there in the morning and then come home needing only to cook some pasta and make a salad.

Slow Cooked Porcupine Meatballs

15. Make a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday

Lunchtime is often another tough time to be prepping something, as the kids might be hungry too, or you might need to be settling them down to nap, or you might have a thousand loads of washing to put away.

Make life easier by having a couple of options for your lunch ready to go. It could be a big pot of soup (you could even freeze in single serve portions) for a soup and toast for lunch; or some roast veggies all ready to eat which you can use to make a quick veggie salad with some crushed almonds and crumbled feta.

Be INSPIRED by mums who have reached their goals

Rae Willingham

Rae-Willingham 2016 WL mum of the year winner

Mum of three children young children, Rae, has overcome negative self belief in the face of  some very big obstacles. After losing 25kgs* and maintaining her goal weight with The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges she says:

“I am no longer the girl who suffered debilitating anxiety and regular panic attacks. The one full of excuses not to go out and enjoy life. I am now this amazing butterfly who loves her life and lives it with no worries (well far fewer, I am still a woman after all!)”.

Jo Hart

Jo Hart 50-kgs 2016 WL mum of the year winner

Jo Hart not only rocks her new bikini, she has lost 38kg* with The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges.

She says:  “I am proud of the change I have made for not only me but for my family too”.

Join us on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!

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Want to take charge of your own health and weight – then join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge TODAY.

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an affordable, customisable program designed to help mums reach their weight loss goals and tackle their health.

Our Challenge entails:

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!

You can learn MORE about our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge here.

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The Healthy Mummy

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