Today is the first day I have done a full round of meal preparation. I can highly recommend it if you’re trying to lose weight. It doesn’t take as long as you think, and there’s products like the ISOBag system and seasoning pots that are designed to help you.
On the seasoning pots, there’s some confusion. People seem reluctant to give them a go because they don’t want to add extra calories. Check out the nutrition information from The Gym Chef – it speaks for itself. I’d rather add 20 calories and unlock unlimited flavour rather than shave off 20 calories and be forced to eat a dry chicken breast.
Top Newbie Tips for Prepping
DO NOT bother with meal prep and delivery services
One meal prep company offers 8 meals for £40. That’s £5 per meal. You need 10 or 15 if you include breakfast. That’ll be £75 per week for your working week alone, or £105 per week if you go whole hog and get your whole week delivered to you. Looking at that monthly and it’s around £455 per month, or £5,460 per person per year.
Compare that to supermarket shopping. A family of 3 can easily thrive on a generous £120 per week. It’s high like that because you need to buy quality ingredients and the cost of living is going up. That’s £40 per person in the family. Divide that by 21 meals (all week) and you get £1.60 per meal. Or if you just want to divide by the working week it’s £2.66.
So either way you cut it, using a meal prep service could cost you over 100% MORE than making your own meals.
Caveat: If you’re not in the right mental place to prep your own meals then these services can be helpful in taking the burden of choice away from you. This can be very helpful to people trying to lose weight. My argument is not over whether or not they’re any good, it’s purely a cost-based argument. They do work, and they may be best for you, but you will pay extra for it. A lot extra.
Put some music on
I created a ‘Prepping Playlist’ that I take with me into the kitchen. This is going to be my time to enjoy.
Send your partner away
Unless you live with a fellow prepper you really need to think about prep time as you time. Send away your partner and the kids if necessary so they can’t distract you. My partner complains about the mess I make, eve though I always clean up afterwards. But if she sees it and starts moaning I get stressed. So I send her away now so all she ever sees is a clean kitchen.
I used to buy cheap ingredients but I certainly enjoy cooking with fuller, fresher and obviously higher quality ingredients.
I get all of my chicken and eggs from Olympus Foods. They provide fresh from their farm, which is just up the road from me (though they deliver everywhere). I’ve been there, I’ve seen the conditions and I’m happy with what I’m getting.
Invest in chopping boards
Invest in Good Quality Knives and an Apron
You will really feel the difference, and it gets very frustrating trying to cut with bad knives. You should browse Amazon for a knife you can get along with. Don’t forget to keep it sharp!
Invest in an ISOBag
My life changed when I got one of these bags. I also got some extra containers so I can prep ahead. I only need the 2/3 meal bag and it’s absolutely brilliant – compartments, freezer block and just so damn handy.
Invest in Seasoning Pots
I use The Gym Chef’s seasoning pots. The company is run by a friend of mine, so I know everything there is to know about the seasonings he produces. They have no added salt, no added sugar, they’re gluten free, vegan friendly and just brilliant.
I prepare 5 breasts for the week ahead. I cook them all at once and put one of each flavour on the top.