If you've ever taken the time to prep your meals for the week, you know how rewarding a process it can be. Not only does it make mealtime 100 times easier, but it also allows you to make healthier choices — most of the time, that is.
Just because you're prepping meals doesn't mean they're all going to be healthy. Check out some common meal prep mistakes below to see if you need to change your routine.
You're skimping on the produce.
It's easy to focus on easily reheatable foods like chicken and pasta during meal prep. But fruits and veggies should actually make up 50 percent of your meal! Plus, prepping your fruits and veggies now will ensure they end up in your belly instead of molded over in the trash. However, for some produce like tomatoes and avocados, it's better to wait until you're ready to eat to slice into them.
You're not prepping snacks.
Just because you're trying to lose weight doesn't mean you can't snack! Healthy snacks are actually key to staying on track when it comes to your fitness and weight loss goals. If you know you'll be at work for most of the day, pack an apple and string cheese to prevent that mid-afternoon vending machine trip.
You pack the same meal every day.
While it's easier than dreaming up new meal options for every day, chances are you'll get burnt out on the same grilled chicken on top of a spinach salad for lunch every day. Need some inspiration? Check out our massive recipe index here.
You eat while you prep.
Taste testing here and there is one thing, but mindless snacking just undermines the entire point of meal prep. To ensure you're not overeating during prep time, make sure you've already eaten. Or, work while chewing a stick of gum to be even more cautious.
You use the wrong portion sizes.
If weight loss is your goal, chances are you could be packing portion sizes that are actually too small, which could result in indulging or overeating later on and ruining the progress you've made. On the other hand, too-large portion sizes are no good, either. To find out what your portion sizes should look like, click here.
You use bottled sauces.
While obviously convenient, a lot of bottled sauces, dressings or marinades come packed with extra sodium, sugar and other additives. Try making your own in large batches so you know you're getting the good stuff and the good stuff only.
[H/T Instagram / @sadiekins_tiu]