Do you find weightloss easier with food prepping?

I’m thinking about a way how I can stick to my diet and I am considering food prepping. Atm I just wing what I eat and always find my self struggling to put a meal together so I end up just picking on junk food instead or having a bowl of random stuff. I also find I go shopping and spend a lot of money on items and then don’t even use half of them or get carried away and buying extra food and eating more than I need. I was thinking of writing a food diary for the next week and only buying the items needed for those to make sure I stick to it and to save money instead of buying things I don’t need. Does anyone find food prepping an easier sustainable way to diet? Any other recommendations to stick to diet plan is welcome


  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,285 Member
    Not necessarily prepping, but planning, yes. Especially if I know I'm going to a party or some other setting where the food won't be entirely within my control.

    I do know roughly what I'm eating on a given day. I have the same breakfast 6 days a week. Lunch is either a veggie burger/cutlet on a challah roll, a burrito with imitation ground meat, or a salad involving 1/2 cup of corn, 2 veggie dogs, and a lot of raw veg. I do my major cooking once a week, and my main dish is 4 servings. I'm the only one who eats it, so that's 4 suppers. The other three days, I'll have eggs (omelet or frittata) or a vegetable stirfry. I love cheese too much to keep a lot of it in the house, but one day a week, I buy a cheese sandwich on a bagel; that's either Friday lunch, Saturday supper, or Sunday lunch. I usually eat big on Friday night (the Friday bagel is for the rare occasions when my main course is significantly lower in calories than usual), so typically my Friday lunch is going to be a single roll of vegetable maki sushi.

    So, I've got my habits and they help me. Not sure if they'll fit what you're looking for, but I find having a few "fixed" entries in my diary works, even if I don't plan it all in advance.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,206 Member
    edited February 2019
    Ps - I usually have the same breakfasts and lunches every day, so that makes things easier for me. This does change seasonally. This time of year, I make a big pot of Cuban rice & beans and have that for breakfast or lunch with an egg. The recipe makes enough for two weeks - I put 6 days worth in the frig and freeze the rest in two serving containers.

    I save my creativity for dinner, but do plan this ahead, based on reviewing the supermarket flyers and see what's on sale where, and getting recipes emailed to me from various sites and keeping what I'd like to try in the back of my head, plus meals that are staples in the rotation.
  • MsHarryWinston
    MsHarryWinston Posts: 1,027 Member
    I loooove meal prepping. I tend to prep my 4 work nights (I work 10 hr graveyards), then freestyle my 3 day weekend.
    This week I’m doing pineapple and light mozzarella for my breakfasts, and fried chicken, seared asparagus and spinach/cheese ravioli with tomato basil sauce for dinner. It puts me at just under 1,300 calories. Dinner this week is a TON of food. Breakfast is less volume but super filling.
    Normally I work sweets/snacks/etc into my main calories but I didn’t feel like it this week. If I REALLY crave something this week I can just eat it out of my exorcise calories.

    But I probably won’t because I have a big night on Friday, I won’t be tracking and I want my workout calories as a really big buffer.
  • StevefromMichigan
    StevefromMichigan Posts: 462 Member
    Another vote for meal prepping. I find this helps me stick to the plan. I can also weigh things in advance and take them to work so I can make sure than I am not overeating.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    I've never felt the need to do any meal prepping, but I also typically haven't run into the issues that you've laid out with regards to not using half of what I've bought at the grocery store and struggling to get a meal together. What I do do, however, is have a plan for what meals I'm making during the week and make a grocery list for that.

    I also have staples on hand. Different types of rice (basmati, calrose, and sticky), different types of flour (AP, whole wheat, and sometimes cake), beans (canned and dried), various canned tomato products, curry pastes, onions and garlic, pasta, various broths (I'll also make chicken stock), lots of spices, different sugars, baking powder, baking soda, etc.

    Given that I cook for one person and have no problem eating leftovers, making two main meals a week is pretty standard for me. This week it's roasted chicken marinated in a garlic pepper paste and channa masala. I also have some canned tuna that needs to be used so I'll make a niçoise salad as well. That meant my grocery list was: 1 chicken, basmati rice (I was getting low), butter lettuce (that is horribly out of season), broccoli, and frozen paratha. I could have made the paratha myself but I'm curious about the ones that are currently at Trader Joe's. My breakfast on weekdays is typically a bagel. My breakfast, or brunch, today will likely be crepes.

    My main issue is making sure that I bring my lunch as opposed to going to a salad bar or a food cart. That's more about money than it is about weight loss.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    I don't meal prep in the sense of setting aside a time to prepare several days' worth of meals in advance.

    I do meal plan extensively. I plan and pre-log the entire week's meals in advance and then shop for groceries on the weekend. I find a lot of advantages to this, including better control of how many calories I'm eating. I also make a lot of dinners that have leftovers, which we then eat for lunches, if that counts as meal prepping.
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    Like most others are saying...not so much prepping, but planning, absolutely.

    In my house we plan out a list of x number of lunches & dinners for the week and then buy only what we need to make those. We have very little food in the house by the end of the week (except staple stuff like rice, beans, flour, etc). We have almost zero food waste which helps with one goal, but it also helps to keep on track with healthy lower calorie meals.

    For breakfasts we eat the same 3-4 over & over and just replenish the supply for those.

    I think it's important to include stuff you will actually be excited about eating, even if that means incorporating a few less-than-ideal items that aren't the healthiest choices, or totally new & "exotic" meals. If I just prepped a bunch of veggies and chicken for the whole week (for example), I would find myself dying to go grab something more "interesting" from a restaurant by Day 2 or 3. I won't do that to myself! I know that sort of prep works for some, but not for me.
  • whatalazyidiot
    whatalazyidiot Posts: 343 Member
    Same as everyone else. I always plan, but rarely actually prep. But I log my meals and snacks ahead of time (I change them on the day if something else sounds good). For the most part, I stick with what I planned, and it does make it a lot easier to avoid last minute snacking.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,224 Member
    edited February 2019
    Yes. I find it very helpful. My calorie goal is not very large so if I don’t make a real effort to plan my meals, I don’t eat well (meaning imnnor getting the proper nutrition) and I’m pretty hungry. It takes some effort to come up with meals that check all the boxes (I find them filling, they give me adequate nutrition, they fit my calorie goal and they taste good).

    I need to plan but also follow through with the meal prep because if the things that check all the boxes aren’t ready to eat (or ready to put together in just a few minutes), then I’m going to wing it and it’s not going to go well.

    I don’t think of prep as makinf containers is broccoli rice and chicken though. I prep all my foods and depending on what it is (or my plan for the week), I’ll either portion it out at the start or have it all in a container and I’ll weigh out whatever portion I’m going to eat based on the calories I have for the day. If I make a curry or gumbo or something, I might pre portion it, or I might leave it all in one and weigh out whatever I’m going to eat. But having the food ready to eat is really an important piece for me.

    I have a list of staples-things that I eat all the time that are always part of my meals and those items are on my grocery list permanently. I have a whole stockpile of recipes that I want to try (or make again) and I generally match those up to what’s on sale at the grocery store to decide what I’m going to eat this week.
  • MikePTY
    MikePTY Posts: 3,816 Member
    I've done meal prepping before and have found it to at times be beneficial, and at other times be difficult. It's great if you can devote hours on a Sunday to making meals throughout the week, but I found that after a busy week of work/training, I'd rather use that time to rest and enjoy life. Instead I've gone more towards meal planning, and realized that I don't need to be a gourmet chef. I don't need to do a skinny taste recipe that takes 2 hours and has a dozen ingredients. I can go simple like making a sandwich in the morning to take to work to eat before I go to the gym, or buying thin sliced chicken and throwing it on the stove top grill for a few minutes along with tossing together a quick salad. Simplifying everything has allowed me to stay on track more than meal prepping did.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    I prep ingredients, not whole meals. Once a week I cook a bunch of roasted chicken thighs, a pork loin, usually some roasted root vegetables and grains - stuff that takes longer than 30 minutes to cook. Then I can quickly assemble it into different meals. I also make my breakfast (steel cut oats with milk, apples, and cinnamon) four days at a time using an instant pot.

    Whether or not you prep, it's essential to make good choices as easy as bad ones. That can mean buying pre-cut veggies, getting take-out from a restaurant that has healthy food, having berries and Greek yogurt in the house instead of high fat ice cream, or any of a variety of different tactics.

    As far as wasting food, two things helped me get organized. I use a meal planning app called Paprika, which allows you to input recipes, put them on a calendar, and makes up a grocery list. And I bought a whiteboard for my fridge to remind myself to use certain foods which like to hide in the back or bottom of the fridge. It takes some discipline to say, "I feel like fried chicken but I really need to use all that squash before it gets moldy," but you need to do it, or you wind up with a fat belly and a thin wallet!
  • makinemjellis
    makinemjellis Posts: 91 Member
    It helped me loads! I only prep lunches and it made my morning routine way easier, helped me figure out what I needed at the grocery store and helped me from grabbing unhealthy snacks if I didn't bring enough to eat (exception is any sweets people brought to work, my kryptonite!).
  • dippy_duck
    dippy_duck Posts: 18 Member
    I don’t always prep but I do meal plan. So I know exactly what I’m going to buy and eat for each day. I’m a stay at home mum so I’m lucky enough to just have to do this a day or so out and not for a whole week. I find if I don’t pre plan my eating day then I’m likely to snack and pick at food and over eat. My plan takes out all the thinking about what to eat and helps in cooking for the family too!
    I also like to make big meals that can do a couple of dinners or dinner and lunches. That takes out a lot of cooking time from my day too.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    edited February 2019
    Not for me. Prepping makes me want to eat something else just to rebel. I tried it, and even the best tasting things don't sound as attractive when I "have" to eat them. I plan my day in advance, but don't prep. Planning means I have a guideline but also the freedom to change anything about it whenever I want, prepping means I'm stuck with whatever I prepared for a whole week and I would have to spend hours to do it.

    it works for me because I shop for groceries whenever and just buy what I need. I only stock up on things that don't go bad and daily staples. Everything else I buy on the day I need it.

    You may not have my rebellious streak or access to easy daily grocery shopping, so prepping may be the way for you. Try it and see if it solves the problems you're having.
  • Tankiscool
    Tankiscool Posts: 11,105 Member
    Yes very much so! When I'm at work I'm always on go go go whether it's at my desk getting work done for a meeting or quickly running to a meeting, and yes literally running lol, so I can eat the same thing, honestly its about energy rather than having food out of enjoyment, which I do love on my time off, when I'm at work. I save my creativity for dinner time and weekends. I always have eggs and chicken with veggies during the week for my breakfast and dinner. My coworkers say I'm a creature of habit. But if I didn't do that I'd wind up buying those nasty burgers in the vending machine that cost way too much and not as filling or appropriate for my diet.
  • BrindleRun
    BrindleRun Posts: 28 Member
    I don’t really meal prep but I do meal plan for the week. I find that this helps me stick to my grocery budget, takes the stress away from trying to figure out what to make for dinner and keeps my fridge stocked with healthy options.
  • KetoZandra
    KetoZandra Posts: 132 Member
    I love food prepping. 1) it saves money because when I go to the grocery store you only buy what I need. 2) when I am tired and tempted it's easy to reach into the freezer and my dinner is a zap away. 3) it save money because I'm not buying my lunch. 4) my lunches are always better than everyone and they are jealous. 5) I put my favorite tv show on my computer in the kitchen and prepping seems to fly by 6) I cook once every 2 weeks. 7) way less cleaning of dishes. 8) I don't waste food. 9) I'm learning food portions. 10) I'm losing weight! 11) I'm on day 70 and still on plan and it's easy.
  • I don't meal prep the way I see on YT and Pinterest but every week I make a weekly menu with a list of snacks, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I've found that I am snacking less on random things and eating better things. I put the list on the fridge and another on my pantry door.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,465 Member
    100% yes for me personally. I have a crazy work schedule so I'll prep all my "work food" for the week on one day off. I know exactly what is in each in terms of macros etc. Then when I'm getting ready for work each day I'll just grab however many meals I need and put them in my little cooler that rides in the passenger seat of my work vehicle.