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How to meal prep: 3 easy steps to plan your meals like a pro

Meal prepping is a total gamechanger

If one of your New Year resolutions was to stay on track of your health and fitness goals, meal prepping is a great way to start. 

SEE: 7 best juice cleanses to try in 2022: From an immune-boosting detox to celebrity-favourite cleanse

We've all seen the Instagram-worthy kitchen counters lined with glass containers of rainbow-coloured food - but meal prepping is more than just an aesthetic. Preparing your meals in bulk might seem daunting at first, but ensuring every meal you eat is a perfectly balanced dish will not only help support your fitness journey, but will also save you time and money.

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WATCH: Ruth Langsford stays on top of her fitness goals with meal prep

It's also a fun and simple way to introduce more variety into your diet - so how do you get started?

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How can I get started with meal prepping? 

Invest in some good food storage containers

The key to successful meal prepping is making sure your food stays as fresh as possible. Airtight containers are a must to ensure your ingredients don't start to wilt, while separate compartments can help keep sauces separate and salads fresh (no soggy croutons here!).

glass-tupperware

Glass Food Storage Containers, £42.99, Amazon

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Mason jars are ideal for grab-and-go breakfasts. Think overnight oats, chia puddings, smoothie mixers and berry birchers - the list is endless. 

mason-jars

Mason Jars, £15.99, Amazon

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Say goodbye to your lunch break Pret sandwich, these microwavable food containers were made for meal prepping. Made from food-safe recyclable plastic, these bento-box style boxess are perfect for storing curries, pasta dishes, roasted vegetables and more. 

tupperware

15 Pack Microwave Bento Box, £12.99, Amazon

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Don't prepare too much food

It's easy to be overly ambitious when it comes to meal prep, but unless you're freezing your meals for later in the month, over-preparing meals will lead to food waste. 

Most of the food you prep won't last more than three days in the fridge, so make sure you're making the most of your freezer space if you're bulk buying ingredients. 

Plan your meals

Whether you're just prepping for yourself or you're getting the whole family involved, make sure to sit down and plan your recipes before you bulk buy your ingredients. This way, you'll know exactly how much to buy and how to budget for your monthly meals. You could get your inspiration from online guides or Meal Prep for Two by Casey Seiden. 

meal-prep-for-two

Meal Prep for Two, £11.99, Amazon

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What are the benefits of meal prepping?

Saving money

Dedicating time in your schedule to prep your daily, weekly, or even monthly meals will save both time and money - fact.

Eating healthily tends to get a bad reputation for being overly expensive, yet bulk buying ingredients, freezing food and spending less money eating out will be brilliant for your bank balance.

Eating healthier

Preparing your meals in bulk allows you to take control of your nutrition. Making your very own delicious ready meals to eat at home removes the temptation of snacking and eating out.

Meal prepping also creates instant portion control - when your meals are pre-portioned, you will be less likely to overindulge or keep eating, even when you are full.

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Reducing food waste

The UK throws away almost 4.5 million tonnes of food every year. If you're concerned about wasting food, meal prepping is a great way to ensure you're only making what you need, while storing what you don't need for later.

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