5 Minutes of Planning = 5 Pounds Lost

Posted On Sep 17, 2013 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

5 Minute Food Prep

"I just don't have time." This is the #1 excuse I hear from people trying to lose weight or get healthy. Everyone is busy, but it's up to you to decide whether or not eating healthy becomes a part of your busy life or not. We make time for our priorities, but having a few tricks to squeeze in meal prep and planning makes it more realistic. Breaking down healthy cooking into tasks that can be done in a few minutes can prevent feeling overwhelmed by the daunting time healthy eating can consume. If you're feeling burdened by grocery shopping, planning, cooking, and kitchen clean up, try these 5 things to simplify healthy eating:

  1. Wash and cut fruits and vegetables as soon as you get home from shopping.  This will eliminate further time-consuming prep work and clean up. Plus, it's more likely that you'll grab fruits and vegetables if they're ready to eat.
  2. Make or pack breakfast the night before.  Always feel like you're rushed to get out the door and end up grabbing something on the way to work or skip breakfast entirely? Pack something simple, such as plain oats, a hard-boiled egg, a single-serving container of non-fat Greek Yogurt, or a high-fiber wrap with peanut butter.
  3. Plan a week of dinners at a time.  A little planning goes a long way! By planning meals ahead of time, you'll be able to get all of your ingredients at one shopping trip instead of scrambling every night to come up with something. You'll also be less likely to hit the drive-thru or pick up a pizza if you have healthy options on hand.
  4. Make leftovers for lunch.  Plan to make extra food at dinner that you can pack in a to-go container for lunch the next day. Grill extra chicken, bake an extra potato and sauté lots of veggies, so all you have to do is throw your meal in a brown bag and go!
  5. Keep a pad of paper on your fridge. When you run low on a staple, write it on your grocery list. For example, every week I have eggs, egg whites, carrots, and almond milk on my list. I know I need them, but by taking a minute or two to write them down, I never forget them at the store. If you have a family, everyone can write down what they need/want for the upcoming week, which can also save time and make for more organized shopping and meal planning.

Taking a few minutes every day to plan and prep will keep healthy eating a priority and make it achievable!