5 Tips To Save You Time While Meal Prepping

5 Tips To Save You Time While Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is essential to healthy eating, but if you’re new to doing it, you could be spending more time on it than you need to.

After over a decade of meal prepping under my belt, I’ve found a few shortcuts that can help you shave some time off your meal prep time.

Here’s my top five:

1. Keep meal prepping simple

When you’re making the meal plan, favor simple dishes but add a little splash at one meal or through different spices, condiments or combinations. Think about how many ways you can cook chicken. You can bake it, broil it, pan fry it. You can eat it hot, cold, eat the legs or tenderloins, put it on salads, in wraps or lettuce wraps, etc. Nowmultiply that by the different ways you can season it. Then consider the different types of hot sauces, salsas, and so on that you can potentially use and finally add in the different combinations of veggies and sides you can make and it starts to gets ridiculous.

A little variety goes a long way and most of the time. Plus, the over the top recipes add hundreds of unneeded calories that sabotage your plan. So save time and keep it simple.

2. Stock up on cooking tools and buy food to maximize them

Having a good knife set, a grill, 1-3 electric skillets, slow cookers, large skillets and other cooking tools will increase the volume of food you can cook simultaneously, thus cutting your time virtually in half. This sounds crazy, but I recently picked up 3 big ceramic electric skillets that hold more food and cook fast. It literally saves at least an hour each week.


In the picture below, look at the difference in the 12 x 12 skillet on the left vs the 12 x 16 ceramic on the right. Not only can you fit way more food, but the new ceramic cookware is much safer and easier to clean. This was shot right after I cooked chicken in both. See the difference in between in capacity and clean up with these two?

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Clearly, I’m pro ceramic skillets 🙂

Once you have the right gear, think about how you can utilize them. For example, you can use your electric skillets for your turkey tacos and pan fried sweet potatoes while baking some chicken. If you wanted to, you also could steam some broccoli and cook Cod or something else on the stove top.

The point is stock up and leverage your tools to save A LOT of time.

3. Shop for food every 2 weeks

This was a brainchild of my fiance’s in the last couple months and it’s gone pretty well. We’ve been making meal plans and buying for 2 weeks at a time to cut the shopping time in half. We freeze the 2nd weeks food and defrost it a day or two before showtime.

This ismore for seasoned veterans so if you’re new to prepping I’d just stick with once a week until you’re ready for the big leagues.

4. Cook once a week

Hands down this is the best method for meal prepping in my opinion. Most of our clients start with cooking twice a week, but if you use the methods described above it will shave time and make it more convenient to execute. If you’re not already doing it, throw on some tunes and make it fun. Also, make sure to freeze the last couple days worth of food to keep it fresh. But not all veggies taste great after your defrost them. So choose wisely.

5. Cook in two waves

In an earlier example, I mention a bagillion different things being cooked at once. While I do recommend maximizing your cooking tools, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin and overcook your food.

So I have a 5 stage process that I typically use which helps when you cook over 20 lbs of meat each week like I do:

Stage 1: Prep for wave 1

Stage 2: Cook wave 1 foods and prep wave 2 foods

Stage 3: Once wave 1 foods are done, start cooking wave 2 foods. While they’re cooking, weigh the wave 1 foods and put them in tupperware containers

Stage 4: Once the wave 2 foods are done, weigh them out and put in tupperware containers.

Stage 5: Clean-Up


At this point you’re probably convinced I’m a little extreme with this meal prepping thing aaaand you might be right.

But having worked with hundreds of clients on nutrition coaching I’m convinced that it’s the single most important habit anyone can adopt to consistently eat healthy.


If you need help with nutrition coaching or training, then click the link or click “Request More Information” below to hearhow Faster Fitness can help you reach your goals.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author: Marshall Ray

Marshall Ray is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Level 2 Poliquin International Certified Strength Coach (PICP), Biosignature Practitioner and a certified Precision Nutrition Coach (Pn1). He is the founder of Faster Fitness and co-founder of Femme Fit. He's passionate about building a community of people who love fitness and taking control of their health.