What’s for dinner? It’s a pretty common question in my house, and I suspect I’m not alone. For those looking to lose weight, it can also be a stressful one. With not-enough time, and too few options, it’s easy to succumb to less healthy meal choices. What can we do to make this easier on ourselves?

I speak about meal prepping often with my clients as a Nutrition Specialist with Virtual Health Partners. They are often surprised to find that it isn’t as complicated as they’d feared. Doing some planning and prepping for meals, especially those during busy times of your day or week, can make a big difference. It can not only save you time during a hectic morning routine, but also cut back on your food costs, and give you more control over what you’re eating.

Start off by considering where you would see the most benefit from preparing some healthy options ahead of time. Maybe it’s a particularly busy day of the week, your afternoon snack craving at work, or last-minute evening meals. Then, brainstorm some healthy choices that you can prep ahead of time, and keep handy to make your day easier and healthier. Maybe you hard boil a few eggs to keep in the fridge for quick, high protein snacks (keep them in their shells until snack time!). For quick suppers, try making larger batches high protein options like meatloaf, or chili, and freezing in individual servings. Wash, and chop vegetables to keep on hand for quick additions to meals, or to eat as snacks. It is also a good idea to have healthy condiments like flavored vinegars, salsa, spicy mustards, Parmesan cheese, and spices available to add some variety and extra flavor to your meals.

For more information on meal planning, please see Lauren’s video, or speak with your Nutrition Specialist.