Battle the Winter Weight With Meal Prep

Winter can often bring on unwanted pounds from holidays and travel. Preparing meals in advance can help you get back on track with your weight. See what meal strategy our grinder uses to get through the workweek.


OK, I know that my plan was to get a jump-start on fixing my bad holiday eating habits. But the best laid plans can go awry.

I’ll say, I don’t feel good about myself, how I’ve been eating and the way I look right now. But luckily, the power to make that change is mine. So all I have to do is make the change. I don’t know whether it’s stress from work, these cold winter temps (this morning was an air temp of 3 degrees with a -16 wind chill. That’s right, the wind felt like -16 degrees) or just laziness on my part, but it needs to get fixed.

My biggest weapon (based on past successes) is my ability to take the initiative to prep my meals. Here’s what has worked for me:

Breakfast prep: Each Sunday, the wife and I mix up about 12 to 18 eggs with cooked sausage, shredded cheese and any variety of veggies (depending on the week) and scoop the mixture into approximately two pre-greased 12-spot muffin tins giving us two dozen mini-omelets to heat up each morning. During the workweek, we’ll just grab two or three each, heat them in the microwave and breakfast is done. This is a time saver and allows some flexibility in terms of what you want to put in the mixture each week.

Lunch prep: I bake (or grill in the summer and fall) one or two bags of frozen chicken breasts, cut them up and bag them to refrigerate. This past year, I’ve gone with one or two options after making the chicken. Either we steam several bags of veggies and season them and split up the chicken and veggie combos into 10 total containers (one for each of us Monday through Friday) or I make up a salad each morning, using the chicken to top them off. It really is a matter of preference. While the salad may take a little longer each morning to put together (more time than just grabbing a container — we tried to premake a week’s worth of salads and I didn’t like it), you can mix and match ingredients to suit your tastes.

Dinner prep: I try to start off each week with a plan. Monday: taco salads. Tuesday: a chicken or turkey breast in the slow cooker. Wednesday: bunless hamburgers. Thursday: some dish with beef or possibly incorporating the leftovers from the week into a dish. Friday: go out to eat but probably some kind of breakfast for dinner or meat/salad combo. Obviously, this is much less organized than the breakfast and lunch prep and can vary from week to week, but I believe if you and whoever you are making meals with can work out a schedule or plan for the whole week, you can set yourself up to be successful before having to head back to the store on the weekend.

There are countless ways to plan to succeed when it comes to meal prep. What are some things that have worked for you?

Stay on the grind.