Meal planning is worthed your time! I will give you some reasons why, along with some tips and advice to reduce your cooking time!
The first reason I think you should start with your meal prepping is because you will SAVE MONEY!
Yes, you will.
First of all, you can buy items in bulk and sometimes you will get offers along with it. You can take advantage of your freezer and your food won´t go bad.
Also, you will be able to bring your tupperware to work and save money in that typical ´´healthy labeled´´ sandwich that is not worth it the price neither the quality in most cases.
Another good reason why you should start doing it is because you will SAVE TIME!
Actually a lot of it. Think about every time you have to cook during the day... Lunch, snacks, dinner... at least 3 times a day! You could leave everything ready to go in one time and just grab it from your fridge.
Also,healthy eating becomes much easier when you have your food prepared, as there are less chances of you going and grabbing whatever you find in the fridge, just because you are starving and lazy to cook... It is very typical and not good at all, specially if you are trying to lose some weight.
Another great benefit is that you can actually track what you eat in a daily basis, you will become disciplined with your food intake which is great to keep overall balance and health.
I think these are enough reasons for you to start with your meal prepping! Now let´s go for the tips ;)
Choose the right amount of food you are putting into your container. Use the rule of thumb that never fails when it comes to measure your macronutients by eye without using a scale:
1 palm of protein; imagine a portion of meat/fish (or other protein rich source) the size of the palm of your hand.
1 fist of starchy carbs: imagine a portion of rice/potatoes/beans (or other complex carbohydrates sources) the size of your fist.
2 thumbs of fats: imagine a portion of avocado/nuts/seeds (or other source of healthy fats like olive oil) the size of two thumbs
Choose a variety of fruits and veggies in an array of colours each day. Go for plenty of eggs, fresh meats, healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, greek yogurt, seeds etc. Don´t deprive yourself of valuable nutrients! You can add treats in your plan every now and then, but do it with caution as you don´t want to mess up all your prepping effort for a piece of cake...right?
Keep a food journal! I advise you to track your daily food intake at least for the first two or three weeks, specially if your goal is to lose weight or do some changes in how you look. Then you will be able to see if the plan is working for you, otherwise you can always do changes or adjust your meals (reduce portions, change ingredients etc.) and I am sure you will get the best out of your meal planning!