Meal planning is so much easier if you have a business that gives you the leverage to work whenever and wherever you want to. But for others who have a set corporate schedule, it can be pretty challenging.
I work as a full-time blogger and full-time engineer. And when I’m not finding defects on a microchip, I’m in my apartment brainstorming ideas and writing articles for my blog.
Because of my busy schedule, meal planning has been the best way for me to organize my eating.
So if you relate or find it challenging to eat healthy the way you want to as a result of your weekly working schedule, here are some tips on how to meal plan for the 9 to 5 worker.
HOW TO MEAL PLAN FOR THE 9 TO 5 WORKER
1.) Pick A Prep Day
A prep day is simply the day you decide to meal prep. It can be any day of the week that you feel less busy. Depending on your schedule, you should pick a prep day that gives you enough time to plan and cook for the week. For example, I work 3-4 days weekly at my engineering job. Thus, I prefer to meal prep on the days I’m off.
You, however, do not have to meal prep on the days you’re off. Meal prepping during workdays can be adequate if you manage your time wisely. The goal is to have enough time to plan and cook. So if after-work hours feel best for you, I suggest you take advantage of it.
2.) Diversify Your Dishes
Often when meal planning, it can be tempting to stick to one meal recipe for the rest of the workweek. However, I suggest doing the opposite. Although it’s easier and less time-consuming to stick to one dish for the week, studies have shown that diversifying your meals helps prevent unwanted diseases and unnecessary weight gain. Therefore, it would be great to consider creating at least 2-3 different dishes on your meal prep day.
3.) Use Meal Prep Containers
Aside from the fact that meal prep containers make eating on the go so much easier, it is also important to mention how great it is at portioning food. As someone who loves to eat, I find that meal prep containers help me cut down on overeating. The container size helps measure the correct quantity of food necessary to get one through the day. Plus, if you are on a diet or weight loss journey, it helps lower the likelihood of binge eating.
4.) Avoid the vending machines
Okay, I had to add this to the list because I’m guilty of splurging on vending machines during lunch break. And I’m sure some of you reading this are guilty as well. So, therefore, I am here to tell you to avoid vending machines.
Instead of using vending machines, plan to purchase your favorite snacks from your local grocery store and pack it with your prepped lunch. Also, consider buying in bulk if you have Sam’s club or Costco membership. That way, whenever your regular mid-day cravings pop up, you won’t feel the need to overspend on vending machines.
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5.) Take advantage of free food or meal prep services
Does your company offer free food? Then consider taking advantage of it to reduce any stress with meal planning. On the other hand, if the idea of cooking or meal prepping sounds daunting, consider using a meal prep service. Several meal prep services have various diet options and plan to soothe your needs. Thus, I recommend taking advantage of it.
6.) Take advantage of Instacart
Some days, work can get busy, and overtime may take your whole time. That’s when Instacart comes in! I’ve been using Instacart a ton these past couple of months because some days, my schedule gets so busy that I can’t even go grocery shopping. Thankfully, with Instacart, I can order groceries and set a delivery time, all while I’m at work. And the best part? It gets delivered straight to your doorstep!
You can sign up for Instacart HERE and get an additional $10 on your first order.
Tell me in the comments if you found this how-to meal plan for the 9 to 5 worker tips helpful.