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 quite challenging.
Personally, I work as a full-time food blogger and full-time engineer. And when I’m not finding defects on a microchip, I’m in my kitchen brainstorming recipes and writing articles for my food blog.
Because of my busy schedule, meal planning has been the best way for me to organize my eating. I find that whenever I don’t meal plan for the week, I end up eating whatever is presented to me, which inevitably leads to weight gain. Thus, planning ahead of time has been my best option.
HOW TO MEAL PLAN FOR THE 9 TO 5 WORKER
So for those of you who just happen to relate or find it difficult to eat healthy the way you want to as a result of your weekly working schedule, here are some ways 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. I personally work 3-4 days a week 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 your workdays can be just as effective 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 times when meal planning, it can be quite tempting to simply stick to one meal recipe for the rest of the workweek. However, I suggest doing the opposite. Although it’s a lot easier and less time-consuming sticking to one dish for the week, studies have actually shown that diversifying your meals helps prevent unwanted diseases and unnecessary weight gain. Therefore, it would be a great idea 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 size of the containers helps in measuring the right quantity of food necessary to get one through the day. Plus, for those who happen to be 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 very much guilty of splurging on vending machines during lunch break. And I’m sure some of you reading this are guilty as well. Therefore, I am here to tell you to avoid the vending machines.
Instead of using vending machines, plan ahead by purchasing your favorite snacks from your local grocery store and packing it with your prepped lunch. If you have Sam’s club or Costco membership, consider purchasing your snacks in bulk. 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 that comes with meal planning. On the other hand, if the idea of cooking or meal prepping sounds daunting, then consider using a meal prep service. There are several meal prep services with a variety of diet options and plans 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 just take up 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’m able to 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 to use on your first order.
Let me know in the comments if you found these how to meal plan for the 9 to 5 worker tips helpful.