Here's how to prep your food like a pro – in just an hour at the weekend

Taster dishes of assorted autumn berries viewed from above arranged on a wooden board on a rustic, kitchen table including whole fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries

Too tired. No time. Nothing in the fridge. The reasons not to cook are familiar to all of us. We all have busy lives – and finding the time and energy to get to the supermarket, chop up your veggies and cook a delicious and healthy homemade meal isn’t easy.

And yet, it’s not quite as impossible as it sometimes feels.

How to prep food like a pro

No longer just a dull but necessary activity, ‘food prep’ has become seriously on trend. Instagram is full with shots of salad ingredients stacked in vintage jars, Tupperware containers of grilled chicken all neatly lined up on a benchtop, and plastic goblets of breakfast chia pudding.

But beneath the hype, it’s really not so hard to prepare all your weekly meals. In fact, you can do it all at once (yes, in one day) if you really want to. Here are some tricks to get started:

1. Stick to what you know

Thinking of whipping up some Schezuan chilli chicken with braised broccoli and slivered almonds for the week? Unless you’re also planning on crying into your frypan until late Sunday night, maybe try something that you’re used to cooking for your bulk meals. Grilled meat and veggies are an easy base that you can prepare slightly differently night-to-night.

2. Just prep some things

If cooking up 21 meals in one sitting makes your palms a little sweaty, relax. Try just preparing the time-consuming portions of the meal – like grilling your meat or peeling your veggies. Or, just focus on the meal that you usually skip or need the most help with, like breakfast.

3. Raw is okay

Don’t feel as though you have to cook up everything you prepare – chopping and packaging raw meat, vegetables, or fruit can save you plenty of time, and stop you from ordering takeaway Thai, too!

4. Think light

  • Light on the stomach – go for ¼ protein, ¼ wholegrains, and ½ vegetables.
  • Light on the train – package your meals in lightweight Tupperware containers for easy transport to work.
  • Light on the pocket – if you plan your meals and buy your food for the week in bulk, you will save plenty of money on last-minute meals.

5. Prepare for ‘those days’

Let’s face it – sometimes the best of intentions and perfect food planning can’t beat that pizza craving. Allow for some flexibility in your plan, let yourself indulge once in a while and you will see greater success in your healthy eating habits.

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