Weekdays can be hectic — from work to workouts, there are so many obligations with so little time. While we can’t stop the clock for you, we can suggest some simple and easy ways to prep for your week — leaving you with more time and less stress.
Set Yourself Up Right
If you’ve ever had a wild Sunday night (Game of Thrones can get rowdy), you know the worst way to start off the week is tired and unprepared. Let Sunday be your day of rest, a time to relax and focus on your health. Make time to fit in a workout, eat a healthy meal, and get a good night’s sleep. Love your long workouts? The weekend is the perfect time to fit in those extra long sweat sessions. Plan out a nutritious dinner and make getting to bed early a priority. The combination of the three will leave you feeling energized and refreshed — setting you up for a great week.
Prep Your Food
Eating healthfully during the week takes effort. With the easiest meals coming from snack machines and fast food chains, it can be tempting to grab something we know isn’t great for us. But there is a simple solution to this problem: food prep. Use a few hours from your weekend to prep a week’s worth of food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Without having to agonize over food options, you’ll have more free time and mental space to devote to work and play.
Need ideas on what to prep? Check out our lists of foods, along with meals ideas:
Most grains, like quinoa, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice, can be prepared in bulk ahead of time and will stay fresh in your fridge for the duration of the week.
Quinoa is ideal to prep early and store because it can be used as a base for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One serving size of quinoa (½ cup dry or 1 cup cooked) totals at 200 calories. For breakfast, serve cool with berries, warm as an oatmeal substitute, or heat up and mix in one tablespoon of peanut butter, chunks of a small apple, and a bit of cinnamon. For lunch, sauté veggies in a bit of olive oil, reheat quinoa and mix together or try one of these recipes.
Whole wheat pasta
If you thought eating healthy would mean deleting pasta from your food repertoire, think again. Whole wheat pasta is a Noom green food and makes a great lunch or dinner base. Mix 1 cup cooked (200 calories) with 3 oz of lean protein (about 150 calories), vegetables, and a bit of olive oil or tomato sauce (also green!) for a satisfying meal.
Whole grain rice
Whole grain rice is filling and creates a base that will soak up other flavors, intensifying the taste of your dish. Like mexican? Top 1 cup cooked rice (215 calories) with ½ cup of black beans (109 calories), red and green peppers, onions, and jalapenos. Keep it vegetarian or add shredded chicken breast for an extra protein kick.
Chicken breasts can be cooked early in the week and frozen, lasting for about 3 months. If you decide not to freeze (chicken breasts take about 20 minutes to bake at 450 degrees), cooked chicken will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. One six-ounce chicken breast is about 210 calories and is the perfect lean protein to keep you fuller for longer. Shred pieces as a topping for salad, cut lengthwise for a sandwich or wrap, or keep them whole for dinner.
This one takes no effort at all — just a trip to the grocery! Stock up on lean deli meats like turkey (three slices are 90 calories) and chicken, and use them for sandwiches or wraps. And take advantage of canned tuna, salmon, and more. Don’t forget to stuff your sub with low-cal veggies like lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, sprouts, or whatever else you can think of!
Eggs are extremely versatile. From scrambled breakfasts to egg salad lunches, this protein heavy food can do almost anything. Hard boil eggs for a quick and energizing snack, scramble some for a breakfast burrito that can be stored in the freezer, or mix with light mayo, celery, salt and pepper for a healthy version of egg-salad.
Fruits and veggies
Finally, don’t forget your fruits and veggies. Cutting them up into bite sized pieces can give you something low-cal and tasty to snack on when hunger strikes (especially when paired with nutritious dips like hummus). They can also fill out your meals to keep you fuller for longer. Add a cup full of fruit to your morning cereal or a cup full of veggies to your lunch. Remember, fruits and vegetables are Noom green foods so they’re all you can eat! Add as many as are needed to fill you up to your meals to get satiated for less.
When hunger strikes, it’s great to have snacks prepared. That way, you avoid overeating and your stomach won’t lead to the snack machine. Non-fat yogurt, low-fat string cheese, hummus, low-sugar snack bars, and peanut butter (but only 1 tbsp) are all great snack foods. Separate into serving sizes and keep them in a visible easy-to-grab spot in your fridge. Pair with a serving of fruit or veggies, and you’re all set!