Just because a lot of people meal prep, that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to lose weight. I don’t meal prep. In other words, I don’t cook my meals, and portion them out into small containers so that each one is a perfect-sized meal. The reasons why are that I don’t have enough Tupperware, that my husband might grab my boxed-up meal and I may grab his by mistake (we don’t eat the same amount of calories: I’d get fat and he’d waste away), and some days I may want more carbs or more protein than others.
The days that I’m very active, or the days I exercise my lower body, I eat a little more (especially carbs). On the days I’m less active, I’ll eat less (usually fewer carbs). For those days that I need extra energy, I’ll either eat more carbs, like sweet potatoes or oats, or more fat, like an ounce of slivered almonds and chopped walnuts dipped in almond butter. By boxing up perfect little meals, I don’t want to feel like I’m being bad if I’m eating extra because my body is giving me the proper signals to adjust my eating habits.
Even though I don’t put my meals in cute little containers, I do plan all my meals ahead a week in advance. My husband and I make 1-2 new meals each day, like chicken enchiladas and tilapia salad. We make large meals, usually 4-6 portions, so we have plenty of leftovers. I weigh my proteins so that each meal has a sufficient amount, and I do portion out my carbohydrates my using a measuring cup. For those meals that I cannot weigh or measure, like a stew, I just guess (usually a half a bowl for me and ¾ of a bowl for my husband).
These techniques that I use really help me lose or maintain my weight. It doesn’t work for everyone so I don’t tell my clients they have to do what I do, but I do ask that they try it for a little while to see if it helps them eat better and eat less calories (it usually does). Whatever method works for you, keep doing it!