It’s not easy being a young career woman or full-time student. It feels like you’re constantly being pulled in multiple directions and like there’s never enough time! I get it! The thought of having a chunk of time to sit down and meal prep probably sounds like a luxury you don’t have…and if you did, you might not choose to spend it surrounded by tupperware and measuring cups! I get it!
1) Get really comfortable eye-balling appropriate portions for you. While it’s certainly not necessary to weigh and measure everything you eat (plus, no one wants to be the girl at the table with the food scale – right?), being able to estimate portion-sizes is a skill that will come in very handy.
Speaking of hands, one of the simplest ways to estimate portions is by using your own! Keep this visual in mind when you’re eating at restaurants and trying to approximate your meals.
A serving of protein (20-30g) is roughly the size of your palm.
A serving of veggies is roughly the size of your fist.
A serving of carbs (20-30g) is roughly the size of your cupped hand.
A serving of healthy fats (7-15g) is roughly the size of your thumb.
Now, keep in mind that these are estimates, so you will need to do a little testing and tweaking to make them work for you based on your goals, activity level, genetics, body type, etc., but they’re a great starting point!
2) Buy single-serving, pre-cut, and/or ready-to-go options whenever you can. Could you chop up your own veggies and put them into baggies or to-go containers? Sure. Can you estimate a serving of hummus, guac, or peanut butter to have alongside? Absolutely. Are you capable of roasting an entire chicken yourself? Definitely; you are an independent woman! But will you? Probably not. That doesn’t make you lazy, it makes you busy and human. The exact purpose of options like these are to save you time and energy. You will spend a little extra on convenience items like these but remember that you’re paying for the time freedom to do other things (instead of endlessly chopping produce)! Prepping some meals in advance becomes a lot less daunting when all you have to do is take stuff out of a bag and stick it in the oven.
3) Stick to lean proteins + veggies at restaurants. Going out to eat isn’t just a social event, it’s also a way to take the burden of cooking off your plate and onto someone else’s. But, not being in the kitchen yourself means you aren’t exactly sure what you’re eating. Restaurant food often tastes so good because it has a lot more sugar, oil, butter, and/or salt than you’d have used yourself. By sticking to the foods above and asking for sauces on the side, you’re able to enjoy the benefits of restaurant cooking without accidently eating a lot of add-ins that you don’t.
4) Get a Crockpot. Nothing makes cooking in bulk easier than an appliance that does everything for you. The simplest recipe of all time is a package of chicken breasts + a jar of salsa + 6 hours on high. Shred it with 2 forks and stick the whole thing in the fridge and you’ve got protein for several days. If you want to get (slightly) fancier, throw in some pre-chopped bell peppers, onions, + a generous amount of fajita seasoning (omit the salsa) and you’ve got enough fajita fixin’s for several days! You can repurpose these on salads, in tortillas, or over rice for different variations!
Author: Esther Avant
Esther Avant is a certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer at Esther Avant Wellness Coaching. She specializes in helping altruistic women make lifestyle changes to lose weight and live their healthiest, happiest, and most confident lives so that, in turn, they can be there for others who need their help, love, and compassion. She is passionate about helping
women realize that they deserve to prioritize themselves and that they have the power to make positive changes in their lives. She gives her clients all the tools they need to fight overwhelm and make realistic, long-term changes.