Meal Prepping After WLS

Bariatric Tips

Meal prepping can seem overwhelming, so I’d like to share with you my favorite tips and tricks to quickly and efficiently plan meals all week long. Let’s take something that seems complicated and make it really simple!

If you’ve been following along with me on my own WLS journey on Instagram, you already know that I am a self-proclaimed “lazy meal prepper.” I say this proudly actually. Why make it harder for myself than it has to be? 

My motto is to work smarter, not harder. This journey is hard enough, let’s not further complicate it by trying to pre-plan and pre-track everything that goes into your mouth. And for the record, that just isn’t necessary, especially if you don’t enjoy it.   

You don’t have to pre-portion every single thing you put in your mouth! 

Meal prep can and SHOULD be simple. One of the things I always hear from my clients is “Ugh, I just don’t want to think about food anymore!” And what they mean by that is, that they don’t want to spend every waking moment obsessing about what they will or will not eat every day.

You may have heard the saying “Plan ahead or plan to fail.” Will you automatically fail if you aren’t planning ahead? No, not necessarily. Again, there are so many nuances in nutrition and lifestyle habits. The key is learning which habits suit you, your goals, and your lifestyle best.

More often than not, having food prepared ahead of time can really help us feel in control of our food choices. It can help minimize obsessing over what to choose and can help us avoid grazing, snacking, or running out for fast food. I’m excited to share with you how to do this in a quick and EASY way. 

What Meal Prepping Isn’t

I don’t know about you, but when. I think of meal prepping, all I can picture is someone on Instagram showing their perfectly portioned meals and snacks for every day of the week. You know what I’m talking about. The posts that show beautifully portioned meals in perfect glass containers all ready to grab and go. 

I’m not knocking that approach at ALL. If that works for you then that’s wonderful. But if you are like me, seeing those posts probably overwhelms you. They make you feel restricted. They make you feel like you can’t eat anything else. They also make you dread your weekend because you know it will be spent planning for hours. 

Meal prepping shouldn’t feel like a chore or a diet. Actual meal prepping should be sustainable. It’s something everyone has to do. Every human has to plan out what they will or won’t eat. The key is figuring out how to do it so it feels good for you. 

What Meal Prepping Is

Meal prepping should be a part of your routine. If the term “meal prep” alone stresses you out, just think of it as meal planning. 

By pre-planning your meals and getting a good idea of what you will eat throughout the week you will:

  • Feel more in control of your routine
  • Feel more confident building your meal plates and staying on track
  • Feel empowered to make choices that align with your goals all week long
  • Minimize stress, snacking, grazing, and mindlessly eating food. 

Meal prepping should work with your routine. There is no one right way to go about it. Some people like to batch cook all their food to have ready to go while others like to cook food every night as they move along. 

Personally, my evenings are crunched for time, so I like to cook a couple of big batches of food to keep on hand to mix and match all week long. This is the approach I’m going to share with you and hopefully, you can take what you need from these tips. 

How to Meal Prep

Step 1: Decide what you plan to have for the week.

Set aside some time either at the beginning or at the end of the week to think about what types of food you would like to prepare for the week, keeping in mind the bariatric meal plate method. 

Tips: Take a look at your week/ schedule.

  • Pick 1 day out of the week to plan out your meals. I like to suggest taking 20-30 minutes to write everything out and prepare a grocery list. 
  • Think about the foods you LIKE to eat – prepping chicken and broccoli every night gets OLD so think about the foods you feel good about eating.

“Choose 3” Rule

I’m not usually one for “rules.” BUT this one “rule” can save you a LOT of frustration, time, and guesswork. It’s what I call the “choose 3” rule. 

I really encourage you to choose 3 of each food type (protein, fats, and carbs) to prepare and have ready to go in the fridge. This way, you can mix and match which foods you pair together all week long to create variety all while using the same ingredients & foods. This can save you time, minimize waste, and help you cut down on the cost of groceries. 

Step 2: Prepare

Fail to plan or plan to fail. That’s what they say right? The next step is to take time to prepare yourself for the week. 

I’m a firm believer that meal prep should not take that long. If you are spending more than an hour per week meal prepping, it’s likely you are overcomplicating things. 

  • Make time in your week to prepare your meals. 
  • You may need to also set aside time to either go to the grocery store or place a grocery order to make sure you are ready to prepare your food.  
  • Pick a day that works for you to purchase food and prepare it (the days you purchase and prepare can be different days!)
  • Pick a day to prepare your food that works for you. If you KNOW Sundays are busy with family activities, then choose a less hectic day.
  • MULTITASK! Boil those eggs while you’re chicken cooks in the Instant Pot, as you roast your veggies and cut your fruit. Do it all at once! Trust me you will cut down on prep time. 
  • You don’t have to put things into perfectly portioned containers. Throwing all your chicken into one big container to grab and go or portion later is just fine. 

Step 3: Implementing

After you decide what to prepare for the week, purchase your food/ingredients, and plan a time to prepare your food, the last piece to implement! 

Remember, your meal prep is a way to keep you on track all week. But please also allow yourself flexibility.

Always listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and choose foods that sound good to you. Give yourself permission to choose in the moment all while having the peace of mind of knowing you have a fridge full of options to make a quick bariatric plate on the fly!  

Wrapping it up!

Meal Prepping doesn’t have to be hard. There are no rules on what it can look like for you. Keep it simple, easy, and delicious! 

Keep in mind, that everyone’s routines, portions/meals, and even the types of foods you enjoy will vary from person to person! It’s all about keeping it simple and making it work for you. 
If you’re ready to have support and accountability with a community of bariatric peeps who get it, check out The TRIBE Membership. You’ll no longer feel lost in the weeds or overwhelmed because you’ll have the information you need when you need it. As a TRIBE member, you’ll have exclusive access to live group sessions at a time that suits your busy schedule.

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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as legal, financial, or medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional advice of your own attorney, accountant, physician, or financial advisor. Always check with your own physician, attorney, financial advisor, accountant, or other business or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.