Fast Dinner Prep Hacks & Ways to Be More Efficient with Meal Prep (As Seen on ABC Chicago)

Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour gives us shortcuts  to prep and organize meals faster for the new year!


Shop ‘Til You Drop
Creating a grocery list is the first step toward smart meal prep. Look at your calendar for the upcoming week and see what events and activities you have going on during meals. Are you going out to restaurants for dinner or do you have work lunches? If you’ll be eating out, you don’t need to write down those meals on your grocery list.

Buy in Bulk
The next step is to buy items in bulk. If you’re like many of the successful women in my private weight loss programs, you may travel for work or have a hectic schedule. Therefore, buying fresh produce may cause you to waste a lot of food. Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh vegetables, so buy some bags of frozen vegetables. You can also buy frozen or raw chicken and fish and other proteins. You’ll want to buy snacks to  help with weight loss and to help with stabilizing your blood sugar levels.

View Food as Fuel
If you love pasta, for example, buy it! I love Dreamfields Pasta because it has 5 grams of fiber per serving plus 7 grams of protein. It’s an easy way to eat a healthier version of your favorite food. You can find it as the little black box in the grocery store. The pasta and other items like fresh vegetables may need to be cooked on the day of (instead of in bulk), but it’ll only take you 10 or 15 minutes to do this.

Workout Hack While Cooking
As you’re in the kitchen, remember that you can always get in a workout. In fact, I created some workout videos to kick off Dreamfields annual #HealthyHacks program. Do calf raises while standing at the stove, squats before you put away groceries, and more. Try to make the best use of your time during meal prep.

Divide & Conquer
Up next, divide your food into separate containers for portion control. Having a hard time with portion control? Get containers like I demonstrate in the video and use a fist-size serving of protein plus a ton of vegetables for your meals.
This has helped many of my private weight loss clients stay organized for the week ahead. They swear by using these containers to keep on track with their portions and meals!

Savor the Flavor
How can you make healthy meals taste better? Use seasonings and fresh herbs, like mint or thyme or cilantro, to give a fresh twist on basic proteins and veggies.

Snack Attack
Finally, on any eating or diet plan, it’s never good to be hungry. So what should you do if you’re hungry and on a diet? Eat snacks! These pre-portioned snacks are great. What are some examples of snacks? Two tablespoons of almond butter is one serving, and pair that with a piece of fruit like a banana. Or, put a handful of raspberries in a Ziploc container and then bring a protein bar with it.

For more tips on how you can lose weight fast and make it last, and get healthier in general, join our free 21 Day Challenge!

As a wellness coach for women, and as a weight loss coach for women in Chicago and across the country, I know how challenging it can be to eat healthy and lose weight. I work with successful women everyday as Chicago’s best weight loss coach for women. If you’re looking for a weight loss program for women in Chicago, you’ve come to the right place!

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