top of page

9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success




It’s safe to say that in 8 years of meal prepping, I’ve discovered some awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success. If you are just starting or you are close to the beginning of your meal prep journey, I want to give you some pointers and tips to help you to avoid some of the expensive and dangerous mistakes I’ve made as it relates to meal prepping. You’re doing the smart thing, something I should have done, by looking into and finding out the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success.



Before we jump right into the meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success, I want to let you know that I have several other posts, dedicated to meal prep that give you guidance on why you should start a meal prep lifestyle, tips to help busy moms who are short on time , some easy, but delicious recipes and the essential tools you need in your meal prep kitchen. There’s no point in talking about awful meal prep mistakes to avoid without first talking about what meal prep is and how to do it correctly, so let’s dive right in.


What is Meal Prep?


Meal prep is a system of preparing meals where the food is prepared ahead of when it will be eaten. People meal prep for many reasons, most commonly to help them achieve their health and fitness goals, to save money and to eliminate the stress of daily cooking and deciding what to eat.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

Meal Prep Ideas


Another important part of meal prep that I think is important to share with you is meal prep ideas. Most people are easily convinced that adopting a meal prep lifestyle is the best decision for them and their family. However, they struggle with meal prep ideas and recipes that don’t intimidate or overwhelm them. To help with this, I have shared my top 8 easy, fast and delicious meal prep ideas . With these meal prep ideas you will be sure to feel more confident and can count one common meal prep mistake that will wreck your success off your list.




Meal Prep for the Week


Another meal prep question that I have been asked frequently is how often do you meal prep and what length of time do you meal prep for? Honestly, I think this depends on the individual and/or their family and what they need. When I first started meal prepping, it was just for my husband and me. Now, I meal prep for myself and my son because my husband practices intermittent fasting and does his own meal prep. As far as the amount of food or how long I meal prep for, it is usually for 5 days. I eat my strict meal prep from Monday to Friday, but am more relaxed in what I eat on the weekends.





What’s interesting is that the more I’ve lived a meal prep lifestyle is the less I want to eat outside of my meal prep routine. When I do I feel sluggish and full, so I’m usually really happy for Monday to roll around so I can get back to my meal prep lifestyle.


Is Meal Prep Healthy?


While I’m answering some meal prep questions, I guess I’ll answer a few more that I’ve been asked consistently. Is meal prep healthy? It can be. I have had times when I was very rigid in what I ate and I have had other times where I still meal prepped, but it wasn’t with a health focus, just more of a saving money and taking the pressure off of what to eat away. However, for the most part most people do meal prep to help them to achieve health and fitness goals because proper nutrition in addition to exercise is more effective in achieving health and fitness goals.




Why Meal Prep is Bad?


This question is an interesting one. To be clear I am a meal prep cheerleader, but I am going to try to answer this openly as I can as someone without a bias. Meal prep is bad because it may not offer a lot of variety, especially when you’re first starting out and may be unsure of recipes to try and what to do. Meal Prep may also be bad if you don’t do enough research before hand and you’re unprepared for a meal prep lifestyle. While we’re talking about being unprepared, I think it’s time that I go ahead and help you with 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success.


How to Meal Prep Correctly to Avoid 9 Awful Mistakes that Will Wreck Your Success?





First and foremost, to avoid 9 awful mistakes that will wreck your success, you should keep reading. You should also cut yourself some slack and understand that the people you see with the table filled with amazing meal prep have probably been doing it for a little time. You may not get it right at first and that’s ok. Some of your meal prep meals may taste awful. Correct what went wrong and then move on from there. More importantly, ask for help. Some ways to ask for help with meal prep would be to follow people who do prepare their meal prep, get ideas of recipes from them, ask questions about their tools, process and advice. Also, just enjoy the journey of finding out what works for you as you side step the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success.





Meal Prep Best Practices to Avoid 9 Awful Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success


What are meal prep best practices to avoid the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success? Simply, put, the opposite of what appears below. Again, I will highly recommend doing some research, preferably from someone you trust that meal preps about what works for them, so you can adapt it to work for you.



Meal Prep Dos and Don’ts to Avoid the 9 Awful Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success


As far as meal prep dos and don’ts to avoid the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success:


Do ask for help

Do research people and meal prep recipes you might like

Do give yourself room to try, learn and then success


Don’t try too much too soon

Don’t try to follow someone else's meal prep lifestyle

Don’t give up


9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success


1. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will wreck Your Success: No Goal


It should not need to be said but one of the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success is not having a goal. Setting and having a goal is essential to keep you accountable. For some, their goal may be to eat out less and cook more. Other goals may be to spend less on take out and restaurant type foods. Yet another goal may be to just eat more healthy foods to help with success in health and fitness goals. No matter what your goal is, having one will help to make sure that you are successful with meal prep whereas not having a goal is definitely one of the 9 awful meal prep mistakes that will wreck your success.





2. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will wreck Your Success: Being Too Strict


We go from one extreme above to another extreme here with this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success, being too strict in your goals or methods. I tell you this in all sincerity because it happened to me. Eight years ago when I started meal prepping I got rid of all junk items, bought only fish, chicken, ground turkey, vegetables and fruits and very few whole wheat items. I did great for the first few days, but by Wednesday I was moody, irritable, had low energy and was coming up with every excuse imaginable to give up. Why did I experience that? Because I was being entirely too strict with my meal prep way too soon. You must remember to be gentle with yourself and give your body a chance to adjust slowly, especially if you want meal prep to be a lifestyle change and not a fad. Heed my warning and give yourself some grace to avoid this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success.





3. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Being Too Lax



Awful Meal Prep mistake number 3 is yet another extreme for those new to meal prep and it is being too lax. One of my favorite quotes in fitness is you can’t out train a bad diet. I have seen memes that are meant to be funny showing someone meal prepping with pizza and wings for all of their meals. Could you do that? Yes? Would it be considered meal prep? Technically, you are preparing your meals in advance of when you’ll be eating it, but how would this help you save money, cook more or achieve your health and fitness goals. Now that was an extreme example, but the same is true of eating mostly unhealthy foods that you’ve prepared in advance. It may help you save money and take away the stress of deciding what to eat and cooking all the time, but it would not be helping with your health and fitness. To avoid this awful meal prep mistake, try to eat healthy meals 75-85% of the time and then allow yourself to indulge 25-15% of the time, depending on your goals.





4. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Too Many Cheats




This next awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success is closely related to number 3 above, having too many cheat meals or days. I was very guilty of this early on in my meal prep journey. I would do well from Monday through lunch on Friday with eating well and eating healthy meals, but once work ended, from Friday to Sunday, I was a train wreck. What did this pattern do? Not much, I didn’t see progress with my health and fitness goals. I was working out and doing some extreme exercise programs but my results were not what they could’ve been. Now I try to limit myself to one cheat meal on the weekend or one cheat item or snack each day of the weekend. Something else that has been very helpful in curbing this awful meal prep mistake that was wrecking my success was to prepare or buy meals that taste like cheats, but aren’t as unhealthy like sushi or quesadillas with or without the tortilla.


5. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Not Getting Family on Board




This awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success is one to think about before beginning your meal prep journey. When I first started meal prepping my husband was completely on board, so I didn’t have to deal with the temptation of sweets, candy or other unhealthy items in my home. Now, we have a son and my husband practices intermittent fasting, so our pantry does have candy bars and honey buns, but over the times I’ve become more disciplined and usually am not bothered by seeing or even watching them eat those items. However, if you are new to email prep, it is much easier and more likely that you will be successful with the support of your family and /or the people in your household. Having their support can also prove helpful in food preparation. This will help you to be free of this awful meal prep mistake that can wreck your success.


6. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Over Preparing





I was so guilty of this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success when I first started meal prepping. I made so much food and so much food went to waste even with both my husband and me eating it. I didn’t consider portions when I cooked and just winged it. Nope, bad idea. It’s important that you measure and consider how many people you will be feeding and what portion size each person will need. I would highly recommend getting portion containers and using those to help you, especially until you get a handle on how much food to prepare. Over preparing and extra food can lead to overeating which is an even more important reason to avoid this awful meal prep mistake that can ruin your success.


7. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Under Preparing





The other awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success is the opposite of number 6 above, underpreparing and yes, I was guilty of this one too. Why is underpreparing so bad? Well, when you don’t have enough food, what will you do? Snack, eat whatever you can find and usually those items may not be the healthiest. Again, consider your recipe carefully. Think about the amount of calories you need or the number of servings you need to eat. These steps will help you to avoid this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success.


8. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Wrong Tools




Yet another awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success is using the wrong tools. How important are the right meal prep tools ? So important that I dedicated an entire post to them. There are some essential items that you will need and also others that are not necessities, but can improve your meal prep experience and give you a better chance of being successful and avoiding this awful meal prep mistake.


9. 9 Awful Meal Prep Mistakes That Will Wreck Your Success: Not Storing Food Appropriately





You want to pay attention to this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success. Luckily for me, I have never experienced it personally. Please be sure to let your meal prep cool before refrigeration to be sure that it doesn't go bad. Also, be sure to cook items to their appropriate doneness and store them at the correct temperatures to maintain freshness. This is another question that I get often from my social media accounts: How do I keep my meal prep fresh? Buy items as fresh as possible, cook them correctly, and if they are cooked, let them return to room temperature before refrigerating them. For items that are not cooked, be sure to store them according to directions. Once you are ready to eat your meal prep, make sure it is heated to the appropriate temperature before eating it. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to avoid this awful meal prep mistake that will wreck your success.




Before You Go


Are you ready to start your meal prep journey? Do you have any other questions? Let me know in the comments how I can help you to start your own meal prep lifestyle. Stuck on recipes and ideas? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for my weekly meals. Looking for more helpful tips and guidance? Check out these other popular posts on the blog.










bottom of page