Sure, we all want to make better choices when it comes to healthy eating, but let’s be real – finding time on the weekend to prepare all your work meals can be challenging. We head to the grocery store on a Saturday morning with good intentions, but then it gets to Sunday arvo and we’re too tired to do it.

So before you start another week in the same spiral of buying the lunch special at the Thai place down the road, we’ve recruited the help of WF’s resident naturopath, Belinda Kirkpatrick. Here, she offers simple tips on how to (actually) meal-prep for the week ahead.

Work it into your routine

When you first start focusing on nutrition and meal planning, it can feel like a big effort and something that takes up valuable time. Gradually, it can be something you incorporate into your routine. If you were suddenly told that you had to start showering daily, brushing your teeth and flossing twice daily, brushing your hair, putting on makeup, removing makeup or whatever your daily personal care routine involves, you’d feel like there was no time for that in your busy day.

As these routines are already ingrained in us, we set up our day to make sure there is time for them. We set our morning alarm to take into account time for showering and getting ready, and so over time, our routine can also include food preparation and planning.

Think ahead

When you’re chopping vegetables for dinner, chop extra veggies to munch on the following day. While you’re waiting for dinner to cook, boil some eggs to add to breakfast in the morning. This way, only a little bit of extra time for food prep is required; you’re just making the most of the time you already have.

Always cook an extra portion of dinner and pop it straight into your lunchbox as you are serving dinner, ready to take to work the following day. It also stops you (or anyone else!), eating it as a second dinner helping.

Make a list

Making a rough plan of what you‘ll be eating over the next couple of days for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner can also be really helpful. You might be surprised at how much a rough plan (I just use the Notes section on my phone) helps to keep you on track.

Make sure you write down your meals, buy the ingredients or organise an online delivery so the ingredients are all in your fridge. If you don’t have a meal plan and are leaving work in the evening feeling tired and hungry, it’s easy to opt for takeaway. If you have a plan, you know that tonight is supposed to be baked salmon with steamed veggies and you’re far more likely to go home and pop it in the oven.

Check out Belinda’s new app, Seed, the ultimate tool for women’s health.

RELATED: Mid-week meal prep hack from a master chef
RELATED: Food prep hacks for healthy eating