If you are a fitness lover like me, you know that meal preparation is key. Meal prep is basically pre-cooking your meals for the week, and it’s often called the biggest influence in your fitness success or failure. Your meals’ proper storage is nothing to joke about.
I’ve certainly gone through many microwave meltdowns, spilled foods, other food-related disasters that I wished to avoid entirely, and proper food storage helps reduce all that drama.
It can make a world of a difference in terms of convenience, organization, and frustration when you have your proper gear when it comes to meal prepping. That’s why I made for you a list of criteria to follow when you are looking for the best containers:
There are a million types of tupperware out there. Airtight lids, bento boxes, portion controlled containers, 16 piece sets, and so much more. Let me break them down to you with their pros and cons.
Airtight is a must! If you settle for a flimsy Tupperware, I can almost promise you that at some point, you will find your food at the bottom of the lunch box. Yes, they are usually a little heavier and more expensive, but believe me when I say they are completely worth it.
Then you have the most popular version nowadays – bento boxes (Amazon).
These are simply regular containers with inner dividers. They make planning easier when it comes to portions, but they can be kind of a struggle to fit everything inside. Because of this, I usually prefer to have a multi-piece set of smaller containers. It gives me a little more liberty in terms of spacing, but you will find them harder to transport. It comes down to your preference.
The million-dollar question: glass or plastic? There is some debate here in the fitness community. Some say that plastic containers leak a chemical called bisphenol-A or BPA. Still, the FDA closely regulates plastic containers that come in contact with food, and requires manufacturers to pass specific tests that meet FDA standards and specifications.
On the other hand, plastic containers are lighter, easier to pack and normally cheaper. Plastic containers also have the benefit of coming in a larger variety of shapes and sizes, when glass usually doesn’t. If you make sure to not use hard utensils with the plastic containers, (sharp knives or forks can leave cracks that accumulate bacteria – yuck!) and to heat it up at the specified heat, you’ll be fine.
Then we have glass containers at Amazon. They are certainly easier to clean and more durable, but reasonably heavier, and if you are like me and you prefer to use many containers, then it might be too heavy to carry around all day. I’ve never had a problem with mine breaking, but I’ve heard many stories where people aren’t careful with their lunch boxes and they end up having broken glass at the bottom. If you tend to be somewhat careless, throwing your lunch box in the locker just to get to the treadmill faster for example, maybe glass isn’t for you. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s made with good, durable materials.
Microwave safe! This isn’t even a consideration, it’s a must! Unless you want to take the time to take the food out of the container and heat it up in a separate plate, which you probably don’t have time for.
For all my fast-paced people out there, I can’t stress this enough! Microwave containers are so important and almost all Tupperware out there is microwave safe, so no excuses. Make sure to check what how many watts it can stand and never overheat.
It’s almost common knowledge that all Tupperware you use must be microwave safe, but what most people don’t think about is the fridge. Not all containers are made to stand very cold temperatures. If you are prepping meals a week beforehand, you might have to freeze your food. It makes your life much easier if you can simply throw it in the freezer without worrying if the container will hold up.
Another thing to take into consideration is whether it’s dishwasher safe. You’ll be making around 7 to 9 pre-made meals every single week. If you have to hand wash all those containers, it can be a real nightmare. Remember, this is all about making it easy for you to stick to your fitness routine.
You’ll be preparing meals 1 to 2 weeks beforehand, making meals for 3 to 7 times a day. It’s going to take you a truckload of containers to store all that food. Little by little, the cost will add up. Also, keep in mind that you will have to be buying them almost constantly. Find a great budget set at Amazon.
Make sure to be mindful of the cost. Don’t spend a lot of money just because you are excited to start your fitness life. If you make this lifestyle hard to keep up with financially, you’ll probably end up dropping it. You should have a food scale too to make sure you’re not wasting too much food as well, and getting the correct portions!
Wrap – Up
My advice is to start with a set, just for you to learn your groove. Make sure to read the comment section if you are buying them online. Sometimes the sets are advertised to have a certain number of pieces including lids, meaning you’ll probably get half of what you thought.
So there you have it! Those are my recommendations when it comes to choosing the best tupperware for meal prepping. Always remember that it should work for you and no one else, it should be easy and it should help you maintain your lifestyle.
- Bodybuilding.com Forum – What’s the Best Tupperware for Meal Prep?
- T Nation Forums – Share Your Meal Prep Strategies