Here’s the thing: eating healthy does NOT mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen cooking elaborate meals.  Eating healthy can be a challenge if you hate cooking, however, it’s not impossible! Maybe it’s not even that you hate cooking, but it’s not a priority for you. You have a demanding job, you have little ones to take care of, or maybe you just don’t even know where to start. If you have weight loss goals or other goals based on improving your personal nutrition, how do you make it happen without spending a massive amount of time in the kitchen?


Our first and most important suggestion is to always plan ahead. Instead of using your time cooking, use some of this time for planning instead. Plan out your meals and perhaps even pre-log them in My Fitness Pal for the next week or the next day to keep the guesswork out of it. Even if you eat a majority of your meals out, there’s still a way to be prepared and stay on track to reaching your goals.

One strategy may be to block out set meals that you know you have coming in the week ahead - social events, work dinners, lunch meetings, etc. - and working around them by filling the rest of your days with lots of protein and veggies. (check out this post for more on handling social events while tracking macros).


There are LOTS of options nowadays for purchasing most or even all of your meals prepared. If you hate cooking or you need to be speedy in the kitchen, here are some staples to grab on your next grocery trip:

  • Rotisserie chicken

  • Canned chicken, tuna or salmon

  • Pre-cut fresh veggies or frozen veggies

  • Pre-made salad or veggie stir-fry mixes (just add protein!)

  • Frozen meals: as long as you’re paying attention to the ingredients and the nutrition labels, there are actually some really great options for frozen meals. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have a great frozen meal selection.


Preparing batches of easy go-to protein and carb sources can take as little as an hour or two and set you up with easy food options for the rest of your week. This may look like batch prepping a couple of crock pot options for protein that take 5 minutes or less. It could be as easy as making a crockpot of shredded chicken and pairing it with rice, roasted potatoes, frozen or pre-made veggies to throw together easy meals to supplement meals out throughout the week. (If you haven’t already checked it out, our cookbook Everyday Macros helps you plan a week’s worth of meals with just a few ingredients using batch prep techniques.)


For those looking to save time or for those who loathe going to the grocery store, try having them delivered right to your home. Most large grocery stores now offer a delivery service where you can choose your items online and they will be delivered to you for a small fee. This is just another way you could save yourself some time and possibly bypass one of the biggest pain points (for some people!) of meal prepping.


Local meal delivery services like Bedrock (if you’re local to Memphis) or other similar places, source wholesome ingredients and do the work for you. Most of these types of services offer an online ordering system with a selection of healthy meals (including nutrition information) that can be delivered to you or picked up at a nearby location each week. The great thing about this type of service is you don’t have to do any work except get your order in on time and possibly pick it up! This is one of the best options out there for those who don’t like to cook and/or lack time to meal prep.


Similar to a meal delivery service, there are now lots of options for boxed meal kits that are delivered right to your door. A few you’ve probably heard of are HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Dinnerly and Plated, but the list goes on. Each offers a rotating menu to choose from along with a subscription service and convenient delivery. The great thing about these meal kits is that you don’t have to step foot inside the grocery store, but you’re still able to cook a delicious meal without having to take the time to find a recipe, source all of the ingredients AND cook it. And since it is a subscription service, you don’t even have to take the time to order each week; once you create your profile and update your preferences, meals will be sent to you automatically. This is a great option for those who want a home-cooked meal, but want to save time in the kitchen.


It’s becoming more common for restaurants to list their nutritional information directly on their menu or online. Some places even list macros for some of their meals! Keep in mind that eating out isn’t always ideal, especially if you have weight-loss goals, as you’re always estimating when you eat out, but estimating is always better than not tracking. If you hate cooking or eating out is a must for you, create a list of these places and figure out what your go-to menu items are. (Check out Resources for more helpful tips)


If budget isn’t a concern for you, hiring someone to do the things you don’t like to do or don’t have time to do, is always a good option. Do a quick search in your area either on Google or even search postings on NextDoor or Facebook Marketplace for home chefs. Paying someone to come to your home and cook for you is at the far end of the spectrum, but if you want home-cooked food that meets your needs (but hate to cook) and you can afford it, this could be good option for you!

There are lots of ways to get around cooking and spending hours in the kitchen meal prepping each week while still eating healthy and even tracking your macros. If you hate cooking or don’t have a lot of time to spend meal prepping, what’s your strategy? Let us know in the comments!