Updated: May 5
If getting healthy is on your “to do” list, then meal prepping is your friend. For those of you who are new to the idea of meal prepping, here’s a short explanation: meal prepping basically means making your meals in advance and portioning them out for convenience. There are no rules for meal prepping; it can look different for each person based on what works best for them. Some people like to make all of their meals for the week at one time, while others may have two or three separate prepping days throughout the week. Meal prepping can also mean just focusing on making one meal in advance, such as lunch, instead of prepping all three. No matter what your preference is, meal prepping can make your life easier.
Meal prepping may seem overwhelming if you’re new to it. However, this practice can have so many wonderful benefits for your health. Taking a few hours a week to plan, shop, prep, and cook a few healthy meals in advance can be life changing. Here are five perks of meal prepping:
It takes the thought out of meal time. When your food is prepped in advance, choosing to eat a healthy meal is as convenient as reaching in the fridge. This frees up mental space for other focuses in your life like work, family, and friends. It also takes the stress out of deciding what to eat and how much food to eat at every meal.
You have control over what ingredients (and how much) go into your meals. Ordering food from a restaurant often tastes better than when you make it at home, right? There’s a reason for that. Chefs want their food to taste delicious, and adding extra butter, oil, and sugar does just that. By cooking at home, you have complete control over how much of each ingredient goes into your food, which is very important if you are trying to make healthy changes. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that your food will be flavorless! Focus on spices and seasonings to make food more exciting instead of turning to butter, oil, and sugar for flavor.
You decide how much to eat. Another big difference between restaurant eating and home cooked meals are the portions. When ordering from a restaurant, portions are usually much larger than what you need which makes overeating much more likely. Meal prepping helps you portion out certain amounts of protein, veggies, and carbs that fit in with your goals. This helps prevent overeating which also helps you reach your goals faster than relying on the portion size of a restaurant meal.
Cooking at home saves you money. Ordering out can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re choosing healthier options like fresh vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. For example, you can order a chicken and quinoa salad for $15 (not including tax, tip, and delivery), OR you could make it at home for less than $5. Ten dollars might not sound like a lot, but this small difference can really add up over time. If you’re wanting to get healthy and save some cash as well, start making more of your meals at home.
You can make food to your taste preferences. Do you love turkey burgers but wish they had more flavor? When you prep your food at home, you can add as many seasonings as you want to make it taste just how you like. This not only improves on your cooking skills, but it also brings more excitement to meals when you know that they are going to taste great.
Are you ready to start making your health and nutrition goals a reality? Sign up for a complimentary strategy session here to see if nutrition coaching is a perfect fit for you.