Meal prepping – it has been a hot topic lately, with health experts, fitness gurus and even your favorite celebrities promoting the practice of planning your meals in advance.
If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle or are on a weight loss journey, but often find yourself in the nearest fast food drive-through, perhaps it’s time to explore preparing your food for the week ahead. Read on for four reasons to incorporate meal planning into your everyday lifestyle.
- Stay accountable in choosing healthy foods. Is it Friday and your office is giving away free pizza? Or are you driving back from the gym and see a parade of neon signs for burgers and fries? Are you thinking about your empty stomach and your even emptier pantry? When you meal prep, dinner is always waiting for you in your refrigerator – which holds you accountable in choosing to eat the healthy meal you made and not waste it by eating out.
- Save time (and money!). Time is valuable and at 6 pm after a long day, the last thing you want to have to do is slave over a hot stovetop. Cooking for meal prepping is done once per week – that way, all you have to do is grab a container when you’re hungry. Additionally, there’s a myth that eating healthy is more expensive – it’s not! Buy your ingredients (such as brown rice) in bulk and make massive meals that can be spread throughout the week. If you crave a different flavor each day, change things up with varying sauces or different types of protein.
- Know exactly what to eat and when. “What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know; what do you want to eat?” “I don’t know…” Do you deal with this frustrating exchange frequently? Take the questioning out of mealtime by already having food ready for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, you only need to decide what to eat while you’re preparing it. The rest of the week will be easy to make a decision – because you’ve already made it.
- Improve your cooking skills – and maybe even learn some new ones. In addition to being great for your health, meal planning is also a fantastic way to upgrade your skills by taking on cooking as a hobby. Impress guests and expand your diet by learning new recipes and perfecting nutritious entrees.
Following a healthy diet doesn’t mean restricting yourself, but it does require determination and commitment. Planning your meals isn’t a restriction; it simply gives you more control over the choices you make and helps you stay on track. Make your healthy choices more convenient for you by planning your nutrition and preparing your meals.