We’ve saved pictures of perfectly prepared healthy meals all lined up in glass containers, but have you actually tried preparing the meals?
Swiping through millions of examples on social media is one thing, but opening your fridge and pulling out one of those containers is a complete game changer!
Meal prep can save you time and money while prioritizing your health. Seriously, how good could it be?
The benefits of meal prep are real! All it takes is *a little* planning on your part, and you can reap many health and lifestyle benefits in return.
Here are nine reasons to start preparing meals in advance.
1. Improves diet quality and variety.
If you plan your meals in advance, you may be making smart choices instead of stealing the pantry or ordering takeout on a hungry stomach. I’ve heard that going to the store is dangerous for your diet and bank account. The same goes for what you eat when a hungry monster reigns.
research1 indicates that meal planners are more likely to make wiser meal choices. And, of course, this translates into improved health and weight loss (but more on that below). Preppers tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, including salads. If you’re trying to make healthy eating a top priority, planning and preparing meals when you’re not starving can help you reach your goals and avoid fast food and snacks. I can do it.
Meal plans are also a great opportunity to try out new recipes and ingredients. Choosing a theme for the week, such as ‘Mediterranean’ or ‘International,’ will save you time planning your menu and help you try new foods.
2. You are more likely to reach your dietary goals.
Having meals ready when you need them not only keeps you from going hungry, but also reduces the temptation to eat out or pull processed, prepackaged meals out of the freezer. If you have healthy eating goals you’re trying to achieve, using sheer willpower while fasting is a brutal way to try to reach those goals.
Home-cooked meals typically contain less sugar, sodium, and saturated fat than purchased meals. And by having good options ready, you’re more likely to make the right choice instead of testing your willpower.
Whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight, or improve your diet, meal prepping can make these goals more attainable and sustainable!
3. It prevents overeating.
If portion control is required, cooked meals are Easy How to get past this! Make meals ahead of time, then plate her serving size in each container. When eating, just put one container in the microwave OK.
Also, who likes to cook when they come home hungry at night? Preparing meals when you’re tired and hungry makes you more likely to snack while cooking or plate a large amount of food when you’re finally ready. . Familiar? Preparing meals in advance will help you satisfy hunger faster with the right amount of food, making overeating a thing of the past.
4. Deepen your knowledge about nutrition.
Meal planners tend to research meal ideas and research nutritional facts about potential recipes. You can get more information about your food choices over time.
The more we learn about the power of food for energy and nutrition, the more likely we are to stay committed to healthy dietary choices.
5. It can help you lose weight and prevent obesity.
Have you ever checked the calorie count of your favorite takeout meal? Most restaurants care more about how you get hooked on your food (think sugar, sugar, and more sugar) than how that food affects your long-term health. The restaurant portions are also much larger than usually recommended for one person. You know the “super size me” effect that comes with eating out, so it’s no surprise that cooking meals at home is a way to achieve a healthy weight.
In addition to linking eating out with obesity,2 Meal prepping can help you overcome the temptation to take out and control your weight.3pilot program participants met every Sunday afternoon for six weeks to prepare healthy meals for the week. I lost an average of 3 pounds in 2019 and developed lasting habits and cooking skills.
In addition to avoiding takeout, all of the health benefits of meal prep above also help with weight loss and obesity prevention. Instead, you are making the best decision for your waistline.
6. You can save money.
Eating out once in a while is certainly not the end of the world, but eating out definitely gets a bad reputation on this list for good reason. The cost can be much higher too.
Also, it’s definitely a myth that healthy eating costs money. Meal prep is the perfect way to ensure healthy eating doesn’t break the bank.
7. Save time.
this is a big one. Even if saving time isn’t one of your biggest motivations for meal prepping, it’s definitely something we can all benefit from. It may seem strange that he would save time if he cooked the same number of meals all in one day, but the calculations add up perfectly. Making meal prep a day allows one ingredient or side dish to be cooked in batches and used for multiple meals, reducing mid-week grocery shopping, and cleaning up after cooking is a breeze, he says. It only needs to be done once. For many people, meal prep can save time looking for ingredients, cooking, and cleaning.And you know what that means? Make more time during the week to exercise, spend time with your family, or unwind with guilt-free downtime.
8. You will reduce food waste.
When you plan your grocery shopping, every item you buy has a purpose. Meal prep helps you get organized before you hit the grocery store. Food loss is reduced because it is used before the food spoils. (Note: If you don’t waste food, you’ll save a lot here too!)
According to a report by the National Resources Defense CouncilFour, Americans throw away nearly a quarter of all food and drink they buy. Meal prep can help break this cycle by reducing the problems that lead to throwing things away, such as food spoilage, impulse buying, lack of planning, and leftovers.
Raw fruits and vegetables spoil quickly. But whether you’re preparing an entire meal or just washing and chopping fruits and vegetables for easy snacking, planning ahead can help you use ingredients before they’re gone.
Another advantage of waste reduction is that meal planning can reduce all the packaging used for takeout meals. So, another eco-friendly reason to prepare meals.
9. Improves emotional and mental health.
Plan your meals every time. Day. Exhausting for most people. The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is thinking about what to make for dinner. You can reduce stress by avoiding this daily question in your meal prep. More than just planning, your meal will be on your plate in minutes.
In addition to the convenience of meal preparation, studyFive Healthy dietary choices have been repeatedly associated with reducing stress, improving daily mood, and having an overall positive impact on mental health. You will be happier if you give
try it. You may be surprised.
Preparing meals doesn’t have to be scary. It may take time to try different approaches until you settle on a routine that works for you, but the benefits are undeniable, so don’t give up too soon.
Meal preparation is not only the key to achieving your goals, but you never know who will inspire you to make much-needed changes in your life.
If you need help getting started, go ahead and pull up some of the pins you’ve already saved. Or, check out some meal prep tips to help you get started preparing chicken here.