When you are a fully-fledged adult and can no longer rely on a parent or guardian to feed you at the end of the day, it’s fair to say that only then do you fully realize the extent of what it takes to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, as well as a regular and well-timed eating schedule!
Coming home at the end of a hard day at work or college and having to head to the kitchen to make a big meal isn’t always a person’s idea of fun. This can often lead to bad choices being made with regard to junk food and takeout.
One way to curb this kind of thing from becoming a habit is to get into the wonderful world of meal prepping. If you have never really thought about it before, then please allow us to enlighten you!
In general, the act of meal prepping usually refers to carving out a few hours on a given day to prepare, cook and portion out meals that you can come home to eat for the rest of the week. It is a trade-off of one afternoon or evening of cooking for the pleasure of being able to come through the front door and just heat up something that you know is going to be healthy and nutritious.
A trade I think we can all agree is worth it in the long run! If you are on the brink of being converted and still need a little bit more encouragement, here are ten of the best benefits that you can have from switching to a meal prepping routine:
1. Portion Control
When making a week’s worth of dinner all at once, you prevent yourself from eating too big a portion on any given day of the week. When portioning out your food into day-by-day containers, you can make sure that you are giving yourself a sensible amount.
That won’t change when you put it back into the oven or the microwave to heat up on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday etc. If you are somebody who has struggled with portion control in the past, then prepping meals in individual, same shaped containers for the week is a great way to pace yourself.
Making a big batch of healthy meals with fresh, store-bought ingredients is going to end up costing a lot less than buying takeout and individual junk items every night of the week.
Knowing that you have a meal waiting for you at home will help to curb any impulse spending that you might have gotten used to. You can also prepare healthy snacks and lunches during your meal prep sessions.
It will save a lot of money you’d probably otherwise spend on food from the store, canteen or vending machine.
3. No Hidden Calories
By eating meals that you have prepared and cooked yourself, you will know for sure that you aren’t consuming anything that has a bunch of hidden calories or surprise ingredients in it.
You would be surprised by just how many meals and items that you assume are healthy actually have just as many calories in them as foods you wouldn’t dream of classing as nutritious.
Processed foods labeled low-fat, reduced-calorie, and low-sugar, aren’t always as healthy as the labels would have you believe.
4. Improve Cooking Skills
Meal prepping not only helps you to improve your diet, it also helps you to improve your cooking skills. There are so many great, healthy batch-cooking recipes to choose from.
Every single week you can end up eating something completely different that you have never cooked before.
5. Better Exercise
If you are someone who likes to do exercise regularly throughout the week, you will notice that you see a marked improvement in your stamina and your concentration when you are enjoying a healthy, nutritious diet.
It’s certainly not rocket science, but you would be surprised how many people try to get by with working out and a host of junk food across the week. One does not cancel out the other.
6. Save Time
Compared to coming home and having to cook for yourself at the end of every working day, meal prepping can open up an entirely new world of saved time for you each week.
You could use the time that you used to spend cooking on doing other, more fun things. That includes hobbies or simply just sitting down and relaxing after a hard day.
You will also save time (and money!) on grocery shopping. For meal prep to be successful you need to plan in advance, and that means shopping to a list.
Having a list prevents you from aimlessly wandering the supermarket, deciding what to buy, thinking of how you can use the ingredients as you go along. If you make a comprehensive list and stick to it, there will be fewer impulse buys.
7. Better Relationship With Food
Becoming a person who cooks all of their dinner meals from scratch will result in you having a much better relationship with food overall. You will see better what it takes to create something healthy and exactly what goes into a meal that is good for you.
This improved relationship will help you to make better choices when eating at restaurants and on holiday.
8. Never Go Hungry
When fully in the swing of living the meal prepping life, the great thing is that you know that you will never come home to a house that has nothing waiting for you.
When timed correctly and to plan, there will always be a delicious meal a few minutes away thanks to the microwave or the oven and the work you’ve already put in with meal prep.
9. Inspiring To Others
If you can keep up this new kind of lifestyle, then you will certainly become a source of inspiration to friends, family, and colleagues. It can take a lot of commitment to become an everyday meal prepper, but the rewards really are worth it.
10. No Food Wastage
One of the best benefits of meal prepping that isn’t necessarily related to your own health is the fact that portioning things perfectly for the week ahead means that you shouldn’t have any problems with food wastage.
We should all be looking to be as environmentally aware and friendly as possible in today’s climate, and that applies as equally to what we eat as it does to how much water we use.
So, if you want to take the plunge and start experimenting with meal prepping in your own life, then you can check out some great high protein meal prep recipes right here. The trick is to find recipes that you like and that make you genuinely excited to both cook them and eat them regularly.
Once things click into place, you will find that your life can be completely transformed for the better.
If you don’t think that you have the capability to throw yourself right into a 24/7 style meal prepping routine, then just dip your toe in instead with prepping for a few days of the week, or just for lunches rather than both lunches and dinners.
The more you do it, the more natural it will start to feel, and before you know it you will be a master meal prepper with recommendations for every single day of the week!