Most of us have heard that losing weight or achieving your fitness goals is significantly easier when you prep your meals for the upcoming week, but there are also a ton of other benefits to meal prepping that you shouldn’t overlook.
- First and foremost, you’ll have healthy snacks/meals on hand and available. While eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, sometimes it just does. Going to In N Out for a cheeseburger is easier and less time consuming than making a healthy, nutrient dense meal that will keep you full and satisfied. Grabbing a box of cookies at the store is easier and faster than making a healthy batch from scratch. With more and more people concerned about their health, there are more places where you can get a healthy and quick meal but these are still limited and most of them aren’t going to be as healthy as something you make yourself. If you meal prep a few meals and/or snacks earlier in the week, you’ll be more likely to avoid the unhealthy fast food/quick options and choose something that is more nutrient dense.
- It’s a lot cheaper. As I mentioned above, there are a few places now-a-days where you can buy healthy meals and snacks but have you ever noticed how expensive it is?? For example, you can get a burger from a fast food restaurant for under $5 or you can order a salad and expect to pay at least $10 (unless all you want is lettuce and carrots #boring). If you order from a meal prep company, you can also expect to pay at least $8-$10 for a meal depending on where you order from. You can save a significant amount of money, if you make the meal yourself. It costs me less than $5 (typically between $2-$3) to prep a healthy, nutrient dense and filling meal. This can add up and save you a lot of money and don’t we all want that?!
- You learn how to cook. No one wants to eat the same bland and boring meal every day for a week. By prepping your meals, you’re forced to learn recipes that you enjoy and how to easily switch up the flavors of a meal by adding different ingredients, spices, etc.
- You’ll reach your fitness goals faster. By prepping your meals, you know exactly what’s going into them and you control how much of everything you put in. You can easily limit the amount of oil and butter you add, if you’re trying to lose weight or increase the amount of protein, if you’re trying to gain muscle. While you can gauge what might be in a meal at a restaurant or fast food place, it’s not as accurate and extra calories can easily add up.
- It teaches you portion control. By portioning out meals at the beginning of the week, you won’t be tempted to go back for seconds once you’ve finished your meal. You’ll be able to better gauge if you’re actually still hungry or you just want to eat more.
- You won’t waste food. If food is going to go bad soon, you can use these ingredients in your next meal prep to waste less food. You’ll also know what meal(s) you’re making at the beginning of the week which will help you buy the things you’ll actually need at the grocery store and not items you won’t end up using.
Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds, gain some muscle, or save up to buy something special, I highly recommend meal prepping for all the reasons listed above!