If you’re trying to shed pounds and eat healthier, planning and creating meals ahead could be your best weapon against unhealthy eating and those extra pounds. In fact, meal prep could be the key. At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to do is think. If you’re like most people, your mind goes on rote and you automatically grab the quickest thing to fix—which isn’t always the healthiest. When you plan meals and prepare them ahead, the quickest thing available will be good for you.
There’s no worry about portion size when you make meals ahead.
Having the right serving size in each container makes it easy to eat exactly what your body needs to meet its goal. You don’t have to be on a diet to benefit from this. In fact, I know a client that takes her mother preprepared meals. The mother is older and was losing weight because she wasn’t eating enough. This stopped the shrinking mom syndrome and turned it around to healthier mom. The client helped herself too. She made enough for her mom and herself, so everyone benefited.
Precooking foods saves time.
You can make two or three meals at the same time, doing double duty in the kitchen. Some people prepare larger portions and freeze the extras for the next week or two. I have two clients who are good friends and decided to double it up. Each prepared three meals that included four servings. They kept two and gave their friend two. That meant that for the time and effort of cooking one day, they had twelve healthy meals ready to heat and eat.
You’ll keep more money in your pocket.
You’ll still spend money on food prep, but not as much as purchasing ready made food, whether from a takeout or in the freezer section of the grocery. To make it more fun, calculate what you spend in food before you started meal prep ahead and then track what it costs doing it yourself. You can save even more by planning around grocery sales, couponing and even swapping meals with friends. Keep score of your savings and tuck it away until you have enough to buy something to treat yourself, like new clothes in a smaller size.
- You might find that meal prep is fun when you’re not rushed and starved. In fact, it could spur the inner healthy cook in you to come out and visit.
- With the extra time you save on premaking your food, you create time to go to the gym and workout without making huge adjustments to your schedule.
- Prepping meals ahead keeps you on track. You may feel like splurging one night, but if the meals already made, you normally opt for that.
- Meal prep includes meal planning. When you have a plan, you can create a grocery list and save time and money at the store.