There are often good intentions to lead a healthy lifestyle, but with the number of convenience foods on offer, there is so much temptation around to lure you into bad habits. If you lead a busy lifestyle and struggle to make time to cook good meals, this type of eating habit is usually a quick and easy way to eat every day. Alongside the unhealthy habits that this is forming, your bank balance might also be under pressure at the expense of convenience foods. It’s a myth that this type of food costs less, as even in basic terms, it doesn’t fill you up so you’ll be visiting the grocery store more often to stock up thus costing you more and more each week. If you’re a fan of buying takeout’s or regularly visiting restaurants, this will also be costing you money each week, and although you might think this is a treat, if you’re doing it all the time, it loses that significance.
A great way to start changing your habits for the better includes preparing meals in advance to get all the essential nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle. Meal prepping has become a popular way to save time and get your diet in shape for many people over the past few years and is often used by athletes who have specific sports nutrition meal plans so they can perform at their best each time. Although you don’t have to be a fitness or sports fan to take advantage of this new lifestyle, as meal preparation can fit into all lifestyles with some small and simple changes.
Take a look at some of the benefits of incorporating meal prep into your everyday meal plans for a healthy outlook.
It saves you money
One of the most significant factors of prepping meals in advance is that it will save your hard earned cash in the long run. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive, and you also have the option of using your freezer to store food you’re not using straight away. By preparing your meals for the days ahead, you also reduce the need to go back to the grocery store and pick up any little extras or get tempted by other treats during the week. Doing this will also free up the cash you would have spent grabbing that sandwich on your lunch break or getting that weekly takeout on the way home.
Helps lose and maintain a healthy weight
If you’re looking to lose some extra pounds or maintain a healthy weight, the meal prep is a great option. By preparing everything in advance, this will reduce the need to snack unnecessarily during the day and as each part is planned you’re more likely to stick to the nutrition and calories you’ve set each day. Using meal prep alongside regular exercise will also help you see the pounds shred away, and a leaner physique will appear.
Grocery shopping is often a chore, and you end up grabbing the same things week in and week out as you don’t have time to mix things up a little. When you’re meal prepping, this experience will be so much easier as you will have made a list beforehand to avoid wandering the aisles aimlessly picking up things you don’t need. Making a list and splitting into the categories around the shop will offer you a quick way to grab the essentials without being tempted by sections of the store you don’t need to go enter.
Saves you time
After the initial time to prepare food before you start the week, it frees you up during the rest of the week to focus on doing the things you love. Meal times are easy and stress-free as you don’t need to decide what to cook and you’ll spend less time making lunches for work or cooking meals in the evening.
Controlling portion size
One of the biggest factors of weight gain is that you eat too much during meal times. You might think that you need to eat a lot of food each time because your feel famished but instead consuming smaller portions is healthier and better for sustaining a healthy weight. By preparing your meals in advance, you are monitoring your portion size and taking control of how much you eat on a daily basis. To help you in this process, prepping using containers is a great idea as this sets out exactly what you eat for each meal. You can also buy specialized tubs that have compartments to separate portions and see how much of each food you eat.
Boosts overall health
Healthy eating has a vast variety of benefits from losing weight to helping you feel alert each day. Getting the right nutrients and food types will also help to release energy during the day slowly, so this assists in reducing cravings for unhealthy treats. Once you start eating more healthy, you’ll notice benefits to health at every corner from sleeping better, feeling refreshed and having a clear mind to gaining confidence and taking control of your lifestyle, you’ll start to reap the rewards of better eating habits for long-term success.
Offers variety at meal times
They say variety is the spice of life, so what better way to incorporate a little of that into meal times. Believe it or not, when you shop on a regular basis, you buy the same things over and over again without realizing it. Even though you might be tempted by a recipe you’ve seen on TV or read in a book, you’re still less likely to try it out in the fear you’ll waste money on trying something new that you might not like. With meal prep, this variety can be introduced in small ways to mix up meal times and prevent them from becoming dull. Adding some herbs and spices or introducing fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before will help add something different to your meals each time.