The Importance Of Meal Prep In Advance
Eating healthy and working out generally go hand in hand, and that’s where prepping your meals in advance is an important part of achieving your fitness and health goals.
For many of us, eating healthy can feel a bit more intimidating than hitting the gym every day, as it requires constant food monitoring and management, as well as motivation. Meal prep plays an important role when it comes to discipline and the success of our daily fitness routine.
By starting a weekly meal prep, you can help yourself eat healthier meals while also ensuring you are getting the exact nutrients your body needs – this is what will get you a lot closer to reaching your fitness goals.
It Can Support Weight Loss
Portion control and time-controlled eating are often suggested by weight-loss experts to achieve sustainable weight loss – and the cold hard truth is that no matter how good your intentions are with healthy eating, if you do not have a meal plan and stick to that meal plan – you will often trip up. This is precisely the reason meal prepping can be so important for promoting weight loss.
It is incredibly helpful to ensure you have the right foods on hand to fuel your body and provide it with the nutrients it needs to keep your body in tip-top shape, especially if you are physically active. This is why preparing your meals in advance is so great as instead of following a restrictive, fixed, and frankly boring meal plan, you can still enjoy delicious, nutrient-dense meals that work for you and your individual fitness needs.
It is also good to note that if you are trying to lose weight through diet and exercise, you need to make sure you are in a calorie deficit, this is what will help promote weight loss. To do this, try cutting back on certain foods that are high-calorie, nutrient-poor, fast foods. Instead, try choosing filling, nutrient-dense foods while also trying to get in some daily physical activity.
Portion control and your ability to meal prep healthy, nutritious meals will also help to eliminate any impulse eating – this will drastically cut down your calorie intake and help promote a healthy weight loss, and with a healthy meal waiting for you after the gym or work, you are a lot less likely to order greasy take-out for dinner.
It Can Support Mass Gain
If your fitness goal is to build muscle, then your meal prepping goal should be to moderately increase your calorie consumption by consuming more healthy fats and protein while consuming fewer carbohydrates.
Meal prepping is an excellent way to portion out your daily meals to ensure you are sticking to your strict diet, meal prepping will also help you stop veering off course on those days where you don’t have the time or energy to cook for yourself.
As mentioned before – your diet is just as important as your workouts, especially if your goal is to gain muscle. Eating the correct amount of calories, enough protein and the perfect balance of fats and carbs can make an incredible difference to your body and your allover fitness goals.
For mass gain, meal prepping is often ignored, but it is a very valuable tool for those who are serious about their fitness goals – this is because by meal prepping, you will have nutritious, convenient, ready to eat meal options available on hand whenever you complete a workout or need some fuel!
For the best results gaining mass with meal prep, you should be sure to plan your meals carefully while putting the focus on lean proteins, fresh veggies, and healthy starches such as whole grains.
It Improves Overall Health
Meal prepping is by no means a diet – it is a habit, lifestyle, and skill that you can use for the rest of your life – and if you really want to make meaningful fitness progress, then you might want to look towards making other lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your life for the long run.
Incorporating meal prep into your weekly routine will jump-start other healthy habits, and combined with adequate sleep and regular physical activity you will be setting yourself up for great long-term and short-term success!
It Helps To Control What We Eat
A lot of us are unknowingly overeating each day due to the large portions restaurants tend to give us. This means that not only are we overeating, we are also consuming more calories than necessary in order to maintain a healthy diet.
Meal prepping encourages you to weigh and measure your portions, this helps you keep tabs on exactly what you are putting into your body while making tracking calories and other nutrients a lot easier. On top of this, you can control your ingredients better, ensuring your calories are coming from mostly nutrient-dense whole foods – because of this, meal prepping is a really great way to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Other Benefits Of Meal Prepping
It Saves Time
Wasting time trying to decide what to cook for dinner every night is a hassle – but by meal prepping you can take the daily decision-making out of the equation, while also ensuring you will always have healthy dinner options prepped and waiting for you when you get home. But the best part about meal prepping is having fewer dishes to clean!
It Saves Money
The biggest myth about eating healthy and clean is that it costs way too much money – but by meal prepping you can actually save a lot more money as you will be buying your ingredients in bulk while freezing the leftovers to use later on. Meal prepping will also stop you from needlessly ordering takeout multiple times a week when you are too tired to cook, therefore saving you even more money!
Although figuring out what to make for dinner might seem like a harmless task – for some people, this daily minor inconvenience can add unnecessary stress to their day, leaving them quite overwhelmed. By meal prepping for the week, you don’t have to engage in this daily battle anymore!
You Can Learn New Cooking Skills
A great way to build confidence in the kitchen is by meal prepping! Meal prepping will have you researching new ways to cook your favourite meals in bulk while also teaching you how to use different appliances and opening you up to a whole new world of recipes you have never tried before.
You Can Learn More About Nutrition
By meal prepping, you will learn to have a much better relationship with food while also learning a lot about nutrition and how to treat food for what it is – energy and nutrients! By meal prepping you will also learn to eat when you’re hungry and what specific foods you need for your specific needs – this is a great way to stop yourself from making unwise food decisions.
Tips & Tricks for Successful Meal Prep
As the name states – meal preparation requires, you guessed it, preparation! So the first thing you need to know is that you are going to have to plan ahead. You will also have to consider your budget, favourite foods and most importantly – you will need to consider your personal goals. From here, you can then start gathering recipes that will include foods from every food group so you will always have a balanced meal. Now you are ready to start a grocery list, decide on portions, and start cooking!
Also to note:
- Make sure you have enough single meal-sized containers for clean and easy storage.
- Freeze any food that you won’t be able to consume within 5 days.
- Cooking in large batches (especially grains) as they can take a long time to cook.
Meal prepping is definitely something you will need to get used to, but once you make the decision to start meal prepping, you have already made a giant leap in the right direction towards being a healthier, happier you. No matter what your health and fitness goals are this year – you can rest assured that meal prep fits into your equation!
Having convenient, fresh, healthy food options always on hand will make the world of difference!
What are your best tips and tricks for someone starting meal prepping?