I’m sure we have all been here: we start the week off right with good eating intentions and cooking for ourselves. Then, by Wednesday or Thursday, we are tired of cooking every night and find ourselves browsing the takeout menu. If this sounds familiar, then you might be a great fit to try out meal prepping and planning!
Meal prepping involves grocery shopping and cooking meals ahead of time and storing the ready-to-eat meals to eat later on. Oftentimes, individuals meal prep lunch and dinner, but it can even be smart to meal prep all of your meals for a given number of days. Meal prepping and planning serves to keep individuals on track with healthy, home-cooked, and nutritious meals that they can pop in the oven or microwave and enjoy without the added fuss of needing to cook everyday. Meal prepping is great for individuals who have busy schedules or who don’t always have time to cook but who also want to maintain their health. Let’s review five ways meal prepping and planning will benefit you, your health, and your future self!
Meal Prepping Saves You Energy!
Cooking can be fun and even exciting for some, but cooking every night can be tiring and worn out. By having already prepared meals ready to heat up and consume, you could save so much energy throughout the week! Spending a few hours on the weekend prepping your meals can award you time and energy that can be used doing a host of other things. Also, the planning of what to eat and cleaning up afterwards are already taken care of, too! Score!
Meal Prepping Saves You Money!
Let’s face it, occasionally we all love to have food cooked for us and to go out to eat, but those costs can really add up. Average costs for meals eaten outside of the home can range from $10 to $13 per meal, versus meals cooked and eaten at home being around $4 to $6 per meal! That’s a lot of money saved over time that could be spent elsewhere in your budget.
Meal Prepping Saves You Time!
Cooking homemade meals takes time out of your day, but eating home-cooked meals doesn’t have to if you prep them ahead of time. Adding a few hours of meal prep to your Sunday routine can really pay off and give you time throughout the week to spend on other things, such as spending time with friends or getting around to that thing you’ve been putting off.
Meal Prepping is Beneficial for Your Health!
It’s a widely known fact that consumers don’t 100% know what is in their food when ordering from a restaurant or getting takeout. More than likely, the food you are ordering from outside the home has hidden excess sodium, saturated fat, and total calories than if you were to make the food yourself. This means that the consumer can reap health benefits by cooking for themselves and controlling exactly what is going into their food.
Meal prepping also gives access to meals throughout the day, keeping you fueled and energized with minimal effort put in. Also, since meal prepping portions out meals ahead of time, you are “accidentally” practicing portion control, something that is a sure fire way to ensure you don’t overeat or keep eating even when full.
Meal Prepping Eliminates Stress!
By having your meals already portioned out and ready to reheat, you no longer have to stress and worry about what’s for lunch or dinner. You also don’t have to worry about grocery shopping, having the right ingredients for a dish, or worry about spending time cooking a meal after a long day of work. Of course meal prepping won’t eliminate all stress in your life, but having delicious and nutritious meals ready to go at your fingertips will for sure ease the burden around mealtime.
By Lauren Dessaure