Meal prepping is framed in terms of health, economy, and self-improvement — it is the best and cheapest way to upgrade and maintain your most valuable asset – your body. Meal prepping allows people to also escape the cultural baggage of leftovers by packaging food into discreet packages. When separating dishes cooked simultaneously into different containers, eaters avoid feeling like they’re eating leftover meals. Prepared meals are packaged as fresh and new.
According to a study in a nutrition journal, 92% of females in the US reported cooking compared to just 28% of men – this was in 1965. By 2016, 46% of men say cooking at home compared with 70% of women. Today, meal prepping is giving men a reason to embrace cooking.
Being triathletes or athletes, sometimes it is hard to eat enough, but meal prepping will help break down your meals, especially during the day if you are at work, doing errands, etc. It is better than stopping at your favorite fast food place or running into Whole Foods, to the salad bar, and not knowing how many macros you are consuming!
Meal prepping is the act of planning, preparing snacks and meals in advance, say for the next week. The whole intention is to ensure clean eating and portion control, with the primary goal often of reaching your health and fitness goals. As we embark on our triathlon season and get more training, the first thing that can be eliminated is our food intake; we are not eating enough or eating the wrong meals. Let’s chat some more about Meal Prepping!
Start Meal Prepping as a Way Of Life
Let’s take a close look at why people are starting to prep their meals and why you should consider it, too, as we are so busy navigating through life today that many of us can’t imagine preparing meals for every day of the week. That makes the temptation of take-way places and restaurants very attractive. As you can see, It might sound easy to set goals to become healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle, but following through and staying on the ‘straight and narrow’ is sometimes much trickier. Meal prepping makes it easier to reach your goals.
With meal prepping, there is no right or wrong way to prepare meals because it works best for you. The primary goal is to save you time in the kitchen, making healthy meals available during the week. Some people like to prepare their next week by preparing all three main meals a day while others want to know their supper is ready when they get home to something healthy.
Here are the benefits that you will get from meal-prepping:
1. You save money
To eat healthily doesn’t mean going expensive if you plan. Buy your food in bulk, and take full advantage of your freezer. When you plan, you know what you will need instead of going to the store a few times a week, wandering the aisles, and putting Honey Nut Cheerios in your basket.
2. It helps you to lose weight
When you plan your meals and you intend to lose weight, it will happen so much easier. During the week, you will know exactly what goes into your body and how much. You are the one who has control over how many calories you are eating daily – the ideal recipe for losing weight.
3. Grocery shopping becomes easier
When you know what foods you will eat next week, grocery shopping becomes a breeze. Your list will be divided into the different things you need, and if you know your store, you will know exactly where to go to fetch your food, saving time and energy.
4. It teaches portion control
You get to know all about balance when it comes to meal prepping. Your individual-sized containers will prevent you from piling more food onto your plate, mainly if you aim to lose weight and count your macros. Practicing portion control is vital because each portion will have the necessary nutrients in them too. When you teach yourself portion control, you can also treat yourself now and then because you carefully monitor yourself.
5. Less food wastage
We all know how awful we feel when we toss out food that went bad before getting the chance to eat it. Meal prepping encourages you to use only what you will use for the next week. You will unlikely be packing in any leftovers, particularly if you have become an expert planner.
6. Time is saved
Naturally, time will be required to plan your meals and prepare them for the next week, but think of the time saved during the week! No more standing in front of the refrigerator wondering what to cook, and then often, in your haste and irritation of being unable to make up your mind or find the right ingredients, you take the unhealthy route by buying takeouts. With meal prepping for a week, you can come home from a busy day at work, take out your prepared meal and heat it.
7. You are investing in your health
Meal prepping is fantastic because you prepare what you will be putting into your body ahead of time. This could mean that you eat cleaner, not being exposed to unhealthy options like processed, deep-fried, sugary, high-preservative, chemical, and hormone-injected foods. You will not fail to notice how eating cleanly and nutritionally and your waistline narrowing! Meal Prepping will benefit your heart and your overall health.
8. Stronger Willpower
Getting into the swing of each week, consistently eating healthily and cleanly, you will notice your craving for sugar getting less, as well as those takeout meals. Getting into a routine is vital to healthy eating. The longer you keep at it, the easier it becomes to turn down the wrong foods you know you shouldn’t be eating.
9. Stress is Reduced
Stress affects our immune systems – it causes us digestive problems, let alone sleeping problems. And it can be pretty stressful coming home from work, and you need to do other things, but you still need to think about preparing supper. Not so with meal prepping! Say goodbye to wondering what to eat. Just take out ready meals, healthy meals, waiting in the refrigerator, ready to be heated up.
10. It adds a variety
Planning your meals makes it easy to choose from all the different food groups to ensure you get the proper nutrients and calories. These should be from the protein groups, fats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. You can mix them up, bringing out all your creative skills.
I hope this gives you a sense of WHY you should look at meal prepping as a triathlete or an endurance athlete. It will help you organize your days, especially as your days get fuller with heavier training.