Meal-prepping has become extremely popular in recent years, and for good reason. Making or buying prepared meals and snacks is not just a trend – the benefits of meal prep are so many that once you start doing it, you may never go back to traditional cooking.
This blog explores the benefits of meal prep that you may not have considered.
6 Benefits of Meal Prep You Didn’t Even Know About
1. Reduces Stress and Decision Fatigue
Deciding what you will eat right before eating it might not seem like a big deal. However, the stress associated with shopping without a grocery list, or planning what to eat night after night can sneak up on us.
We all know the feeling of rushing around to prepare dinner and not having all the ingredients we’re looking for. Or, knowing that we forgot to pack a lunch the night before and wondering what we will eat during the day. Even deciding on what restaurant to go to among people with various tastes and dietary goals can prove to be less than ideal.
Meal plans often equate to slowing down and rushing less. Prepping food on one day, or even engaging a meal prep service means fewer dishes to do and less time spent at crowded grocery stores. Knowing you have a healthy meal prepped will allow you to rest easy because you don’t have to worry about making a healthy choice.
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2. It’s Easier to Eat Healthier
Even if you’re not trying to lose weight or achieve a certain goal, eating balanced meals in today’s food environment can be a challenge. Planning ahead by food prepping means avoiding last-minute fast food purchases–filled with high levels of sodium and fat.
Those ingredients make food taste appealing and satisfying, especially if you’re truly hungry. It’s difficult to say, “no” to tasty, non-nutritional quick bites when they appear to be the easiest option.
Having nutritious, personally chosen foods prepared makes healthy eating less of a trial. It also helps you stick to healthy portions and avoid mindless overeating.
3. Routines Streamline your Schedule
Not having to cook dinner every night and do dishes afterward, or not going out to dinner every night can free up hours during the week.
In addition to being stressful (see benefit #1) making food decisions can also take time and effort. Figuring out what to cook, finding a certain recipe, or deciding if you should get takeout can waste a lot of time.
Planning meals in advance also saves time by avoiding this decision-making process. It can also help to get you on a more consistent eating schedule in general.
4. It Can Help Achieve Specific Dietary Goals
Meal prepping has become synonymous with weight loss but there are many reasons for wanting to eat a certain way. Some popular diet goals are often related to:
- Losing weight
- Building muscle
- Sticking to a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or low-carb diet
- Knowing the macros or calorie counts you’re eating
- Avoiding allergens
Whatever you hope to achieve through eating a specific diet, meal prepping can help. You’ll have the particular foods that meet your dietary goals ready ahead of time.
Meal prep can also provide built-in portion control in the amounts that you want.
5. Build Confidence
Meal prepping can build confidence in several ways. First off, learning how and what to food prep can help make you more knowledgeable about the nutrition available in different foods. Seeing food as a source of nutrients can help foster a better relationship with food in general
You’ll also build confidence by sticking to a plan and achieving goals you set for yourself.
6. Saves Money and Reduces Food Waste
People spend a ton of money on eating out every month. Some people eat out for one or all of their meals in the day. Sometimes money is wasted on impulse buys because there is nothing better to eat, or you’ve waited too long and are now a little too hungry.
With food prep you will save money by avoiding ordering out or going to restaurants all the time.
Proper planning also means you’ll use what you buy instead of forgetting about fresh fruits and vegetables or meats and having them spoil.
Should You Get a Meal Delivery Service?
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Meal prepping is amazing for all of the reasons we mentioned above but it still has three big flaws. You need to shop, cook, and clean up after yourself, making it no less effort than cooking every day.
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