Meal prepping is nothing new. In fact, athletes and bodybuilders have talked about it for decades. Preparing your meals ahead of time is a positive dietary technique that has worked for thousands, and it can help you on your journey to lose weight, burn fat, or build muscle. Our resident nutritionist, Jessica Lopez, breaks down the top seven reasons why you should start prepping your meals ahead of time.
1. Creates organization: Every life-changing goal requires a plan of action and being organized is essential to turning that plan into a reality. You will quickly realize that if you want to be successful with that big life changing goal, you’ll need to break it up into manageable (digestible) mini goals. If your goal is to lose weight, for instance, you can start by planning a grocery list. Once you have a grocery list, decide on what recipes you want to eat during the following week, and make sure you set aside the time to prepare them. You will be amazed at how fast you progress towards achieving your overall goal.
2. Stabilizes insulin levels: One key to maintaining muscle mass and burning fat is to stabilize your insulin levels. Eating a series of smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will assist your metabolism in staying high throughout your day, turning you into a fat burning machine!
3. You know what you are eating: Let’s face it, there are a lot of diet foods out there that are marketed to be healthy, but many are overly processed and full of unpronounceable ingredients. Preparing your own meals will ensure you know what goes into your body.
4. Less chance of cheating: Having all of your meals prepped and ready to go makes it easier to grab what you are supposed to eat and less likely to head to the vending machine for that quick fix. You will find that you are always one step ahead of your appetite, and you will feel great throughout the day.
5. Makes dieting easy: Once you have your meals prepped and ready to go, the rest is thoughtless. Now, all you have to do is eat at the appropriate times. We can’t stress this enough. You will never have a question of what to eat or when – what a relief!
6. Makes dieting budget friendly: You will save a ton of money by bringing your lunch to work every day rather than running through the drive-thru or getting take out. Planning your meals for the following week will help you manage your monthly food budget by allowing you to see ahead of time where your money is going.
7. Energy flows where attention goes: If you have a goal of losing weight or building lean muscle, it takes energy and effort. If you truly put the effort in, believe that it will happen, and give your goal the attention it needs, then you will hit your fitness goal.
In the beginning, it will take some getting used to as you develop meal prep plans, create recipes, and get accustomed to cooking multiple meals at once, but stick with it! Meal prepping truly is a crucial component in not only achieving your health and fitness goals, but also in maintaining an overall healthy and happy lifestyle. Develop your plan around the week you have ahead of you, make sure you have plenty of containers for all that delicious food and, most importantly, have fun with it!
January 13, 2016