We’ve all been there – You’re rushing around in the morning trying to get yourself, (and everyone else in the house) ready for the day. You barely have enough time to eat breakfast, let alone pack a lunch.
12pm rolls around and there you are, stomach growling and no lunch plans in sight. So, you head to the breakroom to munch on whatever you can find. Or, you run out to the nearest cafe to grab a sandwich… And maybe a piece of cheesecake because, why not?
You haven’t even made it to dinner yet and already you’re feeling totally off track. You have errands to run after work, and kids sporting events to rush to, making it far easier to grab something quick than cook at home. So, fast food it is!
This scenario wouldn’t be a big deal if it only happened now and then. But, we all know it happens a few times a week every week. Before you know it, all those last-minute, rushed meals are weighing on your wallet, your energy level and probably your waistline.
You’ve heard of meal prepping, and all those people who you think have it more “together” than you do it all the time, but you haven’t figured out how to reach that level of “togetherness” yet. But, good news! It’s easier than you think and it’s going to help you conquer your eating habits on those hectic work days.
Let’s dive in!
1. Meal Prepping Makes Your Life Easier!
Don’t let the idea of planning your meals ahead of time overwhelm you. Yes, you’re going to need to spend time once a week deciding what you’re going to make for the week ahead.
I like to make my meal list on a different day than I go grocery shopping. That way, I give myself plenty of time to go through the kitchen and see what ingredients I’m going to need before I head to the grocery store. If you do this ahead of time, you won’t feel like your entire day is dominated by planning, shopping and prepping. Some people like to knock it out in one day. I like to break it up. Try it both ways, see what suits your schedule best.
Whatever your schedule looks like, designate your planning/prepping times and stick to them as if they’re an appointment you cannot miss.
2. Meal Prepping Saves Money
All those lunches and dinners out are undoubtedly causing you to spend far more money than you would if you started meal prepping. Have you checked in on your food budget lately?
When you plan your meals ahead of time, you can buy items in bulk and stick things in the freezer to use later. Don’t be afraid to buy that 5lb bag of chicken. You can cook it a pound at a time. It’s easy to make egg cups to freeze and heat up for breakfast. Make a large pot of chili and freeze whatever you won’t eat for the week. Freezer meals save you time and money!
You can stock up on essentials when they’re on sale. Think about the things you’re consistently using every time you cook, like olive oil or spices. When you plan ahead, you know what you’re going to need and can get in on good deals when they happen.
Now, not only are you cutting down your food costs, but you’re also going to start seeing the payoff on your fitness/weight loss journey.
3. Meal Prepping Will Help You Reach Your Weight Loss & Fitness Goals
When you have weight loss and fitness goals, what you’re feeding yourself is arguably more important than how many hours you’re spending at the gym every day.
Heating up an egg cup you made at home has far more health benefits than picking up a couple from Starbucks when you drive through for your morning coffee. Not only are you saving money, but you’re saving yourself from extra chemicals and calories.
When you’re meal prepping, you’re setting yourself up for success by knowing ahead of time exactly what you need to be eating in order to achieve your goals, and ensuring you have it at the ready. Planning ahead is going to allow you to meet your goals much faster, and who doesn’t love that?
4. You’ll Become Less Wasteful
When we aren’t meal prepping, we often end up buying more groceries than we need. Food waste is a big problem in the United States. Afterall, the produce you bought goes bad rapidly when its purchased without a plan. But meal prepping helps cut down on that waste.
If you have a plan for each food item you buy, you’re going to use it. You’ll have fewer leftovers and you’ll feel like a total champ because suddenly you’ll be that “together” person who doesn’t have a bunch of rotting produce in their fridge! You’ll also be helping the environment by not adding to all the food waste.
5. You’ll be More Efficient
The last thing we have time for in the morning is packing a healthy lunch. The good news is, because you’re now becoming one of those people who meal prep, you’ve already got things in order and know exactly what you need to pack for lunch tomorrow.
Which means, as you’re cleaning up from dinner, you can quickly pack lunch for the next day. Efficiency, people! And while you’re at it, you can stick a couple of those egg cups in the fridge to thaw for tomorrow’s breakfast! Is that a win-win or what?
As you can see, meal prepping is going to help immensely on your journey to becoming the person you want to become. It’ll help you save money, be more organized, cut down on food waste and reach your weight loss and fitness goals.
You and I both know winging it every day isn’t working. Isn’t it time to try something new?