The Benefits of Meal Prepping
Losing weight requires a commitment to a life change, whether that means completely changing your eating habits or starting an exercise routine. If you are trying to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need in a day but are trying to be careful to make sure you aren’t overeating, meal prepping is a great way to stay on track.
Meet Nutrition Goals
If you have just undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss, such as the Lap-Band® Procedure, you may not be able to eat as much as you once could. This makes it especially crucial to consume high-quality, nutrient dense foods. Meal prepping will help ensure you are getting enough fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins. If you are tracking your energy consumption, prepping each meal—from snacks to dinner—is a great way to make sure that you stay within your goals and don’t overeat.
Eat High-Quality Foods
It is very easy to be tempted by unhealthy foods, especially if you are listening to food cues rather than eating mindfully and carefully considering each bite. If you didn’t eat breakfast or pack something for yourself, it’s easy to grab a sugary pastry in the office breakroom. Without a nutritious lunch packed, you may say “yes” to that piece of pizza or burger and fries with a coworker during lunch, or you might stop for food on the way home from the office rather than eating a healthy dinner. It’s much harder to choose an unhealthy snack when you already have something packed. Not only can unhealthy foods derail your weight-loss goals, they may make you feel sluggish, tired, and bloated.
Cooking a healthy meal every night can feel like a lot of work. If you take one day each week to prep all your meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—you’ll save yourself a lot of time. That will give you a lot more time during the week to spend doing the things you love or staying on track with your fitness goals. Not only that, but it can be hard to think about what to make for dinner after a long, hard day at work. You may be more likely to grab a quick, not-so-healthy option if you don’t have something already prepared or at the very least planned. Meal prepping is also a great way to save money!
To get started, make sure you have plenty of various-sized containers and search for a variety of recipes that meet your nutrient goals. Start with one or two recipes so that you don’t get overwhelmed by making too much the first time.