Many, if not all, of us want to live a happy and healthy lifestyle that makes us good, energised, and fit. But between work, chores, family life and the never-ending list of responsibilities, life can become so tiring that there just isn’t time for healthy meals every single day.
That’s where meal prepping can truly save the day.
Meal prepping is a trend that’s been born out of necessity in this fast-paced world we live in! Preparing your meals in advance can help to avoid processed or “on-the-go” foods and lessens the anxiety that comes with deciding what to eat every other day.
Here are four reasons why you should consider meal prepping:
Save more money on meals
Let’s face it, sometimes we all love to go out to eat and have food cooked for us, and that’s okay. But the cost of such luxuries can really add up when we indulge too often. A Forbes study, using Wellio data, discovered that home-cooked meals are approximately three to five times cheaper than the same meal from a fast-food place or restaurant.
But with meal prepping, you actively take a bit of time to plan your meals so you can control your expenditure by shopping smart, decreasing aimless purchases and overindulging in restaurants and takeaways.
That’s a lot of money saved, and over time, it could do wonders for your budget.
Less food wastage
Have you ever had to toss out a bunch of food items or leftover meals that either went off or lost their nutritional value before you had the chance to cook or eat them? It’s not a very good feeling, but more importantly, the overcrowding of landfills, is harmful to our environment.
But when you meal prep and shop accordingly, you tend to use up most of the ingredients that were on the shopping list for the week and are thus less likely to spoil or forget food that hasn’t been cooked or eaten yet.
According to a sustainability study, food waste is far greater in households with increased rates of spontaneous dinner planning than in those that practise meal planning.
Develop healthy eating habits
It’s a well-known fact that most people don’t know exactly what’s in their takeout or restaurant food. Often, the food you order contains hidden excess saturated fat, sodium, and total calories when compared to the food you would cook at home. Furthermore, the CDC claims that larger portion sizes, which are commonly served at fast-food restaurants and restaurants, indirectly contribute to the unhealthy habit of overeating.
Meal prepping allows us to reap the health benefits of controlling what exactly goes into the food we eat as well as the amount, so we end up “accidentally” practising portion control. It also gives us access to meals throughout the day, keeping us energised and fuelled with minimal effort.
Incorporate variety into your diet
The spice of life is a little bit of variety in all spheres of our lives, including the kitchen. It’s the little sprinkle of variation that keeps us from getting bored with what we eat. Without preparation, we would probably just eat the same old boring meal combinations again and again. Or worse, lose motivation for cooking and end up opting for ready-made meals or snacks that are often not nutritious or healthy enough. By the end of the week, we’re sick of broccoli, chicken, rice, or the same fast-food places.
Meal prepping not only gives you the opportunity to create nutritious meals that are great for your diet but also nudges you onto a journey of newness by trying out new recipes and combinations to keep life interesting.
There are a plethora of meal prep options, guides and hacks. For starters, try searching #mealprep on TikTok.