IS MEAL PREP IMPORTANT? (And how to do it)
We hear the words ‘meal prep’ and are immediately filled with dread. Images of hundreds of tupperwares and scales and endless hours in the kitchen bounce around in our heads and inevitably, we sum it up to “too much time, too much effort”. But is it?
Of course it isn’t! Never mind the endless benefits for your body and health, but meal prep will most likely actually end up saving you money as well.
You can still eat your favourite things, ensuring you don’t overindulge and keep you on track with your health goals.
Let’s get started by uncovering the benefits that this practice holds for your health & wellness.
BENEFITS TO MEAL PREPPING
1. SAVE time. Consider the sense of routine, not having to worry about what to make for dinner at the last minute and waiting on UberEats to deliver that take away that has little nutritional value.
2. SAVE money. It’s a common misconception that eating healthy is expensive. By meal prepping, you are able to buy your food in bulk, freezing extra food for later and of course avoiding expensive take outs and eating out at restaurants as you will always have tasty meals on hand!
3. Portion control. You can manage your portions and remain in control of the amount you consume. When eating out or ordering in, you tend to receive more than you actually should be eating per portion. (and don’t forget the dessert afterwards). By consuming more calories than you’re burning off, you are just backpedaling when it comes to maintaining healthy eating habits.
4. Fall in love with food. By making your own food, not only will you have a sense of achievement at the moreish masterpieces you create, but you will also be able to educate yourself on exactly what you’re putting into your body.
SO, HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Healthline and Weight Watchers Reimagined offer us various options when it comes to meal prepping.
Whether you decide to cook full meals in advance or individually portioning your meals, there are basics to consider.
1. Consult your Nutrition Doctor to make sure that your chosen meals are correct for your eating plan. The Nutrition Doctor can guide you on what you should be eating, at what time of the day and what your portions should be.
2. Stick to a schedule. Plan when you’re going to shop for your ingredients and set aside time to put your meals together. Make this a standing appointment with yourself or your family every week. Instead of sitting binge watching a series, put on your favourite tunes and enjoy some kitchen time!
3. Multitask! Your chosen meals don’t all have to be the same. Mix and match and plan your cooking. Cold meals can wait until last to prepare whilst your hot meals are cooking. Streamline your workflow and double up on ingredients that can be used in two or more recipes.
4. Be sure to choose the right containers for your meal. You need to have a supply of airtight, leak-proof, BPA free containers that are microwave and freezer safe. Only buy as many as you need and if they’re all the same, storage will be simple!
5. Pay proper attention to keeping your food edible. The temperature of your fridge and freezer is important, something we take for granted. Don’t store meat, poultry or fish for too long. Make sure you defrost your meals correctly and only reheat your meals once. It would be wise to label all your containers with the “Eat By Date”.
It might all sound a bit daunting, but as with anything in life once you take the first step it only gets easier. Experiment with which method works best for your schedule. Nothing is set in stone.
We guarantee that once you are in your stride, you will wonder how you ever managed without your meal prep before! To get you started, you can have a look at some healthy (and tasty) recipes here.
Body20 Members have access to our Nutrition Doctors who are available to guide you on your meal prep journey. With wonderful healthy recipes at your fingertips, you can start today!