Many of us want to live a healthy lifestyle that makes us feel fit and energized. But, let's face it, life can be tumultuous! While making healthier food goals is simple, sticking to them and remaining consistent can be tricky. When you're rushing through your day, the prospect of cooking all of your meals at home can seem overwhelming. Not to mention resisting urges in cafés, time is the most important "make or break" issue when choosing meals.
Meal prep is a shorthand for the act of planning, preparing, and packaging your meals and snacks ahead of time, often for the coming week, with the goal of healthy eating and portion management. It is the key that enables many people to achieve their health and wellness targets. Remember that there is no ‘right' or ‘wrong' method to prepare meals because it all depends on what works best for you. The primary objective is to save time in the kitchen and have nutritious meals available throughout the week. Some people prefer to prepare their breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week, but others only make one meal per day.
Advantages of Meal Planning
Easier grocery shopping
Food shopping will be a breeze once you know what meals you'll be enjoying for the week! Allow aimless meandering through the aisles to become a thing of the past. Bring a list divided into fruits, vegetables, protein, prepared foods, dairy, grains, and fats. You may even prepare weekly grocery lists using specific pre-cooked and pre-packaged grocery delivery or mobile applications.
Eating out is costly, even if you apply coupons and hunt for happy hours and deals. You will save a lot of money if you prepare the majority of your meals at home. Similarly, if you cook in large batches of certain meals ahead of time, you may buy more reduced wholesale supplies, lowering your food expense even further.
Although you will need to invest time upfront in planning and cooking your meals correctly, you will save time in the long run. Consider how much time we lose standing in front of the fridge, pondering what to make. After you've prepared your meals in advance, all you have to do is take them out of the fridge and cook them up!
Cooking a couple of times a week can be enjoyable, engaging, and even calming. Cooking every night, on the other hand, might be tedious and monotonous. Dedicate a few hours over the weekend to meal prep and appreciate extra time and energy every workday and evening by simply pulling out or warming up your meals. You will also conserve energy by doing all of your frying, roasting, and simmering in one day.
Preparing your meals ahead of time is essential for losing weight since you will know precisely how much and what you are feeding your body. A weekly meal planning schedule allows you to regulate how many calories you consume each day, which is ideal for weight reduction.
The brilliance of meal preparation is that it educates you on how to balance your life. Portion control is vital if you want to reduce weight and get the proper amount of nutrients. You can still indulge yourself sometimes, but keeping track of how much you eat is critical. When your meals are pre-portioned, you would be less likely to overeat or eat until you are satisfied. When you prepare nutritious meals in advance will significantly less entice you to visit the fast-food drive-through, the office vending machine, or your processed food drawer. Similarly, keeping healthy meals on hand ensures you may enjoy tasty food whenever you choose.
Stop food waste
Every week, more than half of all households toss out food. If you are bothered about food waste, meal preparation will limit the quantity of excess food that waits in your meat or vegetable crisper before being disposed of. When you know precisely what you're going to make, you can acquire the main ingredients in the correct quantities. You use up all of your food for the week, and it's unlikely that you'll have any leftover if you plan ahead of time.
When you meal prep, you make choices ahead of schedule and don't have to fret about anything. Stress can impair your immune system, wreak havoc on your digestive system, and disrupt your sleeping patterns. Trying to figure out what to have for dinner when you get home may be a stressful experience. You may put an end to the "what's for dinner" worry by knowing that your food only needs to be warmed up.
Meal planning may get you out of your comfort bubble and into the exciting world of food. Consider diverse cultures, spices, and flavors when preparing. Each week, find something different to keep things exciting and minimize meal fatigue. If you plan your meals ahead of time, it will be easier to choose from several food groups to provide your body with the diversity it demands. Feel free to switch things up every week. Meal planning inspires you to be more adventurous by seeking new recipes, so you won't be confined to the basic items you make out of familiarity.
Other healthy things you can do
Restaurant food, take-outs, especially fast food, contain many calories, fat, or even sodium, leading to weight gain. Packing good and nutritious foods, mainly through meal preparation, keeps you full and delighted throughout the day. If losing weight is your ultimate objective, bringing your homemade food to work every day is one of the best recommendations.
While you've effectively managed your meals for the workweek, what else can you do at work to optimize reaping health advantages for weight reduction in addition to meal prepping?
- HYDRATE. Keep a bottle of water at your work desk to remind yourself to keep hydrated. It is critical to stay hydrated if you want to reduce weight. Make it a point to drink 3 liters of water per day. Dehydration can hurt you in a variety of ways, so don't take it lightly.
- WALK. Take the stairs rather than the elevator at work. You've probably heard this before, and now is the time to start using it to stay active. Trust us when we say you'll feel great after doing this. According to the health promotion board, walking between 7500 and 10,000 steps will also lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- EXERCISE. Make time in your routine for 30 minutes of physical activity. It is not tough to carve out this much time to keep healthy, no matter how busy you are. If you don't want to be in the gym, choose a simple workout such as walking, running, bicycling, or whatever works for you. You may also explore performing easy desk exercises that won't take much of your time and focus from work to sneak some activity while staying at your desk.
- STAND. Keep on moving even if you're working. Do not spend the entire day sitting at your desk. This will not only make you sedentary, but it will also cause you to put on weight. Every hour, take a little break of 2-3 minutes. Stand up and move about a little at your desk. You can stand and talk if your work demands you to talk on the phone a lot. These minor changes will cause you to burn more calories. Invest in a standing desk or a standing desk converter and couple it with an under-desk bike to make it more enjoyable and convenient!
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- Height-adjustable standing desks: Individuals who require a larger desktop and are willing to replace their current workstation provide the entire sit-stand experience.
- Standing desk risers: Desk risers are great for any work that requires sitting at a desk. Get one to help you switch between sitting and standing modes of work. You'll be able to find the best viewing positions for your health and comfort.
- Desk bikes: To increase your movements, exercise while working so your mind and body stay active.
Even if it means taking baby steps, a combination of these efforts will surely give us the benefits that we are aiming for. What's more rewarding is that meal prepping does not only help us out health-wise but also in saving many other resources. Meal prepping along with discipline, health is probably the only investment worth it all.