I am sure most of you have heard of the term ‘’Meal Prep’’ before – some of you may have even undertaken such prep work in the past or others may do so on a regular basis.
The purpose of this post is to look a little bit deeper into what ‘’Meal Prep’’ really is and why people should be doing it and also who should be doing it.
Let’s begin by underlining how I define ‘’Meal Prep’’. It is planning and preparing meals in advance to meet the set nutritional guidelines of your diet for a certain period of time.
These days, social media plays an important role in the circulation of information. The vast majority of social media users have encountered self proclaimed ‘’Gurus’’ sharing information about macros, calories and nutritional values. Although some of these ‘influencers’ genuinely know what they are talking about, for an ordinary person the information being dispensed is not the most helpful, especially if one is trying to change eating habits or stick to a certain diet longterm. Let me put it this way… when you are really hungry, all you care about is feeling satiated, you don’t really care about calories or macros.
Here is reason number one, in my opinion, on why meal prep is important. If you want to track calories and macros or you are on a specific diet plan for fat loss or eating to improve your physical performance, it is much easier to adhere to a diet’s nutritional requirements. You won’t have to worry what you will eat next and you will be less likely to deviate from your diet as you will have your meals planned and prepared in advance. So by simply preparing meals for a couple of days, a week or even two weeks, an individual can vastly improve their overall relationship with food. It is easier to adhere to a specific diet plan, and this can mean an individual is likely to be less stressed and more productive!
If the above does not convince you to prepare your meals in advance, then let us move to another point as to why you should try it.
If I suggest that prepping meals in advance is good for the environment you may think I am being crazy – sometimes I am crazy but this time isn’t the case!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household in Ireland throws away nearly one third of purchased food – which costs an average €1000. For me, these numbers and the wasteful behaviour is shocking! In order to produce food, we require energy and to get that energy we still rely mostly on Mother Nature. I think that everyone gets the message that wastefulness negatively impacts our environment. By planning your shopping for Meal Prep you not only save money, reduce food waste to a minimum (or to zero!) but you also save time from wandering around shops and the mental energy expended in trying to decide what to buy on the spot. If these factors still have not convinced some of you just think about the €1000 that you can save and where you could spent that extra money!
A final thought on Meal Prep – it is not just for gym go-ers or people on fat loss diets, it really is for everyone to try. Families could have great fun while meal prepping, parents would get to spend precious time with their kids and teach them how to cook and develop healthy habits around food.
At this stage, some of you may be thinking you would like to try meal prepping but aren’t confident it will work because you may not be able to cook or have some other excuse. Well I can tell you this, no one was born knowing how to cook! You don’t need to be a chef and only through practice and probably making some mistakes along the way will you become really proficient in your meal preparation. The more you do it, the more likely you will enjoy it and hopefully it will become a positive habit in your life. So my advice to anyone who hasn’t done meal prep yet, just do it! Give it a go for couple of weeks and see how you feel about it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
If you have any questions regarding this topic feel free to approach me in the gym or on social media and I will gladly help if I can or I will direct you to someone who can!