If you’re getting into the swing of a new diet and/or workout routine, then you probably want to invest time in determining the best ways to be successful in your endeavor. Roughly 45 million Americans start a diet every year, and $33 billion is spent on weight loss products annually. But rather than shove all your money into weight loss pills and powders that may not do the trick, you should instead invest in meal prepping.
Meal prepping is one of the most effective ways to stay on track with your goals. It’s a simple solution to many of the issues you face when dieting and exercising. There are plenty of recipes online to help get you going—check out this 17-day diet cookbook to get you started. Here are five amazing benefits of meal prepping:
It Gives You a Sense of Control
When it comes to dieting and exercising, it’s common to feel as if your daily routine has become strenuous. Many people feel overwhelmed by their diets, and it gives them the feeling of being out of control of their body and temptation. Meal prepping helps alleviate some of the negative onsets of dieting—especially in the beginning—because it gives you a sense of control. You have total say over your sugar intake, calories, flavors, and more. And because you’re purchasing the ingredients yourself, you know everything is fresh.
Or, if you want to relinquish some of that control (in a good way), you can use a meal prep service that creates custom meal plans based on your needs and wants, freeing up some of your personal time.
It Removes Temptation
When you meal prep, you eliminate much of the temptation that comes with eating. This is because when hunger strikes and there’s nothing readily prepared, it can be very tempting to move onto the next best or easiest option. And this is when you might make bad diet decisions, like grabbing fast food or indulging in a meal that doesn’t match the dietary requirements you’ve set for yourself. When you plan in advance, the temptation to venture outside of your meal prep is greatly reduced.
You’ll Save Time
Initially, you’ll invest a nice chunk of time into meal prepping for the week. But like all investments, the return is much greater. Even if you choose to not prep for the week—and simply decide to create a meal schedule and merely pre-chop as needed—you still save yourself plenty of time.
After you get home from a tough day at the gym or a long day at work, you don’t have to worry about starting a meal from scratch. This not only saves you a great deal time and energy, but can also give you the mental boost that you need during a diet.
Save Some Money
By meal prepping, you can save yourself plenty of money. When you prepare all your food at home, you eliminate all the unnecessary spending you typically indulge in, like eating lunch out, and grabbing food from restaurants and fast food locations for dinner. The more you plan your meal prep and spend time at the grocery store, the more likely you’ll come across more savings and deals. You can also stop by a local Farmer’s Market and grab plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and very low costs.
You’ll also reduce waste, which saves you money as well. When you meal prep, you plan your portions in a well-balanced manner, which means you aren’t using more food than you need to. You’ll find yourself trashing less food than normal.
You’ll Feel Less Stressed
Dieting can sometimes feel like a double-edged sword. As you begin your diet and start to veer away from some of your unhealthy habits, it can be stressful adjusting to a new schedule. You might find yourself counting calories throughout the day, thinking about what to eat, and worried constantly about what you’ll eat and whether you’ll be able to get past seemingly insurmountable challenges. However, it doesn’t have to be this hard. You can reduce your stress with a diet if you don’t let the diet overtake you.
Meal prepping makes it very easy to make healthier choices, and take some of the stress off of your shoulders. Whereas you might normally not feel motivated to make healthy choices—especially if you’re having a bad diet day—your meal prep will have it all worked out for you. This will free up some of your willpower and get rid of some of that day-to-day stress to make your life easier.