Certain days of the week have different meanings or connotations for gym goers. Monday is International Chest Day or in my case #LegDay. Tuesday is #TransformationTuesday. Friday is #FlexFriday. Whatever the case may be, the most important day of your week should be Sunday: #MealPrepDay.
Many of you may already be on the meal prep grind and know that when Sunday arrives it’s time to get in the kitchen and get to work. But, for many of you Sunday may just be another day of the week filled with Rugby, Football matches, Netflix or watching re-runs of Friends. If that’s the case it’s time to take a couple hours, step away from the TV remote, and become who you want to be.
You don’t have to meal prep on Sundays, but for many people working a typical Monday through Friday job, Sunday is usually the best day for preparing your weekly meals. Setting aside an hour or two each week to get your meals prepared will put you on track towards improving yourself physically, socially, and mentally.
If you’re not meal prepping already, these are 5 reasons why you need to start preparing your meals immediately.
5 Reasons to Meal Prep
#1 – Meal Prepping Improves Your Time Management
The one thing everyone has in common, and will continue to complain about each day, is not having enough time. Not enough time to exercise. Not enough time to handle all the tasks throughout your day. Not enough time to eat healthy. We’ve all been there and sometimes the easiest, quickest option becomes a fat-packed, high caloric fast food meal because we don’t have the time. One hour on a Sunday is all you need, you have the other 23 hours to do whatever else you need to get done.
By preparing your meals for the week and having quality, healthy food options within grasp you won’t have to go out of your way to get food, saving yourself both time and some serious calories and money (see previous blog on how to eat healthy on a budget). Better management of your meals will allow you to better manage your time throughout the day.
#2 – Mel Prepping Will Help You Stay on Track
Having your food prepared for your entire week is the best and easiest way to keep you on track with your nutrition goals. Whether you are trying to lose weight or gain weight you should have a plan regarding how much food you should be eating daily or weekly.
By having your meals prepared and divided into their specific portions you will be more likely to stay on track with a healthy eating lifestyle. People at work will start looking at you enviously when they see your food, trust me!
#3 – Meal Prepping Saves You Money
One of the most common misconceptions about buying food is the notion that eating fast food is cheaper than purchasing food from the shop and cooking it yourself. If you are still thinking that’s the case, then it’s time to squash that mindset and think about your food. The Lean in 15 food has proved this to me and I cannot encourage you having a look at some of Joe Wicks recipes as they only take 15mins to cook and taste unreal! Follow me on instagram @shanewalshfitness where I share some of my own recipes and Joes’.
Preparing your food ahead of time is going to save you both time and money. Meal prepping will allow you to lose more weight around your belly rather than your wallet. Let’s use a popular, fast, healthy food option, such as Chipotle, to provide an example of how much money you can save by preparing your own meal.
Chicken with Chipotle:
- X2 Chicken fillets 8 oz.
- Pine Nuts
- Sweet Potatoes
- Chipotle sauce
Total Price: €7
By making and preparing your own food every day for yourself you could be saving over €5.00 per day just for one meal. And, who doesn’t want to save money? Meal preparation allows you to make both muscle gains and monetary gains.
#4 – Meal Prepping Helps You Regulate Portion Control
If you are like me and you like your food, regulating your portions is an issue. Preparing your meals allows you to control the portions of your food so you can be precise in the amount of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein you are consuming within each meal. Unless you are bringing a pocket food scale with you everywhere you go when you eat out, unfortunately you won’t really know the different between one cup of pasta and 1½ cups of pasta just by looking at it.
Using these pasta portions as an example, this lack of precision meal after meal could lead to you eating hundreds of more calories and carbohydrates throughout your day then you were supposed to. If you have a specific health goal in mind and nutrition plan set for yourself then preparing your meals is going to allow you to stay on track with that. Sometimes it’s not all about WHAT you are eating, but HOW MUCH of it you are eating. MyFitnessPal has helped me no end in understanding what I was putting into my body, and the app is free.
#5 – Meal Prepping Helps You Win the Mental Game
If you want to be the best in anything you do, and especially when it comes to fitness and your nutrition, you need to focus on winning the mental game. If you’re not mentally prepared to get in the gym and lift some heavy weight, you’ve already lost the battle with yourself. By preparing your nutritional intake for the entire week through a couple hours of meal prepping you are mentally preparing yourself for the week.
Thinking about your food, what you are going to eat, and when you are going to eat it are tasks that have already been completed. By conquering the mental aspect of your nutrition plan you can steer your mental focus towards your workouts each day and stand victorious each day, knowing you are winning the mental battle.
Preparing a path towards your goals is a fundamental step towards achieving such goals. If you have a fitness goal set for yourself, whether it’s to lose weight or gain weight, you need to be prepared. Prepare your meals and prepare yourself for a road towards success. Prepping your food still allows you to eat awesome food it just means that you will be bringing your lunch in with you to work. You will feel better and your wallet will be heavier, for that holiday that you are putting all those hours in the gym for.