These days, strategies for meal preparation are seemingly everywhere! Endearingly known as meal prep (or #mealprep if you’re so inclined), the concept of preparing your food in advance has taken hold in the fitness industry, and it offers so many benefits that we hope it’s here to stay!
Not only can preparing your meals ahead of time helps you save time and money throughout your week, but it can also help you achieve your fitness goals.
Meal prep can help you:
Balance your diet.
We all remember the importance of the food pyramid, balanced diets and (of course) eating your veggies, but how many decisions about what you eat actually follow this advice?
If you’re making a lot of in-the-moment choices about what you’re eating, probably not many. With meal prep you determine the menu beforehand, meaning you can craft the perfect protein/veggie/whole grain medley to reach all of your fitness goals.
Cut down on “impulse foods.”
Making decisions about what you eat meal-by-meal provides many chances to make unhealthy choices…and when your stomach is growling and you’re getting hanger-induced road rage on the evening commute, who wouldn’t choose pizza?
Everyone who hasn’t meal-prepped, that’s who! Knowing you have a healthy, delicious meal waiting for you at home will keep you from making those unhealthy pit stops and keep your diet on track.
Improve your portion control.
The assortment of cute containers are good for more than just a #mealprep Instagram post! Because your food is pre-divided into the perfect portions, you’re not even giving yourself a chance to overeat.
If you tend to graze or snack on whatever food that’s in front of you, dividing food up into the proper portions ahead of time will help you kick that habit.
Reduce your stress.
There’s a lot of evidence that points to stress being a contributing factor in weight gain, in part by increasing the hormones that signal us to overeat. Deciding on what to eat last minute can be stressful, which in turn produces hormones that make you more likely to choose unhealthy foods—basically, this is a situation that’s setting you up to fail.
By having your meals pre-planned, you’re reducing your stress hormones (which helps with weight management) and making better choices (which also helps with weight management). That’s what we call a win-win!
If you need help or advice on reaching your fitness goals, Anytime Fitness is here to help! Find your gym and get to a healthier you today!