People ask me all the time “should I be meal prepping?” and there is a clear answer: It depends on whether it works for YOU and YOUR lifestyle or not. That might be an annoying answer but it is my take on things nonetheless. There are a lot of pros and cons to meal prepping. Some people find it life changing and others don’t. I personally don’t do it. I have many reasons for this which I will lay out below along with some reasons why it works! If you are trying to lose weight and looking for a system that works for you then this list should help you to decide. If at the end you are still undecided then why not try it for a couple of weeks and just see if it suits?
Ok here goes:
The benefits of Meal Prepping:
Meal prepping is great for those of you who really struggle with time and to eat well during the week. Or even to eat at all. It is a great way to ensure that you get all your meals and eat regularly without having to spend all your time preparing food!
A lot of people who hate cooking also find this to be a benefit because they can psyche themselves up to cook for an hour or two at a time and then love having not to think about it. You only have to cook a couple of times a week.
If your focus is just on eating ‘something’ then meal prep is a great way to ensure you get balance with every meal and not have to really think about it.
If you really want to get the maximum nutrition from your food then consider that as soon as you cut a vegetable it starts to lose its nutrients. You aren’t therefore eating things at their freshest and so their micronutrient density is not going to be as high.
You have to decide what food you are going to feel like for the rest of the week. This is a deal breaker for me as I am either in the mood for something or not. I don’t like eating the same thing twice in a row even if you make it slightly different.
It is restrictive if you measure it all out in little Tupperware’s. What if you want more? It is not normal or healthy to eat exactly the same amount of calories every single day. It isn’t working with your body and it’s requirements. Sometimes I am hungry and sometimes I am not!
I am a cook and therefore like to prepare my meals to be at their freshest. I get bored easily and meals that you can prep in advance can get boring really quickly. Suddenly there are lots of things you can’t have because it isn’t preppable! I can almost feel the restriction from here!
My Sunday evenings are so precious because my husband is at home and we are all together! I don’t want to spend it cooking for the week. If there is another chunk in your week where you can do this then that is awesome and maybe something you should try. All I am saying is that if you find a regime like this eating into family time then it is going to be harder to stick to it so really try to figure out how it can help you!
A Happy Medium (batch cooking):
When I am making something particularly delicious, I often make a larger batch so it can be enjoyed the next day (but I am not trying to cook for the week). Knowing it is leftovers is ok OR I freeze things while still fresh! I don’t always make extra but sometimes I do. This way it lets me off the hook with cooking every single meal but I don’t have this restrictive, measured and confined way of eating.
Being honest with yourself about whether it will work for you or not is the key. There are good and bad aspects to it. Give it a try or think about what you will be giving up if you meal prep as a way of life. If you can’t stick to it then it will feel like a diet. Maybe you love the freedom it gives you to do other things or maybe you hate eating food you don’t feel like at the time?
Always question whether you are doing something because it is new or mainstream or if you are doing it because it will genuinely benefit you and your lifestyle.
Whatever your decision make sure it is aligned with not only your health goals but also with the vision you have for your life! If it doesn’t fit with how you want to live your life then there are other ways to get what you want. You just have to find them!
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