Now the holidays are behind us; many are starting the New Year to create better-eating habits and make better choices regarding diet and exercise. While jumping to extremes in any form is unnecessary and unsustainable, there is one habit that I broadly support. Meal prepping is a great way to set yourself up for success in food choices. Here are three of the most significant benefits of setting aside one day per week to prepare your meals for the following days.
1. You can guarantee that you’ll meet your portions.
You have heard about the portion method if you have ever worked with me. However, figuring out your portions is only the beginning. The real challenge? Consistently hitting those portions is the key to seeing actual, lasting results. Meal prepping allows you to measure out your carbohydrates, fats, and protein servings per meal ahead of time.
2. You eliminate “decision fatigue” that affects your food choices.
We’ve all had those days where we come home from a long day of work starving. Your cortisol levels are elevated, caused by your heightened stress levels. As a result, you are far more likely to reach for the frozen pizza over the uncooked vegetables and chicken. The solution to this is simple. By pre-making your meals, you’ll eliminate the inconvenience factor that influences our food choices. You’ll also be more inclined to grab the dinner that you spent time and effort to prepare.
3. You can control your carbohydrate intake.
More specific than just portions, meal prep allows you to be intentional with your carbohydrate source. Sure, you could eat a bag of potato chips for the exact carb count as a serving of sweet potatoes. However, I can assure you that your body won’t respond with the same energy as a result. Carbohydrates are NOT evil! They are necessary to fuel your body. You will, however, feel most nourished when your carbohydrates are mostly coming from complex sources like potatoes, rice, and fruits.
Does meal prep require a little more thought and effort in the kitchen at the beginning of the week? Yes. Is it worth it in the long run? Absolutely. Set aside sometime this week to camp out in the kitchen. Knock out your meal prep. Make it as straightforward or as complicated as you’d like! Trust me, at the end of the day; you’ll be so glad you set yourself up for success!
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