A fit and healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean being active. Half the time, it involves meal planning and choosing the right foods. Here’s why meal prep is essential for a healthy and balanced diet.
The key to successfully adopting a long-term healthy lifestyle is planning. The risk of eating unhealthy meals or becoming overwhelmed by chaos becomes zero when you plan your meals.
If you dedicate yourself to healthy meal prepping, you won’t be as tempted to cheat! When you prepare the meals ahead for the next week, and you decide only to purchase the items on the grocery list, it’s impossible to find yourself buying unhealthy foods. Moments of weakness could appear when going shopping, but if you remember your goals and all your efforts, you will quickly gain control again.
Healthy Meal Prep is a Money Saver!
There is a financial principle that can easily be applied to healthy meal prepping too: planning saves money. There is a massive difference in many people’s budgets before and after they have decided to go for healthy meal prep.
If you don’t plan your meals, then you just run to the store for whatever-you-can-eat-tonight, order in or spend even more money by going out (and chances are too little to have a healthy meal when going out). Becoming more conscious about your meal choices is a wise decision and will improve not only your health state but your financial situation too.
Healthy Meal Prep is Also a Time Saver!
We mentioned money saving, but what about time?
Well, healthy meal prepping is a huge time saver! More than helping you to stay on track with healthy eating, but it also allows you to clear up your schedule. You can:
- Work out more,
- Spend time with friends,
- Relax, or
- Anything else, except spending time in the kitchen and cooking every day!
If you have a full-time job and spend a lot of time in traffic, then it’s almost impossible to get to the gym too and to cook when you arrive home. Often, people either skip the gym or order take out. Or worse – they skip the gym AND order take out!
Portion Control Becomes Easy with Healthy Meal Prep
Poor portion control is one of the top reasons why obesity is on the rise. We don’t realize when we sit down for a meal at a restaurant, there’s enough calories on that plate usually for 2 to 4 people!
Learning portion control is easy when you do healthy meal prep. As you prep your meals for the week, you can divide each into healthy portions. If you’re unsure about the size, you can use measuring cups and a kitchen scale, to be sure you’re not over doing it.
FITBOD TIP: Always do your weekly meal prep on a full tummy. You’re more likely to over-size your portions, if you’re hungry!
Easy Healthy Meals You Can Prep for the Week
Here are just a few of the thousands of healthy meals you can prep at the beginning of the week and have ready to heat and eat, in just a few minutes!
- Chicken and Veggies – check out our post HERE for lots of different flavor options! You can make so many varieties, this could be your go-to meal all week long!
- Meatballs with Zoodles – skip the pasta and use Zoodles! Zucchini spiralized into noodles is healthy and easy! You can see our favorite (and inexpensive YAY!) zoodle maker HERE. Top with a freshly-made (or store bought) marinara, portion out and refrigerate or freeze. Just be sure your meatballs don’t have breadcrumbs in them (use parmesan cheese instead – it’s more delicious!) and your marinara doesn’t have added sugar.
- Baked or Grilled Buffalo Wings – Forget the breading and deep-fat fryer. Buffalo wings are just as tasty baked or grilled. If baking, make sure to cook them on a rack, to help them crisp up. Brush with buffalo sauce at the beginning and mid-way through cooking. Then finish with a nice final dip.
If you’re looking for more healthy meal ideas with using your zoodle maker, check out these two excellent books!