Just the sound of meal prepping can send some people into a panic. I am some people…some people is me, or it was me. I just couldn’t see myself doing it, it seemed like it was meant for people who very health oriented. And, for some strange reason, I didn’t consider myself to be that. I went to the gym a lot, but I felt like that was enough. Meal prepping just seemed…extreme. Nonetheless, my mom talked me into trying it out for one month and I fell in love with everything about it…well almost everything at least, and it really ended up changing my life in unexpected ways.
What I Did
So, let me give you the run down on how I went about it before I tell you how I benefited. Every Sunday I would cook 10 meals. 5 of one dish and 5 of another. One for lunch and one for dinner for Monday-Friday, and I was able to do whatever I wanted for breakfast. On Saturdays and Sundays, I ate what I wanted but I tried to keep it reasonable. I mean, there was no point in busting my ass all week just to ruin it on the weekends. Okay, now that you know my process, let’s get into it.
One of my main motivators for wanting to write this article, was to tell you how much money I saved by meal prepping. I was spending $12 per day going out to eat. Sometimes I would spend that $12 all in one place, other times I would buy a cheap breakfast and a cheap lunch and it added up to be $12 or somewhere around that. The point is, you may not think or notice how much you’re spending because you do it in small increments, but trust me baby it’s getting spent! The average meal at the cheapest places will run you at least $5, so even if you’re only do that per day, that’s $35 a week and $140 a month! With meal prepping, I was spending $100, maybe $120, for 2 weeks worth of groceries! I would buy my meats in bulk and then buy my veggies and stuff as needed. I saved tons, you guys! There was at least an extra $100 per month that I had left over instead of trying to budget for my next meal. Plus, when I would come home after a long day, it felt good to know I had a nice home cooked meal waiting for me, instead of the thought of having to go out and spend money on some processed food!
This one kind of works both ways. Cooking ten meals every Sunday, is easier said than done. It takes at least 3-4 hours, depending on what meals you’re cooking and can really eat up your Sunday if you can’t get to it early in the morning. I would suggest you do your shopping on the Friday or Saturday before, just so you don’t have to worry about it on the day of prepping. Then, having to do all the dishes afterwards sucks, but hey nothing worth while comes easy, right? However, even with the prepping times being a little long, it is so worth it during the week! If you have a hectic schedule and don’t have time to stop at a restaurant, or if you’re having a busy day at work and you don’t have time to take a lunch, then meal prepping will save your life. Being able to just pop your little meal container in the microwave and go is golden for us people who are always on the go. No having to figure out what you want to eat and no waiting in the drive through! When you get home, you don’t have to get on your feet and cook some more, you can just eat your dinner meal and get on with it.
Now, when people think meal prep, their minds instantly go to super healthy foods and you have to eat like a rabbit. But, that’s far from the truth. Meal prepping means just that, prepping a meal. It can be whatever meals you want and however many you want, it’s totally to you. In my opinion though, if you’re going to go out of your way to do this every week, you might as well make it have some benefits to your bod! Sticking to a healthier meal plan while meal prepping can help you target certain areas like the stomach and for me, the lower ab area! It’s the hardest to lose, but they say abs are made in the kitchen so meal prepping is a great place to start. When you only have a certain portion of food to eat, it stops you from over eating, therefore helping you to lose a little weight. Also, while doing this, I noticed that my body adjusted to it in a major way. I found myself being hungry at the same times every day. I wasn’t randomly hungry throughout the day and didn’t want to snack on the little unhealthy treats like I did in the past.
I know discipline isn’t something that everyone strives for, but it’s definitely something everyone needs and can benefit from in every aspect of life. Meal prepping can be a good way to help you start learning discipline. If you meal prep 10 meals a week, and then still decided to turn around and purchase food from restaurant all week, you’ll be disappointed in yourself. If you’re an adult, who works for their money and values it, seeing a whole bunch of wasted food in your fridge will piss you off. Because then, there you are, having spent $100 on groceries, spent 3 hours cooking it, and then you went and spend another $50 on fast food and now you’re out of pocket. Bad news.