Meal Prepping: Can It Help Achieve Diet Goals?
What would you do if you had a ₹1000 and had to eat with the money? Would you order food or buy groceries? What's healthier/cheaper?
Do you feel bad after ordering your meal from a delivery app yet again during a busy week? Does your life depend on instant noodle packs and other ready-to-eat snacks with high sodium content because you don’t have the time to cook for yourself?
Well, there is a solution to your problem that can provide you with adequate nutrition and a balanced diet for your health goals. Meal prepping, as the name suggests, is a practice of planning, scheduling, preparing, and often cooking your meals for many days in one go.
This trend is finding its footing among professionals who are always hustling and find it hard to take care of their daily dietary needs. In meal prepping, you set a day (say a Sunday) to plan your meals for the next few days. It can involve buying all your staples, preparing your ingredients, cooking, and storing them in the refrigerator.
You can skip some steps or do parts of meal prepping as per your requirements:
Prep your ingredients
You can dice the vegetables, marinate the meat, hard boil the eggs, knead the dough, parboil the rice, and store them in different containers in the fridge. With this preparation of ingredients, you can make quick meals when you want them.
You can also choose simple recipes to cook in large batches, divide them into individual meals, and refrigerate them. You can then take the meal pack out and heat it before eating.
Like bulk cooking, you can make a simple recipe in large quantities and then use it for different meals during the week.
For instance, if you have bulk-cooked plain rice in advance, you can make fried rice for lunch one day and eat curd rice for another meal.
How does meal prepping help you?
Wondering if you should be storing food in the fridge for such a long time? Allow us to answer your doubts regarding meal prepping while demonstrating its benefits.
Improves your diet and nutrition
It can be great to get hot food delivered to your doorstep, but it may not be a balanced meal. Meal prepping helps you take control of your diet and nutrition needs as you think ahead of time and choose a diverse range of ingredients to prepare healthy and fulfilling meals.
Saves money and time
Do you check your accounts for the money spent on buying processed food and ordering meals? You can save big by partaking in meal prepping and only splurging on orders sometimes. It also helps you save time on your busy schedule as you take very little time to prepare your meals before eating.
We may sometimes eat too much or too little depending on how much we order or what is available at home. By planning your meals and setting individual portions for every meal, you consume what you planned and avoid wasting any food.
Reduces impulsive eating
If you skip meals because you do not know what to order, you may reach out for snacks at odd times and eat anything to satiate your hunger. In that case, meal prepping can help you be more mindful of your meals and dietary choices.
Why could one be avoiding it?
While meal prepping has many benefits, you may find it difficult to follow it initially. Many people give up on it quickly as well because of these reasons:
1. Requires effort and commitment
Meal prepping is no joke, and you'll have to put in some effort. You will be sorting out recipes and ingredients that are easy to cook, keep for a long time, and always taste great. You must commit to the process and prepare adequate amounts per your schedule and plan.
2. Monotonous meals
It can get pretty dull if you have the same bulk-cooked and portioned meals throughout the week. While it may be healthy for you, you may want to skip it entirely because you are tired of eating the same thing.
3. Messes up your appetite
The pre-prepared meals may not even taste as good as freshly made food. Even taking a portioned meal out of the freezer and heating it can kill your appetite. Improper storage can make its texture off-putting or turn it stale.
All things said, you can still make meal-prepping work for you by overcoming these issues and enjoying the process instead.
Follow these quick tips for meal prepping!
Invest in quality food storage containers like silicon bags for storing veggies, airtight boxes for cooked meals, and microwave-safe containers for heating.
Variety is the key to your success with meal prepping. Take time to research different recipes and cuisines and keep changing them from one meal prep to the other.
Go for a schedule that does not overwhelm you, and take only as much as you can. Don’t go for elaborate recipes if you don’t have the time or patience.
To break the monotony of reheated meals, include fresh components like cut fruits, sprouts, smoothies, and nuts in your prepped meal.
Shelve and discard practices (recipes, ingredients, etc.) that do not work for you. Make changes in your diet and meals as per your taste.
If you are worried that you are still not getting adequate nutrition or may have a deficiency, reach out to a medical professional for consultation and diagnostic tests. Check out the Kenko Individual Plan to be at the forefront of all your health needs.