If we had to choose between getting food to-go or a homecooked meal, most of us would choose the homecooked meal. They’re a chance to relax, chat, and spend some quality time with loved ones. Fast food is an unhealthy alternative by nearly all metrics.
Despite this, more than one-third of Americans dine out every day, a daunting stat that is predicted to climb even higher.
For some, this figure may be shocking and for others, this might be a confronting reality. And no wonder this figure is so high. We’re all caught up in the Game of Food, where the cards are stacked against us.
You see, we’re constantly put in situations where it’s just so much easier to choose fast food.
Perhaps it’s on your late-night drive home from the office and you pull into the drive-thru. Or maybe it’s lunchtime and your kids are whining about being hungry on the way back from football practice. At that moment, you have to make a choice.
Do you ignore the hunger and continue home where you’ll make a meal that will likely take longer, taste worse and cost more? Or do you pull into the drive-thru, where you receive a near instant meal filled with all the fats and sugars your body’s been craving?
This may seem like being caught between a rock and a hard place and I’m sure we’ve all been in similar situations. Luckily, there’s a third option, one that’s been rapidly rising in popularity.
What is Meal Prep?
Meal preparation (meal prep) is simply the act of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule.
It’s particularly helpful for people who live a busy life but still want to make time to share home-cooked meals.
There are three main ways to prepare your meals ahead of time:
1. Batch Cooking. You cook a large amount of a recipe before breaking it into individual portions that can be frozen and eaten later.
Ideal for families looking for warm lunch and dinner options.
2. Ready-to-cook ingredients. You can gather all the ingredients you need for specific meals prior to cooking.
Ideal for people who want to streamline the cooking process.
3. Make-ahead meals. You make your desired meal ahead of time. It can then be refrigerated and reheated at mealtimes.
Ideal for individuals looking for the convenience of batch cooking but with a wider variety.
These are just three of the most common ways that people prepare their meals ahead of time. Be sure to mix them together and experiment to see which one works best for you.
Benefits of Meal Prep
The main benefits of meal prep include reducing decision fatigue and helping you save time and money while improving your health. Let’s dive deeper into these benefits.
Reducing Decision Fatigue
Albert Einstein famously wore the same clothes every day as he didn’t want to waste brainpower on such a mundane decision.
Einstein was reducing his chance of decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is when your brain reaches its tipping point and can no longer handle making decisions or doing most activities.
Obviously, decisions are an essential part of our lives. After all, they’re how we express our free will.
Yet, sometimes having to make a decision can lead us down a negative path.
Having to choose between going home and figuring out some meal to cook or pulling into that fast food place is not a decision you want to be making.
By properly planning your meals, you’ve set yourself on a more positive path and reduced your decision fatigue.
Saving Money, Time, and Achieving your Goals
By simply preparing your meals ahead of time, you’ll be able to save money, maximize time, and better achieve your health goals.
You’ll save money by not eating out in a rush and you’ll save time by having pre-chopped, ready-to-cook meals.
And you can take this a step further by shopping with the increasingly popular meal kit companies. You’ll receive all the ingredients you need to make delicious and unique meals, delivered to your door with no hassle.
Plus, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that the food you cooked is fresh and naturally delicious not processed or oozing all sorts of unhealthy oils.
Meal prep allows you to choose your favorite meals ahead of time while the pre-portioned sizes ensure you don’t overindulge.
It’s a fun and simple way to enjoy delicious meals but also stay on track with your health goals.
Because we’re not always in the right frame of mind to prioritize our health.
By downloading the OOMPH app, you’ll have access to the top coaches and have the accountability you need, to achieve your goals.
Take the first step to healthy eating, by downloading today!