Nearly 1 in 3 US adults say they meal prep every week. Perhaps surprisingly, US adults aged 50 to 65 are more likely to plan their weekly meals than other age groups. Meal prepping is also more common among women than men.
What is meal prepping? It's simple. Meal prepping is preparing meals and dishes at home before you need them.
For example, you could meal prep your lunches at home on a Sunday. That way, you don't have to order takeout at work.
If you don't meal prep, it may be time to start. After all, there are countless meal prepping benefits, from helping you maintain a healthy weight to reducing your household's weekly food waste.
Want to know what kind of advantages you can expect from pre-preparing your weekly meals? Then check out this meal prep guide for the top eight benefits of meal prepping you need to know!
1. Lose Weight
One of the biggest benefits of food prepping is that you can manage portion sizes. Studies show that paying attention to portion size is one of the best strategies for preventing weight gain and obesity.
When you meal prep, all your lunches and/or dinners are pre-portioned. You can store each pre-prepared meal in the fridge or freezer. That way, they are ready when your hunger strikes.
Additionally, meal prepping reduces daily stress about preparing meals. This may, in turn, help you cut back on foods that cause weight gain. Stress is associated with diets higher in calories and unhealthy fats.
2. Get More Variety
Another science-backed benefit of meal prepping is the increased nutritional value. Home-cooked meals tend to contain more fruits and vegetables. People who frequently eat at home also consume higher levels of nutrients like:
Of course, meal prepping isn't the only way to increase your micronutrient intake. Weight loss programs like ChiroThin incorporate natural supplements and dietary modifications to help you lose weight and keep it off for good.
3. Cut Costs
The average American household spends $60 per week on 2–3 takeout or fast food meals. That equates to over $3,000 per year! If you eat out more than a few times a week, this cost can quickly add up.
Home-cooked meals are much cheaper. You can make one serving for as little as $3. The more often you cook, the more you save, too, because you will accumulate staple items in your pantry over time.
Of course, the exact cost per meal will depend on your ingredients. You can slash home-cooked meal prices by choosing frozen and canned vegetables. Another strategy is to buy less-perishable items in bulk.
4. Increase Your Lifespan
Did you know that eating more meals out may decrease your lifespan? The reverse is also true. In one study, those who ate out less than once per week lived longer than those who ate two or more daily meals away from home.
Our lifespans are a product of genes and the environment. Yet, lifestyle factors such as diet also play a role. Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber, unrefined carbohydrates, and whole foods may help you live longer.
5. Save Time
Do you prepare your meals from scratch every time you are hungry? Making lunches and dinners at home is great for your health. But if you do not incorporate meal prep, you could be wasting countless hours in the kitchen.
You can knock out all your lunches and/or dinners in one go when you meal prep instead. Plus, this also means you will have fewer dishes to deal with throughout the week.
When you first start meal prepping, you may not feel like you are saving time at all. The more you practice your cooking skills, the less time it will take you to meal prep at the beginning of each week and the more time you'll save.
6. Improve Diet Quality
A healthy diet is one rich in high-quality foods. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, high-quality foods are unrefined and minimally processed and include fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Home-cooked meals are usually rich in these whole food ingredients. They will help you feel more energized and maintain your waistline. In fact, focusing on high-quality foods is a better weight loss tactic than cutting calories alone.
Another way to improve the quality of your diet is to supplement the nutrients you may be missing in your diet. That is where ChiroThin can come in.
7. Reduce Waste
Did you know that one-third of the food produced each year gets thrown away? In the US alone, the average adult throws away one pound of food every single day. That means some people throw away even more food!
One of the main reasons households throw away food is due to spoilage. When you meal prep, you will use up your ingredients. That way, you can prevent spoilage and reduce your household's annual food waste output.
Coming back full circle, reducing food waste will also save you money. After all, throwing away food is like tossing your hard-earned money into the garbage.
Meal Prepping Is Not the Only Way to Lose Weight in 2023
Meal prepping is a great way to lose weight for good. This strategy can also save you time and money, reduce food waste, and even increase your lifespan. Yet, meal prepping isn't the only effective weight loss strategy out there.
ChiroThin is a doctor-supervised weight loss program that incorporates powerful supplements with easy-to-implement diet changes.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to schedule an appointment.