Many weeks have passed since my last post, and trust me when I say that I’ve been meaning to post a hell lotta content here, but somehow they end up being written for other clients… then I cannot re-post it here before it goes ‘live’ on their site, and by that time, I forget about it… yeah, excuses, excuses. 😦
BUT, today, I remembered! And it’s a piece that I just wrote for a place that I absolutely love writing for, because they allow total freedom for writers to explore unique perspectives and creative approaches to otherwise run-of-the-mill topics.
I’ve never been one to meal prep, but I’ve observed a lot of friends who are getting into watching what they eat – in a healthy and really refreshing way. They come up with great recipes for the week, spend their weekends whipping up a huge batch of food, and pay more attention to what they feed their bodies. Unfortunately, I love food too much to direct energy to meal prepping, but I’d like to believe I still eat reasonably well. But if you’re thinking twice about whether you should pick up this honestly admirable habit, here are 5 great reasons to. 🙂
1. You gain perspective
One weight loss tool is a food diary, which helps you have a proper visual of what you consume in a day or a week. Eating mindlessly often leads to underestimating just how much you’re consuming, so meal prepping allows you to get a broader perspective of your eating habits.
If you’re doing the meal preps yourself, even more kudos to you, and you’ll have the added benefit of seeing the entire week’s worth of food laid out before you, thus providing you a tangible perspective of what you’re putting into your body. It’s easy to justify eating poorly meal-to-meal, but if you see all the garbage you feed your system literally laying out on a table in front of you, it can be a potent wake-up call.
2. You’re less likely to make poor food choices
The best of intentions can completely disappear with the first hunger pang or stomach growl. At that point, your eating choices are based on convenience and cravings rather than what’s best for your body or your wallet.
By having your meals planned for the day or even the entire week ahead, you’re less likely to drop by your favourite fast food chain because you already know you’ll be fed later with a wholesome meal. You know how they say never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry? Same principle applies here; choose your meals before your body chooses them for you.
3. You learn about portion control
Self-control isn’t just about what we eat, but how much of what we eat. And although it’s one thing to eat leftovers from a pre-packed Tupperware container, it’s a different story when it comes to knowing what works for your body, in terms of nutrients.
We’re not saying you should go into the nitty gritty of micros vs. macros (because ain’t nobody got time for that!), but meal prepping should help you sort out the percentage of carbs, proteins and even fibre that you should consume for your weight or health goals. Meal prepping teaches balance. You can still make delicious things and have a treat here and there, but the amount you eat has been decided by a wiser version of you from a few days ago – who wasn’t hungry or in a hurry.
4. You learn about your food
Singaporeans love their food, but how many of us know about our food? Like where it comes from, what kind of nutrition it provides, its benefits and the best way to cook it to maximise flavour? When you meal prep, you’ll undoubtedly want to mix things up as you go along, because there’s only so long you’ll put up with chicken breasts and brown rice.
Your body needs a variety of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to flourish. With informed knowledge through talking to like-minded people or via research, you’ll put forethought into making your meals, and will choose essential items from several food groups to get the variety you need to fuel your body and cover all your bases. With a varied diet, you’re more likely to stick to it and will have more food options to choose from so you’ll never have an excuse not to eat well.
5. It creates habit, and ultimately changed behaviour
It’s been said, on average, it takes 66 days for a person to develop a habit. Meal prepping takes time to get into, especially with getting used to time spent on peeling, chopping, mixing and what-not.
But once you see all the other benefits, you’ll slowly develop a heightened sense of awareness of what you’re feeding yourself, which in turn will subconsciously make you want to eat mostly clean – even when you feel like having a cheat meal. It’s like that mindset of “I’ve already put in so much effort into eating well, and I don’t wish to ruin my hard work”.
If you’re interested in reading more lifestyle articles written by me (or my fellow writers), visit Bow & Tiara, and I’ll see you guys real soon! 😀