How To Successfully Manage Your Weight
In this post, I'm going to talk about the most proven and sustainable method that a lot of people who have been successfully used and are still using to manage their weight and body composition.
Meal Preparation or "Meal Prep" is the act of preparing ready to go meals for future consumption.
There are many benefits and reasons as to why this might be one of the best habits you could implement in your life like:
Not having to worry about what you're going to do about your next meal.
Save money on buying in bulk instead of takeaway.
Always ensuring you have fresh quality ingredients in your food.
Having the ability to manage and control the amount of food you eat.
Knowing exactly what ingredients goes into your food and your body.
Being able to manage and control the variety of food and flavours you eat.
Having the ability to manipulate your meals to suit any health concern you may have. e.g. Type 2 Diabetes, Pregnancy, High Blood Pressure and or Cholesterol, etc.
Manage body weight and composition.
Have the ability to change body weight and composition to suit your wants or needs.
If could go on but I think you can understand how awesome meal preparation can be for you and your loved ones.
So after reading this far, we could all say that meal prep is awesome, so why don't we all do it? Well I think one of the main reasons is because if we think about it too much we might start saying to ourselves 'that's too much work', 'It will take up to much time', 'I've got better things to do on my weekend', 'I can't cook' and then all that motivation and good intention is gone.
So let's break some of these excuses down and see if they actually hold up.
1. That's too much work.
If you've ever thought that something is too much work, well have you ever thought from a different perspective?
Let's say you go shopping for your food, how many time a week do you do this?
Once, Twice, Every night before you get home from work. If you said once a week then that's great, with meal prep once a week should be enough. If you said twice or more, you have just proven that it takes more effort to do it the way you are currently with the extra driving, parking, walking up and down aisles, moving groceries from the shop to the car into the house, etc.
Now lets add-in the act of cooking the food, with meal prep you only need to chop up all your food, cook, and then clean everything up mainly one per week. If you cook every day or even every second day you have proven yet again that the current way you do things is taken much more effort and increasing your weekly workload then not doing meal prep.
2. It will take up to much time.
If I haven't already pointed how much extra time in total you save a week with meal prep then let us add another perspective to it.
Cooking time, with meal prep would be multi-tasking with your cooking and have many different things going on at the same time, which is very time efficient. Without meal prep, every meal will be cooked separately every day and when you add up the total time spent it would easily 2-3x more than meal prep.
3. I've got better things to do on my weekend.
Haha, don't we all, even sitting on the lounge doing nothing sometimes seems like something better to do then meal prep to me, but let's look at from a different angle.
It's late and I'm tired from running around all day, I just want to go home eat a nice meal and relax, have a shower and get good quality sleep so I can power through the next day. BUT WAIT you don't have anyone else to cook for you tonight so you will have to find another way to get your meal.
Takeaway - Okay every now and then but not recommended every day.
Frozen dinner meal - Maybe a good choice but ask yourself this, does it taste good? is there enough food to satisfy your needs?
Cook yourself - Now I know when I'm tired at the end of a full days work, one of the last things I feel like doing is more work.
In general and for the long term you can see how meal prep can make your life so much easier and healthier for you and on average depending on what you cook and your abilities, approx 2 hours max on a Sunday is not really that big of a deal considering all the perks you get from such a little sacrifice.
4. I can't cook.
I get the feeling that if you are saying this type of excuse you haven't really tried to cook much of anything in the first place.
There are very easy to read step-by-step recipes all over the place, and it's mostly free. Just type in something on the internet and you will get hundreds of links to websites with millions of delicious recipes that will be pretty simple to easy to read and do and it won't matter what kind of specific food preference you have, there are plenty of other people just like you and have contributed their recipes to the internet as well.
So be it Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, FODMAPS, Low Carb, Low Fat, High Protein, you will find it easily on the internet.
Now that we have seen that meal prep is awesome and just makes life so much better for us lets see when we need to get this started.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH 'MEAL PREP'
This is pretty simple to do, all you need is;
Allocated time to do the shopping, food prepping, cooking and cleaning, approx 2hours.
Calculate how many meals you need to prep for. For me, it was lunch and dinner Monday - Friday, which comes to 10 meal servings.
Check to see if you have enough food containers to split the dished into serving meal sizes to pack. I recommend Pyrex, glass, ceramic for hot serving foods to be reheated and hard plastic for foods that don't need heating or freezing. If you dot have anything add this to your shopping list.
Decide what kind of dishes you can make and like to eat.
Make a shopping list based on the recipes you just chose to make.
Go do the shopping.
Now it's food prep time, I personally find it easier to chop and cut most of my ingredients beforehand, measure and separate them into the dishes.
Cooking time, this can be a little more complicated depending on the style of cooking you have chosen for your dishes. I like to start my slow cooking dishes first e.g. Slow cooker, Oven, Baked, Pot food that needs to reduce, then while they're cooking depending what space I have left I will do my faster cooking dished e.g. stir fry's, steam, pan, grilled etc.
Then when some of them have finished cooking and may be cooled down you can now separate them into your preferred serving sizes and store them either in the fridge for up to 2-3 days for freeze them.
After that all you need to now is clean up all the mess you may have made and that's it, done. YAY :)
During the week all you need to do is defrost and reheat as you need.
It is this time during the week when you will feel the benefits of the effort and work you put in on the weekend in your meal prep, and I guarantee it, you will be glad you did.
If you have any questions please comment below and if you found this article helpful please share with others, they might find it helpful as well.
About Author: Chris Mokdessi
Chris has been in the health and fitness industry for over 10+ years.
In this time he has certified his education and knowledge with a Cert IV in Fitness, Diploma in Fitness, a Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach, CHECK Exercise Coach and Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certification.
He continues to keep up to date with the latest research findings to enhance this clients programs in order to increase their success and finds it his mission to inform the misinformed while trying to the educate those who are seeking the improve their lives by looking good and feeling great with their body’s through good health practices.