Meal prepping has a great deal of benefits for individuals who are hoping to lose weight and stick to healthier eating habits. Not only can it help you save money by buying items in bulk, wasting fewer ingredients, and eating out less, it’s a win-win if you’re trying to stay on track with your new eating lifestyle post Lap-Band® Surgery.
Meal prepping has two obvious benefits that help people lose weight. Not only is it great for portion control, it helps you control what you eat. When meals are pre-planned and cooked ahead of time, it’s harder to slip up and eat something that doesn’t fall within your meal plan. Temptations like mid-day fast food runs and happy hours with your coworkers are easier to resist when you know you have lunch and dinner already made.
An unexpected perk of meal prepping is the variety it provides. How many times have you come home from work, stressed about what to cook, and then relied on the same old tired recipe? Instead of feeling satisfied, you’re bored and you’re craving junk food. When you have the time to plan out a week of meals, grocery shop, and prepare the meals at the start of the week, you have more time to think about variety and incorporating different fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals. This variety will in turn give you a good mix of nutrients. You’ll also say goodbye to the extra stress of worrying about what to prepare every night.
Part of your Lap-Band aftercare journey involves following a specific meal plan and ensuring that you fill your body with high-quality foods, like proteins and nutrient-dense foods. Following along with this meal plan and meal prepping goes hand-in-hand. Instead of making food decisions on the fly each day and wondering if you can or can’t eat something, you’ll have a meal already prepared that meets all of your requirements.
Meal prepping might feel like a daunting task at first, so instead of a full week of meals, try making meals for three or four days instead. Sit down with the meal plan your Lap-Band specialist or dietitian provided you, and search your favorite cookbooks, Pinterest, or Google for flavorful recipes that meet your food guidelines. Once you choose your recipes, create a master list of everything you’ll need to buy. If you can plan recipes with overlapping ingredients, such as spinach in your morning smoothie and as a side for dinner, you can cut down on costs. You’ll also save money if you choose recipes utilizing an ingredient you already have in the house, such as chicken breasts, fish, or a certain spice.
Be sure you set aside dedicated time both for planning meals and cooking them so you can make meal prepping a habit.
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