In today’s busy day, maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, but preparing meals in advance is one way to deal with it. With this we control the intake of food, without stress and in a way convenient for achieving our goals.
Benefits of cooking in advance
Preparing your food a few days before eating allows you to eat your favorite dishes at a time when you want them, without exceeding the specified portion sizes. Having a collection of well-balanced meals will help you regulate what you eat, and will allow you to keep up with your personal dietary needs and health goals.
If the health benefits alone don’t convince you, consider the financial benefits. Cooking at home a few days before eating will help you save money by preventing eating out at well-known bars and restaurants. that cleanliness is not one of their strengths, much less you will find fresh and high quality products there. Therefore, cooking everything you eat at home gives you complete control over the ingredients you put in your plate and from thence into your body.
In summary – with proper planning you will prevent unnecessary purchases, you will save money and reduce the intake of food waste.
However, here is a more in-depth analysis of the benefits of pre-cooking at home:
Yes, preparation can take two to three hours to get everything done, but just think about the hours you will save during the week!
If you take 10 minutes each day to prepare food, which is the shortest time for 5 days, here’s what happens:
5 days x 3 meals per day x 30 minutes per meal = 7.5 hours
You just saved 5.5 hours and much fewer dishes to wash after each meal!
Many people think that cooking is expensive, but reality shows that it is much cheaper! When you give about BGN 75 at a time for one shopping, it will seem like a lot, but if you divide it into dishes, you will see that this is not the case. One cooking costs between BGN 2 and 5!
Yes, most people think that cooking in advance is stressful. But how much more stressful is it to rush every morning, noon and evening, trying to make a healthy meal quickly, or to buy (unhealthy) food at the last minute?
If you arm yourself with a food preparation plan, you will remove all the stress from your weekends and work days! What happens when stress levels drop? Cortisol levels also drop, and you lose body fat! This is a magic number to lose weight, without even going to the gym or doing anything special!
Diversity is the key to a good life! When you are not planning, chances are you will eat the same boring meals over and over again. If you start practicing food preparation, you will get broken creative thinking and you will not have to eat the same boring meals every day!
Easy portion control
We mentioned this briefly above, but portion control is key, if you’re aiming to lose weight, and you’ll also notice an overall improvement in your health, even if it’s from being able to eat right away. when you get hungry! Control over the amount of food in each meal will help you get closer to your fitness goal! We all have them sometimes!
Maintaining a balanced energy level
Charging your body with a balance obtained from healthy proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats will keep your energy levels balanced and your mind focused! The idea is not to allow yourself to reach for something easy and fast to eat, such as snacks and chips, which are full of unhealthy ingredients and too much unhealthy fat. With food preparation you are sure to get all the nutrients you need, slow-digesting carbohydrates and all the micronutrients that are vital to keeping your blood sugar (and energy) well-balanced throughout the day!
Strategies for successful pre-cooking
Preparing meals at home requires good planning! First, consider your budget, the foods you want to eat, and most of all, your personal health goals. Collect recipes that include ingredients from each food group to ensure a balanced diet.
Tips you can try today:
Make a shopping list
Shopping for food can be a big waste of time, but with a list in hand, you’ll be able to go through all corners of the store in an organized way without having to visit one place twice, because you forgot to pick something up.
Select the appropriate food storage containers
Food storage containers are very important because they can impart an unwanted taste to your food. That’s why we recommend some tried and tested options. These are:
– Hermetically sealed containers for ready-to-cook products: Washable, silicone bags and reusable stainless steel containers. They are great for keeping products fresh for longer.
– Containers without BPA content, suitable for a microwave oven, but if you do not use a microwave oven it will be even better. These containers are both convenient and better for your health. Glass containers or collapsible silicone containers are another good option.
– Freezer-safe containers Their characteristic is that they will prevent the loss of nutrients.
– Impermeable containers. They are especially suitable for soups and other watery foods.
- Cook large portions at once, especially if they are cereals, as they take much longer to prepare. This will save you time and energy.
- Freeze any food that you think you will not be able to eat within five days.
- Make sure you have many food storage containers the size of one main meal.
List of foods that we suggest you have on hand during the preparation of meals:
- Fresh, seasonal vegetables -Choose fresh, seasonal vegetables whenever possible because they are tastier and healthier.
- Frozen vegetables – don’t have time to wash, peel and chop vegetables? Keep frozen vegetables in your freezer They are easily added to any food, additionally offering you fiber and nutrients that can be prepared very quickly.
- Canned or dried beans – legumes are full of protein and fiber. You can easily use beans in hot or cold dishes, giving a pleasant taste full of health benefits. You can also use canned chopped tomatoes for easy cooking.
- Eggs – if you have eggs on hand, you can boil a few at the beginning of the week and eat them as breakfast, in salads cut into soups, along with hummus and cooked in countless other ways.
- Baking ingredients – stevia, oatmeal, oats, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder.
- Grains – keep quinoa, brown rice and / or oats in your kitchen at all times. These cereals are easy to prepare, suitable for pre-cooking and best of all they last a long time.
- Spices – spices and herbs will definitely be able to improve the taste of your dishes and will add variety to generally boring foods. Some good options are garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin powder or grains, black pepper powder or grains and, of course, salt.
Is it healthy to prepare food in advance?
Pre-cooking is preferred by people who need special diets.
Do we have to prepare absolutely all the dishes in advance?
No! Not necessary.
You can only prepare food for lunch, so you don’t have to buy your lunch every day. And if your family’s schedule makes dinners very busy, prepare it in advance so that everyone can eat something, even when you don’t have time to cook.
After all, do what works best for you! You can also prepare only individual ingredients instead of whole dishes to be prepared somewhere.
Cooking can relieve stress in your life and help you keep up with your health and fitness goals. With a healthy eating plan, you will surely enjoy every meal and will improve your culinary skills in the process!
But! There is a big “but” here. Pre-cooking should not be done permanently. Although it can save you time, money and stress, which is also relative, there is always the danger of eating stale, heat-treated products during this period, which come out of the fridge or freezer will need another heat treatment. Let’s not forget that the taste of products taken out of the refrigerator and freezer always have a strange “breath”.
Nothing can beat freshly prepared and consumed at home food. There is nothing healthier than that. Never underestimate it.