There are some definite pros and cons of Meal Prep.
It can feel a bit overwhelming, difficult, complicated and downright impossible.
I felt the same when I first started doing meal prep about 6 years ago. Seeing all those perfect photos of Meal Prep on Pinterest – all perfectly planned, prepped, cooked and portioned into matching containers (sometimes colour coded FFS!) … I remember thinking to myself, “How on earth do these people find the time to cook ALL THAT FOOD?!”
Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret aboutMeal Prep – it’s not that hard!
Let’s talk about the basic pros and cons of Meal Prep which will help you decide whether it’s for you.
I’ll be as diplomatic as possible about what I think the pros and cons of Meal Prep are. I used to be hardcore biased towards doing Meal Prep when I was still in corporate life, but I have relaxed on my meal prepping since going more plant-based and now that I work from home e.g. I have more time freedom to enjoy cooking food daily.
I totally understand that it’s not going to be right for everyone and their different lifestyles, so I’ve tried to remain neutral here and give both sides their due!
10 Reasons Why Meal Prep is Awesome
1) You get the all or the majority of the week’s cooking done and dusted in a few hours on one day. More time over the other 6 days of the week!
2) You know that you have healthy options to grab when you’re busy.
3) It can help with emotional eating. No need to constantly think “What should I eat?” or reach for that 3pm candy bar because you already have a nourishing meal ready to go.
4) It can be cost-effective as cooked food lasts longer in your fridge so less wastage.
5) Generally, you only need to do 1-2 grocery shops a week. I take this a step further and order my groceries online each week, delivered right to my door.
6) You will find it easier to stick to your nutrition goals or meal plan with prepared food.
7) You can cook extra portions and freeze them for the next week.
8) No more gazing blankly into the fridge wondering what to have for dinner, giving up and ordering an unhealthy takeaway option.
9) It saves money when you don’t buy meals out during the week! Plus that $10-$20 spent on lunches during the week quickly adds up and can be much better spent on things like sweet Nike kicks!
10) Going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner feels like so much more fun on the weekends.
10 Reasons Why Meal Prep is a Pain
1) You have to spend a few hours of your weekend time slaving away in the kitchen.
2) It can get boring as your meal prep is generally going to have the same meals or similar meals over a week.
3) If you want to eat something other than your prepped meal or don’t have time to eat for some reason, you can end up with food wastage.
4) Your kitchen will be slowly taken over by plastic containers until you end up finding them in random places throughout the house, your car, at work etc… Plus the lids always seem to vanish, probably to the same unknown dimension where socks disappear from the washing machine.
5) You lose your creative cooking vibe in the kitchen because you get too focused on being an efficient kitchen ninja (or a tornado of mess, however you look at it).
6) If you are a fan of cooking, then spending hours in the kitchen at once will feel like torture.
7) Buying all or the majority of your groceries for the week can be hard to judge the right quantities sometimes. Especially if you order online and accidentally buy 5kg of carrots instead of 5 carrots. Not that I’ve ever done that.
8) If you’re cooking your dinners during the week, you can generally just take leftovers for lunch the next day.
9) You miss out on work lunches during the week because “Sorry, I already have my lunch from home…”
10) You have to be organised, know what you’re prepping, plan the meals and recipes and make sure you get all the right foods and quantities. Miss an ingredient? It’s all over.
So are you a Meal Prep Pro or do you prefer to cook fresh or wing those weeknight dinners?!
Tell me in the comments!