You’ve probably already read countless articles confirming that meal prep is the best way to maintain a healthy diet and lose weight. Meal prep is aimed at portion control and also easing the task of wondering what you’ll eat and having to prepare it, which can be time consuming and difficult to do during a busy week.
The reason meal prep is most effective, however, is in allowing you to know the calorie contents of food, which allows you to plan out your eating accordingly. While I don’t calorie count, as I think that is exhausting and difficult, I do try and stay in a ballpark range of a healthy limit for my height and weight. We all know, or can easily find out via google, how many calories we should be eating per day, roughly. With this information, we can all agree that nobody wants to eat 80% of their daily caloric intake for breakfast…you’ll be starved by the end of the day and you will either overeat or be extremely miserable with that 20% for the rest of the day.
A huge bonus to meal prep is being able to take stock of the foods you’re eating and their calorie contents. Personally, I like to label all of my foods so that I know to moderate myself if I want to snack or eat a specific type of meal. Given how often you eat per day, you can benefit from labeling your foods and snacks by their calorie content, as it allows you to ration your portions out throughout the day and knowingly choose lighter foods, so that you won’t be starving come 6 pm.
For those of us who love to snack, labeling and rationing out your snacks can help tremendously in cutting out unnecessary calories. For instance, looking at a bag of chocolate covered cranberries, 40 g would be about 230 calories…you may think that’s sufficient and plenty, but you may not realize that 40 g is only about several of these cranberries and not a real handful. Instead of roughly estimating, being certain by weighing out and putting your snacks into portions can help you save a lot of calories and fix some snacking habits. Once you realize how much food you get for a certain amount of calories, you’re going to naturally begin to transition to healthier, filling foods which satisfy you and don’t contain too many calories.
Instead of keeping entire boxes of sweets or cookies in your pantry and trusting yourself to eat just a few…why not pack them in individual portion controlled baggies, labeling the caloric content (as seen above), allowing you to keep track and control over how many calories you leave for your snacks per day.
Even if you think you won’t benefit from it, try rationing out your food in accordance to their calorie contents, and you’ll soon realize that you probably waste some calories eating foods you likely don’t even need that much. By taking stock of your calorie content, roughly, you can garner a better natural sense of portion control, which can last you in the long run, helping you get and stay fit.