Sometimes after a long day at work, you just want to pick up fast food or make a frozen dinner.
That can mean you’re not always eating the healthiest.
It was a group decision between Clark Vargo and his friends to begin meal prepping five years ago.
“We kind of found ourselves eating out a lot. We liked to workout but we weren’t seeing the results that we wanted. We saw our money disappearing. So, we just really wanted to figure out how to get the most benefit for our money and for our time that we’re putting into working out,” Vargo said.
Now, as a strength and conditioning coach, Vargo says setting a healthy example is important.
“Meal prepping is taking one day out of the week, or even two days out of the week, kind of depending on your schedule to prepare some different ingredients or different meals ahead of time,” Registered Dietitian Lizzie Kasparek said.
Kasparek says making the change to prepping your meals ahead of time can start with just one meal per day.
“You can start off just bringing lunch a couple days per week and you know, on Sunday I’m going to make lunch for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… and then Thursday and Friday I can go out to lunch if I want,” Kasparek said.
She says your meals don’t have to be the same thing everyday.
“Let’s say you make shredded chicken in your crock pot, rice, you cut up some vegetables, you wash some lettuce, that can be used for tacos or quesadillas or put on a salad,” Kasparek said.
Dietitians say meal prepping will come with a higher price-tag upfront, but a lower cost overall.
“Per meal that’s breaking down to a lot less than you’d actually be spending on a restaurant meal or if you even went to the grocery store and got a meal that’s made ahead of time,” Kasparek said.
Vargo says the switch helped him reach his fitness goals while also cutting his grocery bill in half.
“If you’re able to plan your meals and go to the grocery store and cook it all at once, it’ll be a fraction of the cost,” Vargo said.
For a list of meal prepping recipes, click here.