Short answer: yes. Preparation is key for success, which is true in any field. You rehearse a speech, study for a test, and practice for games. We tend to overlook that every single day is an opportunity to rehearse, study, or practice. Life is an ongoing speech, test, or game.
In order to maximize your daily potential, you need to fuel your body. By decreasing food cravings you increase time spent making productive decisions. Having the best food ever at your fingertips throughout the day drives a healthy lifestyle. Spending excess money on meals and snacks adds up over time. Preparing your meals for the day sets you up for success and ultimately leads to higher levels of accomplishment. Being diligent about meal preparation will benefit your wellbeing in the major areas of time, health, money, and accomplishment.
Everyone wants more time. We need time to relax, workout, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy life. Having your food ready to go gives you more time during the day to spend on things you like doing. Take a few minutes to think about how much time goes into your daily food decisions on the days you do not bring food to work. Here is an example:
It’s 10 am, and you’re already hungry for lunch. You grab five peanut M&M’s out of the snack jar as you walk over to talk to your co-worker about plans for lunch. Should it be the regular spot around the corner or something new? You look at menu’s, send out an email to your group, decide on a time, and then think about that food for another two hours. Lunch time hits and you get the group together, waiting for that one guy to send out that report, and then head to lunch . You get there, wait in line, order, wait for your food, and then get to your table. After you all finish up, you take your time getting back to work.
Looking at menus – 15 minutes
Traveling to restaurant – 15 minutes
Ordering and waiting for food – 15 minutes
Getting back to work – 15 minutes
This adds up to one our of unproductive time a day.
Let’s say you work five days a week. This is five hours a week. You work 45 weeks a year. That’s 225 hours a year. That’s over nine full 24-hour days that could have otherwise been spent on improving yourself.
Meal prep can be added to your Sunday routine involving no extra time by doing it during other activities.
Use a company like Instacart for grocery delivery, so there is no time spent on making the trip to the store.
While preparing your meals for the week, you are in the comfort of your home and can be doing other weekend tasks. Once you make this routine, you become more efficient at cooking and preparing and waste little time. My suggestion? Cook and prepare your food while doing laundry or watching your favorite show.
When you meal prep, you make a conscious effort to choose what goes into your body. When you forget to eat breakfast and your co-workers or friends are going to the pizza spot down the street, you do not make a healthy choice of what you eat. When you plan your meals out, you have clean food to consume all day and don't have to worry about avoiding unhealthy meals - you already made the healthy choice. It will amaze you how it inspires those around you to reach for healthier options too. Start a movement at your office or with your friends to join the health journey.
We all want to spend money for enjoyment. We look at our credit card bill at the end of the month and always find a few regretful purchases. One of these is often food. Eating out adds up. This does not mean you can’t go out to a nice dinner on the weekend,however, overtime the repetitive lunch trips to Chipotle and Protein Bar could be spent on something fun, like a vacation.
Most people tend to get some groceries during the week and buy the majority of their meals at restaurants. When only buying quick and easy items at the grocery store, we don’t use our dollars efficiently. Instead of purchasing energy packed produce, we reach for sugar filled snacks that actually make us crash, which prompts that 3pm trip to Starbucks (for $7).
Next week, save all of your receipts spent on meals, snacks, coffee, and groceries. Meal preparation should not be overwhelming, so the week after prep four meals for the week. If you love Chipotle make 4 rice, chicken, and vegetable bowls. Simple and easy. Then compare those two weeks of total spending on food.
There will be a decrease in the need for midday snacks and coffee, you’ll be luess hungry at dinner, and the savings will start to add up.
Increase the amount of meals prepared each week and eventually you will be getting the most out of every dollar. Each week you will see savings add up and then allocate this extra money towards something new and exciting.
We all love the feeling of being productive. Meal preparation launches you into the week with a full head of steam.
Falling asleep on Sunday night with a fridge full of healthy and powerful foods makes Monday morning that much better.
Going into work for the day knowing you have your food ready decreases distraction and promotes creativity. You find solutions more quickly. You ask better questions. You accomplish tasks more efficiently.
You have the ability to be mid-project and walk to the fridge to grab your lunch without losing your train of thought.
Having a sense of fulfillment at the end of the week by staying on a healthy meal plan fuels you to put out even more effort the next week. This desire for improvement has compounding benefits to your everyday life.
During my experimentation with routines, foods, and workouts, the number one thing that keeps me on track to reach my weekly potential is meal preparation. I go into Monday knowing I am going to crush it if I have my Whole Foods bag filled with two Bulletproof Vanilla Protein Bars, homemade trail mix, a small quinoa bowl, and a big salad. These foods fuel me to have the best day ever, every single day.
What foods can you prep to help you do the same?