We’re well into lockdown across the UK. Whether you’ve been able to carry on working or whether you’ve been furloughed, we’ve all had to adapt to a different way of life. The gyms are closed, and for those of us not lucky enough to have our own home gym, it’s been difficult to keep on top of training.
So why should you still meal prep during lockdown?
Maintain healthy eating
Not known what to cook while you’ve been working from home, or you’ve had nothing better to do than binge watch things on Netflix? Or perhaps you’ve found it hard to work up the motivation to cook at regular times? That’s where meal prep will come in handy. There’s no need to stress about what to make for food – you’ve already prepared a healthy meal for yourself earlier!
By continuing with your usual meal prep you can maintain healthy eating. It’s easy to reach for unhealthy convenience snacks, but if you reach for a healthy alternative, you can make sure that you’re getting all the right nutrients to help you stay on top of your gains. Foods like turmeric, ginger, citrus fruits, garlic, and foods with plenty of zinc – think nuts and lentils – will help to boost your immune system.
Kick stress eating and cravings to the kerb
This is a stressful time for all of us, and with times of stress it can be hard not to treat yourself to a little pick-me-up. Stress releases more cortisol, which can prevent your body from processing carbs as well as usual, and it can also increase your cravings for sugary foods with a low glycemic index.
Now more than ever is where meal prepping comes in handy – by preparing healthy nutritious meals for yourself to eat throughout the day, you can prevent yourself from any cravings that might occur, and stop being tempted to stress eat. Choose foods with plenty of fibre, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as plenty of slow-digesting carbs such as chickpeas to slow down digestion and keep you fuller for longer.
Meal prepping allows you to monitor your calorie intake, too. If you don’t have a home gym or ways to workout at home to build muscle, you’ll need to make sure that you reduce your calorie intake. By planning your meals you can prevent yourself from overeating and also maintain a healthy immune system. If you’re not as active as you were pre-lockdown, consider lowering your carb intake, and upping your protein intake.
How to maintain structure
It’s important to maintain regular structure in your day to day activities so as to remove the temptation to overeat or to stress eat. By getting up at the same time every day as you would in your normal working week, you’ll stop yourself from sleeping the day away, and getting into other bad habits.
Without your usual routines – heading out to the gym, going to work, meeting with family and friends – it can be all too easy to let your diet slip. Try to keep to eating three meals a day at regular times, as well as allowing for two healthy snacks throughout the day. This will make sure that you’re not actually eating out of boredom, and that you’re actually hungry.
Make the most out of meal prep
We’ve got loads of healthy recipes to inspire you. Protein balls are a fantastic way to get rid of your cravings, and to make sure you reach for a healthy alternative to that tempting chocolate bar. Check out our chocolate orange protein balls instead, or our lemon protein balls if chocolate’s not your thing. Alternatively, our range of high protein flapjacks are easy convenience snacks that require minimal preparation.
Opt for meals that you can cram some more protein into – smoothies are a great way to use your Whey Matrix protein powder to get a dash of extra protein in your daily diet. Not sure what you’re doing when it comes to meal prep, or what to get into your weekly diet? Take a look at our post about how to meal prep properly.
Have you been continuing with your usual meal prep despite being in lockdown? Let us know over on our Facebook page!
Lead image: fortyforks via Getty Images.