The Pros and Cons of Meal Prepping: Will it Work for You?

Nutrition

The Pros and Cons of Meal Prepping: Will it Work for You?

If you want to achieve the best health and wellness results, you’ll need more than just a workout routine and/or physiotherapy treatments. A strong body must be fueled by a healthy diet, or else you diminish your ability to perform at your optimum physical levels.

Admittedly, this can be a difficult task to achieve. Juggling a healthy diet on top of school, work, hobbies, personal training, physiotherapy, or whatever else your daily life looks like, can certainly prove to be challenging. That’s where meal prepping comes in. By planning out your meals at the beginning of the week, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in your busy life.

Many professional athletes and physiotherapists recommend meal prepping for staying on top of your nutrition – and making it more difficult to have “cheat” days! However, meal prepping isn’t always for everyone – below we’ll discuss both the pros and cons of meal prepping:

How do I know if meal prepping is for me?

The visual image of meal prepping usually includes plastic tupperware containers lined up in neat rows, containing a portion of veggies, carbs, and protein – this is what our physiotherapists consider to be a healthy and balanced meal option throughout the day.

Most people who partake in meal prepping prepare their meals on Sunday, just before the work or school week begins. This ensures that they will not have to spend precious time planning meals throughout the week. It is important to make sure that you allow yourself 3-4 hours to shop, cook, and pack up your meals, in order to make sure you have enough time to get everything together. Our physiotherapists also recommend preparing a meal plan for the month if you have the time and energy to do so, in order to avoid repeating meals every week and staying organized in your prepping.

6 reasons to love meal prepping:

  1. Most of your meals will be prepared at the beginning of the week! This will allow you with ample time to catch up on exercise, physiotherapy, personal hobbies, or even just relaxing!
  2. You’ll know that each of your meals will be healthy, nutritious, and easy – putting a whole new twist on the term “fast food!”
  3. You won’t have to waste time figuring out what you want to have for lunch and/or dinner. This may also decrease the need for mindless snacking as you decide what you want your meal to be!
  4. Doing all your cooking on one day can be more cost-effective than cooking 10 or more meals each week. You may even get more discounts for buying in bulk!
  5. You’ll probably only have to hit the grocery store once or twice a week at most. This leaves plenty of time for other activities, such as spending time with friends, hitting the gym, or other social engagements.
  6. It’s much easier to meet your nutrition goals when you prepare ahead of time. Consulting with a physiotherapist can also help you determine exactly what portions of each food group you should have, in order to achieve the best physical results.

6 reasons to hate meal prepping:

  1. A good portion of your weekend will be dedicated to shopping and cooking.
  2. You may become tired of the same dishes if you don’t change them up.
  3. If you decide you don’t want something that you’ve already prepped, you’ll have to take more time out of your day to cook.
  4. Sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice creativity (and, at times, overall tastiness) in the kitchen in order to meet your nutritional needs.
  5. If you don’t have a lot of experience cooking, it can be difficult to create meals that are both balanced and fun to eat.
  6. Meal prepping takes a lot of time, patience, and organization! It may take a bit before you notice a difference in saving time and avoiding unnecessary food waste.

Create a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle:

Whether you decide to meal prep or not, a balanced diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. When you eat healthy meals alongside working our regularly and coming in for physiotherapy sessions when needed, you can ensure that your body is operating at peak performance.

If you are looking to increase your physical performance by maintaining a nutritious diet, contact NRG Athlete Therapy Fitness today. Our dedicated physiotherapists will help you create a nutrition plan for fueling your body and staying in top shape.

4 Ways to Reduce Pain and Gain Energy

Do you constantly find yourself feeling tired throughout the day? Sluggish? Achy? Fatigued? If so, this is probably your body’s way of telling you that something is off. Perhaps you sit too much during your commute or throughout the day, without getting up to stretch and exercise. Perhaps you’re eating too much inflammatory food or not drinking enough water. Whatever the case may be, if you are constantly feeling physically or mentally drained, it is a good idea to make some healthy changes.

Below you’ll find four quick ways to reduce any aches and pains your body may be feeling, and gain more energy in the process. There are multiple ways to integrate these tips into your life, and if you’d like more in-depth assistance, contact NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today!

1. Create a treatment plan with a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy may feel difficult when you are in pain or fatigued, but it could be essential in providing relief and helping to gain more energy. A physiotherapist is trained in helping you move safely and regain function, and treatments have proven successful for relieving all chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic types of pain. If you have become weaker due to lack of movement, a physiotherapist will also help in strengthening weak muscles.

Some common pain relief methods that physiotherapists provide include:

  • Manual therapy using hands and tools on soft tissue
  • Ice and heat therapies
  • Massage
  • Joint and bone manipulation
  • Movement therapy and exercise
  • Microcurrent stimulation
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Cold laser therapy

2. Modify your diet.

Did you know 8 out of 10 people experience frequent back pain? In fact, chronic back pain affects roughly 116 million adults in the United States. For many of those people, the cause of their back pain is a direct result of their diet. The foods we eat can trigger inflammation, which can cause pain.

If your diet is causing your back pain, it could be beneficial to modify some aspects of it. While you do not necessarily have to reduce your food intake, you may want to shift around what you are eating. Below is a list of foods that may help you feel more energized if you choose to incorporate them into your regular diet:

  • Foods that are high in fiber. According to the Arthritis Foundation, adding fiber will reduce inflammation in many cases. Fusing a high-fiber diet with more healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lead to pain relief and reduced weight.
  • Ginger. Ginger is universally known for the magic it has on stomach aches, but most people don’t know that it is a natural anti-inflammatory! It acts as a natural aspirin impersonator, reducing inflammation and providing relief.
  • Cherries. There are compounds in cherries called “anthocyanins” that reduce pain in two ways: inhibiting pain enzymes and blocking inflammation.
  • Turmeric. Tumeric is a curry spice that is packed with curcumin, a natural pain reliever and inflammation reducer that has been used to treat pain for ages.

3. Make an effort to exercise.

Exercising isn’t always easy, especially if you are exhausted or in pain. Finding the strength and energy to exercise can prove challenging when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep. However, physical activity is crucial to your well-being, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Make an effort to walk for at least 30 minutes each day, or sprinkle in short, intense workouts several times a week. Whatever you may choose to do, allow your body enough time to recover between exercise sessions, in order to notice maximized benefits.

4. Adjust your workstation.

Depending on how your desk is set up, it could be aggravating your pain and draining your energy – not to mention the possibility of causing postural imbalances. When you set up a workstation, it is important to keep this 4-step ergonomic checklist in mind:

  1. Make sure that your chair is at a height where your feet can remain comfortably flat on the ground. Both your upper and lower back should be supported by your desk chair, and your armrests should be at a height where your shoulders can rest relaxed.
  2. Your keyboard should remain directly in front of your body at all times. This allows your elbows to open at a 100-degree angle and your shoulders to relax.
  3. Position the top of your monitor so it is approximately 2-3 inches above your seated eye level.
  4. Approximately every 20 minutes, make sure you take 1-2 minute stretch breaks to loosen up muscles and enhance circulation.

If you are still in pain despite these tips, contact NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today. One of our dedicated physiotherapists will provide you with the resources you need to gain more energy and live a pain-free life.

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