What is meal prep? Chances are you've either heard about it from a friend or have seen posts about it on social media. Let me give you a quick rundown on what meal prep is before I discuss its benefits. When you meal prep, you cook several meals at once so that you have meals readily available for the following week.

This is extremely popular in the fitness industry, since it helps athletes stay on a steady, healthy diet. It is also great for students, since our busy schedules can make it difficult to find time to cook fresh and nutritious meals. Meal prep is a great time-saving tactic, it can help you keep your diet on track, and can also help you save money. 

It helps you save time

rice, vegetable
Sarah Teng

Many of us don't realize how much time we actually spend cooking food every single day. When you meal prep, you can cook five meals in the time that it takes to cook one. This leaves you with spare time to do other productive tasks—like that assignment you promised yourself you'd start last week. 

#SpoonTip: Here are 8 tips and tricks to make meal prepping easier than it looks. 

It helps keep you on track

salad, cheese, salt
Karen Nolan

When you have an abundance of healthy meals ready to be eaten, it leaves you with no excuse to eat anything else. I have found that meal prep has helped to curb my cravings away from unhealthy foods and keeps me on track towards my goals.  

Meal prep also builds accountability to your actions. Since you have invested the time and money into these meals, you'll be less likely to let them go to waste. It's a way to avoid that mid-day coffee and muffin to help energize you, since you'll have a healthy, delicious lunch ready to be eaten.

It helps you save money

date, coffee
Becky Hughes

Eating healthy can be expensive at times, which may make it hard to believe that meal prep can actually help you save money. Buying your food in bulk can allow you to easily fit healthy and nutritious meals into a student budget. Having meals prepared and ready to be eaten will also make you less likely to eat out, which is another way that meal prep helps you to save money

Although there are many benefits to meal prep, there are also a few compromises. Sometimes you can't heat up your meal while on-the-go, and you're forced to eat a combination of cold chicken and rice. Other times, the food goes bad before you have a chance to eat it. These are only two minor drawbacks to the long list of advantages of meal prep. 

Meal prep is a great option for anyone who lives a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. In other words, practically everybody. It's also great for anyone who is struggling to balance a busy schedule with their training and nutrition goals. This weekend I encourage you to break out your containers, chop up some veggies, and join the meal prep lifestyle.