How Much Time Does Healthy Meal Prep Take?

How much time does healthy meal prep cost you each day? According to a 2014 government survey, Americans spend an average of 37 minutes per day in meal preparation and cleanup.

Numbers show that households with kids spend more time preparing meals, and those who are employed spend less time cooking than those who are. About ¾ of women reported that they were the primary meal-preparer in the household, and for these individuals, meal prep took closer to 1 hour each day. Men who claim to be the person responsible for meals in the household, on the other hand, take about 32 minutes per day on meal prep. In general, women claimed to spend significantly more time on food prep than men, with men spending 22 minutes per day, and women spending 51 minutes per day on average.

Meal Prep Takes Longer for Healthy Meals

Now, those numbers all apply to people on a standard American diet. This means that every once in a while, home-prepared meals are supplemented by fast food, or something that you can easily stick in the microwave or oven. In fact, for many people, that’s the norm. However, if you’re trying to eat healthily, meal prep can take significantly more time each day. The same study showed that individuals who were on a government program like WIC took more time for meal prep each day. This is largely because this government program supplements grocery shopping for “scratch” ingredients, including fresh produce and healthy grains, rather than pre-prepared hot meals like frozen lasagna. These participants took upward of an hour on food prep every single day.

We know that that number is much more reflective of the amount of time that we spend on meal prep when we’re on a healthy diet. Researching recipes and how to balance your macros, shopping at a grocery store that has good produce and proteins, and preparing these foods in your home all takes a long time. Many people try to limit this time by conducting a mass preparation effort at the beginning of each week. However, often the freshness of the food is sacrificed when you can only invest time once a week.

Lean Lifestyle Offers a Time-Saving Solution

Here at Lean Lifestyle, we offer a solution that works for busy individuals. Usually, you don’t have an hour per day to spend on preparing each meal. You don’t have time to carefully calculate which nutrients you’ll need to stay balanced for the week, or to learn how to properly cook fish without adding fattening ingredients that will compromise your diet.

Instead, you can get fresh, delicious meals delivered to your door every few days. These meals are well-seasoned and formulated to help you meet your health goals while saving you time and giving you the nutrition that you need to support an active lifestyle. Browse our meal plans here to learn more, or contact us to learn what Lean Lifestyle can do for you!