What comes to mind when you hear "meal planning"? It might be “I don’t have time”, “what for?” or even “What is meal planning?” So what are the advantages of meal planning and why will it help you be more successful in your daily life?
Meal Planning Benefits
Did you know that taking a few minutes to plan a week’s worth of meals will not only contribute to making you save money (yes, you heard it), it will help you manage your weight and avoid diseases, and it will also make you save time! It will encourage you to add a variety of foods to your diet and will shift your mindset. It will create a stress-free environment and prevent unhealthy food choices among other benefits. Yes, it will!
You may ask “How can meal planning make these possible”? Well, I am glad you asked!
When you design your menu for the week, you not only plan healthy foods that make you look forward to the great meals you have planned but you also know exactly what your meals are made of. You include foods that are beneficial to you and you are mindful to avoid those you know may aggravate your conditions such as inflammation.
Adding Variety to Your Diet
You become creative and experiment in the kitchen with new vegetables that you hadn’t tried before. How is that possible? Well, you planned ahead! You decided what you were going to make that day (or better, you prepared food ahead of time - this topic will be for another post!) and made your grocery list according to your planned meals. This allows you to add variety to your diet and try new foods.
Experiencing a Mindset Shift
You are excited to make the new recipes you have recently discovered on your favorite blog or recipe book and look forward to sharing them with your loved ones. It shifts the dynamic and your mindset: cooking is no longer this dreadful task that you feel you need to complete each day. Little by little, it becomes more of an enjoyment. Therefore, your cooking is filled with love and pride instead of stress and frustration. As with everything, practice makes better! It tastes better and you are encouraged and empowered to continue each week. And best of all, your cooking skills improve each day along with your self-confidence and self-esteem.
You will also save money. After all, you didn’t buy the usual food items that grow old in your fridge and that you end up throwing away because well, you didn’t use it and it is now moldy and unhealthy to use - except for the cheese! ;)
By planning your meals, you also avoid grabbing some food to go or going to a restaurant because you came home late from work and you feel you don’t have time to cook that day.
The money you saved on the food could be used toward an exciting trip, a new item you wish to purchase, or on a massage that will make you feel better and less stressed. Moreover, the food that you will prepare will be healthier than the food that you would have eaten at a restaurant.
Once you have decided on your menu, you know what you are looking for at the store and don't spend precious minutes wandering in the store, going to each aisle while grabbing unhealthy foods along the way.
By knowing exactly what you need to purchase, you save time and it also encourages you to add variety to your meals. You explore new aisles which prevents you from selecting the same dull items as last week and the weeks.
At night, you don’t waste precious time figuring out what you are going to come up with that day, starring at the items you have in the fridge in despair, feeling your stress level grow stronger each minute that passes, thinking that it is getting late… Yes, we’ve all been there! I am sure you can picture your frustration growing, thinking that you have yet to figure out what to prepare while taking into consideration the time it will take to get dinner ready. I am sure this is added stress and frustration that you could spare!
Meal planning helps you:
Plan healthy delicious meals
Add variety to your diet
Try a variety of new foods
Make better nutritional choices
Save money that can be used toward meaningful purchases
Save time at the store and home
Spend more quality time with your loved ones
Avoid waste by throwing away food
Avoid purchasing unhealthy foods at the store
Add love to your dishes
Change your mindset
Remove anxiety and stress
Grow your self-esteem and self-confidence
Manage your weight
Achieve your health goals
Know what your meals are made of
Manage your health issues such as inflammation by avoiding certain foods that you know aggravate your condition.
Be a better cook
Master new skills and the list continues...
So if meal planning has such great advantages, you may ask “why don’t I try it?”
In your opinion, what is the most beneficial advantage that makes this practice worthwhile? Please comment below!