Why is meal planning important? It usually starts with reaching and maintaining goals. Everyone needs to eat, right? That is a very basic goal. People need food to survive. People also need food to get healthy and stay healthy. Most people eat three meals a day. Many people also have families to feed. Some of us have body weight goals, some of us have allergies or medical issues that can be better managed with a good diet. Meal planning is a great way to accomplish any of these goals. Meal plans can also help people keep to a budget and control their food intake. Someone who meal plans knows whether or not they are getting enough servings of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Controlling food intake is an excellent way to maintain a good weight. Meal planning also help people eat a diverse group of food each week that includes enough fats, carbs, fiber and protein to help ward off diseases. Planning a group of meals each week can also help people provide for differing needs in a much more efficient way. An older senior has different food requirements than a growing teens. When people plan out meals, they know exactly what they’re eating each week which can save a lot of time, energy, frustration, and money.
Meal Planning: Keeping to a Budget
Many people have a rough weekly food budget. Each person has a different food budget in mind. Some people want to save money so they stick to a lean food budget. Others like the option of spending more on certain kinds of food that align with their goals or diet needs. For example, someone who wishes to only eat vegan, organic, or gluten free might need a bigger budget. Meal planning allows people to stick to their chosen food budget and diet. Not only can people can buy items in bulk which saves them money but but it is a great way to avoid forgetting that you don’t have anything for dinner and then having to eat something on-the-go that may not align with your diet and budget goals. Buying food in bulk is a great way to be prepared and save money. You can buy many things at a discount and then freeze whatever you don’t need for that week and use them as needed to make many different kinds of meals throughout the coming weeks. Planning out meals means that anyone can make a variety of meals all for a lower price, saving you hundreds of dollars per year (possibly thousands).
Meal Planning: Varied Menus
Another advantage to meal planning is that you can create highly varied menus. Without a plan, it’s hard to block out time for a new, enjoyable breakfast. Before you know it, you have had a quick bagel every morning for weeks. Instead, they can prep oatmeal with many different types of fruit and a spice or two in a slow cooker so it’s hot, fresh, and ready in the morning. Not to mention your house will smell great, making you want to jump out of bed. When people plan out menus in advance, they can opt for scrambled eggs one day and perhaps homemade muffins the next. They can also switch up lunch and dinner plans. People who eat different things each day tend to enjoy eating more and are less likely to skip meals. Many people love being able to eat a variety of food every single day, knowing they are trying something interesting even in the middle of a busy day. The meal plan takes the decision making and guessing out of your daily schedule which can also eliminate stress. Doing so can help people stick to the diet they have set up and not be tempted to cheat on it.
Meal Planning: Maintaining a Healthy Weight
When people plan out meals in advance, they can also avoid overeating. People often overeat because instead of eating their planned snack and meals, they tend to unconsciously snack on what’s around and convenient. So chips, bars, candy, etc. are added to their daily diet which can make significant changes to one’s body and overall health. When people plan out meals for the week, they tend to avoid unnecessary snacking. They also tend to spend more time cooking and paying close attention to the calories they consume each day. Careful attention to what a person eats can help them focus on their weight maintenance and muscle building goals. They know what goes into everything the have prepared for each meal. It also helps people create healthier meals, avoiding odd, processed ingredients that may not be very good for you. Home cooked meals are typically made without extra calories and unwanted fats too. People who plan meals tend to avoid last minute impulses to eat out because they already have the meal they want waiting for them at home. This allows anyone to understand exactly what they’re consuming for every single meal they eat each week.
There are a lot of resources online about how to start meal planning and it can quickly become a tumultuous project. Instead, try our meal plan tool. The Meal Plan Maker tool can provide either a 7-day or 30-day meal plan that is customized to your goals and caloric needs. Our meal plan tool can provide this customized meal plan within seconds after you provide some basic information. If you are reading this, that means you are interested in living a healthier, more balanced life and we salute you!