Why is it important to meal plan

Diva - 03 Feb 22

black and red cherries on white bowl
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Planning your meals ahead and working on a schedule helps to ensure that you are eating a variety of different healthy foods, and it can help you eat more fruit and vegetables, if that is something you generally do not do. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases.

By planning your meals in advance, you can aim to have nutritionally well-balanced meals throughout the week. This is very important, it will help you stay on top of your goals and it will help you to stay on track without distractions like snacking on bad food as a habit when you are bored. For example, you can make sure each of your dinners have the requisite vegetables, protein, and grains. Planning your meals ultimately allows you to take control of your own personal nutrition needs. Whether you have to stick to a lower sodium diet or want only to eat whole grains and vegetables, you can plan for it! 

Meal planning might seem structured, time-consuming or overdoing it but the reality is far from that. On the contrary, meal planning is important because it helps you with the practical aspect of meal preparation from knowing what to cook, saving you money, reducing food wastage and more.

By following a meal plan you can make healthier choices. If you have to come up with something to eat last minute, you'll find yourself probably going out for dinner instead or grabbing something that is high in carbs or fatty food. As a result, you are most likely to end up exceeding your daily calorie and sodium intake! This could lead to more weight gain over a short period of time if you are not focused on the goal and why you need to plan your meals out. 

Even just stopping at the grocery store to pick up a last minute dinner may lead to poor choices. When you shop hungry, you are more likely to throw junk food into your cart. No, no, no - lets put down the chips and remember why we are doing this. 

The fun part about eating on a schedule with a good meal plan is that you get to eat high quality foods. Homemade meals are almost always more nutrient-dense and filled with less calories, salt, and fat than takeout or quick ready-made options at your grocery store. Choosing your own recipes and ingredients for the week allows you to make important food choices, such as buying local meats or organic produce. This will help your body to take in all the nutrients and vitamins that it requires. 

Planning your meals can help you Save money at the end of the day. Having a meal plan prevents you from throwing out ingredients you forgot you had in the fridge. You can create meal plans that specifically allow you to use up whatever you have in your cupboards. You can also start fresh by creating grocery lists based off your meal plans. This way you’ll go to the grocery store with purpose rather than on the whim and you won’t come out with a magnitude of random unhealthy food items, most of which you won’t eat or will overeat on. In addition,  your meal plan will save you money by preventing you from ordering costly last minute takeouts. 

Plan your meals upfront and it can Save you time. Your set grocery lists will prevent you from wandering around the grocery store aimlessly and your meal plans will save you from having to think about what to eat every day. If you find yourself quite busy during the workweek, take some time out of the weekend to prepare most of your meals.

Oats and frozen berries with yogurt in mason jars serve as great breakfasts for on-the-go. Prepared quinoa salads with mixed veggies and beans can serve as a work lunch for multiple days. Cook one or two extra dinners on the weekend so you'll have something for when you arrive home exhausted and don’t feel like cooking. Pre-portion your meals and split the appropriate servings between the fridge and freezer for easy meals. Soups, chilli, vegetables and  chicken breasts are all great for freezing. Re-heat while you prepare a quick salad or vegetable slices, and you’ll have a delicious homemade meal that is healthy and will make you reach your goals. 

If you are still not sure how to portion your meals, what foods to eat or how many calories you should be consuming for your weight loss journey, then purchase a Diva Meal plan today 

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