Why planning your meals ahead of time can make a big difference to your goals.
There are many great benefits of meal planning that can help you lose weight, improve your overall health and reduce mealtime stress. These are some of the best advantages planning your meals ahead of time can give you.
1. Save time
Planning your meals for the week can help you to manage your time better. We spend a lot of time deciding what to eat, grocery shopping, cooking and then cleaning up after dinner. By planning ahead and organising your meals, it means there’s no more last minute trips to the shops and reduces the aimless wandering and overspending when you’re there.
2. Portion control
If your goals are weight loss driven, prepping in advance can help you manage your portion sizes which means you’ll be less likely to overeat.
3. Reduces the amount of food waste
Whether you’re planning out your meals or using a food delivery service to manage your meal prep, it can help reduce the amount of food you waste. We can all be a little guilty of wasting food, but by only buying what you need and using the ingredients as close to when you purchase them can reduce what ends up in the bin at the end of the week.
4. Reduces the stress of cooking last minute
By having your meals organised ahead of time can reduce the dreaded ‘what’s for dinner?’ question. We know planning dinner can be an unnecessary stress, particularly on weeknights when you have to race home from work and try and get a healthy, nutritious meal on the table. If you have a healthy meal pre-organised all that is left at the end of a long day is to heat and eat.
5. Save money
Who doesn’t love to save some money? With meal planning, you can be more prepared, and this reduces impulse buying of unnecessary groceries at the shops. A lot of which will be thrown away anyway. It also means you can cut down your spending on takeaways and eating out. Meal planning can help you become more aware of how much money you’re spending on food.
6. Avoid unhealthy options
Meal planning helps to make the easy option a healthy one. Instead of heading to the drive-through or picking up an unhealthy takeaway on the way home, knowing you have a meal ready for you at home can eliminate the temptation of unhealthy last minute options. These foods can be higher in calories and sodium and can sabotage your weight management or health goals. The combination of being too tired and hungry can lead to poor food choices, so it’s handy to have meals ready to go when you are.
7. Enjoy more variety
When we’re busy, it can be easy to cook the same thing over and over again. Meal planning helps to ensure you’re eating a variety of different foods, and it can help you eat more fruit and vegetables, which can help reduce the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. By following a healthy meal plan, it will also help ensure you’re eating the right foods in the right portions.