When I was in high school, my mom would always tell me that “life is all about balance.” She was right — and so is this: meal planning is a secret weapon for achieving balance in your life. When you have a plan for what you’re going to eat each day, week or month, you gain more control over your health and wellness goals. (And who doesn’t want that?)
It helps you get healthy.
Meal planning can help you get healthy by making sure that your meals are made up of whole foods, with a good balance of proteins, fats and carbs. When you eat whole foods rather than processed ones, you’re going to feel fuller longer because they take longer to digest than processed foods do. It’s also important to have a balanced diet because it ensures that your body gets all of the nutrients it needs.
[epcl_box type=”success”]Get The Ultimate Keto Meal Plan[/epcl_box]
When you meal plan ahead of time, it makes getting healthy food easier since it has been prepared in advance so there’s less work for you when eating at home or out on the go! And if someone else is giving me my lunch for work (which happens often), then having meal ideas ready makes those lunches much more enjoyable because I know what kind of food will be waiting for me when I open up my lunch bag!
It helps you save money.
Meal planning is an awesome way to save money and eat healthier. Many people think that meal planning means spending more money, but this isn’t true. If you’re careful about your grocery shopping, you can actually save a lot of money by meal planning! How? By not wasting food and eating less junk food!
- Meal planning helps you not waste food: When we cook something at home, we have a better idea of what the portion size should be and how it’s made (i.e., no preservatives or unhealthy ingredients). This means we’ll be less likely to go overboard on how much we eat during one sitting compared to if we went out for dinner somewhere else where large portions are often served with every dish.*
- Meal planning can help you eat healthier: Once again because we know exactly what’s going into our meals when cooking at home versus placing our trust in someone else who might not know what they’re doing behind the scenes (or maybe even lying about it) there are fewer opportunities for us end up sick from eating something spoiled.*
It helps you reduce waste.
[epcl_box type=”success”]Get to Know These 6 Things to Do When Your Weight Loss Stalls[/epcl_box]
As we’ve discussed, meal planning can be a great way to reduce food waste. It helps you plan and prepare meals that are appealing and varied, while also reducing the amount of money you spend on groceries. If you have leftovers, they are likely to be eaten up quickly when they’re still fresh and delicious (rather than languishing in the fridge for days). You will also find yourself throwing away less food because it doesn’t fit into your meal plan—and therefore saving money on spoiled groceries.
The average American throws away an astounding 40 percent of their food every year! That’s not just wasteful—it’s costly: $640 per household each year, or about $165 billion nationally! That’s why it’s important to learn how to reduce food waste at home.
It helps you feel good.
It helps you feel good.
Feeling good is important. Feeling good is a big part of achieving your health and wellness goals. Feeling good is a big part of achieving your fitness goals. Feeling good is a big part of achieving your weight loss goals.
Feeling good matters, because it makes you want to do more things that make you feel good in the future—like eating well and exercising regularly!
It helps you be prepared.
It helps you be prepared.
You can plan ahead for your meals, grocery shopping, and time. You don’t have to worry about running out of food or being late for work because you forgot to prepare breakfast this morning. Your kids can have healthy snacks ready in their lunches instead of relying on fast food restaurants during their school breaks between lunch periods.
You’ll feel more organized and in control of your life if you make a meal plan every week (or even just once a month), which will give you more time to do things that are important to YOU!
It’s easier than you think.
- You can use an app. There are a handful of apps that will help you plan your meals and keep track of what ingredients you need to buy. My favorite is The Ultimate Meal Planner, which has a free version and paid versions that give you more control over your meal plans and make them more customizable to your preferences.
- You could use Excel or Google Sheets like I do (pictured above).
- Or pen-and-paper! It’s my personal favorite because it’s so simple, but it does take longer than using an app for me because I don’t have the option of adding recipes directly from the web without copying and pasting them into my spreadsheet first, but maybe that’s just because I’m lazy about things like typing in recipes manually.. either way this method works too 🙂
Meal planning tips.
- Start with what you have in your pantry and fridge. Don’t worry about buying extra ingredients for meals you haven’t planned out yet, as those will only go to waste if you don’t use them.
- Make sure your pantry and fridge are stocked up enough to last through the week. This means having breakfast, lunch and dinner covered!
- Be sure to include healthy snacks that are easy to grab-and-go as well as leftovers from previous meals.
Meal planning is a secret weapon to help you achieve your health and wellness goals
Meal planning is a secret weapon to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
It’s not just about the food. You can meal plan to help you:
- Prepare healthy meals.
- Save money at the grocery store by buying ingredients in bulk, which will save time too since you won’t have to do as much shopping as often.
- Reduce waste by using up all of your ingredients before they go bad (I know I’m guilty of that).
- Feel good about yourself because you are being proactive about taking care of yourself and making healthier choices for yourself!
Meal planning is a secret weapon to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. It will make you feel good, save money, reduce waste and help you be prepared. Most importantly, it’s an easy way to plan ahead so that when hunger strikes, at least one meal is ready for you to eat! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of meal planning or unsure where to begin, we hope this article has given some helpful tips to get started on your journey toward healthier eating habits.