Benefits of Meal Planning

Benefits Meal Planning

Meal planning is important when you are trying to eat healthily and create a healthy lifestyle.  With Shape My plan you can plan out your full week in advance (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks).  I recommend meal planning each week before you go to do your weekly grocery.  Write a list of all the ingredients you will need to stay on track with your meal plan.  If you have the ingredients in your kitchen you are less likely to fall off track and reach for a quick unhealthy option. Benefits Meal Planning

Most people generally have the same breakfast and lunches daily.  Snacks are normally an impulse buy so by planning your snack correctly you are already off to a good start for the week ahead.  Dinners are where people fall down.  How many times have you said to yourself ‘what will I cook for dinner’? If you plan your week and know exactly what you are having each day and know you have all the ingredients or meals already prepared this takes this weekly hassle away.

Here are a few tips to help if you are starting to meal plan.

  • Write out a list of the meals you will have each day for the coming week.  Break it up by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and also by day.  If you plan to eat out write this down too.   Try to vary your meals too.  At the begining try maybe 2 new recipes and the ones you enjoyed keep a note of them as we all normally have the same 5 dinners each week.  So if you want to introduce new meals into your week you need to do it a meal at a time.   It can get very boring if you eat the same thing for dinner night after night so try and keep variety in your week.
  • Once you have chosen the meals you will have for the week ensure that you check what ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen and write a list of what you need to buy in the shops.
  • Stick to the list while shopping.  Avoid all the temptation.
  • When you come back from shopping, if you have time try and prep some of the fruit and vegetables.   Such as cut peppers, carrots, etc and place into a storage container or cut up the melon into bite-size pieces.  This will save time all week long and it will make for easy grab and go.
  • If you don’t have time to be cutting and prepping vegetable buy the frozen packages they are handy and convenient.
  • If you plan to cook a few dinners for the week ahead.  Set aside time for cooking. Place the cooked (cooled) meals in containers and place in fridge or freezer.
  • Have a few quick recipes options you can prepare on the go during the week.

Benefits to you:

  • It may seem like a lot of work planning,  preparing and cooking the meals but by doing this you are setting yourself up for a stress-free week and a healthy lifestyle.
  • By following the recipes you are eating the correct portion sizes for you.
  • When you plan your week and know you have a lunch meeting or a dinner engagement you can plan your week correctly so by planning to healthier during that day or by planning to get the extra exercise so you can combat the meal out.
  • Less waste.  If you have bought ingredients to create a meal you are less likely to be throwing out unused or gone off food.  Therefore saving you money in the long run.