Are you wondering why meal planning is important? In this post, we’ll talk about the importance of meal planning, how to do it and why it’s so important.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, bulk up, save money, reduce food wastage, have a healthier diet or just add more food variety, creating a meal plan is a great step towards achieving your goals. A lot of people can be scared to try new foods or new recipes or are overwhelmed with menu planning and meal preparation. Many of us struggle to break the cycle of what is easy and “normal” to eat, especially if we have a busy schedule. But in reality, if you break it down and look at the benefits of meal planning and at the end of the day, you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner. So, in order to help guide and inspire you this article will look at what a meal plan is, the benefits of creating one, and some top tips on how to create and stick to one.
What is a meal plan
A meal plan involves creating a list or strategy for your weekly (or monthly) meals. It’s an easy way to track or plan exactly what you are eating and in the long run it will help you save money on your food budget and save a lot of time in your prep work . Some people struggle to decide on what to make for themselves to eat every day, but creating a weekly menu to follow is a great tool to help counter this. All it takes is a little time each week to plan your meals.
Why Meal Planning Is Important
#1 Saving you money
Creating a list of meals will help save you money in many ways. Easy recipes and different meals that share ingredients can help you save money on your grocery bill and having a shopping list is a great way to avoid impulse buys. In addition, if you have all your meals planned for the week you will be less likely to order fast food at the last minute. Home-cooked meals are much less expensive than take-out meals.
#2 Reducing food waste
Without a meal plan, you might find that you have perishables going to waste or not used before their sell-by date. If you have a meal plan, you will only buy exactly what you need so you waste less food.
#3 Trying new things
Most people are creatures of habit and this is reflected in our food choice and food preferences. Most people will have the same meals regularly, maybe not every day but certainly most weeks. Spending time creating a meal plan will help you explore a variety of foods and different meal options. You might just find some new favorite dishes such as pork tacos, jackfruit BBQ wraps, or even variations of roasted vegetables and meat that you hadn’t thought of previously.
#4 Health and Variety
Meal planning can help you meet your health goals by making healthier food choices. It is easy to choose unhealthy options or junk food on busy days when you are hungry and haven’t gone to the grocery store. With a weekly plant you will have a variety of different fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices, on hand and you will be creating a more healthy and varied diet for you and your gut health.
Tips for creating and sticking to your meal plan
#1 Set aside time to create your meal plan
Rather than spending 10 minutes each day thinking about what you can make, set aside an hour the day before grocery shopping and just write down what you would like to eat throughout the week. You could write the meals down on your phone, a piece of paper, a whiteboard in your kitchen, or even create a spreadsheet if it is easier for you.
#2 Document your meals
Trying to think of what to eat every day can be a challenge, even if you just sit down once a week to think about it. So, each time you create a meal that you like, document what ingredients you used and how you made it. This way after a few weeks of meal planning you will start to create an entire library of meals with an easy-to-find list of ingredients.
#3 Batch cook your meals
Cooking can also be a chore for some people, so why not double or even triple up your recipes? This way you just need to spend a few hours one afternoon (or morning) cooking all the meals you have planned, boxing them up into Tupperware, and storing them in the fridge or freezer. All that is left is to heat or serve them up and enjoy.
Why Meal Planning Is Important Conclusion
It doesn’t matter what your reasons are for creating a meal plan or how you choose to do it. You and your family can benefit greatly from meal planning. Follow these top tips to get you started.
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