You may have heard a lot of buzz surrounding the term “meal planning”, but what is it and how does it help you? Meal planning is a strategy used by many, including those that want to lose weight, control their blood sugar levels, make healthier choices, or simply prevent food waste.
When you meal plan, you look ahead into the coming week (or weeks!) and make a plan for what you will eat for certain meals.
So, how exactly does this help you reach your health goals?
Planning meals ahead of time gives you a better opportunity to consider what you’re eating. You can plan out specific ratios of the main macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) and make sure that you have the proper amount of greens, fruits, and other essential food groups. Eating a balanced diet helps your body function properly, can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and can boost your energy levels.
Most restaurants have excessively large portion sizes, and many of us are not aware of what a “normal” amount of food looks like. By shopping only for what you need at the grocery store and having portions planned out ahead of time, there will be a lower risk of overeating. Having good portion control helps your body get the calories it needs while teaching your stomach to recognize when it’s full.
A more regular routine doesn’t always go hand in hand with meal planning, but it’s something that often naturally falls into place (especially if you’re meal prepping as well). Having a more diligent meal schedule helps you add structure to your day and may prevent you from getting hungry in between meals because you know when you’re going to eat next. This can help with weight loss and healthier eating habits in general.
Fewer Bad Food Decisions
Knowing that you have a healthy and satisfying meal awaiting you when you get home can curb cravings and reduce the amount of unhealthy food you consume. When you have meals pre-planned or even pre-prepared, it’s a lot easier to say no to unhealthy choices like fast food and sodium-filled snacks. This helps you stay on track with nutrient rich, well-balanced foods that fuel your body.
No matter your reason for learning how to meal plan, it can and will help you achieve your health goals if you stay dedicated!
▶ Take advantage of our Nutiro Ultimate Guide on How to Meal Plan that gives you the flexibility to enjoy other meal planning options such as keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, etc.