Meal Planning: the Importance of Planning Your Meals in Advance

Posted December 2, 2015 by in Health + Fitness

Do you find yourself visiting the grocery store every night after you finish work to buy your dinner? Do you tend to get lazy and order takeout on a regular basis? Have you noticed you’ve gained a few pounds? Then you might want to consider meal planning. Not only will that help towards getting your weight down, but it will also mean you have more energy throughout the day and more money. Believe me, this comes from personal experience:

This past year I found myself relying on services like Seamless and GrubHub: Chinese food on a Tuesday, Indian food on a Wednesday, pizza on a Thursday…

In the moment, it always seems like a cheap, convenient, and yummy thing to do. But the costs and the calories do add up. I’ve started meal planning and I have a bit more money in my bank than usual and I’ve noticed my energy levels going up.

To get me started, I started searching the hashtag #mealplanning and #mealprep on Instagram and that introduced me to a bunch of fit bloggers, Dawn Estelle being the most notable. She’s the queen of meal planning! Once (or twice) a week, she spends a whole afternoon cooking; that way she has breakfast, lunch, and dinner all set for most of the week. She’s able to eat healthy for every meal, she eliminates the “what am I going to eat” stress, and she saves money by not overindulging in the convenience of takeout and restaurants.

Meal prep!

Instagram: @estellearcher

Still not convinced? Below is a more thorough look into why meal planning could change your life for the better!

Meal Planning 101 //

You will stay healthy

If you consciously make a decision to plan all your meals at the start of the week, you can ensure that you never consume any junk food. Deciding on what you eat in advance should also help you to avoid health problems like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, and other digestive issues. Cause let’s get real: Pizza every damn day isn’t good for you.

You will save money

Buying your weekly food in one visit to your local supermarket will mean you can take full advantage of all the deals and offers. If you’re heading to the mini-mart every evening, you’re almost certainly spending a small fortune throughout the course of the week. You could also look into buying some items in bulk or even online to cut down costs. For instance, buying your meat from online butchers could save you a lot of money.

You can try different diets

Just because you buy all your food in one go, doesn’t mean you have to purchase the same items every week. You are free to try any new diets that you might have heard about online. Sometimes different diets will produce varying results for different people. Try going veg one week, and consider going gluten-free for another. You might surprise yourself and notice you feel better!

You will have more energy

Research shows that eating healthy meals will give you the optimum amount of energy throughout the day. While chocolate and other sugary items can give you a boost, they are always short-lived. If you want to be as active and focused as possible, you need to avoid those snacks and eat something healthy. Planning your meals in advance will encourage you to do that.

As you can clearly see, there are many reasons it is a wise move to think a little more about the foods you consume. You shouldn’t only think about food though. What you drink is also important. Try to avoid fizzy soda and opt for fruit infused or lemon water whenever possible. And don’t feel you have to deprive yourself–a burger and milkshake every now and then isn’t going to hurt you.

Have you ever meal prepped? Let us know in the comments below!