In the United States, 52% of dinners are planned within an hour of eating. When people do not meal plan, it limits their choices to what they can eat and may result in unhealthy meal choices.
One way to eat healthier and to reach your wellness goals is by learning how to meal plan. What is meal planning? Keep reading this article to learn more and to see the top six benefits of meal planning for your health.
1. Makes It Easier to Choose Healthy Options
One of the biggest benefits of meal planning is that it gives you control over what you eat. When you don't plan your meals in advance, it can be hard to find something healthy that is fast to make.
To make it easier to choose healthy options, it is best to meal plan. This also allows you to find healthy food recipes that you want to try. By finding these recipes ahead of time, you will be able to get all the ingredients at the store and be prepared to make healthier meals.
Meal planning also gives you more control over everything you eat. If you are eating out or have someone else cooking for you, you may not know what you are eating and what ingredients are in it.
With meal planning, you have control over every aspect of your diet.
2. Provides Meals on the Go
Next, meal planning is a great option for people who are busy or that are not at home during meal times, because meal planning provides you with meals on the go.
Making meals ahead of time also helps you avoid unhealthy food options. When you are busy or don't have time to make a full meal, it can be easy to reach for a quick food choice, which is often is fast food, microwaveable meals, and other less healthy options.
By having a meal ready to go you will be able to avoid these situations!
With meal planning, you can also plan out your snacks so that you always have something nutritious available, including fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and more.
3. Reduces Food Waste
Another benefit of meal planning is that it helps you avoid food waste. It is easy to overestimate how much food you want to eat when you cook for yourself.
However, meal planning allows you to measure out each of your foods so that you only ever buy as much food as you will eat.
You can reduce how much food you throw out at the end of a meal or at the end of the week when you meal plan. When you buy produce for your meal planning, it is also less likely to go bad in the fridge while you are waiting to use it.
4. Enjoy More Food Variety
Something else that people enjoy from meal planning is that it allows you to have more variety in the foods that you eat. If you are busy with work or other responsibilities, it is easy to eat the same meals over and over.
However, this may not be giving you the nutrients that you need. While many people do their best to eat healthy foods, only 1 in 10 adults reach the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables.
When you meal plan, you can choose recipes that include more fruits and vegetables. Not only will it be more exciting to eat new foods that you aren't used to, but it will also help you lower the risk of developing lifestyle diseases or vitamin deficiencies.
Many people worry that meal planning will cost a lot more money because it includes more fresh produce and other healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. But, you may end up saving money by meal planning because you avoid eating out as often!
5. Easier to Portion Control
One reason why many people are unable to reach their health and wellness goals is that they have a difficult time with portion control. Although weight is not the only indicator of your health, having control of your portions can help with weight loss or weight gain goals.
For example, prepping your food allows you to measure out exactly how much food you want to eat. If you are trying to eat more to reach a healthier weight, you can track the calories to make sure you are eating enough.
If you are trying to lose weight, you can control your portion sizes and be less likely to overeat.
6. Creates Food Awareness
Finally, meal planning creates food awareness. Many people don't realize how much they mindlessly eat during the day. When you are home during the day, it can be easy to get up and grab a snack even if you aren't really hungry.
By planning all of your meals and all of your snacks, you know exactly what you are eating throughout the day.
Your increased food awareness will keep you and others in your household more accountable for what they eat during the day and will make it easier to choose healthier options.
Learn More About the Benefits of Meal Planning
When you are trying to reach your health and wellness goals, it is important to understand the importance of meal planning.
If you want all the benefits of meal planning but do not have time to do it each week, you may want to consider using meal planning services. Professional meal planning allows you to have high-quality meals with fresh ingredients without having to do the preparation.
AthleticsFit Meals is a meal planning service that provides a healthy weight loss meal plan. Contact our team today to see how we can help you reach your wellness goals!