Eating right is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of eating all the necessary nutrients required for a day, especially when you’re busy with a career, school or other obligations. In order to avoid eating junk food during the week simply because you don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal, try meal planning! Meal planning offers the convenience of a microwave meal, without the additives and preservatives.
First. Determine your needs. What are your goals? Are you trying to stay within a certain caloric limit? Are you trying to eat more protein to gain muscle? Several meal planning recipes exist for specific goals. Or you can create your own from scratch. Will you be prepping meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or will you be prepping only one meal a day? Whatever your needs may be, they can easily be fulfilled by planning ahead.
Next. Go shopping! Figure out what meals you will be making and gather the ingredients from the grocery store. In order to save money, plan your meals around ingredients you already have on hand. Need ideas? Several meal planning guides and applications exist with recipes for each day of the week. Check out Cook Smarts for some meal plan samples. Building your meals around the same ingredients will make for an easy trip to the grocery store. Try having recipes that build off of the same ingredients so you’re not buying too many items at the store.
Finally. Pick the day of the week that you will do your prepping and cooking. During the weekend is usually best since that’s when the most time is available. Gather your ingredients and begin the prepping and cooking. Make sure you’ve made enough food for the week. It's okay to have a bit extra, as having leftovers can make for an easy lunch the following day.
And that’s it! Meal planning is one of the easiest ways to make sure you stay on track with your nutritional needs. Whether you’re dieting or simply trying to eat right, meal planning ensures success in staying on track. Meal planning also makes it easy to stick to grocery budgets. The beauty in meal planning is that there isn’t one right way to plan. Meal planning is individual based and can be customized to suit any and all eating needs.
Tell us, what is your approach to meal planning?