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Why Should You Make a Meal Plan?

Weight lose and dieting concept. Notepad with words meal plan with healthy food, top view flat lay

Meal planning will allow you to see how much you are really eating. You are less likely to eat at a restaurant when you plan your meals ahead of time. The portion sizes at a restaurant are typically larger than what you should actually be eating.

Another benefit of meal planning is that you will be eating food that is healthy. Think about what you do when you feel hungry. You grab whatever you can get to the fastest. It may be a bag of chips or a candy bar. Meal planning provides you with a method of choosing more nutrient dense foods because you will create a list of foods to buy at the grocery store in anticipation of what you are going to eat. Your list should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. You will be reaching for these foods because they are available.

Meal planning can also save time. Who doesn’t need more time in their day? Instead of looking in the refrigerator or your cabinets trying to decide what to make, you will already have your meal and the ingredients to prepare your meal in your house.

Additionally, meal planning will help save money. You won’t be spending money at a restaurant and you will be planning what you are going eat. Meal planning will allow you to select fruits and vegetables that are in season. You will be making a list of foods to purchase, so it is important to stick to what you put on the list. Do not go to the store when you are hungry!

You may be asking; how do I get started? This seems so overwhelming. My family likes different foods. How will I choose what to make? How many recipes do I need to look for? I am glad you asked. Make it easy on yourself. Try to meal plan one meal this week. Sit down with your family or whoever you are going to eat with and discuss what meal all of you want to plan. Then decide on the meal and what day you are going to eat the meal. Make a list of the foods you need and purchase them.  Add another meal the following week and then keep adding meals until you have a week’s worth of meals.