Meal Planning seems daunting and one may feel that it is investing so much time. After all, look in the fridge or pantry and choose what to eat. Haven’t we all been doing that for years now?
When you try it for the first time, you may feel confused and may take about an hour. But within 2-3 weeks, it will take no more than 5-10 minutes for weekly meal planning. And I would suggest that you do it on a weekly basis instead of for an entire month.
Since end August, I started meal planning and also documenting my meals especially for 8 weeks when I was aiming for a calorie-deficit diet to lose fat. Glad to say that I lost 4 kilos or about 9 pounds in 8 weeks. Will share what exactly I did in another post.
Now, I have not only maintained that weight loss but I lost 1 Kg. more that I had piled on around Diwali. I feel so much more energetic and strong, not to mention happier.
And meal planning is now a part of my life. I can’t tell you how much angst it has taken away and how much smoother it is planning and executing healthy meals. I wonder why I didn't do it earlier.
Here are 7 reasons why you should start meal planning today:
1.Eliminate over thinking and stress:
What should I make for breakfast is a permanently annoying question that most homemakers face. Whether you work professionally or not, have a cook or cook yourself, this question does not stop chasing you ever.
It leaves you stressed and sometimes short on supplies. With a clear meal plan in place for the week, there is no problem of wondering what to cook next. It reduces a lot of stress, trust me.
2. Saves Time:
You may be thinking that drawing up a meal plan is time consuming, so how come it will save time for you. What I advise is that you start with doing weekly plans that you can then move to monthly plans.
Initially, you may take upto an hour for meal planning for an entire week, but in the second week itself, this time will significantly drop.
This is because, there are a few kinds of meals and schedules that we follow over a week and month. Once you meal plan for a week, you will realise that your meal plans over other weeks do not change too much.
Also you get a better grip of how to do it.
3. Saves Money:
Meal planning and grocery shopping go hand in hand. Have you often cursed when you ended up buying groceries that you did not use for months and threw them out eventually?
With meal planning, you can shop weekly and optimally. Trust me, my hoarding has reduced significantly. Wastage has become almost nil.
I use fresher produce, grains and other items instead of discovering something at the back of the pantry or fridge close to spoiling and then panicking to use it.
It translates to direct saving and makes you feel good as you waste less.
4. Eat healthy:
We all dream of cooking healthy, nutritious meals for ourselves and the family. But often, we fall short because last minute plans may not work out. So, we end up scrambling something quickly which may not be nutritionally healthy.
Doing meal planning helps you plan healthier meals and ensures that you have the ingredients and the prep done beforehand to execute those plans.
5. Serve tastier and varied meals:
By planning your meals, you ensure that there is a lot more variety on your plates. That way you eat better and feel satiated instead of when you quickly scramble meals. Win win!
6. Lose and Maintain weight:
If you plan your meals with a Calorie goal, you will see that you can lose weight way more easily. I did this when I meal planned along with exercise and lost 4 kgs. or 9 pounds in 8 weeks.
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7. Encourages organization:
As someone who has always struggled to keep the fridge and pantry organized, I can’t tell you how liberating this simple step has been in my life.
My kitchen and fridge are so much better organised. I avoid hoarding and have lowered wastage. I also stock up on healthy emergency staples better.
Frankly, this is something that I’ve struggled with for the longest time. But now things are much better with meal planning.
Let me know if you meal plan. I would love to hear your tips for meal planning in the comments. In the next post, I will share the method of doing meal planning.
Also follow me on Instagram here where I share healthy meals with breakup of calories and will be sharing daily meal plan all December to motivate you to meal plan, eat healthy, lose weight and step into the new year with renewed confidence.
I think point number one is reason enough... just to avoid the everyday stress of what should I cook today!
Shilpa Garg says
Have heard a lot about meal planning but havent got around to do it. Your weight loss journey with meal planning is inspiring. Will definitely work on it. Thanks for the nudge, Rachna!
I used to do weekly planning the kids' tiffins - it's quite a task given that they take two tiffins and crave variety. But now I do that too just out of habit. I do agree though, meal planning makes life easier. Also, since vegetable shops are a little way off I cannot buy them everyday so having a plan in place would be good. Do share one of yours please.
Shilpa Gupte says
What to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a perennial puzzle for us adults! Meal planning is indeed the best way to solve this puzzle. I don't plan meals but would love to do it. I have just made a list of dishes I can prepare for dinners, especially, as that is what I always wonder most about.
Thanks for this post, Rachna. Looking forward to your insta posts to learn more. 🙂
I love meal planning, makes life so much simpler. I plan every week and it helps me keep a track of the groceries and limit the waste as well.
It hardly takes any time and helps with smooth running of the kitchen and the stomach 😀
Jayanthy G says
I love to plan meals. However, it still stays as one daunting task for me. I would love to follow your updates this December to know more on this one. I love the keto diet and as a couple we enjoyed it for 4 months. Now I'm aiming to start it again. I just plan for a day or two. A week looks like a lovely option.
That's nice to know, Jayanthy. Meal planning has helped me immensely.
The everyday stress of thinking what to cook is actually more stressful than cooking itself. I have been planning to do this for such a long time but keep on procrastinating. Your Instagram posts are very inspiring and all the meals look very healthy too. I would definitely give meal prep a try once I joined work.
I will be sharing the meal planning pointers post today.