There are so many times when I open the fridge door and wait for inspiration to hit. If I do that when I’m stressed and tired nothing good happens. I would love to be able to tell you that I always reach for an apple or Brussel sprouts but that would be a lie. Don’t even ask about what ends up in the cart when I’m in a grocery store and feeling that way. Planning meals in advance is the best way I know to get through crazy times and still consume nutritional food. Actually, it is a great habit to get into to ensure eating well happens all of the time.
It starts with a calendar. Pick your start day. You can plan Monday through Sunday or start on your regular grocery day if you have one. Plan for 3 meals plus snacks for every day. Build your grocery-shopping list as you plan out the meals. As you put the plan together be honest about what you can manage in your schedule with regards to meal preparation time. I love leftovers and I often make more of something so I can have it at another meal or even as a snack.
Some benefits of meal planning are:
- Balanced diet: You’ll have a better chance of getting all of the nutrients that you need when the approach is organized in advance.
- Time saving: There will be less time spent thinking about what to eat when you’re too hungry to make a decision.
- Cost effectiveness: Planning ahead means you can watch for items on sale and plan your meals around them.
- Weight management: Eating before you get too hungry lessens the possibility of overeating. Also, consuming good food gives your body what it needs and reduces cravings for what it doesn’t need.
I appreciate that this seems like extra work but the thing is that you have to eat so why not set yourself up for success. Like anything else in life, it takes some getting used to. If a full week seems like too much then start with a few days. Choose the busiest days in your week. Get ready for them in advance, and then watch the magic happen.
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