There are a number of benefits to meal planning, which is simply preparing and thinking of meals ahead. One can decide whether meal planning is to be done for the family or for oneself. Nevertheless, planning one’s meals allows one to consider what one is to eat during the week. Thus, one can make sure that all ingredients are available avoiding last minute grocery shopping and ensuring adequate nutritional intake (“The Importance of Meal Planning: 3 Reasons to Meal Plan Weekly”, 2021).
- Healthier Meals – The whole aim of meal planning is generally to eat healthy. This is because one will avoid last minute take outs, fast food and quick meals which are usually unhealthy. These are the go-to’s in instances when one doesn’t have food prepared. Nevertheless, knowing that food is ready or prepared one is more likely to avoid such things because of the thought that one already has a plan and things are already available. Additionally, meal planning is also considered healthy because one can set a particular portion ensuring adequate nutritional intake and avoiding binge eating (“7 benefits of meal planning – Lite n Easy”, 2021).
- Reducing Stress – Thinking about what to eat can be quite stressful. The constant thought about what one is going to cook and prepare takes time and also causes concern about whether the needed ingredients will be available. Therefore, planning one’s meal’s ahead would mean setting aside some time to think about particular likes and meals which would fit one’s particular schedule. This would also allow one to ensure that all ingredients are available and hence reduces the stress of everyday thoughts about meals (“7 benefits of meal planning – Lite n Easy”, 2021).
- Saving Money – The most obvious way to save money with meal planning is grocery shopping. Knowing all the food and ingredients beforehand allows one to buy from where items can be considered to be cheaper such as supermarkets. Furthermore, knowing what one needs means that one does not buy unnecessary food items which will be thrown away. Furthermore, one will also be able to save money from take outs and eating at restaurants which is more likely to be done when food is not readily available. This can also help one have an idea on how much money one is spending on food and hence budgets can be done accordingly (“7 benefits of meal planning – Lite n Easy”, 2021).
Planning one’s meal shouldn’t be seen as a hassle, there are no specific ways on how to proceed. Consider food according to one’s liking and planning meals doesn’t mean that one isn’t allowed to eat out every once in a while, it simply means that one has a plan beforehand. Planning meals can also be flexible by simply knowing what one is going to eat during the week but being flexible regarding when one is going to eat what (“The Importance of Meal Planning: 3 Reasons to Meal Plan Weekly”, 2021).
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on meal planning you can book an appointment here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
7 benefits of meal planning – Lite n Easy. (2021). Retrieved 3 June 2021, from https://www.liteneasy.com.au/7-benefits-of-meal-planning/
The Importance of Meal Planning: 3 Reasons to Meal Plan Weekly. (2021). Retrieved 3 June 2021, from https://projectmealplan.com/importance-of-meal-planning/