Yes, meal planning is the talk of the health and fitness communities right now. In fact, it is creating quite the buzz! But one has to know that starting a healthy lifestyle through meal planning is more than just a trend—it’s a choice a lot of people have been making over the years.
But what exactly is meal planning? Is it complicated? Does it involve deciding where and what to eat as well as looking for recipes you can do at home? While the answer to that question is yes, meal planning is not as complicated as we think. In fact, it is pretty simple. Read on to know more.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is a practice done by an individual who wants to be more in control of what they eat. Planning includes when and how the meal is prepared, the portion, the cooking, and the ingredients, which can also be applied when eating outside. It’s the practice of choosing what is good and beneficial to your health.
Why is meal planning good?
Meal planning allows you to have control over your food choices. You build discipline. You also save money and time. You are continuously learning, and your body reaps the benefits!
But wait, hold up! Save money?
Yes! Meal planning does not always mean strict. Knowing what you want saves you from the temptation of just picking up anything from the grocery aisle. Instead, it helps you pay more attention to the kind and amount of food you consume and focus only on what will help you grow, glow, and be on the go!
What does meal planning look like?
Get rid of the misconception that meal planning is just going to the vegetable section and picking up the greens. It’s not! Meal planning comes in varying forms because everyone is different. What we have to understand is, starting your meal plan is something that only you can and should do. You decide how much carbohydrates you want for that day, how many fruits you want to indulge in, the sugar level, where to get your proteins, or what not to eat. It’s up to you. It’s just about knowing your body and what it needs so you know how your meal plan should look like. You can have a hearty meal this week, then have a strict one the next, or mix it up.
How to start creating your meal plan?
A way to start is having a pen out and a notebook, or if you find it more convenient, go ahead and put it on your tasks app and notes!
List down what you want and do a little research! Knowing the nutrients you can get from the food you eat helps. Knowing what to cut back on and what to add is good as well. Preparing a meal plan should not be stressful. You can start small. You can begin by planning your breakfast then gradually progress to planning your lunch, supper, and snacks.
To guide you, here’s an example of a meal plan:
- Breakfast: Say you’re going to be busy all day. In this case, breakfast could be something that would fuel you up through lunch time. Preparing a juice or fruit smoothie and a toast with egg and a slice of chicken breast might be a good idea.
- Lunch: If you’re working from home and don’t have much time to prepare a meal because of your job, you can choose to order from a restaurant to save you the time. But don’t get confused. You can still follow your meal plan when ordering takeout. You can still watch what you eat. A good food to order is an eggplant wrap, and you can heat up some soup while waiting. On slow days, you can fix something healthier and just heat it up so you won’t have to spend too much ordering food.
- Dinner: After a long day and a bit of rest, you can start working on your meal plan for the week while you’re preparing dinner. Put more passion into planning and cooking; after all, you’re the chef here and the customer too.
Tips for Making Your Meal Plan:
Here are some tips to consider in creating your meal plan:
- Do some research before you go grocery shopping. If you’ve planned your menu for the week ahead of time, it’s good to look for the right recipes to match it and have a list of ingredients ready before you hit the supermarket. This saves you a lot of time
- Stick to your list. It can be hard, what with all the choices you’re presented with at the grocery store. But it is important that you don’t veer away from what you’ve planned. Avoid buying things you don’t need.
- Cook and prepare your meals on the days you’re not overwhelmed with work-related tasks. If you think it’s going to be a non-busy day, start the preparation. Doing it ahead of time allows you to prepare well-crafted and more delicious meals. Store them in the fridge and stock them up according to freshness.
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Meal planning is a process, and the first steps take a lot of motivation and determination to take. At Garmin, we believe that everyone deserves a health partner whatever lifestyle they’re trying to adopt. With Garmin Lily, you will see how a petite smartwatch can do wonders and push you to work towards becoming a better version of yourself.
So go on and start your fitness journey with the perfect wearable on your wrist.