Taking time to plan what, when, and where you’re going to eat is called meal planning. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meal planning is essential if “you eat in a variety of places [such as] your home, work, restaurants, [and] maybe even your car. For some of these places, you have more control over what choices are available than others. Since high-calorie foods are everywhere, it’s important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure you have healthy options available.”
Here are a few of our favorite benefits of meal planning:
Meal planning keeps you from having to shop multiple times for the same few things, which is inefficient and costly. You also won’t have to clean pots and pans more than once a week if you only cook for a few hours one day a week.
You will save the most money by not ordering out when you’re hungry. Meal planning makes this easy because you’ll have your own “fast food” ready to go. Saving money at the grocery store is another option. You don’t waste food if you only buy what you need. Keeping a shopping list will also prevent impulse buys, which will save you money and make sure you don’t bring unhealthy food home.
If you reduce your calorie intake and increase your exercise, you can lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. Meal planning allows you to portion your meals so that they meet your caloric and nutrient needs without leaving you hungry!
Not only will you save money and time when you plan your meals, but you’ll also be less likely to order takeout or buy processed foods. And, we know meal planning might sound like a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our meal-planning experts at ModernWeigh specialize in helping patients create a meal plan to stay within their nutritional goals.
Written by Amanda Herlocker MS, RDN, LDN, Owner of The Queen City Dietitian, LLC, and Co-Author of Nutrition Focus at ModernWeigh
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 3). Planning meals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/meals.html