Meal planning and organisation is a very important aspect of eating well, especially when you’re busy. Here’s why:
1. Reduce stress
With a meal plan written up for the week ahead (and stuck on your fridge) you’ll know exactly what is organised for every meal so you don’t have to stress about what you will cook and have to find something last minute.
2. Save money
Once you have written up your meal plan, write a shopping list based on your plan. Then bring this list to the shops with you and only buy what you need. Shopping according to a set list will save you lots of money at the checkout, compared to impulse buying once you’re already at the supermarket. Also, market research shows you spend more overall at the supermarket when you make multiple visits in a week compared to just heading in once a week for a larger shop.
3. Eat healthy whole foods
A meal plan will ensure there are no last minute dashes to the fast food outlet or use of frozen meals. Because you spent time organising it earlier, you will have all the ingredients and everything you need to make you and your family a healthy meal.
Healthy food is usually fresh and has a short shelf life so you have to plan it into your life. A meal plan helps you do this. When you plan to eat vegetables everyday you have a greater chance of actually achieving that goal compared to just winging it!
4. Gives you control
Control over your eating habits is one of the first steps to improving your eating habits and your health. You know what you are eating, when you are eating it and all the ingredients are there waiting for you when you need them.
Life is busy and we have lots of pressures to mange each and every day. Plan your meal, do a grocery shop and then just get on with the more important things inline knowing that your food is sorted!
5. Creates food awareness
A problem eating behaviour is mindlessly eating while doing other activities or grabbing takeaway on the way home from a busy day out or at work. A meal plan makes you aware of all your meals and snacks and keeps you accountable to yourself and members of your household.
6. Reduce decision fatigue
Each time you make a decision or a choice, it uses up some of your brain’s mental energy. The more decisions you make throughout the day, the quicker your mental energy gets used; and each future choice becomes harder to make as your brain’s energy gets depleted. This is called decision fatigue. Things that require mental energy such as rational thinking and willpower becomes a struggle as your brain gets tired.
Meal planning means you’re making your food decisions in advance, when your mental energy is high, so that when you’re in the midst of a busy week, the decision of what to eat has already been made!
Click below to download your free copy of my Meal Planner and start planning now!Weekly Meal Planner Template
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