MEAL PLANNING is critical for success for healthy eating. While that may sound extreme, it does highlight the importance of my no 1. Weight Loss tip - a concept known as the 5 P's.
Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
The Importance of Meal-Prep:
Planning and preparing meals /snacks ahead of time can save you money, save time, reduce stress, help improve diet quality, and help you reach and maintain a healthy body weight.
Sitting down to a home-cooked meal is something you never regret doing. But getting into the kitchen after working all day isn't usually a task anyone feels like OR has time for.
The one thing that makes it easier—and significantly more likely to happen—is meal planning. Let's look at the how?
Benefits of Meal Prep:
Control & measures portions - Planning can help you control what you're eating, track calories & nutrients. Plus, you can choose ingredients from nutrient-dense whole foods
Stay conscious of your eating habits - Planning keeps you motivated towards your goal. Planning also makes it easier to follow through when faced with a spontaneous choice. Often we make unhealthy choices when hungry. If you plan ahead you are better equipped to make the right choice OR better yet have a healthy choice available
Streamlines shopping and decreases food waste - Without meal planning - you may find yourself doing a grocery run two or three times per week. Either you forget items, or you didn't get enough on your initial trip to make it through a week. Creating a grocery list based around a meal plan is the only way you will get everything in a single trip
Meal planning prevents decision fatigue - A huge perk of meal planning is no nagging, late-afternoon stress deciding what to do for dinner. Planning alleviates stress.
Easier to stay on track - Planning ahead is critical to changing, sustaining and/or meting a weight loss or health related goal. By planning ahead each week, picking out recipes, making a healthy shopping list, and doing basic food prep you stick to the plan
How to be a Pro at Meal-Planning & Prep:
Make a detailed shopping list - Use the “Notes” app on your iPhone to keep a running list of ingredients. When you running low of a staple put it on the list so that you remember to buy it at next week’s grocery trip
Buy extra raw protein - Keen an extra packet of chicken breasts / fish in freezer to defrost in the morning to save strip to the store on a Monday morning
Stock up on meal prep staples - Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with quick go-to items. Freezer: frozen fruits and veggies (less expensive and lasts much longer) frozen chicken or salmon (defrosts quickly). Pantry: brown rice or quinoa (quicker cooking), plain oats, beans, tinned tomatoes, fresh garlic and onions, chicken or veggie broth
Utilize the weekend - Get your meal prepping done during the weekend so you’ve got meals for the beginning of the week. Batch cook slow cooking dishes like Bolognaise, stews, Lamb casseroles and soups so you can freeze in portions
Implement time-saving strategies -Keep a few home-made frozen meals on hand in case you having a really busy day / week and won’t have time to cook
Cut corners - Buy veggies pre-cut. Even though it costs a bit more, you may find you waste less and spend less time in the kitchen