BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MEAL PLANNING
WHY PLAN A MEAL?
Meal planning can simplify the process of preparing the meal altogether. It helps you save time, extra efforts and a few calories too.One of the most important reasons for meal planning is to stay healthy and provide your body with the right kind of nutrition.It is an essential step towards a leading a healthy lifestyle. OR simply, why would want to go through the effort of spending an hour or two deciding what to make today or tomorrow, which grocery items I have and what I need. Make unnecessary trips to the market, in the end wasting some items that you brought and didn’t need. That’s why, meal planning!
A few perks of meal planning are:
- Easy on the pocket
- Reduction in wastage of food
- You enjoy varieties of food
- And of course, you stay motivated.
Try following a basic step by step list curated for you, in order to help you in your meal planning without much hassle.
- START WITH MAKING WEEKLY PLANS
You do not want to jump in right away in waters you cannot tread. Beginners shuold take baby steps. Start with the baby pool. Start with a week’s planning.
It can sure be overwhelming but it’s worth the effort. Plan what you want to eat in that week and list down the necessary grocery items required in order to make those meals. All before the week even starts. Weekends, make a list on Saturday get the grocery items on same day or on Sunday and forgo planning for the next whole week.
It’s quite simple.
- Note the number of days you are going to be at home
- The number of days you are going to eat out
- Or the number of times you have to carry your meals to work.
When you schedule you automatically simplify the entire process.
- GO THROUGH YOUR PANTRY
Take a quick glance at your pantry, look for the things that are extra, unwanted or unnecessary. Note down the essentials or the grocery items that are missing, if there is a product which is close to expiring or products that have expired and you need a refill. This process is simple, just make a note.
- PREPARE MENUS
Use recipe books, blogs, magazines, Instagram for picking different recipes you want to try out in the coming week. Use white boards, apps, sticky notes on the fridge to keep them handy. Having the recipes decided and ready to use is essential for your convenience.
This is a like roadmap guiding you throughout the week, REAL TIME SAVER!
- PREPARE A GROCERY ITEMS SHOPPING LIST
Once you are done with preparing menus for an entire week, you make a grocery items list. Make a detailed list of the ingredients you will be needing for the rest of the week. This is the best way to avoid impulsive buys and to save money. Don’t forget to mention the quantities to make your work easier.
Extra things to consider
- CONSIDERING USING APPS/WEBSITES ON PHONE
Sometimes physically noting down every single meal and its detail can be tedious, try using meal planning apps and websites. It’seasier, efficient because they tailor make the meals keeping your preferences, budget and nutrition in mind.
Some of my favourite apps are- Mealime (iOS/Android),Eat this much (iOS/ Android)
Also check out- https://www.everydayhealth.com/meal-planner/
- PLAN A CHEAT MEAL, NOT A CHEAT DAY
Give yourself a break from eating all the healthy food all week, and feed your body with the junk it is craving.
Plan a meal to suffice the cravings you’ve been having all week long. This will keep you sane and motivate you for the coming week.
In the end remember it’s food, savour it, enjoy it. Good food is essential for a healthy and happy life.