How meal planning can help you reach your health goals
When it comes to your meals, are you the sort of person that likes to plan in advance, so you know what you’ll be having for the week ahead, or do you tend to wing it depending on what’s in the fridge that day? Although it involves a bit of time investment upfront, meal planning can have lots of advantages and means you don’t have that 6pm panic of what to eat, end up reaching for something less healthy or dialling for that takeaway, as there is nothing in the house.
Meal planning avoids making food and meal decisions whilst hungry, as well as reducing waste, helpful not only for your health but the environment too. Also, at the end of a long day, it can be hard to motivate yourself to cook, so if you have left overs in the fridge or some of the meal already prepared this can not only save you time but motivate you to stick with that healthy meal that you had planned. Here some principals to help with meal planning:
Choose a day and time that works for you to do your plan. Sundays work quite well if you are having a quiet day and Monday is the day you do your food shop.
Write a shopping list from the ingredients you need in your meal plan and stick to buying only the things on the list.
If possible, do your food shop online. This removes the temptation to buy products you might see on the supermarket shelf that are less healthy.
If you are not able to shop online, try to stick to the outside aisles of the supermarket. This is usually where the fresh produce and fruit and vegetables are, whilst the processed foods tend to be more in the inner aisles.
Whether you shop in store or online, do it with a full stomach. If you are hungry when you shop you are more likely to be tempted to buy foods that you wouldn’t normally chose if you weren’t hungry.
Start prepping. Look at your meals for the next day and see if you can prepare some of it ahead of time, such as chopping up vegetables and storing them in glass containers in the fridge.
If you end up with limp looking veg that is sitting in the bottom of your fridge looking sorry for itself, don’t throw it away! These are perfect for using in soups and smoothies, see my recipes page for ideas.
Would you like a head start with your meal planning? Download my free 7 day meal planner Fabulous Foods for Fertility This meal plan gives you 21 quick and simple meal ideas plus snacks which are all well balanced, nutritious and most importantly fertility friendly. They contain key nutrients to support your fertility including folate, healthy fats, plant-based proteins and wholegrains. It also includes snack ideas for each day if you feel hungry in between meals. Download your copy here.
Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for medical advice, practitioners always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. The information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases or conditions.