Meal planning has become very popular over the past few years, and it’s easy to see why. There are so many benefits to having a meal plan, such as the fact that it saves you both time and money while also reducing how much food you waste and helping you stick to a healthy diet.
But the meal-prep world can be quite intimidating, which is why we’ve put together this post to help you learn a few meal planning tips and tricks.
Stick to your diet
If you are following a specific diet or you have certain restrictions, you should find a meal plan that can help you stick to your diet. Of course, you can also make your own meal plan or adapt one that you find online to suit your needs.
For example, if you are a vegetarian, you should look for vegetarian meal plans or try to take a generic meal plan and replace the meat products with vegetables of your choice.
If you are following a specific diet such as the keto diet, you might also want to look into following keto diet meal plans.
Include some variety
While the idea behind meal planning is to prepare your food in advance, which means you will be eating the same dish multiple times, you should also include some variety so that you don’t get bored of your meal plan.
Stick to the basics, but try to switch out a few elements now and then – such as using beef instead of chicken, or switching up your vegetable side dishes. You should also keep in mind that it’s okay to have something that isn’t on the meal plan now and then. Part of living a healthy lifestyle means finding balance.
Make time for your meal planning
While meal planning does save you time in the long run, you will need to carve out some time every week not only to set up a meal plan but to buy the ingredients and even prepare some of the food in advance.
Start by setting up a daily schedule for each day of the week, and then try to find a time where you can take an hour or two to dedicate to your meal planning.
The more often you do this, the quicker it will go as well, so it’s worth your time.
Write it down
While a meal plan does make your life more convenient in many ways, it can still be hard to keep track of what meals you need to eat when, or which ingredients you need to buy.
The easiest way to stay on top of your meal plan is simply to write it all down somewhere you can easily find. You can keep a separate notebook dedicated to your meal plan, or you can jot it down in a note-taking app. You should also make sure to write out your grocery list before you hit the shops so that you know exactly what to buy.