Have you ever wondered where time goes? As a full-time college student, I find myself trying to find an answer to this question daily. I routinely wonder where this time vanishes to, in-turn, making time management an imperative aspect for a functional routine life. Fanatically managing my time has helped me to stay on track with school work, personal life, and allows me to do the things I love, without feeling guilty. One example of time management that I practice on a weekly basis is planning out time each weekend for meal prepping. This alleviates stress for the busy week ahead and allows me to stay on track with my nutritional goals.
Whether it’s your goal to lose weight or just to improve your overall diet, there are numerous benefits to meal planning. As a registered dietitian, Salvia Veri, points out that “With anything in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This powerful quote applies to the nutritional aspect as well. With budgeting time for meal planning once or twice a week, it can not only save you that precious time but it can also help you to stay on top of your goals. Here are the top five benefits of meal planning from Beaumont:
Save time – Preparing each individual meal daily, not only takes time to prepare but it takes time to come up with a meal idea itself. So, instead of standing in front of your panty or refrigerator thinking of what to prepare for your meal, with meal planning a head of time, you can have a meal just in a few minutes! This also saves the hustle and time of washing the dishes.
Save Money – Meal planning can be a great way to save money. While it pushes you to eat at home rather than going to a restaurant or fast-food place, it’s also encouraging to buy food in bulk, which is cheaper in a long run. Additionally, sticking to what’s on the meal plan list avoids impulsive buying of food.
Avoid Wasting Food – It is very disheartening seeing food going to waste. It is essentially throwing money down the drain. Meal planning sets you up to buy food that has a specific purpose, so you are able to maximize the value you receive from your food.
Eat Healthy – Snickers says it best, “You’re not you when you hungry,” which especially applies to eating. When the blood sugar levels drop, you’re not you because you are more prone to eat what you can get the fastest. This tends to be the fast-food and frozen meals with minimal healthy options. Meal planning eliminates this issue because you have a balanced nutrient-dense meal right at your fingertips!
Learn Portion Control – Planning and preparing your own meals allow you to see and understand the portion sizes better. With that, understanding the portion sizes help avoid overeating, especially at restaurants and other social gatherings.
Whether you are a busy mom, work full time, own a business or just a busy college student like me, meal planning can be a great option to help you to reach your goals and to stay on track. I personally get most of my meal planning recipes on Pinterest but cookbooks are always a great source of inspiration as well. With all the benefits of meal planning and all the resources, like Pinterest, available to you on mobile devices and computers, give a meal plan a try! There are no negatives to properly executing a solid meal plan. The best aspects of meal planning are that you might totally love it and that meal planning be the life changer!
Our team at Altru can help you navigate all your health needs and concerns. If you are interested in learning more about thinking about your health through preventive measures our team at the Sanny & Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention & Genetics would love to talk more with you. Call 701.732.7620 for more information.
Written By: Catherine Sparboe, Junior Dietetics Student at the University of North Dakota