Vital Reasons Why Meal Planning Should Be Your Go-To Strategy For Lifestyle Changes
in partnership with our friends at Good Housekeeping
In order to change your lifestyle, there are three main components you have to follow: commitment, consistency, and a pinch of strategic planning. At Hamptons to Hollywood, we’re lifestyle experts, so we know what we’re talking about.
One crucial and fundamental step in initiating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle change is incorporating meal planning into your weekly routine. When you have a well-balanced, nutritious diet, you’ll feel better. It’s just science. Meal planning can be your saving grace to keep up with a healthy diet and not break the bank.
1: Meal Prepping Helps You Achieve Nutritional Balance
Obviously, meal planning helps you achieve a balanced diet. When you pre-plan your meals, it’s easy to combine a protein, vegetable, and complex carbohydrate all into one plate, which is the cornerstone of healthy living: you need a little bit of everything to achieve nutritional balance. When meals are left to spur-of-the-moment decisions, they often lack essential vitamins and minerals, resulting in deficiencies over time. Think about how many times you’ve just eaten a protein bar for lunch because you don’t have time to make something from scratch.
Meal planning allows you to consider every component of your diet, ensuring you consume a variety of foods rich in different nutrients to promote overall well-being.
2: Meal Prepping Facilitates Weight Management
Being a healthy weight isn’t just for vanity – it’s good for your body and mind, too. The second reason to embrace meal planning is its positive effect on weight management. Planning your meals ahead of time helps you control portion sizes, reducing the likelihood of overeating. It also allows you to include more whole foods & ingredients in your diet, which can aid in weight loss or maintenance. You’re way less likely to consume empty carbs at 4pm when you’re still satiated from your nutrient-dense lunch. For example, preparing this chipotle barbacoa recipe allows you to tweak the ingredients and portions to suit your dietary needs, which promotes healthier eating habits and weight control.
3: Meal Prepping Reduces Stress And Saves Time
After a long day, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is what to make for dinner. Like, how annoying, right? By planning and preparing meals in advance, you eliminate that cumbersome daily decision-making process. Knowing what’s on the menu already allows you to shop and prep accordingly, saving you mental energy AND time that would otherwise be spent on last-minute grocery runs, overpriced takeout.
It also saves you plenty of time so you can hit the gym and take your fitness level up even another notch! The Hamptons to Hollywood Fitness Program creates customized workout plans for people of all skill levels to help them increase their strength and overall longevity.
4: Meal Prepping Encourages Variety & Prevents Boredom!
If you’re thinking, “meal prepping means I’ll be eating the same thing day after day. That’s boring!” Think again.
One easy way to avoid eating the same thing over and over is to change the seasoning on your food. For example, if you buy a package of 4 chicken breasts, arrange them all on a baking sheet and season them differently. Maybe one breast is sprinkled with taco seasoning for a Mexican-inspired chicken dish. Maybe one is slathered in marinara sauce and topped with cheese for an Italian flair. Maybe another is drizzled with soy sauce to conjure flavors reminiscent of the far East. Get creative!
Think outside the box and customize your meals for what you like. That way, you’ll be unconsciously changing the “this is boring” narrative in your head, thus making the meal-prepping process more fun.
5: Meal Prepping Saves You Money
By knowing what meals you’ll prepare in advance, you can create an efficient shopping list and avoid purchasing unnecessary items, ingredients, and snacks. Cooking meals at home using carefully planned recipes typically proves to be more cost-effective than frequent dining out or resorting to expensive takeout. If one package of chicken breasts costs $20 at the grocery store, that will probably get you four meals instead of the $20 you may spend on one chicken entree at a restaurant. Look into options trading and how you can invest the money you saved.
Meal Prepping is Fun!
Incorporating meal planning into your lifestyle changes is not just a dietary strategy, but an all-encompassing, transformative lifestyle practice. Planning your meals every Sunday for the week ahead ensures nutritional balance, manages your weight, reduces stress, saves time, encourages variety and creative thinking, and helps save you money and you can store your food with the use of a food vacuum sealer with bags for future days. What more could you want?!
The path to a healthier and happier lifestyle begins with the simple act of planning your meals. And when you’re ready to take it up a notch, the Hamptons to Hollywood Fitness Program is an incredible supplement that helps get your body moving to promote longevity and strength. Becoming sexier is just a fun by-product 😉