If you think about it, everyone already engages in meal planning on some level.
Even if that means deciding to get take out at the moment you start to feel hungry, that’s forming a plan to eat a meal.
Waking up in the morning and making a sandwich to take to work for lunch, is also a form of short term meal planning.
But it’s when you plan in blocks a little further ahead, say 3 days at a time, or every week, that you really see the benefits of a good meal plan.
It may seem daunting to be that organized, but meal planning is truly one of the easiest things you can do to improve your relationship with food, in whatever way is important to you.
To help you jump those mental hurdles, this article is broken down into easily digestible sections:
- What Is Meal Planning?
- The Top 5 Benefits Of Meal Planning
- What Is The Goal Of Your Meal Plan?
- How To Get Started With Meal Planning
- 10 Tips To Master Meal Planning
- The Best Meal Planning Tools
- Your Meal Planning Template
That handy meal planning template is free, so you have no excuse to delay getting started.
Let’s dig right in…
What Is Meal Planning?
Meal planning is not rocket science. It is quite literally the process of planning what to eat in advance, for the coming days, week or month.
Whatever you already do to feed yourself, is a basic form of meal planning. Possibly not a very good one, but you’re alive, so it’s working in some respect.
When people talk about meal planning, they are generally referring to something much more organized.
A typical meal plan involves a list of the meals you intend to eat over an allotted time period, say, a week, plus the list of groceries you will need in order to prepare those meals.
The idea is that this allows you to shop once, and feed yourself for a whole week.
Depending on your personal goals, it may be more complicated than that.
Some people fill out their weekly meal planner template, do their shopping, then prepare and freeze a week’s worth of food in one day.
Others draw up an outline for seven days of meals, but prefer to mix them up, according to the weather, or how they feel.
What it comes down to is that there is no right or wrong way to meal plan. Ultimately, the right meal planning method is the one you can stick to, and this is different for everyone.