Ten years ago, I started to eat healthy so that I could lose weight. Little did I know…prioritizing healthy eating habits would take me far beyond a smaller size of jeans. Now I spend most of my free time sharing my weekly menus, recipes, and meal prep tips to encourage a diet full of nutrient dense foods sprinkled with treats. Here are FIVE reasons why I personally choose to meal plan and eat healthy…that have nothing to do with weight-loss!
Five Reasons Why I Choose to Meal Plan and Eat Healthy
Consistent Energy Levels
Meal planning helps me take control of and work WITH my busy schedule so that I feel focused & energized all day. Instead of aiming for strict meal times or fasting times, meal planning helps me flex my eating schedule to my ever changing work & social schedule. Since I’m able to include a wide variety of food with no “on or off limits” items…I can confidently plan for or adapt a meal at any place & any time!
Along similar lines, meal planning helps me to better manage hunger throughout the day. This means that I have the choice in line with my goals ready and available when hunger strikes. Without a solid option available…I can easily resort to the “other” quick option – chips, cookies, etc. – that may not truly be filling or in line with my nutrition values.
Save $$$ by cooking from home
Without a plan, it’s easy to order (and over-order) take out. Even if I’m choosing more nutrient dense options…it usually costs me more to eat out than if I’m cooking at home. Meal planning helps me repurpose ingredients in between meals to reduce food waste and use items that I can buy in bulk. I also reduce my grocery bill by shopping in-season and using a mix of fresh, frozen, and canned food items.
Meal planning also makes it a bit easier for me to follow through with my healthy eating goals. Having food, groceries, or a simple recipe planned in advance makes eating the nutrient dense option from home just as easy as spending the extra money on ordering take-out.
Reduce Time Cooking & thinking about food
Go with me here – meal planning & prep can take some time upfront, BUT overall it saves me so much time and stress from constantly trying to figure out “what to eat.” There’s many different ways to view meal planning and prepping – it could look like planning, preparing, and portioning several meals in advance…or simply cooking extra to have leftovers the next day.
By taking initiative and planning meals in advance, meal planning allows me to be intentional and confident with building balanced meals. It also leaves less room for impulse decisions like ordering take out or diving into the bag of chips while deciding on a meal option – decisions that never left me feeling proud or empowered.
Greater Nutrient Density
This one took me a while because I used to think eating healthy meant cutting out food groups like carbs and dairy…but omitting food groups actually limits our intake of nutrients important for health and wellness. When I stopped overly restricting my diet and started to incorporate a greater variety of food, I noticed positive changes with energy levels, digestion, and even saw noticeable improvements in my hair/skin/nail health.
A form of self-love that helps me feel proud and confident
Last, but not least, I’ve developed my own definition of what it means for ME to eat healthy. Sometimes it’s a colorful salad, and sometimes it’s my moms gumbo. Actively choosing to have a positive relationship with food in all settings has been so empowering for me to continue with my own nutrition journey!
If you’re interested in learning more about the system that I use to plan my own meals, sign up for my email list and get your free copy of my Meal Planning Workbook.
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