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Meal planning is something you may know a little about and may even be practicing on some level. The issue with meal planning is that you may not know how it benefits you outside of your normal routine. Here are a few of the ongoing and overall health benefits that you can obtain from simple meal planning for a week at a time to a month at a time.
Reduced Stress Levels
When you do a meal plan and stick to that plan, you can reduce your stress. You no longer have to worry about missing a meal, not have meals ready, or forget to set out meals to thaw. Though this may not seem like it would cause a lot of stress, it can have a domino effect. If you have a bad day, you avoid adding time constraints of not knowing what to have and the stress to the day. This little bit of stress reduction can help your overall stress and give you more downtime in the evenings after a long day. It also helps your budget since overspending can lead to more stress.
Reduced Chance of Dropping Your Goals
When you don’t have meals ready, you may just grab whatever is there. For example, if you have had a rough day and don’t want to cook, you may grab a pizza or go through the drive thru because it is convenient. You may even think you are doing well if you grab a salad. The truth is, a fast food salad can contain a lot of calories as well as sodium depending on the ingredients and the dressing you choose that you aren’t thinking about. This can derail you from your goal of trying to eat healthier and can seem to be an easier option, but overtime may cause you to spend more money than you intend to. Meal planning decreases all of this.
A health benefit you may not consider is the reduced preservatives your body would be taking in. For example, a lot of prepared meals you buy at the store have either high amounts of sodium or sugars. When you make the food at home, you can reduce this amount significantly making your meal plan an increasingly healthier option to store bought convenience foods. You control the ingredients when you do the preparing yourself.
There are other health benefits, but these are the ones you are likely to notice in your life first. Remember, if you want further health benefits or different benefits then consider altering your meal planning to fit those health benefit goals in your daily life and long-term health goals.
Which benefit do you wish to start with?