Wednesday, February 17, 2016

5 Benefits to Creating a Weekly Meal Plan

I have always been all over the place when it comes down to my eating habits. There really has never been a rhyme or reason behind what or how I eat. It has been more of a, well I'm hungry and this is what I want, so I'm gonna eat it. I never understood the benefits behind meal planning until this year, but I am in LOVE with them now!

I decided to start meal planning after I established a very serious resolution to lose weight this year. We all have a tipping point, and I hit mine at the very end of last year...something needed to be done! I've battled with my weight basically forever and I needed to take control of it, instead of letting it control me.

So in my new found desire to eat better, I decided it was about time to try this whole meal planning thing out. Now complete transparency, it was not something I wanted to do at first. For years I have told myself that I do not have the time, I don't want to be forced to eat an "assigned meal" every day, excuse, excuse, excuse. 

The truth is, I just didn't feel like doing it. The other waistline could not afford for me not to anymore. So I decided to give it a go. I have successfully meal planned every week so far in 2016 and I have realized the amazing benefits that come along with it. I wanted to share those with ya'll, so that if you are on the fence, maybe I can sway you toward the light!!

Staying accountable to the food you eat through the week

As I said earlier, part of my personal reasoning for starting my meal planning has been to eat healthier and drop a few pounds. My weekly meal planning has been key in keeping myself accountable to those goals. It is a daily reminder, right in the center of my planner, of all the good foods I'm planning to eat all week long. 

It helps with weight loss

When you are deciding to take the time out to eat healthy, creating a plan keeps you on track with that healthy eating. And that leads to weight loss. I'm not even kidding. Since the beginning of 2016, I have already lost 10 pounds. And not biggest loser style where that loss has been all in one week. It's been a gradual thing. But little by little, it's been coming off and I know the accountability that comes from my weekly planning has been playing a huge role in that.

There is a significant decrease in your grocery bill

This benefit was completely unexpected and super appreciated. The way I used to grocery shop, was to basically walk into the store and grab whatever looked like I could use it to cook up for the week with no real plan. This led me to over buy constantly. With my weekly planning, I know exactly what foods I need to purchase to make each meal for the week. This has literally cut my weekly grocery budget in half! And with the extra savings, we now have more money to do fun activities we couldn't before.

Less food ends up in the trash as spoiled at the end of the week

In building off of my point before, my over buying of food was leading to the need to throw a lot of food out at the end of the week. It would spoil before I ever figured out what I was going to be using it for. With my weekly meals being planned out, I only buy the food necessary for that week, so there is never any spoiling.

The daily stress of "what's for dinner" is finally lifted

I don't know if this is a stress for you at all, but as a regular planner, I would always feel a bit of an anxiety to figure out what I was putting on the table that night for dinner. I never fully understood why those feelings would come up and honestly just thought it was normal. My little planning heart is definitely at ease now knowing exactly what's coming up for dinner and all the stress is gone!

Creating a weekly meal plan has been so beneficial to our lives. It has been teaching me how important it is to not only be comfortable in my space but I'm learning how to be comfortable in my own body. Meal planning has become essential to my week and I would so highly recommend it to anyone who wants to give it a go. Next week I will be posting all of my favorite tips for your best meal planning tools so that you can figure out the best ways to try it out!

Have any of you ever tried out weekly meal planning? What were some of the benefits you found along the journey?

For some great recipes to add to your meal planning collection, follow me on Pinterest where I have a great healthy lifestyle board! 
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