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A Definitive Guide to Meal Planning for Your Health

Meal Planning

Figuring out what to eat daily can be overwhelming, particularly if you are already multi-tasking with things involving work, family, health, and social obligations. Often, we end up putting up together last-minute meals. Indeed, options like food near me or online food delivery have got us covered. Still, we aim to enlighten you about the perfect meal-planning schedule you can have daily.

What is Meal Planning?

Meal planning can be regarded as the process of building a menu for the entire week to suit your taste and dietary preferences effectively. It helps in taking the guesswork out of your dinnertime while allowing you to plan your budget and follow your nutritional goals.

Some people tend to follow a dedicated meal plan with a specific purpose in mind, like improvements in cholesterol levels or weight loss. An athlete might execute meal planning to make sure that the person gets the right nutrients expected to perform well. Others might prefer sticking to a particular food budget or mapping out meals for the entire family. 

It is also common to encounter different types of meal plans. Some are centered on fulfilling the needs of a specific health condition, like heart disease or diabetes. These meal plans are usually created by getting relevant inputs from a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. For instance, people with diabetes are usually recommended to follow a diabetes-suitable meal plan that helps in controlling blood sugar levels. 

On the other hand, people who are not managing any health condition might follow a proper meal plan by selecting healthy, delicious recipes that their families love. 

Why Follow a Meal Plan?

There are several reasons to follow a dedicated meal plan that has been prepared beforehand. Irrespective of your objective, anyone can benefit from a meal plan as it serves to be a great way to be organised while having a road map for the entire week. With a meal plan, you can also easily decide what food you wish to order online as you search for ‘food near me’ on Swiggy.

Meal planning can take some level of effort at the start to analyse what you wish to eat for the upcoming week. However, when you have a plan in place, it takes away the overall stress of preparing or ordering food online. It is not mandatory to stick to the designed meal plan to every last detail. It simply serves as a rough guide to take away your stress at the time of grocery shopping, preparing meals, or ordering food online.

Meal planning also helps you follow a healthy diet pattern. Without any plan in advance, you can easily get inclined to eat junk food or skip meals altogether. But when you have decided upon a healthy, delicious meal on a particular day, anything unhealthy can easily appear tempting. Having a healthy diet is beneficial for everyone. However, it is especially crucial for those with specific health conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. Having a meal plan makes it less overwhelming for such individuals to follow a healthy diet. You do not have to stress about what food goes well with what. When you have planned it before, it becomes easier to prepare the right meal for yourself.

With proper meal planning, it is also possible to save significantly on your monthly budget. Food accounts for the largest portion of waste in landfills, with over 20 tonnes of food waste in a year. 

When you shop for groceries without any plan, you end up buying almost anything that appears appealing at the moment. However, you will end up buying almost anything that you might not use in the long run. With meal planning, you are aware of what and how much to buy in the first place, leading to less wastage of food.

Considerations for Your Meal Planning

Repetition serves as the ultimate key to effective meal planning. There is no need to eat the same stuff every day. However, cutting down on the number of meals you have on a weekly basis will make things quite simpler. Experts suggest selecting 2-3 breakfast options and 2-3 lunch options, and include variety in your snacks and dinner. You can even consider repeating those meals for some weeks before you switch to a new plan. 

 

Consuming some staple meals every week will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed while making sure that there is ample variety. For instance, you can have rice for one dinner every week, pizza for another dinner, and burgers for another. You can think of changing the recipe by trying different rice dishes, pizza toppings, and burger meals, including both non-veg and vegetarian options.

While meal planning, it is crucial to understand how long different foods tend to last, whether cooked or raw, to maximise food safety. Make sure that you are factoring in any wild cards in your meal-planning regimen. For instance, if you like ordering food online 2-3 times a week, include the same in your plan so that you know that you do not have to prepare a full-fledged meal on a given day. 

Conclusion 

Meal planning involves creating a week-based menu. It can minimise stress while saving ample time during the entire week by eliminating decision-making around food. Planning your meals beforehand will also help you follow a healthy diet, as you are less tempted to indulge in something unhealthy at the end of the day. 

Swiggy makes your meal planning a seamless process. As you search for ‘food near me,’ you get a wide range of options, in terms of food and restaurants, to choose from. This helps you plan our a unique meal regimen for different days of the week. 

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