10 reasons why you should plan your meals

Why are we eating the same foods week in, week out? Food is so versatile! So why do we end up eating the same stuff on a regular basis? Not anymore - I hope. Writing down your weekly meal planner and a shopping list will help you to change your eating habits and encourage you to try new and exciting foods and recipes.

10 reasons why you should plan your meals

1. Help you to eat more variety, seasonal and more exciting foods

It will stop the majority of us getting caught up in eating the same things over and over without even realising it. The same pasta, salads, same curry. It's time to shake things up!

2. Give you the opportunity to sit down and plan

All it takes is 15 minutes to think about what you and your family want to eat this week. Keep in mind, the food we eat will have an effect on our mood, memory, physical performance and many other functions.

3. Broaden your food horizons

You are creative, much more than you think. But we sometimes don’t dare ourselves enough to try new things! Challenge: Cook that meal you have been wanting to try for the last six months.

4. Help us get the different vitamins and minerals from different foods we need

Eating the same foods can potentially cause certain vitamin deficiency (iron, vitamin C, magnesium etc). Are you are on the same repeat Ocado order that you have been on for the last three years?

5. Help you have a well-stocked fridge

Your weekly big shop (or two smaller) is so important because if you don’t have much in your fridge, you cannot and will not make healthy decisions at 6.30 pm on Wednesday. How can you? You will simply end up ordering takeaway, buy ready cooked meals, eat a sandwich... again, or you will reach for that packet of crisps/biscuits that you promised yourself you wouldn’t touch! 

6. Help you eat healthily

Cooking healthy meals requires 30 minutes or less of your time. Less time than to go to local Tesco and buy a ready meal!

7. Help you to cook in batches

Preparing meals the night before and over the weekends, preparing our own lunch boxes (back to school) does make sense. The majority of cooked foods can stay refrigerated for up to two days after cooking. Once the food is cooked cool it down (leave it no more than two hours before) and put it to the fridge or freezer – if left longer than two hours bacteria might start developing.

8. Encourage you to try alternatives

Cauliflower and broccoli rice, butternut squash or courgette noodles. Those are some of the easy carb substitutes that taste good.

Please note: Try to manage your expectation when trying new foods with fewer calories. Vegetable alternatives will be different to regular spaghetti, so it’s not really fair to expect exactly the same texture, flavour and get the identical feeling in your mouth! However, if you have a tasty sauce and sides with it – I promise you, you will enjoy it.

9. Help you spend less money

Statistics show that people who planned their weekly meals spend less money and consume fewer calories. For example, Tesco local is more expensive 10-15% at times than the big shop.

10. Help you lose weight

From personal experience and professional experience, people who plan, shop and cook regularly (also keeping their food diaries) are the ones who lose and maintain their weight successfully through life.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sutton, Surrey, SM1
Written by Angelika Cutuk-Short, MSc Functional Nutritionist / Hormone and Weight specialist
Sutton, Surrey, SM1

Angelika has a masters in nutrition and is a qualified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) coach. She is a specialist in weight loss management. She combines nutritional science with motivational coaching to change bad habits and introduce good ones. She is the nutritional editor for Locals Mum Online and a nutritional consultant for Lemon Detox.

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