In a previous article, we discussed the many benefits of keeping a food journal. If you are trying to maintain your weight or reach your ideal weight, a food journal is an excellent tool. It helps track the amount of food you actually consume.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the benefits of another great tool: menu planning. Menu planning is a great way to plan your meals ahead, especially if you love cooking your own meals at home. Here are four benefits you can expect as soon as you start planning your menu.
When you plan your meals ahead of time, it is actually a lot easier to stick with healthy dishes than you think. You can eliminate the temptation to cook something unhealthy out of spontaneity; every meal is planned beforehand.
You can also be more creative with the healthy dishes you cook. Let’s say you want to keep your healthy eating habit affordable; you can turn to excellent resource centers such as pocketchangegourmet.com for some ideas and new menus to try.
Save on Groceries
Another immense advantage of menu planning is having that ability to shop ahead. You no longer have to go to the grocery store every couple of days to get the ingredients you need. You already know what you want to cook next week and you can shop for groceries more conveniently.
Menu planning is great for your monthly budget. You can buy groceries in bulk and use the latest coupons and discounts to save even more. You can also save on all of the snacks and unhealthy junk food you (accidentally) pick up whenever you visit the grocery store.
Menu on a Budget
Speaking about saving, menu planning is also a great way to stay within your monthly budget for meals. If you’re like me and you often spend more on your meals than initially planned, then menu planning is definitely a must-try.
I was able to stay within the agreed 10% variation on my budget for meals – an agreement I made with myself – on the first month I started planning my menu. I was well within my monthly budget on the second month; managing my monthly budget is now very easy to do.
We all have this problem one way or another; staying committed to something can be a challenge. Whether it is a diet program or an exercise regime, the biggest challenge of making changes in life is staying committed.
Menu planning is slightly different. You have complete control over the kind of meals you add to the menu. There is no need to make healthy meals or set yourself strict rules right away. If you can learn to commit to the menu, you can learn to commit to anything in life.
All of these benefits – and many more – are yours to enjoy the moment you start planning your meals. Menu planning is great, and it gets so much easier after a while. Combined with the food journal you’re already keeping, it will be much easier to hit – and maintain – your ideal weight with menu planning.