Why do we need 28 day diet plans? Ever rush home from work starving only to end up eating a load of rubbish because you just can’t think what to cook? You’re not alone! When we’re tired and hungry or simply pushed for time, many of us resort to quick-fix unhealthy options like takeaways and ready meals. There’s no harm in a bit of junk food every once in a while, but if it becomes a habit, our health (and bank balance) will undoubtedly suffer. The solution? Meal planning!
Planning ahead and prepping meals is one of the best things you can do not only for your health but for your wallet and time management. If you prepare healthy, easy-to-cook food in advance, you will be less likely to grab a carb-laden takeaway on the way home or resort to unhealthy meals and sugary snacks instead of well-balanced, home-cooked food! And it couldn’t be easier.
Follow my guide to the benefits of meal prepping and planning – and I promise you won’t look back!
To make it even easier to get yourself organised, there’s even an option to download one of 3 nutritionally-balanced and delicious 28 Day Diet Plans. Let’s go!
28 Day Diet Meal Plans
Relying on takeaways and fast food can end up costing a small fortune, especially if you are eating them on a regular basis. Likewise, popping to the supermarket every other day will also have an impact on your monthly outgoings as it’s always tempting to buy a few extra items on top. You didn’t know you needed those biscuits/ice cream/chocolate bar, but there they are in your basket anyway! Preparing and planning your meals carefully, then shopping for those items at your local farmers’ market, or greengrocer is a much more affordable way to shop. And you are supporting small independent businesses too.
By preparing your meals mindfully, you can vary your diet and make sure that all your meals are nutritionally balanced too. Another plus point is that this way of eating can also help with portion control. Being aware of how much each person in your family should be eating at every meal is important from both a health and weight perspective.
It’s also worth noting that when you have a higher intake of nutrient-dense foods, you will naturally eat less. We all know that ’empty’ feeling that we get an hour after eating junk food! Junk food often leaves us wanting more because our body is crying out for nutrition, not volume. Even if we fill up on another portion of fries, we’ll be hungry again! But when we eat healthy, nutrient-packed food, it satisfies our hunger rather than leaving us wanting more – and more.
CUT BACK ON FOOD WASTE
How many times have you gone to the fridge with the good intention of rustling up a healthy salad only to discover your lettuce is limp and soggy – and is inedible? Studies show that most of us waste 40% of the food that we buy. That’s bad news for our planet – and for our pockets! If you spend a little bit of time preparing your food in advance, food wastage is less likely to happen. A brilliant waste-reducing and time-saving tip that I’ve picked up is to wash all my loose fruit and veg in veggie wash as soon as I’m back from shopping. I then put everything in containers and pop them in the fridge, ready for meal prepping.
When I’ve finished my meal prepping, I also put any leftover veggies like chillies, sliced carrots, bananas, and spinach into organic freezer bags and freeze. Most fruit or veg can be used straight from the freezer. I take fruit out 30 mins before I use it, but I usually use veg straight from the freezer when I’m cooking. I really have reduced my food waste considerably using these tips and tricks.
Be more organised to save on time!
If I haven’t prepared my meals in advance, I find myself faffing around the kitchen for ages thinking about what I’m going to make before I actually start cooking! If you have prepared ingredients in advance, you know what you’re having and just get on with it. Another tip is to make more than you need, then to freeze a couple of portions. This ultimately saves time the following week as you won’t have to cook for a couple of evenings! Simply take it out of the freezer in the morning to defrost reheat in the evening!
This is also brilliant if you’re a time-pressed mum rushing home from after-school clubs with starving children. You can quickly reheat a healthy meal in minutes! And you’ll also save time by not having to pop to the shops every day.
Planning encourages creativity
Who says being prepared is boring? Quite the opposite! Planning your weekly menus in advance actually encourages you to be more creative. There’s nothing more uninspiring than eating the same meals over and over again! When we plan what we’re going to eat, we have time to browse recipe books or to go online to get inspiration from food blogs. This encourages us to be more adventurous, to experiment with new ingredients, and to make our meals more exciting!
Another reason to be prepared is to reduce the stress that sometimes comes with cooking, especially if we have a family and hectic schedule. Often the only time we get to enjoy time together as a family is dinner time, so instead of making it stressful or eating in front of the TV, it’s good to encourage the whole family to sit down and eat dinner at the table, making mealtimes more of a special time. Health-wise, it’s also so much better for our digestive systems to sit upright at a table than to eat from our laps.
According to the latest research, the UK has become the most obsese nation in Europe. This is sad news as ultimately, it means a rise in obesity-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Pre-packed meals, takeaways, and junk food have become part of many people’s daily diet – no longer just the occasional treat. Planning and preparing meals is one of the kindest things we can do for our own health and for our children.
There are so many good apps like My Fitness Pal where you can record your weight, fitness levels, and measurements to help you stay on track. If you have a weight loss goal, planning specific meals and snacks it’s especially helpful to keep you on track. It will also help keep you motivated and keep the momentum going.
Our well-balanced, nutrition-packed 28 Day Healthy Meal Plans are an excellent starting point if you are serious about getting into the habit of meal prepping and planning. Grab yours here as they are currently on sale for just £10!
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|