What Is Meal Planning?
Meal planning is a great way to guarantee variety and consistency in a balanced diet. Meal planning means you choose your meals in advance, according to your specific health goals, food preferences, or lifestyle needs. A meal plan can provide you with specialized recipes, portion guidance, and meal prep suggestions curated and tested by nutrition experts.
Meal Planning vs. Meal Prepping
Meal planning is different from meal prepping, which involves planning and preparing meals in scaled quantities to be eaten throughout the week. A meal plan provides exciting customized recipes for your specific nutritional needs, paired with guidance from professionals to assist you in making healthy food choices. You can then make these recipes fresh, at the time most convenient to you.
Meal planning provides a realistic alternative for those that are looking to take control of their nutrition without sacrificing flavor, freshness, or enjoyment. Who says you need to eat the same thing every day, anyway?
Benefits of Using a Meal Plan
You already know that cooking at home can save you money, but with the help of a customized meal plan, dinner at home can be just as effortless as it is healthy. Using a meal plan curated by nutrition professionals allows you to address your specific health needs while building a nourishing relationship with food.
Meal Plans Actually Introduce Variety
Meal planning ensures we’re getting the nutrients we need by introducing variety and expanding our food experiences. If you’ve been seeking a change, it could be time to step out of your comfort zone. Meal plans take advantage of seasonal vegetables and whole food variations on classic dishes. Cooking at home allows you to deconstruct your favorite dishes and take note of how they make you feel.
Meal Planning Helps You Learn Proper Portion Control
By using a meal plan, you can gain a better understanding of your body’s needs. Meal plans allow you to see what you are putting into your body and provide you with new ways to incorporate key nutrients into your routine. Plus, cooking at home can help you become familiar with portion sizes and encourage consistency in your eating habits.
Don’t Worry About What’s For Dinner
A meal plan curated by a nutrition expert can alleviate the impulse to count calories, log macros, or engage in overthinking. And after a busy day, you may be too exhausted to make a decision on dinner. Using a meal plan can help support a busy lifestyle with the nutrients you need, without a second thought.
Eliminate Impulsive Food Decisions
Meal plans can provide stability and consistency in chaotic or rushed times. When you neglect your nutrition, impulsive food choices become much more likely. By eliminating the opportunity for a last-resort ‘hanger,’ you can help protect your progress and say goodbye to guilt.
Meal Plans Help You to Heal Yourself With the Right Ingredients
Once you make the decision to nurture yourself with food, it’s crucial that you choose the right ingredients. Meal planning that’s personalized to your specific health concerns can help to treat and heal while working to prevent symptoms caused by unhealthy eating habits.
Finding a Meal Plan to Meet Your Health Needs
Meal Plans for Diabetics
For those with diabetes, consistency and portion control can have a massive impact on managing symptoms. It’s important to choose a meal plan with foods that are nutrient-dense and heart-healthy. Non starchy vegetables like carrots, peppers, broccoli, and leafy greens can help balance your plate.
Meal Plans for PCOS and Women’s Health
Women suffering from PCOS can especially benefit from meal plans you can follow at home. Since the symptoms of PCOS range from acne and weight gain to increased anxiety and depression, our meal plans include low-glycemic recipes that address blood sugar, hormone, and inflammation. With a focus on plant-based dishes, this meal plan helps promote a balanced gut.
Meal Plans for Autoimmune Disorders
While autoimmune disorders’ triggers may vary, refining your diet plays a big part in the management of symptoms. You might have already cut gluten, dairy, eggs, legumes, or processed sugars from your diet, but don’t forget to incorporate recipe options designed and tested by nutrition professionals so you get all the nutrients you need.
Low Histamine Meal Plans
To reduce symptoms of histamine intolerance, focus on preparing whole, plant-based foods at home. It can be difficult to incorporate fresh vegetables, fresh non-citrus fruits, and fresh proteins into your life, but our credentialed meal plan features prime ingredients paired with easy-to-follow directions so you can take full advantage of the freshest benefits.
Anti-inflammatory Meal Plans
Flare-ups are no fun, and our anti-inflammatory meal plans center around low-glycemic recipes formulated to stabilize blood sugar, contribute to a healthy weight, regulate hormones, encourage gut health, and reduce inflammation. We offer a 3-day and 5-day anti-inflammatory meal plan.
Pantry Power Meal Planning
Nurture your family with the food you already have at home. Customize your meal plan based on your kitchen staples or your family’s favorites. This meal plan includes suggested recipes that you can scale to size and simple ingredients that are easy to adjust.
Simple Eats Meal Planning
If committing to a meal plan sounds intimidating, ease into a balanced diet with simple and familiar dishes. This plan is fully customizable and can be a great way to gently introduce new foods to the family or a picky eater.
Meal Prep Master
With three days of recipes plus a weekend meal prep guide, this meal plan has the potential to make lasting changes with minimal effort. Each recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes and is simple enough for any skill level.
Flexible Meal Plans
For busy families on the go, meal planning can appear impossible. But with a flexible plan that includes access to hundreds of tested recipes with whole food ingredients, you can find variations on classics that will get the whole family excited about eating together. And because the plan is fully customizable, dinner is always on your time.
28-Day Refresh Meal Plan
If you’re ready for a change, this meal plan offers special low-glycemic recipes aimed to refresh your metabolism and cement healthy habits.
Why Is It Important to Have a Meal Plan?
To sum up, a good quality meal plan will:
- Introduce food variety
- Help with portion control
- Make mealtime easier
- Eliminate impulsiveness
- Help you heal
Another added benefit – it can actually help you save money! You can be more efficient cooking exactly what you need, reducing food waste and saving on your grocery bill.
At New Hope Counseling & Wellness Center, our certified therapists, counselors, and specialized registered dietitian nutritionists offer a variety of counseling services, including nutrition counseling. We will give you hope!
Whether you or someone you love struggles with PCOS, an eating disorder, trauma or PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, body image disturbances, chronic dieting, or needs counseling or therapy, our experienced team of specialized therapists, counselors, dietitians, and nutrition coaches are here to help.