Why the New Meal Planning Trend Actually Works for Working Women
I believe that all you need is a good plan to lead you to success. Plus, a plan can stop you from losing your mind when you’re overwhelmed with work, family, and social obligations that keep taking up space on your calendar.
I believe in good planning all the way down to the food I eat. Without a plan, I watched myself not keeping track of the quality of my meals, grabbing food on-the-go, and spending way too much money. I would be so caught up in my day-to-day activities that eating well (and regularly) took a back seat.
Around the time I had this realization, I stumbled across this Buzzfeed Two-Week Clean Eating Challenge, and I decided to give it a try. My first piece of advice is to follow a meal plan that is already created (you can search for some easily on the Web, or try the two-week clean challenge I did) and then adjust it to your personal taste and needs.
That’s how I started, and now I’m hooked. It works so well for me that I believe every working woman like myself should consider jumping on the meal plan bandwagon.
It’s On Your Time. This was a huge incentive for me. A meal plan is a great way to fit (healthy) eating into your personal daily lifestyle. As a busy working woman, you know your schedule best. My personal struggle was making sure I was eating breakfast, and not being lazy after an eight-hour day at work with takeout. With meal planning, you can ensure you get your three meals a day, as well as a few snacks in between. No more working through lunch, no more groaning at the idea of having to cook yourself something after a long day at the office. Dinner will be waiting in the fridge and prepped for the week. Being on your time allows you to just kick off your shoes and relax. Because that’s all we really want to do at the end of the day, am I right?
Keeps Your Health On Track. How many times have you grabbed a bag of chips or maybe a buttery croissant on the go? Without meal planning, we are susceptible to lose track of healthy choices as a roaring stomach yells, “Grab anything, anything, just feed me!” With meal planning, you can plan ahead to avoid that uncomfortable hunger from eating at off hours and avoid unhealthy choices. It also regulates your eating so your body knows it’s going to be nourished like clockwork, and therefore burns its fuel instead of storing it as fat. Meal planning also helps avoid overeating, and helps with portion control (something else I always struggled with). Pack some fruits, vegetables, or I personally suggest vegetable chips (they’re delicious), along with plenty of water.
Helps Your Pockets. I began to notice I was spending a decent amount of money on lunch and sometimes breakfast at my job. Roughly $5 for breakfast, plus an average of $10-$15 for lunch, put me in the position of spending $100 a week right off the bat on just food at work. That didn’t include dinner or any social obligations I may have had. I felt foolish. That money could be going to my savings, to a trip with my friends, or to something special. Meal planning means you can budget and prioritize while food shopping. And all the money you’ll be saving? Treat yourself on a job well done.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: AMY VAUGHN
I am a recent Montclair State University graduate with a BA in English. My first love is writing, specifically nonfiction and short stories. International human rights and women’s rights are also strong passions of mine. I hope to someday be able to call myself an editor, human rights advocate, and jewelry designer. I can’t live without Mad Men (er, Netflix), soy chai lattes, or my adorable Wheaten terrier, Pippin.