Meal planning is a simple step that does wonders to your body when you implement it in your lifestyle. I have been an ardent follower of meal planning for a year and a half now, which has brought great changes to my everyday lifestyle. This has been the real inspiration for creating my website and documenting the benefits of this novel habit.
A Glaring Need of a Lifestyle Change:
I was not a body person because of my weight issues. I had been a larger individual all my life and been okay with it. Physical activity, weight lifting, and gym workouts were some things I loathed the most in my life. About 10 years back, I started learning yoga and became a fan of it. Though I was overweight, I had a flexible body which helped me do many asanas with ease.
But I couldn’t practice yoga because of my professional lifestyle. Being a writer for over 5 years diminished the physical movements that I inculcated the habit of sitting for long hours without a break. This strained my spine, neck, and back and made me put weight. It happened for 4 years, which forced me to look for alternative physical activities and a lifestyle.
A Moment of Self-Realization:
In 2019, a resolution to focus on my body and eating habits brought a change in me. I started cooking at 14 years and still find my solace in the kitchen. The touch, sight, smell, and taste of fresh produce take me towards a spiritual realm that defies any material pleasures in this world.
Because of hectic schedules, I skipped meals and survived on junk food, takeout, and instant meals. Since I had little tolerance for hunger, I ate anything that was available in the fridge. A jolt of lighting hit hard in 2019 about the way I cook, eat, and store my food. I came to my senses that no physical activity will help me lose weight and the best way to create a healthy body is by embracing my love for food.
A Habit That Transformed My Life:
I love grocery shopping than any material shopping because it’s how my mind and body works. I spend hours browsing on fresh produce and splurging on organic foods. But never have the heart to indulge in fancier products. No hard feelings; I have made peace with it.
I started embracing this love for food by understanding that if I focus on cooking and eating healthier foods, my body will appreciate it more. Since I was a health and nutrition writer I came across the habit of meal planning during this period. I cleaned, cooked, and stored healthier meals in the fridge to reduce my habit of eating junk foods or ordering restaurant meals.
My mind had little ability to focus on chopping and cooking food during hunger. So, I tricked my body to eat healthier foods instead of heavier fatty meals during the day and saw a difference in my cravings. I satiated my hunger with simple home-cooked meals, juicy fruits, vegetable salads, roasted snacks, and honey-induced drinks. Since these were already in the fridge because of meal planning, I no longer craved instant foods. This habit changed my life.
A Work in Progress:
The result of meal planning combined with intermittent fasting has helped me lose 5 kg of weight within three months. Still, I have to reduce weight but I am confident of reaching my goals by 2020-21. It’s a work in progress.
Meal planning has helped me save money, reduce grocery shopping, and cook less in the kitchen every day. I spend 3-4 hours in meal planning per week which makes me eat healthier meals and avoid trashing spoiled leftovers and rotten produce in bulk.
Practicing meal planning every week has shown the importance of respecting farmers, agriculture, food storage, and the need for cooking healthy recipes. This has become a habit in my life and that’s a lifestyle change. I hope my small contribution to meal planning can inspire at least a few in this lifetime.