A dieting plan provides guidelines for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. While some diet plans produce feelings of deprivation, others allow for planned deviations.
For example, a plant-based diet prioritizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and low-fat dairy. This heart-healthy eating style also allows for fish, wine and canola oil.
Meal planning involves creating a weekly menu that includes healthy choices. It reduces stress by taking the guesswork out of what to eat each night, and it helps ensure that you eat balanced meals. It also allows you to take advantage of sales and seasonal foods.
Meals planned in advance can save time and money, especially if the food is prepared at home instead of ordering takeout. When you’re hungry and tired at the end of a long day, it can be tempting to head to a fast food restaurant or order a pizza. Having a meal ready in the refrigerator or freezer can help prevent this.
Before you start your meal plan, check the fridge and pantry to see what staples you already have on hand, such as beans or canned fruits and vegetables. Assign any on-hand items to specific meals or snacks in the plan, and write a grocery list of any remaining items you need.