10 Surprising Benefits of a Balanced Meal Plan

March 31, 2019 • By Penelope Torres
The estimated reading time is 10 minutes

Eating healthy can do wonders for your body, and having a balanced meal plan can make it easier to stick with your diet. Here are some benefits you should know.

Are you trying to find food that will help you slim down into smaller jeans? Is your current diet missing keys ingredients to achieving your perfect shape?

It may be time to develop a meal plan. This will help you achieve these goals, as well as increase your lifespan.

A balanced meal plan includes scheduling certain parts of the day for meals ahead of time. You can take advantage of the benefits of different food groups so that you feel good throughout the day.

By following out health tips, you will be able to experience positive results from your plan. Aspects of your life besides your health will also reap rewards. 

Here are 10 surprising benefits of a balanced meal plan.

  1. No Wasted Food

Have you've ever wondered to yourself, "What is meal planning?" It refers to setting up specific meals for yourself weeks or months in advance. This includes scheduling portions, times of the day for eating, and limits on calories.

Because you know ahead of time what you're going to eat and drink, you'll also know what you won't be having. This keeps you from buying anything at the local grocery store that you're either not going to eat or will hinder your diet.

Everything in your refrigerator will have a purpose, whether it's for reducing calories or providing vitamins and other essential minerals. 

If you're trying to avoid candy, cookies or other delicious treats, for example, just don't put them on your list of food to shop for. You won't have to stare at it in the cabinet as you try to resist the temptation of cheating on your plan.

Meal plans can also help you find healthy alternatives to snacks so that you can still enjoy yourself while you diet. The fact that these snacks are healthy will help you feel like you are not wasting them.

  1. Becoming or Staying Healthy

Do you have an easy time quelling your hunger with a quick trip to local fast food joints? As good as their meals taste, you are missing out on healthful meals that can make you feel just as good.

Following a nutrient dense meal plan gives your taste buds a good time without negatively impacting your health. Options can include different fruits, vegetables, whole foods, and lean meat.

If you're worried about not eating enough to avoid being hungry, you can schedule small portions of these foods throughout the day. Grains and beans can also make great additions to chicken and salmon you have for lunch.

Skipping out on processed food can do more than just yourself. Those who have kids can get used to healthy dishes as long as you introduce them in a fun way.

We happen to know the short-term and long-term benefits that fresh food has over processed food. Whether you're just starting to eat fresh or want to keep it up, the taste and energy you feel are worth the commitment.

  1. Saved Time with a Balance Meal Plan

Before we dive into more of the physical benefits of balanced meal plans, we'll discuss ways they help other aspects of your day. Among the most important is the extra time you end up having.

By having a schedule for when and what you eat, you don't have to spend hours figuring out what you'll have for lunch or dinner. The more you consider what to eat, the easier it will be to fall off the plan.

Knowing what you'll have will also inform you of how long it will take to make your meals. Some healthy meals also don't require much cleaning after cooking, unlike more cholesterol and carbohydrate-filled dishes.

With this free time, you can dedicate your focus to other important things, such as schoolwork or assignments for your job. If it's the weekend, you can spend your free time going out with friends and family.

Delivery is also a time-saver when it comes to meal plans. Some services let you order meals on the phone, and you can focus on work while you wait for it to arrive at your doorstep.

  1. Saving Money

Your stomach is not the only thing that's going to feel better thanks to a balanced meal plan. Your wallet is also going to be in better shape.

Meal plans help keep money in your pockets because you won't be making frequent trips to restaurants and diners. The majority of food in these plans will come from the grocery store.

While the meals you have during nights out with friends may taste great and even be healthy, they most likely cost more than a pack of chicken and vegetables. This can also make it easier to not have money for items on your plan.

Here, you can buy food in bulk so that you can save money on purchasing certain items individually. It's best to check on sales to see how you can save a few dollars on what you normally purchase.

By sticking with the plan, you can have more money that you would normally spend on snacks and unhealthy dishes. This money can also go towards gas, bills and other things that you need money for.

  1. Longer Lifespan

Staying committed to a meal plan long enough will help you feel better for weeks and months down the line. However, wouldn't you want to feel that way for your whole life?

With portion control meals, you will be able to cut out food that, despite being delicious, hinders your long-term health. A balanced plan will do wonders for your stomach and waistline, as well as your brain and heart.

We have found that superfoods associated with meal plans have great benefits for the brain. They include reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other mental disorders that people suffer as they get older.

The ingredients of these meals also make it easier to avoid high blood pressure, diabetes, and strokes. As a result, your heart will thank you for cutting down on the cake and ice cream.

Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders are also easier to avoid thanks to balanced meal plans. Just make sure that you're consuming plenty of chicken, salmon, grapefruits, flax seeds, and green tea.

  1. More Self-Control

Sticking to a meal plan provides you the chance to improve on your discipline, especially when it comes to health. This is because of portion control that is involved with diets.

Proper plans limit the amount of food you can consume in each meal based on carbs and calories. This requires time to achieve results, but they are best achieved by those with the most commitment.

Your portion control meal diet plan may depend on your goals. The foods in each meal may limit how much of each you can consume if you want to see results quick.

However, by sticking to your plan, you will learn to get used to the meals and slowly no longer crave for snacks. If your options for meals change, you can adjust how much of each food to have based on what they contain.

Over time, you will look forward to your healthful dishes instead of dreading them. Splitting meals into two throughout the day can also be an option if you're still worried about getting hungry.

  1. Improved Fitness

Are you surprised when you look in the mirror how little your abs are showing despite all of the sit-ups you're doing at the gym? Well, your meals have a role in that.

Whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats help you achieve greater muscle and in a quick and safe way. The portions you have them can also affect how much time it takes to replace fat with muscles.

With healthy recipes, you can plan out what to eat through the day so that you don't loss any of the gains you've made. You can figure out how small or big your meals should be before and after certain workouts.

What you include in your portion control diet meal plan will depend on what results you're looking for in the gym. Some meats are better for packing on muscle, while others are better for those focusing on slimmer waists.

  1. Healthier Families

As we mentioned earlier, introducing meal plans to kids will help them get on the right health track early. However, this is another way to keep the whole family in shape.

This is an opportunity for your children to learn about nutrition outside of school. The earlier they understand the benefits of fresh food, the easier it will be for them to limit the snacks they consume.

Spouses who are struggling to find the right way to lose weight can also benefit from your meal plans. This can also encourage them to go to the gym with you and learn more about how you're staying in shape.

The more healthful food your family consumes, the easier it will be for them to avoid some of the health hazards we previously mentioned. This means that you will all be in each other's lives for longer periods of time.

We advise introducing your meal plan food to your kids in a fun way, such as in a family game. Alternatives to crackers and cookies are also a good way to introduce them to your plan.

  1. Stronger Bones and Teeth

A proper meal plan will allow the inside of your body to look just as good as the outside. Eating the right food can improve the condition of your bones and teeth, as well as maintain it.

This is thanks to a majority of balanced meals containing large amounts of calcium. Foods responsible for this are mostly in the vegetable group, such as broccoli, cauliflower, legumes, and cabbage.

Sticking to this food overtime will reduce your chances of encountering erosion, decay, bad breath, oral cancer, gum disease and other illnesses in the mouth. You'll also get to save money on trips to the dentists.

You can also find calcium in cereal and milk. This will allow your kids to experience the benefits of your meal plan, as well.

With the right amount of calcium, your bones will also grow strong enough to avoid breaks and other injuries easily. Snacking on some nuts and seeds will also do the trick.

  1. Better Mood

What you eat is also responsible for how you feel throughout the day. With the right meal plan, your mood will see a steady boost.

Research has found that depression, fatigue, anxiety is linked to consuming food that is high in carbs, starch, and calories. This means that those cookies, cupcakes, and soda you have at parties may not be helping you stay in a good mood.

With diets that are low in these molecules and minerals, you have a better chance of avoiding these mental factors. While cutting out snacks completely isn't necessary, limiting them in your meals provides a great help.

Being in a better mood will also make it easier to accomplish other tasks. You'll be more productive at school and work, which can lead to acing your finals or getting a promotion.

The right mix of vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, you can stay positive throughout the day. However, those with more severe conditions like depression should still see a medical professional for the best results.

Our Take

Having a balanced meal plan requires sacrificing the pizza, burgers, hot dogs, desserts and other unhealthful food that tastes great. However, the benefits heavily outweigh the downsides.

You will have an easier time trimming down and achieving your fitness goals. These plans can also help you stay productive in school or at work, as well as help your family stay healthy.

Check out more of our health tips today so that you can enjoy long, fun, and fulfilling lives.

Penelope Torres

She is a health blogger that knows exactly what readers expect from her writings on nutrition, health and wellness. She inspires them to act and educate them on nutrition and healthy living using real and scientifically-based facts that support her ideas.
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