In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of consuming junk food due to
our hectic schedules and impulsive decisions. However, taking the time to plan ahead can make a
world of difference when it comes to making healthier food choices. According to a study conducted
by the World Health Organization (WHO), poor diet is a leading risk factor for various health issues,
including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
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How To Plan Your Meals:
One of the key aspects of successful meal planning is setting aside a specific day, like Sunday, to plan your menu for the upcoming week. This proactive approach helps you steer clear of emotional
decisions and impulsive choices that often lead to consuming junk food. Research published in the
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour suggests that individuals who engage in regular meal
planning are more likely to consume a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients.
Diversifying your diet with wholesome ingredients is another vital component of effective meal
planning. Incorporating a variety of sprouts and legumes, such as chola and rajma, into your meals
can add both flavour and nutrition. These ingredients can be easily soaked and incorporated into
salads, wraps, and vegetable dishes throughout the week. A study published in the American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition found that diets rich in legumes are associated with a lower risk of heart disease
and improved weight management.
To avoid succumbing to unhealthy snack choices, it’s wise to pack your snacks the night before.
Preparing portions of nuts, fruits, and other nutritious treats ensures that you’re not scrambling in
the morning and grabbing whatever is convenient, which often leads to unhealthy choices. A survey
conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation revealed that individuals who
plan their meals and snacks are more likely to consume a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and
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For those busy mornings when time is of the essence, having pre-prepared boxes of sprouted lentils and seeds can be a game-changer. These nutrient-rich options are not only convenient but also provide a quick and satisfying source of energy. Similarly, keeping on-the-go snacks like homemade granola, roasted seeds, and energy bars on hand can help you resist the temptation of reaching for junk food when hunger strikes. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, having healthy snacks readily available can lead to improved overall diet quality.
A nutritious breakfast is crucial for kickstarting your day on the right note. To ensure a wholesome
start, have 2-3 quick breakfast options ready to go. Overnight oats, yoghurt with fruits and seeds, and
chia seed and fruit custard are all excellent choices that offer a perfect blend of flavour and nutrition.
Research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlights that individuals who
regularly consume a nutritious breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthier body weight and
make better food choices throughout the day.
Hydration is often overlooked but plays a vital role in maintaining good health. To stay hydrated
throughout the day, prepare concoctions the night before and refrigerate them for prolonged use.
Infused water with slices of citrus fruits or herbs can make hydrating more enjoyable and satisfying.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adequate hydration is
essential for cognitive function, physical performance, and overall well-being.
In conclusion, meal planning is a powerful tool backed by both research and statistics that can help
you avoid the pitfalls of junk food and make more mindful eating choices. By dedicating time to plan
your meals, diversifying your ingredients, and having convenient and nutritious options readily
available, you set yourself up for success on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, a
little bit of preparation today can lead to a lifetime of better health and wellness.
About The Author: Shikha Agarwal is the Founder of Nurture and a Health & Wellness Consultant