5 Benefits of low GI meal planning
Want to avoid the anxiety-inducing “what’s for dinner” question?
Free yourself from the stress that comes with last-minute cooking and take back your time by meal planning.
In this blog post, we’re going to explain the benefits of meal planning when eating low GI and why there’s no need to be last-minute—which typically leads to less healthy eating—with your food choices again.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is the act of planning the foods you will eat in advance for either the week or even an entire month.
Plan for yourself or your entire family, meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated.
You can either cook and portion out your meals for the upcoming week, or you can use a grocery list to plan the meals you’re going to cook.
The beauty of meal planning is that there’s no wrong way to do it. You have the freedom to decide what works best for you and your schedule.
How to meal plan
To meal plan effectively, you should focus on three areas: recipe selection, shopping for ingredients, and prepping your food.
1. Recipe selection
When selecting recipes, think about how they will impact your schedule. For example, on days where you’re working late or have to drop the kids off at soccer practice, choose recipes that can be assembled quickly, and save the more complex meals for when you know you’ll have the time.
What does this look like?
Let’s say you want to meal prep three nights' worth of dinners…
- For the first night, use a crockpot to slow cook chicken lentil soup while you’re away at work and enjoy it later in the evening.
- For the second night, opt for leftovers.
- For the third night, when you have the evening free, plan for a meal that will take a little longer to prepare (but not too long) such as spaghetti squash or salmon.
Looking for recipe inspiration? Check out Well + Easy’s library of low GI recipes that you can meal prep easily.
2. Shopping for ingredients
Before writing your list of ingredients and heading to the store, take stock of your fridge, freezer, and pantry for items that can be used in your upcoming meals. You may be surprised at what you find!
Not only will this reduce your food waste, but you’ll also save money as you won’t be overbuying.
Now, with your list in hand, you’re ready to take on the grocery store.
To make shopping easier, lump your ingredients into relevant categories that you’d find at the store such as meat, produce, frozen foods, etc. This ensures your trip will be stress-free and you won’t forget an item on your list.
3. Prepping your meals
So you have your recipes and you found the ingredients you need for each meal…
Now it’s time to prep!
We recommend setting aside a few hours on Sundays to do the above, and plan or batch cook your meals for the upcoming week. How you prepare depends on your recipes, but by taking the time to chop vegetables, cook meats, or set aside cooking utensils, you’ll reclaim the time you would have lost if you hadn’t meal prepped.
Meal planning & Prediabetes
Prediabetes or insulin resistance means your blood sugar levels are already problematic.
When ignored, insulin production declines, blood sugar levels rise, increasing your likelihood of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
By making lifestyle changes, like practicing meal planning, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels stable as adhering to a schedule leaves no room for surprise sugar spikes.
Benefits Of Low GI Meal Planning
1. Improves your nutrition
Portion sizes at restaurants are large and you never know the exact ingredients you’re getting when eating fast food. By planning your meals at home, you eliminate the option to make food choices that negatively affect your health. This improves the quality of your diet and sets you up for success.
2. Establishes consistency
Having consistent eating habits will balance the number of carbohydrates you’re eating. This is especially important for those with prediabetes or insulin resistance as establishing consistency prevents dramatic spikes in your blood sugar levels. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your levels will remain slow and steady throughout the day.
3. Saves you time, energy, and even money.
Let’s be real — cooking is the last thing you want to do after a long day at work.
By planning your meals ahead, you’re taking back the time and energy lost to last-minute shopping and decision-making.
And because you’ll always have a stocked fridge full of healthy low GI foods, you won’t resort to fast food which can get costly over time.
4. Weight loss
Research shows that planning your meals in advance rather than at mealtime reduces calorie intake which can lead to weight loss.
To put it simply, the meals we plan for are typically more nutritious because we’re making a conscious choice to eat healthier. When faced with hunger and decision fatigue, though, we usually opt for the quickest, calorie-dense option.
5. Decreases food waste
Because meal planning requires that you adhere to a list, every item has a purpose and will be used in some way.
And on the nights that you have leftovers, even they can be used in a way that ensures nothing goes to waste.
For example, you can create burrito bowls, wraps, and stir-fries with miscellaneous vegetable scraps and protein.
Meal planning can feel like a huge undertaking but you don’t have to do it alone.
Download Well + Easy’s FREE Low GI Starter Kit to receive expert guidance and plan your meals the low GI way.