Updated: Mar 31, 2022
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An estimated 30 million Americans have struggled with eating disorders at some point in their lives. Are you one of them?
Disordered eating comes in many forms. It can be hard to grow and evolve without having the right tools. One of the tools that many people find helpful is meal planning. Not only is this structured approach cost-effective, but it can also help you adjust your attitude and behavior around food.
I'm here to talk all about how you can start using meal planning as a part of your wellness journey. Read on to learn more.
Planning Entire Weeks
One of the best things about meal planning is that it allows you to plan an entire week's worth of food and even prepare it all at once (if you choose to do so). You can prepare yourself for a whole week of meals.
This gives you more structure (which is beneficial for your overall mental wellness). Even the process of planning and choosing new recipes can feel therapeutic and even help you heal your relationship with food overall.
Avoiding Last-Minute Cooking Anxiety
Have you ever stood in the kitchen around dinnertime and felt panicked because you didn't know what to eat? Sometimes foods seem scary when you're working through your eating disorder, and that's okay. You can beat this dinner decision paralysis through food planning.
When you've planned your meals ahead, you don't have to put any thought into them by the time dinner rolls around. If you label your meals by day, it's even easier.
All of your ingredients should be pre-sectioned (or even pre-cooked) so you're ready to assemble your meal without stress.
Knowing What You're Eating
It's normal to feel anxious about the foods that you're eating. People moving beyond their disorders have a hard time with macronutrients and micronutrients as well as eating an appropriate amount of food throughout the day.
When you meal plan, you know all of these things beforehand. Recipes can give you a nutrition breakdown of your meals so you know that you're getting everything that you need to stay healthy.
It's hard to transition into trying to eat "normally." By giving yourself the opportunity to learn nutritious recipes and work them into your meal plans, you're also healing your relationship with food as a whole.
Easier Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping can be triggering for some people with eating disorders. It's common for people to feel anxious while walking through the aisles, miss important items, or even buy unhealthy snacks instead of necessary meal ingredients.
When you have a meal plan, you have a list of all of the groceries that you're going to need for the entire week. You can move through your shopping trip quickly or even order grocery delivery if the idea of shopping in person upsets you.
Use Meal Planning to Combat Your Disordered Eating
Meal planning is a great tool for moving beyond your disordered eating. You can relieve some of your food anxiety and develop a healthier relationship with food as a whole. You also get to find and try new nutritious recipes.
Start developing a meal plan today.
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