When you’re just getting started on your wellness journey, working movement into your daily routine is simple: Start by going for a walk every day during lunch, by taking the stairs instead of the elevator to your office, by biking to run errands or by doing four to five 8fit workouts per week.
Then, there’s the nutrition piece of the puzzle. One of the hardest — but most important — aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is your diet. In fact, the foods you put in your body are about 80 percent of the equation, while fitness accounts for 20 percent.
Overhauling how you cook and enjoy foods — especially if you’re very busy or cooking for an entire family — isn’t easy. This is the reason why meal planning and meal preparation is an amazing skill to develop. Now don’t worry, you don’t need to become a crazy Sunday meal prep person. All you need to do is download a meal planning app like 8fit.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning is pretty self-explanatory: it’s planning your meals in advance to help you control the foods you put into your body. We advise that you start small instead of completely scrapping normal routines and foods — it’s simply too challenging and not sustainable. Plan meals three days in advance first before trying to plan for the entire work week. Add weekends last, since those are often the hardest to control with dinner parties, holidays and vacations.
Sooner or later you’ll get into such a great meal planning routine that you’ll have meals on hand for any occasion.
Meal planning app benefits
Start by downloading a meal planning app. With the 8fit app, you can fully customize your plan by selecting your diet type — standard, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, paleo — and exclude certain ingredients and allergens. Another great feature of the 8fit app specifically is the meal type functionality. Customize your plan to include recipes that are ready in 10 minutes or less, that are affordable or that are family or meal prep-friendly. Don’t worry, you can select more than one of those meal types. 😉
Here are some additional meal planning app benefits:
- Meals at your fingertips: Odds are that you carry your phone around with you all day. Having a meal planning mobile app helps you keep an eye on your upcoming meals and allows you to log them whenever, wherever.
- Reach your goals: Recipes in the 8fit app are customized to fit your food preferences and unique wellness goal — whether that be to lose weight, maintain your current weight or gain weight or muscle. No need to fret over ingredient amounts or about whether your meals contain the macronutrients you need. 8fit takes the guesswork — and research — out of the meal planning process.
- Skip meals or log your own meal: If you just aren’t hungry enough for your planned snack or you have lunch out with coworkers, you can skip and/or log a different meal. With 8fit, take a photo of your meal and name it. This feature is also great for those days you get creative and makes something really awesome — that way you can replicate it again.
- Grocery lists: We love this feature! When it’s time to go shopping, simply choose which days you’d like to shop for and your list will be automatically curated with exact amounts. Do a quick fridge and pantry inventory before you head to the store and if you notice weird amounts of things like fruits and veggies, know that it’s OK to get a little extra.
- Learn new recipes, get more creative: Many 8fitters say that the 8fit meal plan is constantly introducing them to new recipes and making them more adventurous in the kitchen. No need to search the wild worldwide web for healthy recipes, with a meal planning app you have a whole recipe app full of them.
- Swap meals: The 8fit app selects meals for up to 14 days in advance. If you don’t like what you see, swap it for something yummier!
- Favorite recipes: 8fit give you the ability to “favorite” meals you really like. This way, they appear in your meal plan more frequently.
Meal planning tips
Now that you’re sold on the amazing world of meal planning apps, it’s time to execute. Here are some basic meal planning tips to keep your weeks stress-free and healthy, too:
- Check your schedule: Look at what events or meetings you have planned for the week. Do you already know you’re going out for dinner one night and lunch another? Update your meal plan to account for those meals out. Seeing what’s on deck — both healthy and unhealthy meals — will help hold you accountable. On those days when there is a restaurant dinner or take-out planned, you’ll feel motivated to eat healthy meals the rest of the day.
- Become a breakfast pro: Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to control, so work this into your routine first if meal planning is not your jam. Oh, and stop popping into your neighborhood coffee shop for a pastry and latte in the morning and prepare one of these breakfast-in-a-jar recipes instead.
- Plan shopping trips: Schedule one — maybe even two — grocery trips during the week to get fresh ingredients. If you can’t go more than once, adjust your meal plan to put recipes that include fresh veg early in the week.
- Make dinner easy: Sometimes, especially after a long day, the last thing you want to do is spend hours making dinner. A meal planning app allows you to personalize your recipes to include recipes that are easy, require little ingredients, or are ready in 10 minutes or less.
- Reuse ingredients: If your salad calls for chickpeas one day and grilled chicken the next, consider just using chicken for both. That way, you can buy in bulk and spend a little less time doing meal prep.
- Make things fun: One of our favorite things to do is swap ingredients in our favorite dishes. For example, the Harvest Chickpea Salad calls for apples, but beets, pear, and even persimmon make amazing alternatives.
Meal planning and weight loss
Like we said in the very beginning, nutrition is 80 percent of the wellness equation. If your goal is to lose weight, meal planning is essential and using an app makes it that much easier. You don’t need to think about what to eat or how to make it — we do that work for you.
Always remember that you are on a journey to better overall wellness and that this isn’t a quick fix or diet. Here at 8fit, we want you to use the app to develop healthy habits that stick for life — all while having some fun.