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Why meal planning matters

When you hear the words meal preparation, you may envision hours in the kitchen on what is supposed to be a relaxing Sunday afternoon. It doesn’t have to be daunting, and meal preparation has been associated with a quality diet. (1) 

Meal planning and prep can be broken down into a few easily managed categories.

  • Map out a menu. Taking stock of what you have in the cupboards and what’s on sale at the supermarket, plan out meals for the week, paying close attention to the meals that fall in your Focus Area or eating occasions that tend to derail your steady state.  
  • Plan your grocery runs. Make a list to ensure you’ll pick up all the ingredients you need to make your meals for the next few days. In the days that follow, you’ll spend less time and potentially less money as you avoid last-minute supermarket runs.
  • Make quick work of your weekday dinner prep by cleaning and chopping base vegetables like lettuces, onions, carrots, and celery ahead of time. You’ll save time throughout the week when these ingredients are ready to be added to your plate or recipe. Any extra that you don’t use throughout the week can be frozen or stored and used later.
  • Pre-portion your snacks. Rather than reaching for the entire bag of almonds when you’re hungry, portion out your snacks. Portioning snacks can save you calories too.
  • If you know your time is tight this week, prepare a meal that can be frozen and then removed from the freezer and put directly in the slow cooker, similar to slow cooker chicken fajitas recipe.

Find aspects of meal preparation that you feel most comfortable with and fit your skill level and time constraints. You might make a week’s worth of dinner meals, a few side dishes, or simply stick to portioning out snacks. Whatever investment you make in meal planning will pay off with less hectic, more balanced meals in the days that follow.  



  1. Ducrot P, et al. Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 Feb 2;14(1):12.
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© 2023 Abbott. All rights reserved. Lingo and related marks are marks of the Abbott group of companies. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.Lingo Sensing Technology Unlimited Company is a private Unlimited Company with registered number 731659. Our registered office is at 70 Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2, D02 R296, Ireland.The Lingo system is not intended for medical use and is not intended for use in screening, diagnosis, treatment, cure, mitigation, prevention, or monitoring of diseases, including diabetes. The Lingo programme does not guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results as individual responses may vary. It is best to speak to your doctor for advise on starting any diet or exercise regime or if you have an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders.Do not use Lingo if you are pregnant. Dietary advice and Lingo Counts may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant.