Trying to lose weight? Plan ahead
Ordering your meals ahead of time may save you some unwanted calories.
In contrast, researchers suggest that waiting until you’re hungry and ready to eat to choose a meal can make you more likely to indulge in foods high in calories.
“When trying to keep to a healthy diet, it’s often advised that a person plan their meals and grocery lists ahead of time to avoid impulse decisions and purchases which are often unhealthy,” says Barbara Melendi, a registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “The findings of this study coincide with that advice in that it encourages people to really consider what food is best for their body rather than giving in to cravings.”
While it may not always be possible to order that far ahead at restaurants, Melendi encourages considering this information when cooking at home, as well.
“Whether it’s packing your lunch for work or making your own dinner menu for the week, planning ahead can have some real benefits,” adds Melendi. “Meals you make at home tend to be healthier than those served on-the-go or at restaurants because you have complete control over which ingredients go into the meal. And while planning, you might be encouraged to look up new recipes you haven’t tried before. Making a shopping list ahead of time can help you stick to your healthy eating plan and avoid impulse purchases, which might even save you some cash, too!”
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