These days, everyone is talking about meal planning. In basic terms, it is the process of mapping out what you’re going to eat for each meal for a specific number of days. But is it a waste of time, or are there actually some benefits to planning your meals?
If you want to avoid overeating, save money, and stop wasting food, meal planning is a good place to start. Meal planning can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here’s how an app like Eat This Much can turn your smartphone into the ultimate meal planner.
What Is a Meal Planning App?
While meal planning sounds like a pretty easy habit to pick up, it’s difficult for some people to know where to start. How many daily meals do you want to plan for? Are you following a specific diet? What are your nutritional targets? How long do you have to cook? These are just a handful of important factors you need to take into consideration.
That’s where a meal-planning app really lends a helping hand. Most top meal-planning apps are created to help you set up a straightforward, healthy, and delicious meal plan. The apps tailor a meal plan to your needs without you having to spend time and energy on it yourself.
The Eat This Much app is an automatic meal planner that’s perfect for beginners. The app comes up with a weekly plan in only a few seconds which makes meal planning completely painless.
Eat This Much’s recipe library is over 5,000 strong, with dishes ranging from healthy, at-home recipes like basic barbecue chicken to something fancier like Korean beef bowls. Plus, it features a handy integrated grocery list and pantry inventory. Read on to find out how you can use the Eat This Much app to meal plan on your smartphone.
Download: Eat This Much for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
How to Use Eat This Much to Set Up a Meal Plan
Setting up your meal plan using Eat This Much is so easy it’s almost too good to be true. And even though the app is simple to use and unpretentious, the number of recipes and customization options available are amazing.
1. Getting Started
To get started generating your meal plan, you first have to sign up. Once signed up, you have to include a few of your personal details in your profile, such as your height, weight, gender, age, and body fat level.
The app also asks that you include how active you are, your dietary preferences, allergies, and nutritional targets. These settings are customizable at any time, but what you choose makes the biggest difference to your meal plans.
Based on these details and whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain weight, or build muscle, the app develops your ideal meal plan in only a few seconds.
2. Your Meal Plan Preferences
As previously mentioned, your diet and nutrition, and meal settings are the most important part of making your ideal meal plan. You can find your meal plan settings under the Preferences tab.
A couple of essential diet and nutrition details to decide on include your primary diet type and food exclusions. For example, you might be following a vegetarian diet, but you also don’t eat eggs or cheese, so you can customize your food exclusion to include dairy, too.
The app’s meal settings are where you can edit the particular details of each daily meal–breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Feel free to delete or add new meals if your diet includes more or less throughout the day. Several customizable aspects include meal size, cook time, and complexity.
3. Customizing Your Meal Plan
Even though Eat This Much is an excellent app when it comes to generating a meal plan based on your preferences, that doesn’t mean you can’t customize it. In fact, one of the most impressive aspects of Eat This Much is merely how customizable everything is, from the meal complexity and cook time to the meal size and how many people you’re serving.
That being said, here’s how to customize your meal plan after you create it. First, you can view your meal plan day by day, or you can view your whole week of meals. Each arrangement can be highly tailored to your liking.
If you’re viewing your daily plan, tap the three dots on the side of a dish to either swap it out for something better, remove it from the plan altogether or create leftovers. Should you want to swap a dish out, Eat This Much provides similar alternatives based on your preferences or the items available in your pantry.
Looking for leftovers? They’re an excellent way to lower your grocery bill and save you time. Eat This Much can help you create leftovers from any dish; just choose the meal type and which days you want to make leftovers for.
If you’d like to move a specific dish to a different mealtime or day, press and hold and move it where you’d like. Alternatively, you can tap on the dish if you’d like to learn more about the recipe, including the ingredients, cooking method, and nutritional information.
Additionally, you can keep a record of what you’ve eaten throughout the day or week. All you have to do is check off each meal that you’ve eaten on your plan, and the app automatically removes those ingredients from your in-app pantry.
4. Implementing Your Meal Plan
Once you’ve decided on your meal plan for the week, the only thing left to do is purchase the groceries you need to cook up your delicious meals! Fortunately, the Eat This Much app features another element that makes meal planning that much easier.
The app conveniently adds all your groceries to an in-app shopping list which means effortless healthy food shopping. Even better, if you’ve got no time or energy, you can order your groceries from an online grocery service like Amazon Fresh or Instacart.
Besides the grocery list, there is also an in-app pantry inventory section. Here, you can add any food items you already have available in your fridge or pantry. This means less food waste and less money spent on groceries.
It’s Time to Plan Your Weekly Meals the Smart Way
Meal planning isn’t a short-lived craze for people who have too much time on their hands. It is a worthwhile eating approach that has plenty of significant benefits. For example, meal planning can promote healthier eating and help you manage your weight.
Luckily, there are tools that can take most of the hard work out of meal planning and make it seem less intimidating. And one of the best tools to use is a meal-planning app. Now, not all meal-planning apps are on the same level. Yet, one like Eat This Much is a fantastic option—particularly if you’re new to meal planning.