Meal planning with Mealime

How a meal app reconciled me with healthy cooking

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This was my typical work day a year ago:

  • Grab a bowl of cereal or whatever there is in the fridge for breakfast.
  • Run to the subway and grab a coffee on my way to work.
  • A bagel with cream cheese, a shawarma, a muffin or whatever I could find at lunch. This would coincide with my third cup of coffee of the day. Other times, I went to a restaurant for a business meeting and this would be my main meal of the day.
  • Go to a networking evening event and eat whatever they have. Pretzels, beers, coffee, chips, you name it. If there is no event, I would otherwise pick up a hefty meal from a neighboring restaurant on my way home.

Repeat this five days a week and you have a recipe for disaster. It is a diet composed of processed foods, refined carbs and inflammatory foods that lead to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, or worse.

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Eating slightly less than you need

10 to 15% caloric restriction increases life expectancy.

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In an ideal world, everyone would know exactly daily calories requirements. Each body cell would get exactly enough energy and nutrients for use.

Practically, this is impossible. Physical activity, digestion, exercise, weather conditions, stress, psychology and many other factors change calorie requirements. Most of us end up eating more than needed, due to easy and cheap availability of high caloric food.

A paying strategy is to eat 10 to 15% less than you need. Based on your weight, daily physical activity, many online tools and applications will advise a daily calorie intake to maintain your weight. Subtract 10 to 15% from the figure shown.

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