We talk a lot about being prepared as a way to ensure your success in weight management, and planning your meals is no exception. Meal planning is important – having a plan in place makes eating a healthy lunch and dinner easy so there is no need to resort to a quick pizza delivery or drive thru meals. These are our best meal planning tips to help you get started.
1. Create a Weekly Food Plan
Write down your meal plans for the week – write it out on a chalkboard or a calendar that you can display in the kitchen. This step is super helpful …you’ll know what recipes you will be using what ingredients you will need, and you’ll have an idea as to how much time it will take to make each meal.
Once you’ve created your weekly food plan, the next step is to shop! Take a trip to the store over the weekend (the best time is after a workout and/or after a meal) and get all of the necessary ingredients for your meals, plus a few healthy snacks to keep you full throughout the day.
For most of us, when we get home from a long day at work the last thing we want to do is chop fruits and veggies for twenty minutes. Set aside a chunk of time every week to get a lot of the chopping out of the way. Ideally, right when you get home from food shopping. Combining your “Shop and Chop” strategies helps you be prepared right from the start and means your newly bought fruits, veggies and other healthy foods won’t just sit in the frig or on your counter waiting for the next step.
Getting as much done as you can ahead of time is especially important for lunches and on-the-go-snacks because you will be less inclined to eat healthy if you have to get up an hour early to make your lunch. Make everything ahead of time and portion your snacks out into sandwich baggies and your meals into reusable containers. That way you always have your own healthy fast food within reach!
5. Stick to It!
Meal planning might seem hard at first, but it is so worth it. You have to make a time commitment up front, but in the end it will make everything so much easier.
Take control of your weight and start planning out your meals. When you are prepared you are less likely to find yourself reaching for a donut at the work meeting or a pizza for dinner. You will be pleased with how much easier it is to follow a healthy eating plan and achieve your weight management goals!
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