I saw this comic in the paper this morning- and KNEW that this was supposed to be the topic of today’s blog post! Why is meal planning so important to this whole journey?
I would have to say that the number one “tip” I have to help people stay focused and on their plan of healthy eating is “MEAL PLAN!” But whenever I say that I am almost ALWAYS met with such resistance!
Why? Yes- meal planning takes a little extra time. And Yes, like the comic above- it can be met with resistance within your family- especially if you are going from an “eating out” all the time way of life to eating in and eating healthy! BUT- are you worth a few extra minutes?
The answer to THAT is a resounding YES! Of course you are!
Meal planning allows you to make good choices, up front when you are not rushed or hungry. (Never meal plan on an empty stomach!) You can do an inventory of what food you have available already and between those foods and the ones you pick for meals, you can plan an effective grocery list- which not only saves you time at the grocery store, it will save you money on impulse buying and “snacky” things that you do not need anyway!
An effective weekly meal plan takes into consideration your lifestyle. When I was single and working full time- I only planned 3-4 meals for the week. I knew I would most likely be going out a few times during the week and because I was cooking for one- most meals I made would have left-overs for other nights. Now, I plan for 5 weeknights and one big weekend “meal” we can eat over the course of the weekend like chili or soup. (We usually have a big late breakfast together on Saturday or Sunday- sometimes both- so we don’t need to plan for lunch.) I also plan for a crock-pot meal every Wednesday. I am in my office on Weds and not home all day and My Guy comes home late from seeing his kids. The crock-pot is easy and effective.
Don’t forget when planning, to accommodate your need for lunches and snacks. I find if I only buy enough meat for our dinner- then we spend more money because we are scrambling for lunch “stuff.” However, when I plan enough food for leftovers, we both have yummy lunches to eat the next day or freeze for another time to just pull out and pop in a lunch box.
When you have a home with healthy food in the cabinets and a plan on how you will eat it- it makes it easier to make good daily choices. It does take a little extra time- but the time it takes to plan is saved later when you know exactly what dinner will be each night and it’s one less thing to stress about that evening between coming home from work and picking up the kids at various events.
If you can start to plan your meals- it will make it easier for you to stay on the path to health and wellness! HONEST!
Do you meal plan?
What are some of your best meal planning tips? Websites that help?
Wellness is a Choice. Let me help you Choose Well.
(PS I offer three week meal planning services- contact me if you would like more information!)