It’s a lot easier to reach your fitness and weight loss goals when you make a plan for success (and stick to it). In particular, creating an eating plan for the week can help you to avoid temptation to “cheat” on your diet, and meet nutritional goals at the same time. But a lot of people feel overwhelmed when they sit down to make a plan for the week. This quick guide can help you streamline the meal planning process.
List the number of meals you need. If you’re like most people, the standard answer to this question is 3 meals per day, times seven days a week. So, you’ll need 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners. But that’s not true for everyone; maybe your boss schedules catered lunch meetings every Wednesday, you’re having dinner with a friend Friday night, and Saturday you’re attending a cookout with friends. So take a look at your social calendar first.
Then, of course, you need to think about which meals will be taken with you, and which ones can be eaten at home. And which nights tend to be busiest? Do you want to do meal prep for busy nights? Or, do you want to use leftovers, or have something simple on those occasions?
Choose your favorite healthy recipes. By this time, you should have a stockpile of your favorite recipes that help you meet your health or dietary goals. Choose ones that line up with your activities for the week. Schedule more complicated meals for less busy days, and plan to prep or use leftovers for the nights that you’re likely to feel stressed or tired.
Make a shopping list. Base your shopping list off of your chosen recipes, and don’t go to the store hungry. You’re less likely to stray from your plan that way.
Bonus tip: If you anticipate a busy week, you can save time by purchasing items like pre-chopped vegetables and rotisserie chickens from your grocery store. Now all you have to do is heat up your main course, toss a salad, and dinner is done. If you base your packed lunches around dinner leftovers, all you have to do is portion out the food while cooking, and you’ve knocked out two meals in one cooking session!
If you need help deciding which foods are the best fit for your health or weight loss goals, call us to schedule an appointment.