Prepping your meals is one of the best ways to stick to a weight loss plan and succeed. So, we definitely encourage you to plan ahead, pack lunches, and have dinner prepped before you even walk through the door in the evenings. But we’ve noticed a few mistakes that seem to be quite common, and wanted to caution you about these four potential pitfalls of meal planning.
It’s too complicated. If you walk into the grocery store with a week’s worth of recipes in mind, all of which require numerous ingredients, you will quickly burn out on meal planning. Simplify things for yourself by using pre-cut veggies, taking advantage of sales, and using the same ingredients for multiple meals. For example, you can select pre-cut broccoli and carrots, and use them for stir-fry one night, in a salad the next day, and then roasted with chicken the third evening. Don’t feel pressured to morph into the Iron Chef each evening.
Unbalanced meals. Don’t simplify things so much that you leave meals unbalanced. Some people fall into the trap of grabbing “whatever is easy”, especially for workday lunches, but this often means leaving out vital nutrients. Aim for 4 to 6 ounces of protein, one to two cups of non-starchy veggies, and one or two tablespoons of healthy fats, for example (or whatever measurements fit your precise weight loss plan).
Using the wrong sized containers. If you’re packing lunches for work days, look for containers that reflect accurate portion sizes. Otherwise, using containers that are too large will subconsciously encourage you to fill them, and sabotage your efforts at portion control.
Overlooking snacks. Planning meals is a step in the right direction, but make sure you’re planning for snacks too. Otherwise you’re still subject to temptation, and snack time can make trouble for your weight loss plan. Aim for pairings of protein and fiber, to stabilize blood sugar and help yourself feel full between meals.
Of course, you first need to know the foods you should be eating, before you can begin prepping for meals. Schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll discuss a weight loss plan that is easy to follow and helps you meet your goals.