When you’re following a weight loss plan, knowing what to eat is only half the battle. In most cases, following through on those promises to yourself can hold numerous challenges. Since your eating plan will probably involve cooking more of your own meals, in addition to packing lunches and snacks for your work days, meal planning becomes absolutely paramount to your success.
For many people, this chore is best accomplished when performed on a weekly basis. Just follow these six tips to make meal planning a bit easier, and you’ll free up more time and save yourself stress during the week.
Pick the right time for meal prep. You need a few hours of uninterrupted time in the kitchen, ideally at a time that you’re feeling energetic and motivated. For many people this means Sunday afternoon is the best time for meal prep, but adjust your timing as your schedule demands.
Plan around your ingredients, then shop to complete your list. What ingredients do you already have on hand? What do you need to prepare a week’s worth of meals and snacks? What recipes interest you right now? Make a list, head to the grocery store, and get what you need.
Opt for shortcuts. What part of meal prep requires the most time, or is your least-liked chore? It’s okay to purchase pre-chopped veggies or frozen options. You can also choose pre-cooked rotisserie chickens, beets that are already roasted, lentils that are ready to eat from the package, or eggs that have already been hardboiled and peeled.
Double up. Cook enough of one meal that you can stretch it into two.
Use veggies throughout the week. If you take the time to cut up and prepare vegetables, use them in several meals. You can switch up your veggies next week and still get plenty of variety in your diet.
Try one new recipe each week. Trying different foods can help to prevent bored, and you’re more likely to stick to your weight loss plan in the long run.
If you do need more help planning your meals and snacks, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you decide what you need to be eating each day in order to reach your goals.