5 Ways to Win with Meal Planning
When we don’t plan we plan to fail. I believe meal planning is the key to securing your healthy eating system. Along with the right foods to eat and your environment planning is at the top of the list.
But the mere thought of meal planning can be daunting. What store do you go to, what food do you buy, when to go the store? Then there’s what about meal or grocery delivery and then after a while you get so exhausted you go to the fast food joint around the corner. Trust me this is my life every weekend. I justify it so well too being a single. It’s so easy to just pick up something for myself quick.
BUT we all have goals right. I believe with our goals we need to have a system in place to be successful. Again, meal planning is key to that system. So here are some hacks that can help:
1) Assess your Lifestyle
Are you always on the go? Do you like to cook? Questions like these can help answer if you are going grocery shopping or going to have meals delivered. If you’re going to pack your lunch or buy it. There’s no right or wrong answer. It will simply help to guide you in the planning process. It’s takes the worry out so you can move to the next step.
2) Time Management
Time management is key to your meal planning system. If you’re cooking you have to decide what’s on the menu and make time available for you to shop and cook. Even with grocery and meal delivery options you still need to choose the best day and/or time frames when you will be able to accept delivery. Putting away your groceries to organize them then meal prep requires a plan and can take up time as well. I recommend separate days for shopping and cooking. Doing both on the same day even when delivered can be a lot. Managing your time even a day in advance can save a lot of stress and overwhelm. We all know what can happen when we are stressed. Some of us eat! That’s a conversation for another day, however something simple as managing your time can set the tone to a flawless system.
3) Write it out
Write out your meals you and your family will eat and when you will eat them. It makes the meal planning process go more smoothly. Especially when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. It lets you know what ingredients you need to have on hand and allows your brain to run on autopilot. Even if you change your mind at the last minute, you can rest assured you still have what you need for the switch up. Your family will know too so it will cut down on after work and school confusion. This again can save stress, overwhelm and even money when it’s time to shop!
4) Have recipes handy
When deciding to cook, trying new or tried and true recipes keep meal planning fun and flavorful! Having your recipes in one place allows for quick and easy access. They can consist of books, printed and saved in binders, or even online! There are so many resources to collect recipes and new books come out daily. It can help guide your grocery list taking the hard part out of coming up with your own meal ideas! You can even start your own family tradition with building a recipe book!
5) Include the Family
Including loved ones keeps the process fresh and fun. It’s hard maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. But with help you will have the accountability you need to stay on track. Hint: Kids are more willing to try new foods if they are included in the meal planning and prep process. If you’re single have a friend you can meal plan or swap recipes with. It’s so important to get the family on board with your healthy weight goals if you’re going to stick to the plan. You can lose steam when trying to cook a healthy meal and the family comes in with fast food. One smell of french fries and it’s downhill from there. Set yourself up for success. Share your goals and make it fun!