Planning Meals

Monday Lifestyle Education Discussion:
“Planning Meals”
168
That’s the number of hours we all have in a week. Meal planning does require an investment of time, but it’s time well spent when you compare it to the emotional, financial and physical cost of having poor health. Manage your time in a way that allows you to prepare nutritious meals and snacks on a regular basis.

Barriers to planning meals:
– Perceived lack of time
– Lack of meal planning skills
– Cooking for family members not sharing your new eating habits
– Lack of cooking skills
– Not as convenient
– Obesogenic environment/Cheap food available 24/7

Why you SHOULD plan your own meals and snacks
– Decreases your susceptibility to cues that lead to poor food choices
– calorie control. Many calorie counts via MyFitness Pal & restaurants inaccurate
– Save money
– Enjoy better quality food
– Empowering
– Relieves stress about last-minute eating decisions

Strategies:
– “Crowding out.” Instead of thinking about what you can’t have to eat, start thinking/planning about foods that you SHOULD and want to include in your diet. When you eat more of the nutritious foods, there is less room for “junk” food
– Limit variety. Eat same food combinations for most meals and snacks. e.g. Breakfast: Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fruit, small handful raw nuts, Lunch: Lean Chicken or Fish + 2 cups raw or steamed veggies, Snacks: Veggies and 1oz lowfat cheese or hard-boiled egg and cucumbers. Put some thoughts into your individual needs and preferences and stick with it. Saves time, energy and money when you limit your options.
– Keep it simple. Meals: think lean protein and veggies
– Aim for minimally processed foods (choose whole foods or read ingredient lists).
– use meal replacement bars as tools to prevent over-hunger (follow your “active” meal plan until you are in maintenance)
– Use Nutrition Solutions Chef-meals–call or order online
– Carbs-Protein-Fat. High fiber, slow-releasing carbs, Lean Proteins and heart healthy fats. Aim for 40-60% Carb intake, depending on your needs. HIgher if endurance training
– Practice, practice, practice. It gets easier the more you do it.

As the famous slogan goes, JUST DO IT!