MEAL PLANNING. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing fancy about weight loss. It’s hard work and a lot of experimentation. It requires tons of perseverance when you want nothing more than to give up, however, the truth is that you can never actually quit your diet. You have to eat to live so your diet should be one that serves YOU best and gives you great health. Meal planning is empowering.
What’s the secret to meal planning? The secret is that there is no secret. You just do it. MEAL. PLAN. EVERY. DAY. But there are a few tricks to save you time. Eventually, you will get to the point where meal prep is just part of your daily routine. You might even find it to be an enjoyable part of your week!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Limit Variety During The Week To Save Time And Money. This means the core of what you eat everyday remains the same, but you can make changes to the seasonings or sides. Core items in my diet include eggs, egg whites, Wild Alaska Salmon, Cod, Chunk Light Tuna and Tempeh. To this protein base, I add vegetables and I usually stick to Spinach, Kale, Riced Cauliflower or Green Beans. Occasionally I have ½ of a baked sweet potato or homemade keto bread. Snacks include low-fat plain yogurt, berries and a nut butter, a poached egg or a protein bar. Weekends are fairly similar, but I may have something a little more savory for dinner.
- Prep and Cook In Bulk On The Weekends.(or your least busy day). If Sunday is your meal prep day, then you’ll have to make sure your grocery shopping is done by the day before. Frozen meats and fish, for example, must be thawed in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking.
- Have The Right Tools For The Right Job. You’ll need to make sure your kitchen tools are easily accessible. Tools you may find yourself using each week might include a vegetable steamer, a toaster oven, skillets, baking stones, a Nutribullet or blender and a coffee maker. Everything you use should be stored strategically close to your cooking area. In addition to cookware, an often neglected aspect of meal prep is having Tupperware and a large insulated lunch bag. Remember, you’ll be cooking anywhere from 2-5 servings to last you throughout the week and most of your meals won’t be eaten at home. You’ll have to find a system that works for you. For me this means I cook on Sundays and Tuesday evenings since I work Monday through Thursday.
- Know your grocery store and get in and get out. Stick to your grocery list and try to avoid impulse purchases. If you can limit variety, then your grocery shopping experience will be quick and easy because you’ll be eating the same core foods each week. This recommendation is not a popular one, but unless you have extra time to plan, purchase and prepare a new menu each week, it’s really your best option. The number one reason people don’t prepare their own meals is because of perceived lack of time.
Some final pointers—
The core of a healthy eating plan is one that emphasizes whole foods in their mostly natural state. It should be low in added sugars, refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. Feel free to go sugar-free, but don’t replace it with artificial sweeteners.
Don’t have time to cook? No problem. Let our Chef James prepare your meals! Our meals are designed by dietitians and perfected by our chef.