Meal Planning Tips to Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
Sticking to a meal prep schedule is difficult for anyone. Whether you have a busy schedule, family members to look after, or simply haven’t been able to stick to a plan, even the best of us have trouble planning and preparing meals regularly.
Meal planning is a great way to keep a healthy, diet, stick to appropriate portions, and save time and money. Check out a few tips below to set a meal plan–and stick with it!
Have a few go-to meals on hand. These meals can be repeated each week. After you have a couple of staple meals, add new recipes, and mix up your week.
Check your fridge. What do you have on hand? Is anything about to expire? Pick something within the fridge and try to make a meal around it.
Stock up on the building blocks. Many meals are based on core ingredients like proteins, grains, “hero” sauces, etc. Keep these on hand for quick recipe building.
Let your foods work double duty. Tortillas can be used in taco night one night and as a wrap the next night. Broccoli can be used as a side one night, added to a recipe another night, and worked into a soup or meatloaf later on.
There’s nothing wrong with frozen food. Fresh food is great, but if you are planning ahead, frozen foods like vegetables are your best friend. You can also utilize your freezer to make a double batch of a sauce, soup, or stew and freeze half for later.
Create a place to save recipes. Make a point to look for new recipes regularly. Pinterest is a great resource to save ideas and bookmark your favorite blogs, but be careful to avoid clickbait recipes. Not everything that is labeled skinny, healthy, low-fat, etc. is good for you. Pay close attention to the ingredients list.
Keep a meal journal. A journal will help remember what you’ve liked, what worked well, what pleased your family (or did NOT please your family) etc. Meal journals also help keep you honest and on track of a healthy plan (or junk food slips).
Plan for leftovers. It’s great to plan ahead and have leftovers from dinner to eat the next day, but no one wants to have the same food for every meal. If you’re not meal planning for a crowd, don’t be afraid to cut a recipe in half.
Plan meals around your life, not the other way around. If you know you have certain activities on certain days or expect an especially busy night, stick with something simple to prepare, cook ahead of time, or utilize your crockpot on those days. Busy times are the moment to try out a new recipe.
Remember, you don’t need to come up with all new recipes. There are no perfect meal planning systems. Find something that works well for you and your weight loss goals. for bariatric-friendly recipe ideas, visit the LifeWeigh Health Recipes section on our website.