Meal Planning Strategies for Weight LossLosing weight is hard. I get that. One of the biggest struggles people tell me they have is with their diet. They can exercise just fine, but they cannot get their diet under control. Why don't you make things easier on yourself by planning out your food ahead of time? Like they say, failing to plan is planning to fail! Here are my tips for planning out your meals AND snacks so you will be prepared to succeed!
1. Take one day a week and figure out what you are going to cook for that week.
I recommend Sunday evenings, but whatever works best for you. I found this AWESOME app called Food on the Table that lets you pick out meals for the week, then it actually helps you find deals based on your nearest grocery store and has a grocery list for you! THAT is what I like--something that helps you simplify the whole process so you don't have to think about it too much.
2. Buy only what you need at the grocery store for that week.
Take a look in your pantry. Is it full? Then only buy produce! Eat what's in your pantry until it is GONE then start over with your meal planning and buy only what you need for that week! Don't look at what you want--like those cookies that are calling your name--NO! Go by what is on that list and stick to it! If it's not in the house, you're not gonna eat it!
3. Plan out your snacks. I recommend eating 3 meals and 2 snacks daily depending on your hunger for that day.
If you eat a bigger lunch, maybe you don't need that afternoon snack. Learn how to listen to your body! Snacks I usually have on hand are hummus, apples, almonds, shakeology, organic protein bars, etc. I ALWAYS have snacks in my purse in case I get hungry when I'm out running errands. The key is being prepared so you don't have to go to some fast food joint at the last minute because you are SO HUNGRY that you couldn't wait until you get home.
4. Plan out your meals for the next day.
Think about what your calorie goals are. You can use a website like thedailyplate.com or myfitnesspal.com to help figure out what your needs are. Then think about what you will eat the next day. For example, if you know that you need to eat 1500 calories a day to lose weight, then you might plan on eating 400 calories for breakfast, 100 for a mid morning snack, 350 calories for lunch, 150 for an afternoon snack, and 500 calories for dinner. So you will need to think about what those 150 calories for a snack looks like. It might be an apple and 10 almonds. Plug your food for that day into one of those websites so you KNOW in ADVANCE what you will be eating the next day and that you will be on track with your calories. You need to plan for success!
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