Meal Planning for Weight Loss

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Meal Planning for Weight Loss

woman with healthy foodYou may have read plenty of motivational and inspirational advice to keep you on track toward your weight loss journey, but what about practical tips to help you accomplish your goals? It’s one thing to feel motivated; it’s quite another thing to put all that inspired energy into action!

One of the most basic ways to keep yourself on track toward your weight loss target is to simply plan out your meals. If you’re prepared both physically and mentally to eat healthy and according to your diet plan, it’s much easier to follow through.

Most people find that weekly meal planning works best. Set aside a few minutes each week to plan your meals and shop, considering the following factors.

How many meals do you need to plan? Consider breakfast and lunch for each family member. Do some of you eat at school or pick up lunch on the fly? At the least, you will plan for seven dinners and your own lunches. Depending upon the needs of your family, you may have to plan every meal.

Consider your schedule. Are some nights more hectic than others? If soccer practice and gymnastics meets tend to complicate certain evenings, remember to schedule fast, simple meals for those nights. Another good trick is to cook two or three times as much as you need one night, and use the leftovers later in the week when you get busier.

Plan for special events. If your family always gathers together to watch sporting events or a favorite TV show, you know you’ll be tempted to snack. Plan to have healthy snacks on hand so that you don’t find yourself reaching for your kids’ pizza rolls and potato chips.

Fit it into your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, consult the sale ads for your favorite grocery stores. Buy bulk in healthy items, like produce, when they’re on sale. Then plan your meals around those ingredients. Take stock of what items you already have, too, so you can be sure to use them before they expire.

Write your list. After assessing what items you already have on hand, make a list of everything you’ll need for this week’s meals. Make sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and veggies for quick snacks, and you’ll be on your way to a week of healthy eating!