Meal planning sounds like it is an overwhelming concept. However, with some trial and error, it can actually make your life much easier and help you hit your goals faster. With your meals planned out and available ahead of time, you take all the guesswork out of what you are going to eat. You will be able to plan healthy nutritious meals that will be easy to grab whenever you need them. It also means you will be less likely to mess up on your goals due to an inconvenience factor. Such as feeling hungry but there are only fast-food restaurants around. Let’s dig into how you can make meal planning work for you.
The first thing we need to go over is that a cookie-cutter meal plan will NEVER work. Everyone’s body is different and everyone has different goals, so don’t follow someone else’s diet just because it worked for them. Find a way to make your own diet work. The most important aspect of meal planning and hitting your goals is sustainability. It simply will not work if you are using a meal plan that you cannot actually adhere to. Some people prefer the multiple small meals a day approach while others prefer to fast until 12 pm and then start eating within a specific time window (intermittent fasting). Like I stated above, trial and error to find out what works for you is the only route.
Type of Food
The next most important aspect of meal planning is the type of food you are preparing. You are not going to hit your goals if your meal plan consists of pizza and beer every day. Unless that is your goal… but for the sake of this article let’s just say that it’s not. Depending on your goals, you want the foods you choose to be able to help you get there. For weight loss, it is all about calories in vs calories out. But some foods are more satiating when you get those cravings and can make it difficult to remain in a calorie deficit. Again, it is all about trial and error with the foods that work for you. Some people can do the ol’ chicken, brown rice, and broccoli every day but most people can’t. Most people want to be able to enjoy what they are eating on the way to their goals so the best advice I can give you is to pick foods that help you reach your goals but add in some treats every once in and while as well. Maybe you meal prep for every meal except for dinner because you like to eat out. Or, like me, you could leave enough calories after dinner to be able to have some ice cream and not have it be a cheat meal!
If cooking and cleaning for that much food terrify you like it does me, you can find other ways to meal plan such as a meal prep service like foodandfigure.com or you could look into ready-made food at your local grocery store.
Interested in meal planning and do not know where to start? Schedule a nutritional consultation with us at [email protected] or (617) 544-7719 and we can get you on the right track!