Meal planning is easier than it sounds. However, sometimes life gets busy and meal plans get forgotten. When I don’t meal plan, I tend to get frustrated with empty pantries and refrigerators by the end of the week. I also tend to make less nutritious food choices because I typically wait until I am hungry to start deciding on food. When I am hungry, I want something quick and simple and usually something very carb dense. This is because when you let yourself get to this point, your body is looking for a quick energy boost…which comes from the simple carbs found in sweets and treats.
So, to help you start 2020 off on the right foot, I’m going to let you in on a few tips I use when I do my weekly meal planning.
Check out your schedule.
It’s important to do this first so that you can plan your meals around your weekly activities. This also help you know what nights would be best to have leftovers or a quicker meal vs. cooking. Being able to plan around your schedule will help you be more likely to follow through with your meal plan. Keep in mind, if a last-minute girl’s night out comes up, don’t miss out on that just so you can go home and have whatever was on your meal plan. Meal planning is a rough outline for what you will have for the week. It’s not carved in stone.
Plan meals you know that you will enjoy.
If you plan to have salads 2-3 days a week, but you don’t really like salad, don’t put it on your meal plan. It is important to plan meals you actually want to eat instead of planning meals that you think you have to eat. There are plenty of other ways to get in fruits and veggies in your diet than having salads all of the time if that’s not something you enjoy.
Make sure to throw in a meal out or a special treat 1-2 times a week.
This doesn’t mean 1-2 whole days of the week. This means 1-2 meals of the week. It’s important to let yourself indulge in the foods that you love every so often. If you like chocolate, make sure to incorporate a chocolate dessert into your meal plan. You could even include chocolate chips into a trail mix recipe for a snack and have small amounts of it daily! You can still enjoy the foods that you love AND be healthy.
These are the 3 tips I use when I sit down to create my meal plans for the week. Meal plans help keep me organized and sane by not depriving myself of the foods that I love.