Do You Struggle to Stay on Track with Your Health Goals? Here’s My Secret Weapon!
Do you ever wonder how some people seem to stay on track with their health goals and you constantly find yourself at 3:00pm headed for the vending machine to grab a bag of chips or a candy bar? Then you beat yourself up for once again screwing up your diet? Sound familiar?
Well I have a secret weapon! I’m certain you’ve heard of it, but if the paragraph above sounds too familiar, you’re probably not using it. What is the secret weapon? Meal planning and prepping! Remember the old adage – those who fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s so true! If you don’t plan what you’re going to eat for the week (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) you will do what you’ve always done – grab something quick and unhealthy and then wonder why you can’t seem to stay on track. So here are my best meal planning/prep ideas to give you that extra support you need:
- Make or find a weekly meal prep form that lists out each day of the week and has room for 3 meals per day plus snacks. There should also be room for a shopping list and a prep list. Print 20 at a time so each weekend you’re ready to go.
- Friday night or first thing Saturday morning, plan your week. Even if its oatmeal every day for breakfast. Write it down and list any ingredients you need to get at the store. You can leave blank any meal you know you’ll be eating out, but otherwise write down what you’ll eat for each meal and all snacks.
- Be sure your shopping list is complete and stick to it. Your list will help you avoid impulse purchases and make sure you have everything you need for the week.
- Buy in bulk all those items that you find yourself using frequently for meal prepping, then be sure to check your inventory before you shop to avoid duplicate purchases. Things like quinoa, rice, frozen veggies, and oatmeal are great bulk purchases.
- Once you’ve done your shopping, plan either a block of time to prep during the weekend or find small pockets of time to prep during the week. For example –
- If you had a big salad for dinner, use the ingredients to make lunch salads for the week. While you’re cleaning up from dinner, prep salads in Mason jars and they’ll last the entire week.
- Make overnight oats. There are tons of recipes online and you can whip up several jars and have them ready to go in the fridge.
- Cut up some extra veggies at the same time you’re prepping veggies for dinner and either make or buy single serve hummus and you’ve got snacks for the week. Or since you’ve planned what you’ll be making during the week, chop up extra veggies and refrigerate or freeze for a recipe later in the week. Getting all your veggies prepped at once saves tons of time.
- Make a double recipe of whatever you’re making for dinner and freeze half. Make sure you have lots of good containers for freezing. Dinner is ready for another night or next week. Or use the leftovers for lunches during the week.
- Find recipes with similar ingredients. If you know you’re going to need rice or noodles one night, find a recipe that uses the same ingredient(s) later in the week so you can make a big batch and use for another recipe.
- Use frozen veggies to save time. You can even buy frozen chopped onions and peppers making meal prep a breeze.
- Make a big batch of healthy snack balls, trail mix or granola and divide into individual bags, so you have no reason to head for the vending machine. Do not take the entire bag to work thinking you’ll just take a handful when you need a snack. You will eat far more than if you divide it in advance. Also portion size snacks can be kept in your purse, computer bag or car for those times when you need something quick.